ENews: April 18, 2019

PRESS RELEASE from Teamsters, Local 251

For immediate release: April 12, 2019

TEAMSTERS RATIFY NEW CONTRACT AT RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL

Contract Provides Wage Increases, Quality Health Insurance and Retirement Options

(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) – The more than 2,500 Local 251 Teamsters who work at Rhode Island Hospital ratified a new five-year agreement yesterday by a 97.5 percent vote.

“The 2,500 members at Rhode Island Hospital should be proud. It was their solidarity that led to this agreement,” said Matt Taibi, Teamsters Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer. “This contract wasn’t won at the table; it was earned through months of organizing by our members. They stood strong in the face of the company and achieved a contract they deserve.

”The bargaining unit includes nonclinical and clinical support and skilled maintenance workers.

After months of member to member organizing and surveying the needs of the members, the union negotiating committee set out to satisfy key demands of the workers. This contract addresses the important issues of fair wage increases, a $15 minimum wage, Teamster health care benefits, retirement security, quality jobs that support families and job security.

-READ PRESS RELEASE


UFCW, Local 328: Letter regarding Stop & Shop Strike

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

As you know, 10,000 members of UFCW Local 328 who work at Stop & Shop are standing together for a fair contract that recognizes their hard work and dedication.

On April 11th, these brave women and men walked off their jobs at over 75 Stop & Shop stores in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut to protest the company’s proposed drastic and unreasonable cuts to health care, retirement benefits and take-home pay.

These hard-working members of Local 328 have been trying to negotiate a fair contract with Stop & Shop since January 14 and need your support.  

We are asking our union brothers and sisters to please stand with these courageous members by joining us on the picket lines, adopting one of our 76 sites by providing supplies, food and/or drinks or if able, by making a financial donation.

We have set up a hardship fund which will go directly to Local 328 members facing financial difficulties, so that they can pay for day-to-day needs and support their families during this difficult time.

For financial donations, please make checks payable to the UFCW Local 328 Members’ Assistance Fund to the following address:

UFCW Local 328

278 Silver Spring Street

Providence, RI 02904

Please contact Secretary-Treasurer Domenic Pontarelli if you have any questions. (office) 401-861-0300 or (cell) 508-400-2220.

By standing together, we can show Stop & Shop, as well as all other employers, that it is time to reach a fair contract agreement that reflects the true value of our members. Remember – an injury to one – is an injury to ALL. Thank you for your support


Domenic Pontarelli, Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW, Local 328 speaking at a Stop & Shop strike rally in Fall River.


AFL-CIO Twitter:

President @RichardTrumka had the opportunity to spend time with @StopandShop workers striking in New Haven, Connecticut tonight.

📺WATCH VIDEO


Maureen Martin, Secretary-Treasurer of R.I. AFL-CIO supporting the UFCW workers in Narragansett while out on strike against Stop & Shop.


AFL-CIO: Special Episode: Can’t Stop. Won’t Shop. Stories from a UFCW Picket Line

Julie and Tim talk to Kristen Johnson, a deli manager and shop steward at the Stop & Shop in Somerville, Massachusetts. Kristen and more than 30,000 of her co-workers, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), are out on strike for fair pay, benefits and respect on the job.

📺LISTEN TO PODCAST


AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: American Postal Workers Union

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM).

Name of Union: Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM)

Mission: The primary goal of the BCTGM has not changed in more than 130 years—to bring economic justice in the workplace to all workers in our jurisdiction and social justice to workers throughout the United States and Canada.

Current Leadership of Union: David B. Durkee has served as BCTGM international president since September 2012. Prior to his election as international president, Durkee served as international secretary-treasurer, international executive vice president, international director of organization and international representative.

Durkee began his life as a BCTGM activist in 1973 when he joined Local 280 (Evansville, Indiana) as a baker at Lewis Brothers Bakery. He was re-elected as international president by delegates to the BCTGM international constitutional conventions in 2014 and 2018.

Members Work As: Manufacturing, production workers, maintenance and sanitation workers.-READ MORE


CNN Business: Why big business is giving up its fight against a higher minimum wage

New York (CNN Business)Corporate America has been, shall we say, evolving on the minimum wage in recent years.

Last month, McDonalds — the most recognizable name in America’s lowest-paying industry — announced it would no longer lobby against minimum wage hikes. A few months before that, Amazon proclaimed that it would fully meet activists’ demands for a $15-per-hour baseline and that it would throw its considerable lobbying weight behind an increase in the federal floor. Then, just last week, Bank of America outdid them both, setting its own minimum at $20. Who is left fighting the case against a higher minimum wage? American small businesses. As a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024 nationwide awaits a vote on the House floor with 205 Democratic co-sponsors, life in the opposition is getting lonelier for the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s largest advocacy group for small companies. -READ MORE


Union-Made in America Easter

SEE LIST          


QUOTE OF THE WEEK

We have your back. Stand strong, brothers and sisters. The entire labor movement is standing with you.” —AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) to striking UFCW members


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The 2019 George “Bing” Fogarty Memorial Classic Golf Tournament

The George “Bing” Fogarty Foundation was established by the family and friends of Bing to carry on his legacy of charitable works and helping others. Bing lived his life in service of others and quietly helped thousands of people in multitude of ways. This foundation will attempt to carry on those good works by making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate and in need of a shoulder to lean on.

