ENews: March 21, 2019

Providence Journal: My Turn: Jeffrey Grybowski: Pumping $250 million into R.I. economy

It’s sometimes hard to believe that it’s already been more than two years since our team “flipped the switch” at America’s first offshore wind farm. The nation watched as Rhode Island single-handedly launched a new renewable energy industry at the Block Island Wind Farm that day.

Since then, we’ve been working hard to advance larger wind farm projects that will serve states all along the Eastern Seaboard. But our commitment to our home state of Rhode Island, and the promises we’ve made to Rhode Islanders, remain as solid as ever.

A few months ago, we joined forces with the global offshore wind leader — Ørsted — to form Ørsted US Offshore Wind. Ørsted built the world’s first offshore wind farm decades ago and today operates more offshore wind turbines than any other company in the world. Our new merged company is jointly headquartered here in Providence — where Deepwater Wind was based for nearly a decade — and in Boston, where Ørsted first opened its U.S. offices. Eversource has recently invested in a 50-percent ownership stake of Revolution Wind and our Long Island project, adding even more expertise to our team. Ørsted US Offshore Wind now has nearly 100 employees in the U.S. -READ MORE


Providence Journal: Parent of Fatima Hospital found in violation of law

Judge in labor-relations case said union was unlawfully denied access to a survey that disclosed inferior operating-room conditions.

PROVIDENCE — Prospect CharterCARE violated federal law by withholding patient- and worker-safety information an administrative law judge has ruled.

Local 5110 of the United Nurses and Allied Professionals union at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital in North Providence had brought to the National Labor Relations Board a charge against the the hospital’s parent company.

Administrative Law Judge Donna N. Dawson found that Prospect violated the law by not providing the union access to a survey that disclosed inferior operating-room conditions.

The survey, by outside health-care consulting firm Aesculap USA, found that “surgical instruments at Fatima were contaminated with foreign material, corroded, broken, bent and posing risks to patient care,” according to the union.

The hospital also withheld access to a Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations survey that “unearthed 30 deficiencies inside the hospital, some regarding employee and patient safety” and requiring a corrective action plan, the union said.

The judge ordered the hospital to provide access to certain documents.-READ MORE


AFL-CIO: State of the Unions Podcast

House Blue Collar Caucus: A Conversation with Reps. Brendan Boyle (Pa.) and Marc Veasey (Texas)

In the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” Julie and Tim talk to the co-chairs of the House Blue Collar Caucus. Reps. Brendan Boyle (Pa.) and Marc Veasey (Texas) both come from union families and formed the caucus in the aftermath of the 2016 election to better connect with blue-collar workers. They say the path to a stronger America runs through the labor movement and any plan to rebuild our economy must include the working people who make it go.

-LISTEN TO PODCAST


AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: Musical Artists

The AFL-CIO is taking a deeper look at each of our affiliates in our regular weekly series. Next up is the Actors and Artistes (4As).

Name of Union: Associated Actors and Artistes of America

The 4As works to advance and protect the welfare of the people who work to entertain and inform others in person and through every medium of recording and transmission. There are five member unions that make up the 4As.

Mission: To represent members and to guarantee that our nation’s artistic institutions adhere to fair labor practices, securing both gainful employment and quality of life for our artists.

Current Leadership of Union: John Coleman serves as president. The other officers are: Gregory Stapp (first vice president), George Scott (second vice presiden), J. Austin Bitner (third vice president), Jane Shaulis (fourth vice president), Louis Perry (recording secretary) and Raymond Menard (treasurer).

Members Work As: Soloists, choral singers, actors, ballet dancers, production staff and related jobs.

-LEARN MORE


Bloomberg: Labor Groups Petition U.S. FTC to Ban Non-Compete Clauses

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission finds itself under increasing pressure to ban non-compete clauses, with unions, advocacy groups and politicians complaining that the agreements hobble workers’ rights and fair competition.

The AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, and Public Citizen, among other organizations, are urging the agency — in a petition — to issue a new rule prohibiting employers across industries from requiring that their workers sign agreements limiting them from going to work for a competitor.

The petition, which was spearheaded by the Washington-based antitrust advocacy group Open Markets Institute, cites estimates that one out of every five U.S. workers — or about 30 million — is bound by such an agreement. The non-compete agreements suppress employees’ ability to negotiate for raises, escape from unsafe or discriminatory workplaces, or start competing businesses of their own, according to the petition, which is being filed Wednesday.

-READ MORE


AFL-CIO: Why Unions Matter from Robert Reich

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KITCHEN TABLE ECONOMICS

78%: The percentage of Americans who would rather strengthen public schools than find an alternative.



QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Earning the support of working people is a high bar. It’s not a seasonal activity, and it’s not a superficial act of pandering.” – AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA)


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THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Unionist:

The Post Office’s first mass work stoppage in 195 years begins in Brooklyn and Manhattan and spreads to 210,000 of the nation’s 750,000 postal employees. Mail service is virtually paralyzed in several cities, and President Nixon declares a state of emergency. A settlement comes after two weeks – 1970

The American Federation of Labor issues a charter to a new Building Trades Department. Trades unions had formed a Structural Building Trades Alliance several years earlier to work out jurisdictional conflicts, but lacked the power to enforce Alliance rulings – 1908

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NEXT WEEK ON LABOR VISION:

In the first half of our show, Jim Parisi sits down with Autumn Guillotte from the Rhode Island Labor History Society to talk about the work that group does by hosting authors, screening documentaries and keeping the history of the labor movement alive in the Greater Rhode Island area; and to remind viewers that they’re always accepting new membership applications.

And in the second half of the show, it’s our annual tax-time show on the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program run through United Way RI. This year Zoya Tsetylin from the Center for Children and Families, and Patrick Westfall from OpenDoors sit down with Thom Cahir to discuss who is eligible, the advantages of a free tax preparation, and the professionals doing the job.