Stories about Maine Department of Labor


Federal suit filed against LePage, two others, over mural removal

BDN staff and wire reports on April 01, 2011, at 5:46 p.m.
PORTLAND | Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s decision to remove a mural about the state’s labor history from the Department of Labor in Augusta is now the subject of a federal lawsuit. The suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court, seeks to confirm the mural’s location, ensure that the mural …

LePage: Timing of mural removal unfortunate

The Associated Press on April 01, 2011, at 10:40 a.m.
Spokespeople for Gov. Paul LePage have often said that the timing of the administration’s decision to remove a 36-foot mural in the Department of Labor was unfortunate. This week, after absorbing criticism from his own party, the governor finally said so himself. Although LePage told MPBN that he stood by …

Reports: Labor mural has not left the building

By Kevin Miller on March 30, 2011, at 2:04 p.m.
Judy Taylor says it’s “heartbreaking” to hear her work compared to North Korean propaganda considering her father’s distinguished military service.

As criticism of removal mounts, where will the mural go?

The Associated Press on March 29, 2011, at 2:29 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — The president of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts sent a scathing letter Tuesday to Maine Gov. Paul LePage for removing a labor-themed mural from the Department of Labor headquarters as the status of the disputed artwork remains in limbo and its location remains a secret. The 36-foot mural …
Scenes from a labor-themed mural by Tremont artist Judy Taylor. Gov. Paul LePage ordered the mural removed from labor department offices over the weekend. Portland City Councilors had planned on discussing whether to host the mural on April 4, but have since opted not to take up the matter.

Mural removed over weekend from Department of Labor offices

By Kevin Miller on March 28, 2011, at 10:22 a.m.
  AUGUSTA | The political fallout over Gov. Paul LePage’s decision to quietly remove a labor-themed mural from a state building over the weekend continued Monday as administration officials worked to find a new home for the artwork after a potential deal with Portland City Hall all but disintegrated …

The New York Times editorializes against LePage’s mural removal order

on March 28, 2011, at 12:39 a.m.
The New York Times editorial board added its voice to the national criticism aimed at Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s order to remove a mural of the state’s labor history from the Maine Department of Labor. In a Monday editorial titled, The Times said: “Gov. Paul LePage of Maine has stooped …
The hallway leading to the Maine Department of Labor in Augusta was jammed with people on Friday including artists and union members who showed up to support the continued display of a mural depicting  Maine's working class heritage and to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, the impetus for Frances Perkins' work on behalf of all working people.

Hundreds protest mural removal; artwork could land in Portland

By Jeff Tuttle on March 25, 2011, at 1:22 p.m.
AUGUSTA | More than 250 demonstrators crowded into the offices of the Maine Department of Labor on Friday morning to protest Gov. Paul LePage’s planned removal of a labor-themed mural from the building’s lobby. The small lobby that houses the actual mural, however, was no match for the crowd, …

Maine’s unemployment rate unchanged in January

BDN staff and wire reports on March 10, 2011, at 6:08 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Department of Labor says the preliminary jobless rate for January was 7.5 percent, unchanged from the revised figure for December. Officials say the figure dropped nearly 1 percentage point from a level of 8.4 percent a year ago. The total number of unemployed was 52,300, …
John McPeek, 58, and Mary Jane MacKenzie, 62, both work at the Broadway McDonald's in Bangor and are part of a group of older workers that continue to work into their retirement years. McPeek, a two-year employee, works the grill and McKenzie has been the resturant's hostess for the past 14 years.

For many older Maine workers retirement is not an option

By Andrew Neff on Feb. 11, 2011, at 2:53 p.m.
The state’s rapidly aging work force is posing serious challenges — as well as opportunities — for employers as they confront a steep decline in the number of younger Mainers ready to punch the clock. Meanwhile, older workers — experienced and healthier than ever — are facing their own challenges …
Gov. Paul LePage, center, stands with Cheryl Russell, right, of Chester, and Chandler Woodcock, left, of Farmington, at a news conference in Augusta.LePage announced that Russell has been chosen to become the next Labor Commissioner and Woodcock has been chosen to become the next Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner.

LePage taps nominees for DIF&W, labor; delays education commissioner announcement

By Kevin Miller on Feb. 09, 2011, at 12:30 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage announced two more nominees to fill cabinet posts on Wednesday morning. LePage nominated Chandler Woodcock, a former legislator and one-time gubernatorial hopeful, to serve as commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Cheryl Russell, a consultant whose family is in the …

Maine businesses face tax hike to keep unemployment flowing

By Mal Leary on Nov. 21, 2010, at 7:05 p.m.
AUGUSTA | At the beginning of the new year, Maine employers will face a tax increase that will enable the state’s unemployment trust fund to pay unemployment benefits, the state’s principal safety net program. “There will be an increase, up one level,” said Maine Department of Labor Commissioner Laura …
A person looking for work stands on a street corner in Portland, Maine, on Monday, Nov. 15, 2010. Unless Congress acts before the end of the month to extend unemployment benefits, thousands of Mainers will lose their unemployment benefits during the next few months, Maine's labor commissioner told lawmakers Monday.  (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach)

21,000 Mainers could lose jobless benefits

The Associated Press on Nov. 15, 2010, at 6:59 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Thousands of Maine residents will lose their unemployment benefits during the next few months, unless Congress acts before the end of the month to extend them as it has in the past to help those hit by the recession, Maine’s labor commissioner told lawmakers Monday. “If Congress …

Jobless numbers don’t tell full story

By Mal Leary on Oct. 23, 2010, at 1:53 a.m.
AUGUSTA | Every month, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics surveys households across the country to determine the unemployment rate. But they collect data far beyond the question of being out of work and looking for work, which is the monthly measure that often makes headlines. “It is very …

Experts agree: Governor won’t have an easy job of adding jobs

By Kevin Miller on Oct. 08, 2010, at 8:16 p.m.
Only 56 more people were working in Maine at the end of 2009 than there were a decade earlier

Maine jobless rate down slightly in May

The Associated Press on June 18, 2010, at 3:25 p.m.
State Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman says Maine’s unemployment in May was 8 percent, down slightly from April’s revised rate 8.1 percent.

Unemployed must wait for benefits

By Mal Leary on May 28, 2010, at 11:07 p.m.
About 2,700 Mainers will get notices from the state Department of Labor next week that their unemployment benefits are ending because Congress failed to pass an extension before taking a week off over the Memorial Day holiday.

Lincoln County Democrats laud labor commissioner

By Kevin Miller on April 25, 2010, at 8:09 p.m.
BRISTOL | Lincoln County Democrats recognized state Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman’s efforts on behalf of Maine workers Friday during an award ceremony named for the first woman to hold a Cabinet seat in a presidential administration.
Laura Fortman

Congress delays jobless benefits for thousands

By Mal Leary on March 29, 2010, at 8:28 p.m.
AUGUSTA | State labor department officials estimate more than 3,800 Mainers will lose unemployment benefits after next week, and more will follow after Congress failed to act to extend …

Maine raises unemployment tax by $54 million

By Mal Leary on Nov. 30, 2009, at 7:56 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Maine employers will see a $54 million increase in the taxes they pay to fund the unemployment insurance system starting in January.
A Canadian logger who identified himself as Mathieu Cloutier has been working in Maine for years said that him and his father operate equipment that is owned by his mother.  They were harvesting wood in Township 16 Range 14 on Tuesday. BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY GABOR DEGRE

Logging outfits punished for labor violations

By Kevin Miller on Nov. 13, 2009, at 7:38 p.m.
The U.S. Department of Labor has charged two northern Maine logging contractors with violating federal labor laws.