A History of Maine Restaurant Unionization

The Maine chapter of the AFL-CIO has taken a look at the history of restaurant union organization in Maine.

As early as the 1890s, Maine restaurant and hotel workers began organizing and forming worker organization known as “labor and benefit” orders, according to labor historian Charlie Scontras. In 1919, members of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees’ International Alliance and Bartenders’ International League of America (HERE) established locals in Augusta and Portland. Then in 1928, the Portland local brought HERE’s international president, Edward Flore, and an organizer to the city where they reportedly “met with good success, adding several new houses to the fair list and strengthening the Local.”