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Brewer plans to ‘Raise the Roof’ at Labor Day gathering

Bridget Brown | BDN
Bridget Brown | BDN
Rep. Mike Michaud greets supporters at the Food AND Medicine and Eastern Maine Labor Council's Labor Day Celebration on Monday, Sept. 6, 2010 in Brewer.
By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

BREWER, Maine — The Eastern Maine Labor Council is about to host its 10th annual Labor Day celebration, and this year the proceeds will go toward replacing the Solidarity Center’s roof, labor council President Jack McKay said in a press release.

The public event, scheduled for 4:30-8 p.m. Monday, “will feature music from the renowned [University of Maine at] Machias Ukulele Band, along with great home-cooked and local food and speeches from congressman and union member Mike Michaud, along with others,” he said.

Michaud, who represents the 2nd Congressional District, usually makes an appearance at the Brewer event, which is held at the Solidarity Center, located at 20 Ivers St. in Brewer. Michaud is scheduled to arrive about 5 p.m. He also is scheduled to walk in the Buckfield Labor Day parade at 10 a.m., and to attend the Western Maine Labor Council picnic at 1:30 p.m. in Lewiston.

The Brewer gathering will be co-hosted by Food AND Medicine, a labor council initiative that provides nonprofit programs in support of workers and local agriculture.

Florida union member Gerardo Reyes-Chavez from the Coalition for Immokalee Workers also will be on hand at the gathering. The Florida union, made up of mainly Haitian, Latino and Indian workers, successfully fought and won a battle with Taco Bell to improve wages and working conditions for tomato supply workers.

The University of Maine at Machias Ukulele Band, led by professor Gene Nichols, plays “spirited ukulele renditions of Jimmy Buffet hits ‘Soul Man’ and ‘Wild Thing’ along with other favorites,” McKay said.

The amateur ukulele band is made up of “community members ages 9 to 90, and a different group of performers come together to create fun, jump-to-your-feet-to-dance style music at every venue they play,” McKay said.

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