Working in a Union Environment, a Seminar for Students and Professionals, to be Hosted by Maine Maritime Academy

Posted March 27, 2013, at 9:10 a.m.

Thursday, April 11, 2013 4 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: Maine Maritime Academy, 1 Pleasant St, Castine, Maine

For more information: Elaine Potoker / Tim Koster; 207-326-2121 / 207-326-0137;

CASTINE, Maine – Maine Maritime Academy’s Career Services and Loeb-Sullivan School of International Business and Logistics is hosting a seminar on Thursday, April 11th from 4-6 p.m. The seminar is designed to educate participants on working in a union environment in the U.S. or overseas. The event is free and open to the public and will be held in the Delano Auditorium in Leavitt Hall on the MMA campus.

Because it can be difficult to predict how a particular career path may evolve, or how many careers one might have in a lifetime, anyone anticipating they may work in a union environment, faculty members who are supervising student internships, educators, and anyone interested in learning more about unions and the labor movement are strongly encouraged to attend. The topics of discussion will include useful information about unions and working in a union environment, some differences between unions in the U.S. and other countries, what collective bargaining is, what is in a union contract, and much more.

The seminar will feature a panel of four professionals who are well versed in the union workforce:

Valerie Carter isa Research Associate and Instructor at the University of Maine’s Bureau of Labor Education (BLE) where she has been working since 1995. Carter will focus on comparing unions, employee representation, and worker rights in the U.S. and in other countries, primarily in the European Union.

John R. Hanson is the Director Emeritus of the BLE at the University of Maine, having served as its director from 1978 until his retirement in 2005. Hanson will be providing a broad historical and current overview of the U.S. labor movement, discussing what unions are, how they function, and the benefits of unions for workers, employers, and the economy.

Gary McGrane is the Staff Associate at the University of Maine’s BLE and has worked in the private sector for more than thirty-five years, before being appointed to the Bureau in 2005 to conduct occupational health and safety training in Maine’s ship/boat building and construction industries. McGrane will be presenting a union perspective on collective bargaining and union contracts, and the critical roles of union shop stewards and business agents.

Sarah Newell is a Shareholder at the law firm of Eaton Peabody in Bangor, Maine. Newell will focus primarily on the processes of labor negotiations, grievances, and arbitration, from a management perspective.

The event will be moderated by Dr. Elaine Potoker, professor at the Loeb-Sullivan School of International Business and Logistics at Maine Maritime Academy. She received her Bachelors’ degree from SUNY, Potsdam; a Masters’ degree from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from the Ohio State University. Potoker has been with the Loeb-Sullivan School since 1997.

This event is free and open to the public. This is the second of two seminars focusing on career and workplace issues of importance to students and those who advise them. For more information about the events, please contact Dr. Potoker at 207-326-2121 or

The Loeb-Sullivan School extends thanks to MMA’s Career Services and Students in Business and Logistics (SBLA), as well as MA342 International Human Resource Management, Bureau of Labor Education (BLE, University of Maine), and Eaton and Peabody, Bangor, ME for their support of this seminar.

Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 15 degree programs in engineering, management, science and transportation. For more information, visit