When: Friday, June 7 Where: Exeter Country Club, 320 Ten Rod Road (Route 102), Exeter, RI Time: Registration 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Shotgun Format: Scramble Cost: $150 to play golf with steak fry; $125 Tee Sign; $250 Corporate/Union Sponsor

For more information: E-Mail BingFogartyMemorial@gmail.com or call (401) 932-3642



THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Unionist:

After a four-week boycott led by Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., bus companies in New York City agree to hire 200 Black drivers and mechanics – 1941

Eight members of the Musicians union die in the sinking of the Titanic. According to survivors, they played their instruments until nearly the end. Five weeks later a concert organized by the union to benefit the musicians’ families, held in a theater donated for the evening by impresario Flo Ziegfeld, featured the talents of 500 musicians. The evening ended with a rendering of “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” the hymn being played as the ship went down. The union at the time was called the Musical Mutual Protective Union Local 310, the New York affiliate of the American Federation of Musicians – 1912

Transport Workers Union founded – 1934

Teacher unionists gather at the City Club on Plymouth Court in Chicago to form a new national union: the American Federation of Teachers – 1916

-LEARN MORE



NEXT WEEK ON LABOR VISION:

Newly-elected V.P. of the R.I. Coalition of Labor Union Women, Liz Murtha of IBEW, Local 2323, and member Thom Cahir, sit down with Erica Hammond of the Institute in the first half of the show, to talk about CLUW’s major charitable effort, “Help a Sister Out, PERIOD!” How the labor movement in the state, led by the R.I. AFL-CIO, R.I. Federation of Teachers, and Teamsters Local 251, are taking the lead to change minds and policy on how women are treated differently simply because of their biology.

And in the second half of the show, Raul Figueroa of Fuerza Laboral sits down with Erica to talk about the first successful co-op to come out of the bill they sponsored and helped get passed last year; how the business has expanded and what’s in store for the future.

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ENews: April 11, 2019

PRESS RELEASE on Stop & Shop Strike

Protesting Health Care, Take Home Pay, & Customer Service Cuts, Stop & Shop Workers Walk off Job

31,000 UFCW Members From Across New England Protest Stop & Shop Cuts That Hurt Workers, Customers, and Local Communities

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Today, 31,000 members of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Locals 328, 371, 919, 1445, and 1459 who work at Stop & Shop are walking off their jobs to protest the company’s proposed drastic and unreasonable cuts to health care, take home pay, and customer service as well as unlawful conduct.

The proposed cuts by Stop & Shop, whose parent company earned $2 billion in profits in 2018, would devastate health care benefits, significantly increase health care costs, and decrease take home pay. Stop & Shop’s proposed cuts would also have a negative and severe impact on customer service, including the very cashiers, stockers, bakers, deli clerks, and butchers that Stop & Shop customers rely on.

The members of the five UFCW Locals released the following joint statement:

-READ MORE


Providence Journal: Evergreen contract bill for teachers passes R.I. House Labor Committee PROVIDENCE — Public employee unions scored their second major victory this week at the Rhode Island State House on Wednesday when a House committee approved a bill to allow teacher and municipal employee contracts to remain in effect indefinitely after they have expired.

In a small hearing room lined wall to wall with organized-labor lobbyists, the House Labor Committee voted 10-to-1 for legislation vehemently opposed by municipal leaders who say it will tie their hands in contract negotiations and potentially lock them into wage-and-benefit packages their taxpayers can no longer afford. The lone nay vote was cast by Republican Rep. Brian Newberry of North Smithfield.

At its core, the legislation says of expired contracts: “All terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement shall remain in effect … until such time as a successor agreement has been reached between the parties.” In its final iteration, it also tweaks the state’s binding arbitration law in a way that worries Timothy Duffy, executive director of the Rhode Island Association of School Committees.

“My greatest fear is the unintended consequences, because we don’t know what it says and what impact it has,” he said.

But Frank Flynn, the president of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers & Health Professionals, said: “We’ve had several situations over the past several years where school committees and superintendents unilaterally made decisions that negatively impacted teachers, and we don’t feel that is fair or right and this just … [requires] them to honor the agreements they’ve made over the past 50 years.”

-READ MORE


Providence Journal: R.I. House votes 62-9 to mandate firefighter OT after 42 hours

PROVIDENCE — Over howls of protest from Rhode Island’s municipal leaders, the House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a two-bill package mandating that cities and towns pay overtime to firefighters who average more than 42 hours in a workweek, as opposed to the 53-hour-a-week federal O.T. threshold.

The largely party-line vote was 62-9 in a state that regularly tops the national charts in its cost of firefighting services, and it followed days of protests by mayors and town managers across the state, including Warwick Mayor Joseph J. Solomon whose son, Democratic Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. of Warwick, voted for the bill.

Only one Democrat — Rep. Lauren Carson of Newport — broke ranks and voted against the legislation that House Majority Whip John “Jay” Edwards said he introduced at House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello’s request. Only one Republican voted for the legislation: Rep. Jack Lyle of Lincoln.

Supporters said the legislation provides firefighters with overtime rights available to everyone else in the workforce. Opponents argued strenuously against legislative intervention in city and town contract negotiations, including the three fire districts in negotiations now that have not already adopted the 42-hour O.T. standard: North Kingstown, Tiverton and the Central Coventry Fire District which anticipates the legislation will cost $720,000 more annually.

-READ MORE


UFCW, Local 328 FaceBook Page:

Members,

Customers have been reaching out to us to let us know they support us and have our back. We’ve put together a “Support Stop & Shop Workers” Facebook page as a place where customers can show their support and keep the pressure on Stop & Shop to do the right thing.

