Weekly Update: Donate to the Mass Distribution Fund, Corporate Power Research Party and more

Dear friends and supporters,

We hope that you are staying safe as we collectively continue to work through the challenges emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic. Incredible acts of heroism have emerged from this crisis — from our front-line healthcare professionals to our grocery store workers who are showing up to work every day to strengthen and support our communities. We salute them for their hard work and for their contributions!

Volunteering efforts have also emerged across the State bringing grassroots organizations together to ensure our community members have the resources they need to weather the pandemic. We will feature such organizations in our weekly newsletters, and we urge you to support them by donating

You can help us promote these updates to your network by sharing our Facebook posts or by following and retweeting us on our new Twitter handle. You can receive regular updates from CLU by signing up on our website.


Last week, Community Labor United, with its partners, launched the Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Coalition calling for a people-centric approach to the COVID-19 response. This week, our Executive Director, Lee Matsueda, spoke with Boston Neighborhood News Network about the importance of taking this approach toward COVID-19 response. He said in his interview that “this is about how our whole society, how we and the Commonwealth, and the City make it out of this in a way that lifts us all up.” As a coalition, we are working on long-term solutions to eliminate the systemic inequalities that allowed for communities of color and low-income communities to be disproportionately affected by this crisis.

Resource Spotlight: 

Donate to the Mass Distribution Fund:
The Mass Redistribution Fund is convening community-led efforts that are supporting and uplifting the most vulnerable. Donations to the Mass Redistribution Fund go directly to community organizations across Massachusetts that are working around the clock to meet the needs of our at-risk neighbors, from low-income renters facing eviction to undocumented workers and people in prison.

Update on Unemployment Insurance:
These are challenging times for working people, with record numbers out of work. Some recent changes to the State’s unemployment system and expanded benefits through the federal CARES Act should improve workers’ experiences filing claims:

  • The UI TeleClaim number (617-626-6800) is now operational. Previously, all claimants were being asked to file online, and now you can call as well. 
  • For members who need assistance with a claim, they can schedule a call-back from DUA by filling out this online form.
  • The DUA website is now accessible in Spanish and workers can be directed to a Spanish-language UI-online application.
  • Current UI claimants have started receiving their additional Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments of $600 per week through the federal CARES Act. The CARES Act also provides for an additional 13 weeks of UI eligibility through December 26, 2020, which will be automatically added on to the 26 weeks of eligibility for current claimants.

With questions on unemployment, please contact Bob Bower at 508-450-3238.

Pandemic Profiteer Watch

Join CLU’s Corporate Power Research Party on April 21

“When there’s blood in the streets, buy property.”

Workers and community members are stepping up to care for each other and fight for basics like food, safety, and fair pay. Meanwhile, some of the top 1 percent have already shown their priority is protecting their own money — check out LittleSis’ blog post profiling some of these profiteers, including Seth Klarman of the Boston-based Baupost Group.  

You can help find and expose the biggest pandemic profiteers here in Massachusetts. The Public Good campaign is hosting a (remote) Corporate Power Research Party on Tuesday, April 21 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. All you need is a computer, an internet connection, and basic Google search skills. Please save the date and get a ticket. It is a free event!

Billionaire Jeremy Jacobs & sons leave Delaware North workers on thin ice

While unions, community groups, public servants and individuals are doing all we can to help our members and neighbors, some corporations and the billionaires who own them are leaving Massachusetts residents high and dry. Take one-percenter Jeremy Jacobs, Jr. and family. The Jacobs family owns Delaware North, owner and operator of TD Garden, including the new mixed-use Hub on Causeway development. Jacobs is also the owner of the famous Boston Bruins hockey team. Although the family is worth a cool $3.5 billion, it furloughed the majority of its employees in the past month, leaving tens of thousands of part-time workers with no pay or benefits. A $1.5 million relief fund will kick in only if and when the NHL cancels the hockey season, even though workers need help right now. Delaware North and its partner Boston Properties benefit from millions in a special property tax break for their Hub on Causeway development, and should at the very least do their part to support the workers who make their billions in revenues possible. Read more on CLU’s blog.

If there is something you think we should feature in our weekly communications, please email Lindsay McCluskey at lindsay@massclu.org.  

Thank you for reading!

In Solidarity,

Community Labor United

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"NBA Finals @ TD Garden - HDR of Exterior" by Eric Kilby is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0Defense Production Act Masks graphic