ENews: December 20, 2018

NEARI: Annual Gingerbread Express

Volunteers from General Teamsters Local 251, IBEW Local 2323, Ponaganset School, and NEARI loading the tractor trailer for delivery to D’Abate School!


Stephanie Mandeville Twitter: Time to unload the Gingerbread Express at D’Abate School! We’ve got vols from @NEARhodeIsland @riaflcio @rifthp @IBT251 @IBEW 2323 @ProvidenceRIPD including Chief Clements, @Jorge_Elorza, students from Ponaganset High, & members of the D’Abate family. Can’t wait for the kids!!


NEARI: A sea of Santa hats atop the heads of sweet kiddos anxiously awaiting Gingerbread to begin!


Providence Journal: R.I.’s first worker cooperative is hailed

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea congratulates Healthy Planet Cleaning Cooperative, whose five workers are also the owners

Central Falls — The first worker cooperative incorporated under new state legislation was recognized in a ceremony at City Hall Thursday afternoon.

“I am an owner and a worker,” said Daisy Salvador, an immigrant from Honduras and one of the founding members of the Healthy Planet Cleaning Cooperative, in Spanish. “As an owner of a cooperative, I am excited to have the opportunity to build a better life for myself and my family.”

The worker cooperative — consisting of five members, all from Spanish-speaking countries — focuses on providing cleaning services in an environmentally sensitive way. It is the first under a law signed last year that provides the framework for workers to create cooperatives where they function as both labor and ownership. -READ MORE

Boston Globe: Unions protest at South Station over possible outsourcing of Amtrak jobs

Dozens of Amtrak employees and their supporters rallied in front of South Station Monday morning to protest changes to the rail company’s dining service, and the possible outsourcing of 1,700 union food and beverage jobs.

The demonstration was the latest in a series of actions across the country denouncing reductions in Amtrak meal service and the job losses that could ensue.

Protesters called for Amtrak president Richard Anderson, the former chief executive of Delta Air Lines, to be fired, holding up posters of Anderson wearing a top hat with a cartoon-villain mustache drawn on his face. They passed out fliers of Anderson in a chef hat under the headline, “All aboard the cold cut express!” -READ MORE

AFL-CIO: Press Release

Stronger Health and Safety Protections Needed to Prevent Injuries and Fatalities at Workplaces

Statement from AFL-CIO’s Safety and Health Director, Peg Seminario on the 2017 Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:
“The BLS report shows that too many workers are being killed on the job. While in 2017, there was a small decline in the number and rate of job deaths, 5,147 workers lost their lives on the job. That is an average of 14 workers dying each and every day. This does not include the deaths from occupational diseases like black lung and silicosis, which are on the rise.

Today’s sobering report comes at a time when the number of Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors is at the lowest point in decades and the Mine Safety and Health Administration inspection force has dwindled.

Instead of increasing life-saving measures aimed at protecting working people at their workplaces, the Trump administration is rolling back existing safety and health rules and has failed to move forward on any new safety and health protections. -READ MORE

VICE: Amazon’s Anti-Union Past Is Coming Back to Bite It

“We have asked the company to provide air conditioning for us, but they told us that the robots inside can’t work in cold weather.”

After weeks of protest and public debate, Amazon executives representing the company’s plans to set up a headquarters in America’s largest city actually faced off against the masses on Wednesday. It was not pretty.

Members of the New York City Council, led by Speaker Corey Johnson, grilled the Amazon reps, as well as James Patchett, president of the New York Economic Development Corporation (EDC) contracted by the city that’s helping coordinate the project. This went on for several hours, interrupted a handful of times by protest chants and angry New Yorkers—hordes had assembled inside and outside of City Hall. -READ MORE


65%: Approval rate of labor unions among Americans ages 18-34.

AFL-CIO: Union-Made Stocking Stuffers

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Powered by children seven to 12 years old working dawn to dusk, Samuel Slater’s thread-spinning factory goes into production in Pawtucket, R.I., launching the Industrial Revolution in America. By 1830, 55 percent of the mill workers in the state were youngsters, many working for less than $1 per week – 1790

Construction workers top out the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 1,368 feet, making it the tallest building in the world – 1970

Int’l Union of Aluminum, Brick & Glass Workers merges with United Steelworkers of America – 1996



After so much positive feedback from the first segment we ran, and with so much extended footage, we decided to run another extended half-hour edition of our usual format, from author Mary Ann Mayer’s compelling lecture to the Rhode Island Labor History Society at the former Slater Mill on, “Kissing the Shuttle,” the title of her new book of poetry, photos and contextual summaries. It describes the common weaving practice of sucking thread through the eye of a needle, and in the act, passing all sorts of communicable diseases among the workers, especially tuberculosis. She also describes how Rhode Island pioneered visionary solutions, like open-air schools, the first formal school hot lunch program, outdoor recess, and factory sanitation laws.