Please share this page with your neighbors, your friends, and your family who shop at Stop & Shop to help us send a strong message to the company. Ask them to “like” the page and sign the petition on it.

Thank you for helping to mobilize your community. We are stronger together.

-LIKE PAGE


Message from President Richard Trumka of AFL-CIO:

The 31,000 striking @UFCW members at @StopandShop have the support of our 55 affiliates and 12.5 million members across the country. For those in the striking areas remember — don’t cross the picket line.

📺WATCH VIDEO


NEARI: Read Across America

Thank you NEARI Executive Director @RobertAWalshJr, @riaflcio President George Nee, NEARI President @LawrencePurtill and NEARI Treasurer @AmandaJLBos for reading at Read Across America!


RICOSH: Spring 2019 Newsletter

-READ NEWSLETTER


AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: American Postal Workers Union

Next up in our series that will take a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the American Postal Workers Union (APWU). The series will run weekly until we’ve covered all 55 of our affiliates.

Name of Union: American Postal Workers Union

Mission: Through collective bargaining, legislative action and mobilization of its members and the public, APWU fights for dignity and respect on the job for postal workers throughout the postal industry—for decent pay and benefits and safe working places, for defense of the right of the people to public postal services and for solidarity with all workers, at home and abroad.

Current Leadership of Union: Mark Dimondstein was elected president of APWU in 2013 and won a second term in 2016. He began his postal career in 1983. In 1986, he was elected to the first of six consecutive terms as president of the Greater Greensboro (N.C.) Area Local. Beginning in 2000, he served as APWU’s national lead field organizer. He won AFL-CIO’s Southern Organizer of the Year Award in 2001.

Debby Szeredy serves as APWU’s executive vice president, Elizabeth Powell serves as secretary-treasurer and Vance Zimmerman is the industrial relations director. The national executive board also includes four craft division directors who oversee the clerk, maintenance, motor vehicle service and support service crafts at the United States Postal Service (USPS), as well as five regional coordinators.

Current Number of Members: 222,000.-READ MORE


AXIOS: More than 30 media companies have unionized in the past 2 years

Dozens of media companies have unionized over the past 2 years in an effort to weather the turbulent economic environment for the content industry. Meanwhile, Hollywood writers are fight waging war with talent agents who, writers claim, are taking an unfair cut of their profits.

Why it matters: Content creators have become collateral damage in a power struggle between the media industry and technology-driven business disruptions. Now, the talent is trying to fight back.

“In recent years content creators have turned to collective bargaining to ensure that they can build sustainable careers even as particular digital media companies contend with tricky business conditions. While some companies have turned to mergers and acquisitions to build scale, all companies face the challenges posed by big tech companies that siphon off advertising revenue. “

— Lowell Peterson, executive director, Writers Guild of America, East

  • Several digital companies unionized earlier. For example, Gawker Media’s employees voted to unionize in 2015, which opened the door for several other digital outlets to do the same like Vice Media and HuffPost.

Between the lines: The unionizing spree has extended to companies that represent creators. For example, podcast company Gimlet Media Group announced that a majority of employees signed union cards in March.

-READ MORE



KITCHEN TABLE ECONOMICS

$60,000: The average starting wage of a worker who completes an apprenticeship program.



QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.” —César Chávez


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UPCOMING EVENTS:

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THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Unionist:

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) is approved by Congress. President Franklin Roosevelt proposed the WPA during the Great Depression of the 1930s when almost 25 percent of Americans were unemployed. It created low-paying federal jobs providing immediate relief, putting 8.5 million jobless to work on projects ranging from construction of bridges, highways and public buildings to arts programs like the Federal Writers’ Project – 1935

Ford Motor Company signs first contract with United Auto Workers – 1941

Birth date of Dolores Huerta, a co-founder, with Cesar Chavez, of the United Farm Workers – 1930

-LEARN MORE



NEXT WEEK ON LABOR VISION:

In the first half of the show, Justin Kelley of the Painter’s and Allied Trades and Erica Hammond of ILSR, sit down with Thom Cahir and talks about the upcoming planned Worker’s Memorial Day Observance in Pawtucket. The necessity for the day, especially in light of the recent building collapse, the call for the Protecting American Workers Act and a recent upswing in Violence in the healthcare industry.

And on the heels of multiple dates walking the red carpet for the documentary, “Councilwoman,” made about her life from hotel housekeeper to the halls of power in Providence City Hall, Carmen Castillo of Ward Nine sits down with Thom Cahir to tell the humbling story of how the project came about and how she views governance.

ENews: April 4, 2019

Providence Journal: Stop & Shop union rejects ‘final’ offer

PROVIDENCE — A federal mediator will enter into the fray of contract negotiations this week between Stop & Shop grocery stores and the five United Food and Commercial Workers locals, which cried foul Friday with the company’s final offer.

“Stop & Shop’s proposal will have a terrible effect on 31,000 hard-working employees and impact the service they are able to provide in the stores,” the five local presidents said in a statement from Providence.

Shop & Shop confirmed Sunday it has made a final offer to the union. But negotiations will continue this week in the presence of the mediator, company spokeswoman Jennifer Brogan said Sunday.

The union has asked the federal mediator to step in, according to a post on the Local 328 website. The union has been in negotiations with Stop & Shop, which has more than 400 stores in the Northeast, since Jan. 14. The three-year contract expired Feb. 23.

