ENews: August 23, 2018

UFCW Local 328: Workers of Eastland Food Ratify First Union Contract by a Vote of 94-0 and Join UFCW Local 328

We are proud to announce that after many months of negotiating, the hardworking men and women of Eastland Food unanimously voted 94-0 to approve their first union contract. The workers of Eastland Food, located in Cranston, Rhode Island, process, package, and ship raw vegetables and fruits that end up at our local grocery markets throughout New England. They voted to join UFCW Local 328 in May of 2016 and stuck together every step of the way to achieve this remarkable victory. When we first met these workers, we learned of many of the issues in their workplace including making less than minimum wage and having no paid vacations or paid holidays.

On Tuesday, February 27th, the workers of Eastland Food went on a one-day strike to pressure the company to be a responsible employer and come to the table with a better deal. This action was very successful and helped put them on a trajectory to winning their first contract.  Victor Castro, an employee with 13 years with the company and a leader of the negotiating committee said after ratification, “This is a big day for all of us who work at Eastland Food. We are proud of what we have accomplished by sticking together”. -READ MORE

Providence Journal: Union workers strike at school for students with autism

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Union workers at the Groden Center, which serves students with autism and related conditions at day schools in Providence and Coventry, are on strike Friday.

The strike by members of 1199 SEIU, the Service Employees Union International, New England, was set to last for one day. Parent company the Groden Network said the strike was taking place at the Groden Center’s two day schools, on Mount Hope Avenue in Providence and in Coventry. Classes were canceled for the day, the Groden Network said. Its residential programs are not affected, the network said.

The union says that management has refused to raise the starting rate for staffers to a living wage. The impasse has caused high turnover, unfilled classrooms and injuries to staff and students, the union argues. -READ MORE

Providence Journal: UNAP OKs 5-year deal with Rhode Island Hospital

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Unionized professionals at Lifespan’s Rhode Island Hospital gave resounding approval to a five-year contract that includes periodic raises beginning with ratification and addresses staffing and other issues the union has emphasized for weeks.

The vote, by members of the United Nurses and Allied Professionals Local 5098, ends an unprecedented summer of labor dispute at Rhode Island Hospital, the state’s largest and its only Level 1 Trauma Center. A July strike and lockout, unfair labor practice charges by each side against the other in August, and six sessions of federally mediated talks along the way were among the storylines that played out until the story reached what both sides depicted as a satisfactory end.

“I’m proud of all UNAP members who stood up and raised their voice to win a fair and competitive contract …” said Local 5098 President Frank Sims, RN. “This has been a long, and at times, difficult process, but I believe we made significant gains for front line caregivers and our patients by remaining committed to the common principles and commitment to care that bind us,” Sims said in a statement released after the vote. -READ MORE

WJAR Turn to 10: Mold discovered at North Providence, North Kingstown schools

NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) — The discovery of mold in several Rhode Island schools has prompted immediate cleaning and air quality tests ahead of classes starting soon.At Ricci Middle School in North Providence, the problem delayed the start of classes nearly a week.

Interim Superintendent Robert O’Brien said the issue was recently detected and wants to ensure the air is safe before students and faculty return.

“They should complete the cleaning by next Friday,” O’Brien told NBC 10 News Wednesday. “They’ll do the air quality on Saturday and I’ll get the results Monday, which is a holiday and then school will be ready to open on Tuesday.”

Ricci will begin classes on September 4. -READ MORE

The Street: The History of Labor Day and What it Means Today

Labor Day is on Monday, September 3, 2018. Before you celebrate by running off to your nearest beach, you may want to know how this holiday was started.

The history of Labor Day, originally tied to the “dignity of workers”, underscores the uphill climb U.S. clock-punchers and career professionals have had for the past 100-plus years.
From mail room attendant to coal miners to office secretaries and more, the story of Labor Day is not only one of celebration, but of bloodshed and sacrifice, as well, as those workers from generations past paid a steep price for advancing the cause of labor for generations to come. -READ MORE

AFL-CIO:The AFL-CIO today launched a television ad campaign highlighting the wave of collective action sweeping the country. From surging organizing victories to the defeat of “right to work” in Missouri, working people are on the rise. As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka puts it, “Something is happening in America…. When we stand together, we have the power.” Check out the new ad here.


More than 41 million: The number of Americans who don’t have access to paid sick leave.


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Rhode Island Labor History Society: 31st Annual Awards Banquet

When: Tonight!!! Thursday, August 23 @ 5-6:30 for Cash Bar & Hors D’Oeuvres and Dessert & Program @ 6:30 pm.
Where: Roger Williams Park Casino, Providence, RI
Details: A celebration of Labor Day in RI honoring Patrick Crowley, Cindy Lussier, William Tammelleo and James White. For more information, contact James Parisi – (401) 965-4598





In the first half of the program this week, President of the RI Building Trades, Michael Sabitoni and his Secretary-Treasurer, Scott Duhamel, sit down with Tim Byrne, Business Manager, of Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Local 51 to talk about the current projects the trades have working around the state, they’re positive working relationships at the State House and with the Chamber of Commerce to bring more jobs to the area, and the constant commitment of the trades to always include apprenticeships as part of every Project Labor Agreement.

And in the second half of the program, Marc Perrone of the UFCW gives the keynote address at the annual ILSR Dinner; and the LFAF class graduates as valedictorian Ryan DeJesus gives a rousing speech that all should take heed.