ENews: July 12, 2018

Providence Journal: Raimondo orders privacy of state union employees’ information

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Gov. Gina Raimondo has directed the head of the state’s Department of Administration to withhold the personal contact information of state employees — including their home addresses and personal email addresses — from outside groups potentially intent on union-busting in the wake of a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on union fees.

The memo that she sent her administration director, Michael DiBiase, had this subject line: “Protecting the Privacy of State Employees.”

In a June 27 ruling on a case known as Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31, et al, the U.S. Supreme Court “held that states and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees (also called “administrative fees,” “fair share fees” or “service fees”) from nonmembers to a union without their affirmative consent.” -READ MORE

Uprise RI: Nearly $10 million in tax credits yet Tocci Building Corporation’s Commons at Providence Station project still underpays workers

The Commons at Providence Station, the $54.1 million Tocci Building Construction project that runs from the Amtrak Station to the corner of Smith and Canal Streets in Providence ran afoul of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RIDLT), through their subcontractor JS Interior Construction, for employee misclassification. The RIDLT determined that JS Interior Construction misclassified 29 workers as independent contractors. The company agreed to pay fines of $1500 per workers and pay each misclassified worker $750.

The project has received nearly $10 million in State and City credits. -READ MORE

Mass Live: National Grid union workers lose health insurance amid contract dispute

Paul Baszkiewicz is ready for retirement.

He has worked for National Grid for nearly three decades and clocked roughly 1,200 hours overtime with the company last year. Now, he says, he is looking forward to spending time with his wife, who suffers from multiple myeloma cancer: “I thought maybe there’s a good chance she could be around a long time,” Baszkiewicz says, citing the “miracle drug” chemo pill she takes each week.

But a lockout by National Grid changed all of that last week. Baszkiewicz, 61, and his wife scrambled to find health coverage to pay for that $8,300-a-month “miracle drug” after National Grid announced they were eliminating all gas workers’ health insurance starting July 1. -READ MORE

The New York Times: Fresh Proof That Strong Unions Help Reduce Income Inequality

New evidence shows that unions played a major role in reducing income inequality in the United States in the decades when organized labor was strong.

But it also demonstrates that the decline in union power since the 1960s — which may be exacerbated as a result of a recent Supreme Court decision — has contributed to the widening gap between rich and poor.

The new insights come from a working paper, “Unions and Inequality Over the Twentieth Century: New Evidence from Survey Data,” by four economists: Henry Farber, Daniel Herbst and Ilyana Kuziemko of Princeton, and Suresh Naidu of Columbia. They establish that unions have constrained income inequality far beyond their own membership ranks.


AFL-CIO: After Janus, Electrical Workers Show the Power is in Our Hands

The Supreme Court’s recent Janus decision was despicable, spitting in the face of decades of common-sense precedent. There’s no question about that.

But Janus is not the end of our fight.

Through every punch thrown at working people in our history—every wage-slashing boss, every union-busting law, every strike-breaking massacre—we have rallied together, stronger for our shared struggle.

Our future is and always has been in our own hands. We have never looked to Washington to strengthen or validate our movement. -READ MORE

Now This Politics: Dolores Huerta on Why Unions Matter



20%: Decline in wages earned by millennial workers compared with baby boomers at the same age.



17th Annual London/Riley Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament

When: Monday, August 6, 2018 @ 8 a.m. Registration, coffee and pastry; 9 a.m. Shotgun Start, Scramble Format
Where: Cranston Country Club
Details: Come play or sponsor. Pay by July 16th: $125 per person. After July 16th: $140 per person. For more information call (401) 751-5153.





In the first half of the show, Jim Riley sits down with former state Senator Tom Coderre, who was elected at an early age, waged his own battle against substances to the point he beat them back and became an expert, served in the Mental Health Services Administration under President Obama and now acts as liaison on the opioid crisis between the legislature and Governor Raimondo. Tom gives Jim a sobering view of just how precarious things are when it comes to drug use today.
And since women seem to have suffered a very bad week in Washington last week, we’re replaying Rachel Flum of the Economic Progress Institute and Shannon Carroll of the Genesis Center discussing the importance of childcare assistance when trying to train and develop an urban workforce; and the necessity of having qualified childcare assistants while parents learn a new language or skills needed to compete in today’s tight labor market.