-READ MORE


R.I. Complete Count Committee Twitter

“The key thing for all of us to realize is we very rarely get an opportunity where destiny is put in our hands. It’s our opportunity to fail or succeed.” AFL-CIO President George Nee


RICOSH: Revisions to OSHA’s HAZCOMM: ‘Change is gonna come’

OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard (HAZCOMM) has been the lynchpin of chemical hazard communication in workplaces and in the community for thirty five years. HAZCOMM requires employers toobtain hazard and safety information from chemical suppliers/distributors; employers are then required to establish a written program that communicates these hazards to their workers.Firefighters,emergencyresponders and environmental agencieswho deal with chemical emergencies and regulating chemicals also rely on thisinformation that HAZCOMM helps generate.

OSHAestimates that HAZCOMMprevents an estimated 580 chemical injuries and illness and forty-three fatalities every year.
-READ MORE


AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: AFT

Next up in our series that will take a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the AFT. The series will run weekly until we’ve covered all 55 of our affiliates.

Name of Union: American Federation of Teachers

Mission:The AFT “is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, health care and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do.”

Current Leadership of Union: Randi Weingarten was elected president of AFT in 2008 after serving for 12 years as the president of the United Federation of Teachers, representing 200,000 educators in New York City’s public schools. After graduating from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Cardozo School of Law, she worked as a lawyer and was active in numerous professional, civic and philanthropic organizations. Weingarten also taught history at Clara Barton High School in Brooklyn before becoming UFT’s assistant secretary in 1995 and treasurer two years later.

Lorretta Johnson serves as secretary-treasurer and Mary Cathryn Ricker serves as executive vice president. The AFT also has 42 vice presidents representing various geographic areas.

Current Number of Members:1.7 million.-READ MORE


American Postal Workers Union: Solidarity

(This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By President Mark Dimondstein

Our labor anthem is “Solidarity Forever.” I sign letters “in union solidarity.”

But what is solidarity?

The dictionary definition is: “unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.”

There are many examples of real-life solidarity:

  • Writing a statement for a co-worker who has been wronged, not allowing career and non-careers to be divided, fighting together for safe workplaces, and standing up when we see co-workers sexually, or otherwise, harassed by management.
  • Teacher and education workers rising up from West Virginia to Oklahoma, Los Angeles, Oakland and Chicago — in defense of public education, smaller classroom sizes and needs of the students.
  • The Oklahoma Postal Workers Union distributing food and beverages to the teachers marching from Oklahoma City to Tulsa, the Greater Los Angeles Area Local joining picket lines during the recent teachers strike, Bay Area retirees joining with striking Marriot workers demanding “One Job Should Be Enough,” the Lehigh Valley Area Local gathering food for the federal workers locked out during the government shutdown.
  • The Association of Flight Attendants producing a video for their members opposing postal privatization.
  • Respecting the union-called boycott of Oreo cookies in defense of unionized Chicago workers facing the export of their jobs.
  • The October 8th National Day of Action that The U.S Mail is Not for Sale! campaign coordinated with the other postal unions.

-READ MORE



AFL-CIO: ‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: #StampOutHunger

In the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” podcast co-host Tim Schlittner talks to Brian Renfroe, National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) executive vice president, and Christina Vela Davidson, assistant to the president for community services, about #StampOutHunger, the annual one-day drive that has collected more than 1 billion pounds of food for the hungry.
-Listen


KITCHEN TABLE ECONOMICS

50%: The percentage of families with children younger than 18 in which mothers are breadwinners.



QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“In workplaces and on picket lines, at the bargaining table and the ballot box, we are transforming America….Let’s meet this historic moment of collective action with a historic effort on behalf of every single worker.” —AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) to attendees of the Western District Meeting


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UPCOMING EVENTS:

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THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Unionist:

Eleven-day strike by 34,000 New York City transit workers begins, halts bus and subway service in all five boroughs before strikers return to work with a 17 percent raise over two years plus a cost-of-living adjustment – 1980

The U.S. minimum wage increases to $3.80 per hour – 1990

The U.S. minimum wage increases to $4.25 per hour – 1991

Major league baseball players end a 232-day strike, which began the prior August 12 and led to the cancellation of the 1994 postseason and the World Series – 1995

-LEARN MORE



NEXT WEEK ON LABOR VISION:

In the first half of the program, Bob Delaney sits down with Director of Program Development Rory Carmody, Lead Instructor Jim O’Connor and student Brianna Puglia, all from AccessPointRI; a non-profit human services organization created more than 50 years ago to provide children and adults with developmental disabilities the means to lead full and productive lives.

And in the second half of the show, with the permission of the Woonsocket Teachers’ Guild, we are repeating a segment from last year since they are still working without a contract and entering the tenth month of doing so. Jeff Partington sits down with Thom Cahir to outline the history of the unit and the challenges they face.

ENews: March 21, 2019

Providence Journal: My Turn: Jeffrey Grybowski: Pumping $250 million into R.I. economy

It’s sometimes hard to believe that it’s already been more than two years since our team “flipped the switch” at America’s first offshore wind farm. The nation watched as Rhode Island single-handedly launched a new renewable energy industry at the Block Island Wind Farm that day.

Since then, we’ve been working hard to advance larger wind farm projects that will serve states all along the Eastern Seaboard. But our commitment to our home state of Rhode Island, and the promises we’ve made to Rhode Islanders, remain as solid as ever.

