ENews: April 18, 2019

PRESS RELEASE from Teamsters, Local 251

For immediate release: April 12, 2019


Contract Provides Wage Increases, Quality Health Insurance and Retirement Options

(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) – The more than 2,500 Local 251 Teamsters who work at Rhode Island Hospital ratified a new five-year agreement yesterday by a 97.5 percent vote.

“The 2,500 members at Rhode Island Hospital should be proud. It was their solidarity that led to this agreement,” said Matt Taibi, Teamsters Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer. “This contract wasn’t won at the table; it was earned through months of organizing by our members. They stood strong in the face of the company and achieved a contract they deserve.

”The bargaining unit includes nonclinical and clinical support and skilled maintenance workers.

After months of member to member organizing and surveying the needs of the members, the union negotiating committee set out to satisfy key demands of the workers. This contract addresses the important issues of fair wage increases, a $15 minimum wage, Teamster health care benefits, retirement security, quality jobs that support families and job security.


UFCW, Local 328: Letter regarding Stop & Shop Strike

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

As you know, 10,000 members of UFCW Local 328 who work at Stop & Shop are standing together for a fair contract that recognizes their hard work and dedication.

On April 11th, these brave women and men walked off their jobs at over 75 Stop & Shop stores in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut to protest the company’s proposed drastic and unreasonable cuts to health care, retirement benefits and take-home pay.

These hard-working members of Local 328 have been trying to negotiate a fair contract with Stop & Shop since January 14 and need your support.  

We are asking our union brothers and sisters to please stand with these courageous members by joining us on the picket lines, adopting one of our 76 sites by providing supplies, food and/or drinks or if able, by making a financial donation.

We have set up a hardship fund which will go directly to Local 328 members facing financial difficulties, so that they can pay for day-to-day needs and support their families during this difficult time.

For financial donations, please make checks payable to the UFCW Local 328 Members’ Assistance Fund to the following address:

UFCW Local 328

278 Silver Spring Street

Providence, RI 02904

Please contact Secretary-Treasurer Domenic Pontarelli if you have any questions. (office) 401-861-0300 or (cell) 508-400-2220.

By standing together, we can show Stop & Shop, as well as all other employers, that it is time to reach a fair contract agreement that reflects the true value of our members. Remember – an injury to one – is an injury to ALL. Thank you for your support

Domenic Pontarelli, Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW, Local 328 speaking at a Stop & Shop strike rally in Fall River.

AFL-CIO Twitter:

President @RichardTrumka had the opportunity to spend time with @StopandShop workers striking in New Haven, Connecticut tonight.


Maureen Martin, Secretary-Treasurer of R.I. AFL-CIO supporting the UFCW workers in Narragansett while out on strike against Stop & Shop.

AFL-CIO: Special Episode: Can’t Stop. Won’t Shop. Stories from a UFCW Picket Line

Julie and Tim talk to Kristen Johnson, a deli manager and shop steward at the Stop & Shop in Somerville, Massachusetts. Kristen and more than 30,000 of her co-workers, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), are out on strike for fair pay, benefits and respect on the job.


AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: American Postal Workers Union

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM).

Name of Union: Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM)

Mission: The primary goal of the BCTGM has not changed in more than 130 years—to bring economic justice in the workplace to all workers in our jurisdiction and social justice to workers throughout the United States and Canada.

Current Leadership of Union: David B. Durkee has served as BCTGM international president since September 2012. Prior to his election as international president, Durkee served as international secretary-treasurer, international executive vice president, international director of organization and international representative.

Durkee began his life as a BCTGM activist in 1973 when he joined Local 280 (Evansville, Indiana) as a baker at Lewis Brothers Bakery. He was re-elected as international president by delegates to the BCTGM international constitutional conventions in 2014 and 2018.

Members Work As: Manufacturing, production workers, maintenance and sanitation workers.-READ MORE

CNN Business: Why big business is giving up its fight against a higher minimum wage

New York (CNN Business)Corporate America has been, shall we say, evolving on the minimum wage in recent years.

Last month, McDonalds — the most recognizable name in America’s lowest-paying industry — announced it would no longer lobby against minimum wage hikes. A few months before that, Amazon proclaimed that it would fully meet activists’ demands for a $15-per-hour baseline and that it would throw its considerable lobbying weight behind an increase in the federal floor. Then, just last week, Bank of America outdid them both, setting its own minimum at $20. Who is left fighting the case against a higher minimum wage? American small businesses. As a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024 nationwide awaits a vote on the House floor with 205 Democratic co-sponsors, life in the opposition is getting lonelier for the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s largest advocacy group for small companies. -READ MORE

Union-Made in America Easter

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We have your back. Stand strong, brothers and sisters. The entire labor movement is standing with you.” —AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) to striking UFCW members

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The 2019 George “Bing” Fogarty Memorial Classic Golf Tournament

The George “Bing” Fogarty Foundation was established by the family and friends of Bing to carry on his legacy of charitable works and helping others. Bing lived his life in service of others and quietly helped thousands of people in multitude of ways. This foundation will attempt to carry on those good works by making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate and in need of a shoulder to lean on.

When: Friday, June 7 Where: Exeter Country Club, 320 Ten Rod Road (Route 102), Exeter, RI Time: Registration 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Shotgun Format: Scramble Cost: $150 to play golf with steak fry; $125 Tee Sign; $250 Corporate/Union Sponsor

For more information: E-Mail BingFogartyMemorial@gmail.com or call (401) 932-3642



After a four-week boycott led by Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., bus companies in New York City agree to hire 200 Black drivers and mechanics – 1941

Eight members of the Musicians union die in the sinking of the Titanic. According to survivors, they played their instruments until nearly the end. Five weeks later a concert organized by the union to benefit the musicians’ families, held in a theater donated for the evening by impresario Flo Ziegfeld, featured the talents of 500 musicians. The evening ended with a rendering of “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” the hymn being played as the ship went down. The union at the time was called the Musical Mutual Protective Union Local 310, the New York affiliate of the American Federation of Musicians – 1912

Transport Workers Union founded – 1934

Teacher unionists gather at the City Club on Plymouth Court in Chicago to form a new national union: the American Federation of Teachers – 1916



Newly-elected V.P. of the R.I. Coalition of Labor Union Women, Liz Murtha of IBEW, Local 2323, and member Thom Cahir, sit down with Erica Hammond of the Institute in the first half of the show, to talk about CLUW’s major charitable effort, “Help a Sister Out, PERIOD!” How the labor movement in the state, led by the R.I. AFL-CIO, R.I. Federation of Teachers, and Teamsters Local 251, are taking the lead to change minds and policy on how women are treated differently simply because of their biology.

And in the second half of the show, Raul Figueroa of Fuerza Laboral sits down with Erica to talk about the first successful co-op to come out of the bill they sponsored and helped get passed last year; how the business has expanded and what’s in store for the future.