ENews: January 31, 2019

WPRI: FAA workers picket at T.F. Green as shutdown comes to a temporary end

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Hundreds of thousands of government workers will get back pay after the end of the partial government shutdown, including TSA and FAA employees at T.F. Green Airport who have been working without pay for 35 days.

FAA employees who are members of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS) union picketed outside Green on Friday, an event scheduled prior to the announcement by President Donald Trump that he would sign a bill to end the shutdown.

They held signs declaring: “Don’t gamble with aviation safety.”

The workers didn’t cancel the picket despite the afternoon announcement, since the bill will only fund the government for three weeks while Congress negotiates an agreement on border security. -READ MORE

Providence Journal: The lowest-paid shutdown workers aren’t getting back pay

WASHINGTON – Her debt was mounting: $156 for the gas bill, $300 for electricity, $2,000 for the mortgage. She could no longer afford her blood pressure pills. But what stung Audrey Murray-Wright most was rationing the groceries.

“I never, ever want to tell my son, ‘Don’t drink all that milk so you can save your brother some,’ ” she said, choking up.

Murray-Wright, a cleaning supervisor at the National Portrait Gallery, is one of more than a million federal contract workers nationwide whose income halted when the government partly shuttered for 35 days.

Unlike the 800,000 career public servants who are slated to receive full back pay over the next week or so, the contractors who clean, guard, cook and shoulder other jobs at federal workplaces aren’t legally guaranteed a single penny.

They’re also among the lowest-paid laborers in the government economy, generally earning $450 to $650 weekly, union leaders say. -READ MORE

and Coast Guard employees with reprieve from tax, residential, credit card and automotive payments. The legislation also suggests a “stay or postponement of all civil proceedings in district or superior court” for all furloughed employees. -READ MORE

AFGE: Our Union Rallied and Helped Stop the Shutdown

AFGE and allies organized hundreds of furloughed employees for a protest at the Hart Senate Office Building Jan. 23 to speak out against the longest government shutdown and demand that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately reopen the government. It was part of a pressure campaign of AFGE members and our allies across the nation that helped end the longest shutdown in U.S. history.

“Occupy Hart” protesters were at the Hart building to draw attention to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s failure to do his job and end the shutdown that had created financial chaos for 800,000 federal employees and their families.

As federal employees were poised to miss their second paycheck Jan. 25, McConnell, who had been AWOL since Trump took our government hostage, had failed to use the power that the Framers gave Congress to override a president’s veto if the president refuses their bills.

At the Hart Building, we stood in silence for 33 minutes – one for each day of the shutdown which began Dec. 22 and dragged on to its fifth week Jan. 21. -READ MORE

AFSCME Now: Unions Aren’t Going Anywhere

Earlier this month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the percentage of workers who are members of a union ticked down just slightly last year – by .2 percentage points, with membership among local government employees actually increasing. This is an enormous victory for the labor movement, when you consider how 2018 began.

A year ago, billionaire-funded corporate special interests and their allies on the political right were licking their chops, boastfully predicting the demise of unions. They had put their muscle behind a Supreme Court case called Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a frontal attack on the freedom of working people to build power in numbers together. This was the culmination of a decades-long, scorched-earth, Koch-financed effort to kneecap unions, especially those like AFSCME that represent people who work in public service.


Labor 411: Load up for the Big Game

It all comes down to two teams. So, who’ve you got? The perpetually victorious Pats or the upstart Rams? Regardless of your gridiron allegiance, you’ll need a fully-stocked fridge for Super Bowl Sunday. With more than 250 union-made beers to choose from, we’ve got ethical brews for every taste. And no party is complete without the snacks, the saltier the better! The list of brews and bites below contains products made by ethical companies that give their employees a voice on the job. Shop wisely and let’s all root our way to a stronger America. -SEE LIST

**Remember to purchase your food from Stop & Shop, Shaws and Eastside Marketplace for your Super Bowl party.

AFL-CIO Labor Wire:

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast

The latest episode of the AFL-CIO’s “State of the Unions” podcast features Andrew Gillum, the 2018 gubernatorial candidate in Florida. He talks about building a stronger labor movement amidst the biggest challenges in a generation. Listen to the episode here.


$11 billion: The government shutdown’s estimated cost to the U.S. economy.

Are you following us on Social Media? Click on the links below.



Visit our websitefor more information, news and events.


CLUW (Coalition of Labor Union Women) RI Chapter meeting

When: Monday, February 4: Refreshments will be served at 4 p.m. and meeting starts at 4:30
Where: Rhode Island AFL-CIO, 194 Smith St. Providence, RI
Details: Get involved. New members welcomed. Contact Maureen Martin at MMartin@riaflcio.org for more information. Website


OEHCRI Lunch & Learn Seminar II


R.I. Building Trades Hockey Night



First U.S. unemployment compensation law enacted, in Wisconsin – 1932

Ida M. Fuller is the first retiree to receive an old-age monthly benefit check under the new Social Security law. She paid in $24.75 between 1937 and 1939 on an income of $2,484; her first check was for $22.54 – 1940

After scoring successes with representation elections conducted under the protective oversight of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, the United Farm Workers of America officially ends its historic table grape, lettuce and wine boycotts – 1978


NEXT WEEK ON LABOR VISION: In the first half of the program, Chris Callaci of UNAP sits down with Jim Riley to give a disturbing picture of how Prospect CharterCare treats requests for information during bargaining, especially since those requests have to do with employee and patient safety, and affect the Medicare reimbursement rate received at the “for-profit,” facilities.
And in the second half of the show, Ed Plunkett and Al DeAndrade of the Providence Federation of Musicians make the case to Jim Riley that just as our allies in business and politics use union printers, hotels and restaurants, they should also be using union performers at their events. They’ll even give us a short history of some of the fetes they’ve played in the past as a reminder.