A few months ago, we joined forces with the global offshore wind leader — Ørsted — to form Ørsted US Offshore Wind. Ørsted built the world’s first offshore wind farm decades ago and today operates more offshore wind turbines than any other company in the world. Our new merged company is jointly headquartered here in Providence — where Deepwater Wind was based for nearly a decade — and in Boston, where Ørsted first opened its U.S. offices. Eversource has recently invested in a 50-percent ownership stake of Revolution Wind and our Long Island project, adding even more expertise to our team. Ørsted US Offshore Wind now has nearly 100 employees in the U.S. -READ MORE


Providence Journal: Parent of Fatima Hospital found in violation of law

Judge in labor-relations case said union was unlawfully denied access to a survey that disclosed inferior operating-room conditions.

PROVIDENCE — Prospect CharterCARE violated federal law by withholding patient- and worker-safety information an administrative law judge has ruled.

Local 5110 of the United Nurses and Allied Professionals union at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital in North Providence had brought to the National Labor Relations Board a charge against the the hospital’s parent company.

Administrative Law Judge Donna N. Dawson found that Prospect violated the law by not providing the union access to a survey that disclosed inferior operating-room conditions.

The survey, by outside health-care consulting firm Aesculap USA, found that “surgical instruments at Fatima were contaminated with foreign material, corroded, broken, bent and posing risks to patient care,” according to the union.

The hospital also withheld access to a Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations survey that “unearthed 30 deficiencies inside the hospital, some regarding employee and patient safety” and requiring a corrective action plan, the union said.

The judge ordered the hospital to provide access to certain documents.-READ MORE


AFL-CIO: State of the Unions Podcast

House Blue Collar Caucus: A Conversation with Reps. Brendan Boyle (Pa.) and Marc Veasey (Texas)

In the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” Julie and Tim talk to the co-chairs of the House Blue Collar Caucus. Reps. Brendan Boyle (Pa.) and Marc Veasey (Texas) both come from union families and formed the caucus in the aftermath of the 2016 election to better connect with blue-collar workers. They say the path to a stronger America runs through the labor movement and any plan to rebuild our economy must include the working people who make it go.

-LISTEN TO PODCAST


AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: Musical Artists

The AFL-CIO is taking a deeper look at each of our affiliates in our regular weekly series. Next up is the Actors and Artistes (4As).

Name of Union: Associated Actors and Artistes of America

The 4As works to advance and protect the welfare of the people who work to entertain and inform others in person and through every medium of recording and transmission. There are five member unions that make up the 4As.

Mission: To represent members and to guarantee that our nation’s artistic institutions adhere to fair labor practices, securing both gainful employment and quality of life for our artists.

Current Leadership of Union: John Coleman serves as president. The other officers are: Gregory Stapp (first vice president), George Scott (second vice presiden), J. Austin Bitner (third vice president), Jane Shaulis (fourth vice president), Louis Perry (recording secretary) and Raymond Menard (treasurer).

Members Work As: Soloists, choral singers, actors, ballet dancers, production staff and related jobs.

-LEARN MORE


Bloomberg: Labor Groups Petition U.S. FTC to Ban Non-Compete Clauses

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission finds itself under increasing pressure to ban non-compete clauses, with unions, advocacy groups and politicians complaining that the agreements hobble workers’ rights and fair competition.

The AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, and Public Citizen, among other organizations, are urging the agency — in a petition — to issue a new rule prohibiting employers across industries from requiring that their workers sign agreements limiting them from going to work for a competitor.

The petition, which was spearheaded by the Washington-based antitrust advocacy group Open Markets Institute, cites estimates that one out of every five U.S. workers — or about 30 million — is bound by such an agreement. The non-compete agreements suppress employees’ ability to negotiate for raises, escape from unsafe or discriminatory workplaces, or start competing businesses of their own, according to the petition, which is being filed Wednesday.

-READ MORE


AFL-CIO: Why Unions Matter from Robert Reich

📺WATCH VIDEO



KITCHEN TABLE ECONOMICS

78%: The percentage of Americans who would rather strengthen public schools than find an alternative.



QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Earning the support of working people is a high bar. It’s not a seasonal activity, and it’s not a superficial act of pandering.” – AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA)


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UPCOMING EVENTS:

More Information

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THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Unionist:

The Post Office’s first mass work stoppage in 195 years begins in Brooklyn and Manhattan and spreads to 210,000 of the nation’s 750,000 postal employees. Mail service is virtually paralyzed in several cities, and President Nixon declares a state of emergency. A settlement comes after two weeks – 1970

The American Federation of Labor issues a charter to a new Building Trades Department. Trades unions had formed a Structural Building Trades Alliance several years earlier to work out jurisdictional conflicts, but lacked the power to enforce Alliance rulings – 1908

-LEARN MORE



NEXT WEEK ON LABOR VISION:

In the first half of our show, Jim Parisi sits down with Autumn Guillotte from the Rhode Island Labor History Society to talk about the work that group does by hosting authors, screening documentaries and keeping the history of the labor movement alive in the Greater Rhode Island area; and to remind viewers that they’re always accepting new membership applications.

And in the second half of the show, it’s our annual tax-time show on the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program run through United Way RI. This year Zoya Tsetylin from the Center for Children and Families, and Patrick Westfall from OpenDoors sit down with Thom Cahir to discuss who is eligible, the advantages of a free tax preparation, and the professionals doing the job.

ENews: March 14, 2019

READ LETTER


UFCW 328: Stop & Shop Negotiations Update

March 12, 2019

Brothers and Sisters:

It is because of your hard work that Stop & Shop remains the top supermarket in New England and we want to thank you for your dedication to making Stop & Shop a better place to work and shop. It is our goal to continue making your store better by insisting on a contract that reflects your true value and gives you the respect that you deserve.

