ENews: November 8, 2018

Providence Journal: R.I. voters approve statewide, local education ballot questions

Education, both Rhode Island’s public schools and its four-year public colleges, were big winners in Tuesday’s election.

With 99.8 percent of the precincts in, voters overwhelmingly approved a $250-million general obligation bond — the largest state bond ever — to make sweeping repairs to the state’s woefully inadequate public schools. A second bond, also for $250 million, would go on the ballot in 2022. The tally was 76.6 percent in favor to 23.4 percent against.

Every community with a school construction bond on the ballot voted yes: Cumberland, East Providence, Jamestown, North Kingstown, Pawtucket, Providence, Smithfield and Warwick.


Providence Journal: Providence, teachers union announce tentative three-year contract

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and the Providence Teachers Union President Maribeth Calabro on Monday announced that the city has reached a tentative three-year contract agreement.

The union represents more than 1,900 members in the Providence Public Schools District. Negotiations have been ongoing since the previous contract expired in late August 2017.

“This agreement is a step in the right direction for our Providence school community as we seek transformational changes in our school system,” said Mayor Elorza, according to a news release from the city. “We are working hard to ensure that our students are learning in schools that inspire them. We are encouraging school-based autonomy and personalized learning because our students are unique and each child has so much potential. This contract allows us to better support our kids by supporting our teachers’ skill development.” -READ MORE

AFL-CIO Labor Wire: The Labor Wave: How Unions Carried the Midterms

We did it!
The labor movement helped elect a wave of union members and pro-worker allies across the country last night. We proved that if you support working people, we’ll have your back. And we sent a resounding message to every candidate and elected official that if you seek to divide and destroy us, we’ll fight back with everything we have.

Message of the Day—A Driving Force in This Election

While many races have yet to be called, make no mistake: This is a historic election for working people. Union members in every community, city and state were a driving force in this election. We fought for our issues, union candidates and proven allies, and we filled the halls of power with our own.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) and AFL-CIO Mobilization Director Julie Greene spoke to the press early this morning. Check out what they had to say about this victory for working people here.
We’re still gathering and compiling the data, but here are four key takeaways from our work last night:
  • Seven hundred and forty-three (and counting!) union members were elected to office from the U.S. Senate to state capitols, including U.S. Sen.-elect Jacky Rosen (UNITE HERE) of Nevada; Michigan Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer (AFT); Minnesota Gov.-elect Tim Walz (Education Minnesota); and U.S. Reps.-elect Jahana Hayes (CEA and AFSA) of Connecticut and Ilhan Omar (AFSCME) of Minnesota.
  • We sent union-busting Govs. Scott Walker (Wis.) and Bruce Rauner (Ill.) packing, and we elected an army of pro-worker governors in Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Colorado, Maine and Kansas.
  • Union members knocked on more than 2.3 million doors this election cycle.
  • We distributed 5 million fliers at more than 4,600 worksites, sent more than 260,000 texts and delivered over 12 million pieces of direct mail.

Message from Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO

Labor Notes: Stand by Me: Sun-Maid Workers Win By Sticking Together

Teamsters who package and process raisins for Sun-Maid succeeded in “raisin” their wages with a two-week strike in September.

Sun-Maid, the largest raisin processing company in the world, keeps its headquarters in the small city of Kingsburg, California, just 20 miles south of Fresno. At the factory, workers represented by Teamsters Local 431 work on and coordinate assembly lines that receive, process, inspect, package, and ship raisins throughout the world.

New CEO Harry Overly, who had been on the job less than a year, didn’t know who he was dealing with. Overly met most of them for the first time last spring at an all-staff meeting where he complained about how much the employees cost the company. In light of this disrespect, stalled negotiations, and Sun-Maid’s unwillingness to offer a fair proposal, the union’s bargaining team reluctantly brought a tentative agreement to the membership.

Not surprisingly, the workers overwhelmingly rejected the pact and voted to go on strike. And strike they did, 500 strong, for 16 long days. -READ MORE

Teen Vogue: Strikes and Picket Lines, Explained

The past month has seen multiple sports teams run afoul with one of the most important current labor actions in America: a massive nationwide hotel work stoppage happening right now, with more than 7,700 members of a hospitality workers’ union on strike.
On October 4, 2018, when the New York Yankees baseball team was spotted crossing a hotel workers’ picket line in front of Boston’s Ritz-Carlton, they were lambasted online for their lack of solidarity with the workers there. A week later, the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team crossed that same picket line to stay at the hotel, whose striking workers are predominantly women, people of color, and immigrants. The Edmonton Oilers ice hockey team crossed the border from Canada as well as the picket line to do the same thing on October 9, and now, this past week, the Philadelphia Flyers ice hockey team committed the exact same offense.

International Association of Firefighters:

This detailed illustration in the April 1933 issue of International Fire Fighter depicts the standard fire department tools and appliances used at the time to fight fires.



Labor had decisive wins on Tuesday, electing over 816 union members and counting. Thank you to everyone for all of your hard work!



1,400-plus: The number of union members running for office in 2018.

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Annual Lunch Reception for Fuerza Laboral

When: Tuesday, November 13 @ 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM  Where: Navigant Credit Union, 693 Broad Street, Central Falls, RI Details: Donations are not necessary, but would be greatly appreciated for this steadfast partner of the R.I. Labor Movement.


Ceremony for George Nee, President of Rhode Island AFL-CIO

When: Thursday, November 15 @ 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Where: Rhode Island Convention Center (West Lobby, 1st Fl), Providence, RI Details: The World Peace Prize Awarding Council and the Irish National Council are pleased to honor R.I. AFL-CIO President George Nee for his work in solidarity, equality and justice.



Twenty people, including at least nine firefighters, are killed in Boston’s worst fire. It consumed 65 downtown acres and 776 buildings over 12 hours – 1872

Creation of Committee for Industrial Organization announced by eight unions affiliated with the American Federation of Labor (in 1938 they formally break with the AFL and become the Congress of Industrial Organizations). The eight want more focus on organizing mass production industry workers – 1935



Vicki Virgilio, President of Local 1033 LIUNA, sits down with Jim Parisi in the studio to give a little more depth to the involvement of the R.I. Building Trades with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Rhode Island, as we also play the footage of the recent annual event between the organizations held at Roger Williams Park.