ENews: October 4, 2018

Providence Journal: Providence struggles to bus students with special needs

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — As the school bus strike approaches its sixth day, Superintendent Christopher N. Maher said the district doesn’t have the capacity to provide alternate transportation to students with special needs whose education plan requires the district to provide busing.

In response to a complaint from several civil rights groups, Maher wrote that the district was unable to find a vendor with either the capacity to bus 1,000 students with special needs or trained drivers willing to cross a picket line.

″…We strongly believe that we cannot, legally and ethically, choose which children with accommodations to transport and which children with accommodations to leave at home,” Maher wrote in a letter to Rhode Island Legal Services. “As such, we are unable to provide transportation to any of the 1,000 students with special transportation accommodations.”

The district is, however, compiling a list of area transportation services available to families. But the services, he said, will not meet the needs of all of these students.



Providence Journal: Senate President Ruggerio vows to rid obstacles to Providence Fane tower

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Speaking to a business crowd at the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council’s annual dinner, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio previewed legislation he intends to introduce to remove a possible obstacle to the construction of the tallest building in Rhode Island: the city of Providence.

He hailed the steps state lawmakers have already taken to improve the state’s business climate.

“We’ve cut burdensome regulations … We’ve reduced personal and business taxes…. We’ve invested in education and job training … With voter approval of our school construction bond initiative in the fall, we will soon make an historic investment in repairing our crumbling schools — and we are now investing in fixing our deplorable roads and bridges.

But “too often,″ Ruggerio said, “we throw up barriers that impede opportunities for economic growth.” -READ MORE

Boston Globe: Workers at Marriott hotels in Boston go on strike

Hotel workers walked off the job at seven Marriott hotels in Boston Wednesday morning, launching the first hotel strike in the city’s history following months of fruitless contract negotiations.

The job action involves more than 1,500 Marriott International employees, from housekeepers to bartenders to bellmen at the Aloft Boston Seaport District, Element Boston Seaport District, Ritz-Carlton Boston, Sheraton Boston, W Hotel Boston, Westin Boston Waterfront, and Westin Copley Place.

The workers’ union, Unite Here Local 26, voted to authorize the strike on Sept. 12. It represents 5,000 hotel employees in the Boston area but is focusing on Marriott — the city’s, and the world’s, largest hotel company. The chain faces potential strikes from Unite Here members in San Francisco, Detroit, Seattle, San Jose, San Diego, Oakland, and Honolulu. -READ MORE

IBEW Media Center: The Deadly Effects of Right-to-Work Laws

It’s well documented that right-to-work laws lower pay and benefits. What they also do, according to a new study, is increase the chance of dying on the job.

Published in the medical journal BMJ, the study looked at the period from 1992 to 2016 and found that these laws “have led to a 14.2 percent increase in occupational mortality through decreased unionization.” That’s roughly an extra 7,300 deaths, study author Michael Zoorob told Salon.

“These findings illustrate and quantify the protective effect of unions on workers’ safety. Policymakers should consider the potentially deleterious effects of anti-union legislation on occupational health,” the report’s conclusion stated.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the rate of workplace fatalities is 54 percent higher in right-to-work states. -READ MORE


Bloomberg Law: Unions Battle Bots with Education, Retraining in Contracts

Transportation workers created a statewide coalition to fight driverless buses when Columbus, Ohio, debuted an automated shuttle in September.

Automation was also among the concerns expressed by the tens of thousands of hospitality workers in Las Vegas who threatened a strike in June.

And during Longshoremen contract talks in 2014, the main obstacle was the expansion of technology that at some ports was replacing up to half of the workers with robots.

The message in all three cases was clear: Unionized workers don’t want to be replaced by automation. And as technology enters the workplace with increasing speed, that message may grow louder.

Unions are addressing this challenge by asking for contract clauses that provide job security and guarantee retraining should a bot take over their existing duties. -READ MORE

SEIU 1199 Twitter:

Poverty wages have got to go! 1199 members are on strike for safe staffing & living wages at the Groden Center, to ensure we can recruit and retain staff and provide the best education and care possible to our students!



Less than $12: The hourly wage a United Airlines catering worker in Houston currently earns after nearly 30 years with the company.

UFCW: As the ghosts and ghouls come out this Halloween, keep your eyes peeled for some of our favorite union-made treats. UFCW members as well as our brothers and sisters of the BCTGM union have been hard at work making sure there’s plenty of sweets for all those trick-or-treaters.

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10th Annual Big Walk “Halloween Hike” – 5K Fun-Run to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State (BBBSOS)

Presented by Rhode Island Building Trades

When: Saturday, October 27   Rain or Shine! Registration: 9 a.m.  Walk: 10 – 1 p.m.   Where: Roger Williams Park Carousel Details: This 3.1 mile Walk/Run will offer Free Family Activities. Prizes for best Halloween Costume. Register your team online at BBBSOS.org/BigWalk.



The Pennsylvania Turnpike opened as the first toll superhighway in the United States. It was built in most part by workers hired through the state’s Re-Employment offices – 1940

United Transport Service Employees of America merges with Brotherhood of Railway, Airline & Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express & Station Employees – 1972

Some 200 Pressmen begin what is to become a two-year strike at the Washington Post. Nine of the paper’s ten other unions engaged in sympathy strikes for more than four months but ultimately returned to their jobs as the paper continued publishing. The press operators picketed for 19 months but eventually decertified the union – 1975



In the first half of the show, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea sits down with Thom Cahir and outlines how her office has made it easier for voters to find information on voting through her department’s streamlined website. She talks about the final dates for getting registered for the general election, how to apply for an emergency and mail ballot, and how individuals can vote at their home board of canvasser’s the weekend before the election if they’ll be out of town. All things to enfranchise as many voters as possible.

And in the second half of the show, Dr.Okurowski from the OEHCRI sits down with Jim Riley to talk about proper ergonomics in the workplace and how we should all take better stock of how we position ourselves, whether it be in an office or standing on a shop floor or construction site.