We know you want to be able to provide the very best service you can while still being able to provide for your families, however, Stop & Shop has continued to make regressive proposals at the negotiation table this year that would severely impact your lives in a negative way.

Stop & Shop wants to cut benefits and take-home pay for workers and rely on self-checkout and other technology. This will mean less customer service in the aisles, no fresh cut meat in the stores, longer lines at checkout, and more turnover. -READ MORE


R.I. Building Trades & Construction Trades:

The 9th Annual Providence Bruins RI Building Trades Night at The Dunk! Raised $2,146.00 for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State!


AFL-CIO: Paving the Way: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other working family organizations are doing across the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here’s a look at the broad range of activities we’re engaged in this week.-READ MORE


AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: AFSCME

Next up in our series taking a deeper look at each of our affiliates is AFSCME. The series will run weekly until we’ve covered all 55 of our affiliates.

Name of Union: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Mission: AFSCME members provide the vital services that make America happen. With members in communities across the nation, serving in hundreds of different occupations, AFSCME advocates for fairness in the workplace, excellence in public services and the freedom and opportunity for all working families.

Current Leadership of Union: Lee Saunders was elected AFSCME president in 2012, the first African American to hold that position, after previously serving as secretary-treasurer and in many other roles with AFSCME since 1978. He comes from a union family, raised in Cleveland as the son of a city bus driver and a community organizer. Elissa McBride serves as secretary-treasurer, and AFSCME has 35 international vice presidents serving different regions

Members Work As: Nurses, corrections officers, child care providers, EMTs, sanitation workers, early childhood educators, home care workers, police officers, library workers, probation and parole officers, parks and recreation workers, biologists, environmental planners, watershed rangers, vehicle emissions testers, groundskeepers, food service employees, administrators, support services, information technology, waste disposal, bridge inspectors, parking attendants and many others.

-LEARN MORE



National Nurses United:



KITCHEN TABLE ECONOMICS

$2 trillion: The total infrastructure investment gap in the United States over the next decade.


Union-Made in America St. Patrick’s Day

**Remember to purchase your Flowers & Food from Stop & Shop, Shaws and Eastside Marketplace.


QUOTE OF THE DAY

“The people of America cannot afford to wait any longer. The future prosperity of working families and our communities is at stake, as is our national commitment to the simple but powerful idea that when we invest in the nation’s infrastructure, our economy expands and working people thrive.” —AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka


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FaceBook

Twitter

Visit our websitefor more information, news and events.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

CLUW (Coalition of Labor Union Women) RI Chapter meeting

When: Wednesday, March 20: Refreshments will be served at 4 p.m. and meeting starts at 4:30
Where: Rhode Island AFL-CIO, 194 Smith St. Providence, RI
Details: Get involved. New members welcomed. Election of Officers. Contact Maureen Martin at Maureen@riaflcio.com for more information. FaceBook



THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Unionist:

The Lawrence, Mass., “Bread and Roses” textile strike ends when the American Woolen Co. agrees to most of the strikers’ demands; other textile companies quickly followed suit – 1912

Official formation of the Painters Int’l Union – 1887

Transport Workers Union members at American Airlines win 11-day national strike, gaining what the union says was the first severance pay clause in industry – 1950

Lane Kirkland, president of the AFL-CIO from 1979 to 1995, born in Camden, S.C. – 1922

-LEARN MORE



NEXT WEEK ON LABOR VISION:

Ahead of the General Assembly taking up several bills addressing raising the minimum wage, the unions (SEIU 1199NE, RIFTHP, UNAP and IAM) representing direct service workers held a rally at the State House Library, hosted by RI AFL-CIO President George Nee. Highlighting the companion bills submitted by Sen. Lou DiPalma in the Senate and Rep. Evan Shanley in the House to provide a living wage of $15/hour for working with Rhode Islanders living with intellectual and developmental disabilities is a priority for workers in this industry again this year.

Enews: March 7, 2019

Providence Journal: Fatima Hospital workers authorize 10-day strike, ‘if necessary’

Contract for members of Local 5110 of the United Nurses and Allied Professionals, representing more than 400 secretaries, phlebotomists, certified nursing assistants, kitchen, laundry and environmental workers, expired on Jan. 31.

NORTH PROVIDENCE — Displeased with progress toward a new contract to replace the two-year pact that expired Jan. 31, members of Local 5110 of the United Nurses and Allied Professionals at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital have voted to authorize their leadership to issue a 10-day strike notice “if necessary.”

And for the second time this year, they took their cause public on Wednesday afternoon, staging an informational picket outside the hospital, which is owned by CharterCARE Health Partners. Working conditions that union members say have created a high staff turnover and jeopardized workers’ safety are at the heart of the labor dispute. -READ MORE


On behalf of General Treasurer Magaziner:

Thanks for your service to our state!

As we continue our work on financial empowerment and economic growth, we want to learn more about the impact of the student loan debt crisis on Rhode Islanders.  

If you are working with a student loan servicer and are willing to share your story, please complete this five-minute survey about your experience.

At the beginning of the survey, please provide your contact information. Someone from Treasurer Magaziner’s office may be in contact with you if we need additional information.

Thanks!


Building Design & Construction: Sixty six construction companies cited for wage theft violations in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey cited 66 construction companies with wage theft violations in 2018.

