ENews: February 28, 2019

Providence Journal: R.I. workers who serve people with developmental disabilities rally for pay raise

Under the banner “Demanding Dignity,” legislators, advocates, labor leaders and family members of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities filled the State House library on Wednesday to urge passage of legislation that would raise to $15 the minimum wage of workers who provide services to thousands of those individuals.

PROVIDENCE — Under the banner “Demanding Dignity,” legislators, advocates, labor leaders and family members of people living with developmental and intellectual disabilities filled the State House library to overflowing on Wednesday to urge passage of legislation that would raise to $15 the minimum wage of workers who provide services to thousands of those individuals.

“We’re going to get this over the goal line,” said Sen. Louis DiPalma, who has championed better wages for years. “There’s not a legislator here that doesn’t believe you folks are underpaid and have been underpaid for years.” -READ MORE



Providence Journal: New England Stop & Shop workers authorize strike

Local 1445 of the United Food and Commercial Workers International, which represents about 10,000 workers at Stop & Shop supermarkets in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire, gave its leaders the go-ahead to call a strike after negotiations in Providence failed to produce an agreement Saturday. Rhode Island workers have not yet voted.

PROVIDENCE — One of the five locals of a union that represents Stop & Shop workers in New England voted on Sunday to authorize a strike after their three-year contract expired at midnight Saturday.

Local 1445 of the United Food and Commercial Workers International, which represents about 10,000 workers at Stop & Shop supermarkets in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire, gave its leaders the go-ahead to call a strike after negotiations in Providence failed to produce an agreement Saturday. -READ MORE


Providence Journal: Pawtucket firefighters picket mayor’s fundraiser

The International Association of Firefighters Local 1261, which represents the more than 150 firefighters in the city, said it was calling attention to many concerns stemming from members working without a contract for three years.

PAWTUCKET — Dozens of firefighters and their families picketed the entrances to Isle Brewers Guild, where Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien held a fundraiser Tuesday afternoon.

The International Association of Firefighters Local 1261, which represents the more than 150 firefighters in the city, said it was calling attention to many concerns stemming from members working without a contract for three years.

“It has been an accumulation of ongoing issues,” said Erik Cordeiro, vice president of the local. “We feel frustrated and angry.”

“We are here to support our brethren,” said Joseph A. Andriole, president of the Rhode Island State Association of Firefighters, who said firefighters from other towns were there in support. “Their problems here in Pawtucket are ours.” -READ MORE


AFL-CIO: Caring for Our Caregivers: Workplace Violence Hearing Highlights Job-Related Assaults for Health Care and Social Service Workers

Workplace violence is a serious and growing problem for working people in the United States: It causes more than 450 homicides and 28,000 serious injuries each year. Workplace homicide now is responsible for more workplace deaths than equipment, fires and explosions. Two of every three workplace violence injuries are suffered by women.

Health care and social service workers are at greatest risk of violence on the job because of their direct contact with patients and clients. They are five times as likely to suffer a workplace violence injury as workers in other occupations.

Violence against health care and social service workers is foreseeable and preventable but the Trump administration has refused to act. That is why Rep. Joe Courtney (Conn.) introduced legislation last week that would require the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue a standard to protect these workers. The standard would reduce violence by requiring employers to develop workplace violence prevention programs that identify and control hazards, improve reporting and training, evaluate procedures and strengthen whistlebower protections for those who speak up, which lead to safer staffing levels, improved lighting and better surveillance systems. -READ MORE


AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: American Federation of Musicians

Next up in our series that will take a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). The series will run weekly until we’ve covered all 55 of our affiliates.

Name of Union: American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada

Mission:Professional musicians uniting so that they can live and work in dignity; with work that is fulfilling and compensated fairly; have a meaningful voice in decisions that affect them; have opportunities to develop their talents and skills; use their collective voice and power through a democratic and progressive union; and oppose the forces of exploitation through union solidarity.

Current Leadership of Union: Ray Hair is the 12th international president of AFM. Bruce Fife serves as international vice president while Alan Willaert serves as vice president from Canada. Jay Blumenthal is the secretary-treasurer and the executive officers consist of: John Acosta, Tino Gagliardi, Tina Morrison, Joe Parente and Dave Pomeroy.

Current Number of Members: 80,000.

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KITCHEN TABLE ECONOMICS

1999: The year California became the first state to require minimum nurse-to-patient ratios.



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UPCOMING EVENTS:

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CLUW (Coalition of Labor Union Women) RI Chapter meeting

When: Wednesday, March 20: 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. Election of Officers. Contact Maureen Martin at Maureen@riaflcio.com for more information. Website



THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Unionist:

More than 6,000 drivers strike Greyhound Lines, most lose jobs to strikebreakers after company declares “impasse” in negotiations – 1990

Postal workers granted 8-hour day – 1913

CIO president John L. Lewis and U.S. Steel President Myron Taylor sign a landmark contract in which the bitterly anti-union company officially recognized the CIO as sole negotiator for the company’s unionized workers. Included: the adoption of overtime pay, the 40-hour work week, and a big pay hike – 1937

The federal minimum wage increases to $1 per hour – 1956

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NEXT WEEK ON LABOR VISION:

In the first half of the show, Jim Celenza from RICOSH and Lisa Nelson from the R.I. Institute for Labor Studies and Research and RICOSH sit down with Thom Cahir and explain the latest revisions introduced in Congress to the nearly 50-year old OSHA standards. Revisions, that if adopted, will mean more workers protected, more protections for whistle-blowers, more potent penalties for employers, and even a chance for families to weigh in during the investigative process.

And in the second half of the show, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea sits down with Jim Parisi to talk about the need for constructing a permanent Archives for the nearly 400-year old accumulation of documents and artifacts that consists the history of our state from colonial times until the present.

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