The penalties total $2.7 million, which include almost $1.5 million in restitution and more than $1.2 million in fines. Violations occurred across both private and public work projects including paying improper wages, prevailing wages and overtime; submitting inaccurate certified payroll records; retaliation against workers asserting wage violations; failure to furnish records for inspection; and failure to register and pay apprentices correctly.

One of the largest wage violation assessments was $585,000 for restitution and fines against ERA Equipment LLC and its owners. The company was cited for not paying workers in a timely manner, failure to pay prevailing wage and overtime; failure to provide workers with proper pay stubs; and inadequate recordkeeping.

Healey’s office says that more than 1,030 employees were owed restitution.  -READ MORE


American Labor Studies Center: Women’s (Labor) History Month

A number of events and activities commemorating Women’s History Month are being held across America and in classrooms in our nation’s schools. It provides teachers with an opportunity to have students explore the many contributions women have made – and are making – to our country

The American Labor Studies Center’s website includes a number of excellent resources for teachers who would like to insure that not just the rich and famous women are recognized, but all women who have made their mark on history.

  “A Brief History of Women in the Labor Movement,” an article by Juliet H. Mofford for Women’s History Magazine,is an excellent brief piece that could be easily reproduced for students.

The Face of of the Labor Movement: Women on the Front Lines highlights a number of women trade union leaders.

The Illinois Labor History Society has an article When Women Were Knights”citing their role in the 19th century labor organization and many other excellent resources.

The Women’s Trade Union League was a key institution in reforming women’s working conditions in the early 20th century.The WTUL not only played a pivotal role in organizing the garment workers and textile workers, but in working for protective labor legislation for women and better factory working conditions for all.

Highlights of American women’s labor organizing in the late 19th century traces a number of efforts by women to organize in the 1800s. The Lowell Mills Girls highlights the story of the women and girls who worked in the Massachusetts Lowell textile mills in the mid 1800s.

For more information, see WEBSITE.


AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: School Administrators

Next up in our series that will take a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the School Administrators (AFSA). The series will run weekly until we’ve covered all 55 of our affiliates.

Name of Union: American Federation of School Administrators

Mission: To promote the professional, occupational and economic interests of its members and fight for the highest quality public school education for all pupils.

Current Leadership of Union: Ernest A. Logan began serving as president in July 2018, succeeding the late Diann Woodard. Leonard Pugliese serves as executive vice president and Lauran Waters-Cherry serves as secretary-treasurer.

Current Number of Members: 20,000

Members Work As: Principals, assistant principals, administrators, supervisors and other school leaders.

-LEARN MORE



AFL-CIO: Remarks from President Richard Trumka before Ways and Means Committee Testimony

📺WATCH VIDEO



KITCHEN TABLE ECONOMICS

11%: The percentage of American workers who are paid poverty wages.



Hard Hat Turns 100: Impact on Industrial Safety Never Gets Old

The first hard hat, produced by a WWI doughboy for the mining industry, came out in 1919. That inventor’s great granddaughter explains how this PPE revolutionized industrial work.


Are you following us on Social Media? Click on the links below.

FaceBook

Twitter

Visit our websitefor more information, news and events.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

__________________________________________

CLUW (Coalition of Labor Union Women) RI Chapter meeting

When: Wednesday, March 20: Refreshments will be served at 4 p.m. and meeting starts at 4:30
Where: Rhode Island AFL-CIO, 194 Smith St. Providence, RI
Details: Get involved. New members welcomed. Election of Officers. Contact Maureen Martin at Maureen@riaflcio.com for more information. FaceBook



THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Unionist:

United Farm Workers leader César Chávez breaks a 24-day fast, by doctor’s order, at a mass in Delano, California’s public park. Several thousand supporters are at his side, including Sen. Robert Kennedy. Chavez called it “a fast for non-violence and a call to sacrifice” – 1968

New York City bus drivers, members of the Transport Workers Union, go on strike. After 12 days of no buses—and a large show of force by Irish-American strikers at the St. Patrick’s Day parade—Mayor Fiorello La Guardia orders arbitration – 1941

Steel Workers Organizing Committee—soon to become the United Steel Workers—signs its first-ever contract, with Carnegie-Illinois, for $5 a day in wages, benefits – 1937

-LEARN MORE



NEXT WEEK ON LABOR VISION:

In the first half of the show, Jim Celenza from RICOSH and Lisa Nelson from the R.I. Institute for Labor Studies and RICOSH sit down with Thom Cahir and explain the latest revisions introduced in Congress to the nearly 50-year old OSHA standards. Revisions, that if adopted, will mean more workers protected, more protections for whistle-blowers, more potent penalties for employers, and even a chance for families to weigh in during the investigative process.

And in the second half of the show, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea sits down with Jim Parisi to talk about the need for constructing a permanent Archives for the nearly 400-year old accumulation of documents and artifacts that consists the history of our state from colonial times until the present.

ENews: February 28, 2019

Providence Journal: R.I. workers who serve people with developmental disabilities rally for pay raise

Under the banner “Demanding Dignity,” legislators, advocates, labor leaders and family members of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities filled the State House library on Wednesday to urge passage of legislation that would raise to $15 the minimum wage of workers who provide services to thousands of those individuals.

PROVIDENCE — Under the banner “Demanding Dignity,” legislators, advocates, labor leaders and family members of people living with developmental and intellectual disabilities filled the State House library to overflowing on Wednesday to urge passage of legislation that would raise to $15 the minimum wage of workers who provide services to thousands of those individuals.

“We’re going to get this over the goal line,” said Sen. Louis DiPalma, who has championed better wages for years. “There’s not a legislator here that doesn’t believe you folks are underpaid and have been underpaid for years.” -READ MORE



Providence Journal: New England Stop & Shop workers authorize strike

Local 1445 of the United Food and Commercial Workers International, which represents about 10,000 workers at Stop & Shop supermarkets in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire, gave its leaders the go-ahead to call a strike after negotiations in Providence failed to produce an agreement Saturday. Rhode Island workers have not yet voted.

PROVIDENCE — One of the five locals of a union that represents Stop & Shop workers in New England voted on Sunday to authorize a strike after their three-year contract expired at midnight Saturday.

Local 1445 of the United Food and Commercial Workers International, which represents about 10,000 workers at Stop & Shop supermarkets in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire, gave its leaders the go-ahead to call a strike after negotiations in Providence failed to produce an agreement Saturday. -READ MORE


Providence Journal: Pawtucket firefighters picket mayor’s fundraiser

The International Association of Firefighters Local 1261, which represents the more than 150 firefighters in the city, said it was calling attention to many concerns stemming from members working without a contract for three years.

PAWTUCKET — Dozens of firefighters and their families picketed the entrances to Isle Brewers Guild, where Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien held a fundraiser Tuesday afternoon.

The International Association of Firefighters Local 1261, which represents the more than 150 firefighters in the city, said it was calling attention to many concerns stemming from members working without a contract for three years.

“It has been an accumulation of ongoing issues,” said Erik Cordeiro, vice president of the local. “We feel frustrated and angry.”

“We are here to support our brethren,” said Joseph A. Andriole, president of the Rhode Island State Association of Firefighters, who said firefighters from other towns were there in support. “Their problems here in Pawtucket are ours.” -READ MORE


AFL-CIO: Caring for Our Caregivers: Workplace Violence Hearing Highlights Job-Related Assaults for Health Care and Social Service Workers

Workplace violence is a serious and growing problem for working people in the United States: It causes more than 450 homicides and 28,000 serious injuries each year. Workplace homicide now is responsible for more workplace deaths than equipment, fires and explosions. Two of every three workplace violence injuries are suffered by women.

Health care and social service workers are at greatest risk of violence on the job because of their direct contact with patients and clients. They are five times as likely to suffer a workplace violence injury as workers in other occupations.

Violence against health care and social service workers is foreseeable and preventable but the Trump administration has refused to act. That is why Rep. Joe Courtney (Conn.) introduced legislation last week that would require the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue a standard to protect these workers. The standard would reduce violence by requiring employers to develop workplace violence prevention programs that identify and control hazards, improve reporting and training, evaluate procedures and strengthen whistlebower protections for those who speak up, which lead to safer staffing levels, improved lighting and better surveillance systems. -READ MORE


AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: American Federation of Musicians

Next up in our series that will take a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). The series will run weekly until we’ve covered all 55 of our affiliates.

Name of Union: American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada

Mission:Professional musicians uniting so that they can live and work in dignity; with work that is fulfilling and compensated fairly; have a meaningful voice in decisions that affect them; have opportunities to develop their talents and skills; use their collective voice and power through a democratic and progressive union; and oppose the forces of exploitation through union solidarity.

Current Leadership of Union: Ray Hair is the 12th international president of AFM. Bruce Fife serves as international vice president while Alan Willaert serves as vice president from Canada. Jay Blumenthal is the secretary-treasurer and the executive officers consist of: John Acosta, Tino Gagliardi, Tina Morrison, Joe Parente and Dave Pomeroy.

Current Number of Members: 80,000.

-LEARN MORE





KITCHEN TABLE ECONOMICS

1999: The year California became the first state to require minimum nurse-to-patient ratios.



Are you following us on Social Media? Click on the links below.

FaceBook

Twitter

Visit our websitefor more information, news and events.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

_________________________________________

__________________________________________

CLUW (Coalition of Labor Union Women) RI Chapter meeting

When: Wednesday, March 20: Refreshments will be served at 4 p.m. and meeting starts at 4:30
Where: Rhode Island AFL-CIO, 194 Smith St. Providence, RI
Details: Get involved. New members welcomed. Election of Officers. Contact Maureen Martin at Maureen@riaflcio.com for more information. Website



THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Unionist:

More than 6,000 drivers strike Greyhound Lines, most lose jobs to strikebreakers after company declares “impasse” in negotiations – 1990

Postal workers granted 8-hour day – 1913

CIO president John L. Lewis and U.S. Steel President Myron Taylor sign a landmark contract in which the bitterly anti-union company officially recognized the CIO as sole negotiator for the company’s unionized workers. Included: the adoption of overtime pay, the 40-hour work week, and a big pay hike – 1937

The federal minimum wage increases to $1 per hour – 1956

-LEARN MORE



NEXT WEEK ON LABOR VISION:

In the first half of the show, Jim Celenza from RICOSH and Lisa Nelson from the R.I. Institute for Labor Studies and Research and RICOSH sit down with Thom Cahir and explain the latest revisions introduced in Congress to the nearly 50-year old OSHA standards. Revisions, that if adopted, will mean more workers protected, more protections for whistle-blowers, more potent penalties for employers, and even a chance for families to weigh in during the investigative process.

And in the second half of the show, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea sits down with Jim Parisi to talk about the need for constructing a permanent Archives for the nearly 400-year old accumulation of documents and artifacts that consists the history of our state from colonial times until the present.