ENews: May 16, 2019

WPRI: Raimondo signs union contracts bill, won’t veto firefighter OT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo delivered two victories to Rhode Island’s public-sector unions on Tuesday, signing a bill to keep expired contracts in place during negotiations while also allowing a measure on firefighter overtime to take effect without her signature.

Mayors and other municipal leaders had mounted a major lobbying campaign to convince the governor to reject the bills, which passed the Democratic-dominated General Assembly by overwhelming veto-proof majorities. But in the end the labor leaders pushing for the proposals won out.

Raimondo blocked a previous version of the contract-continuation bill back in 2017, but wrote in her veto message at the time that she would be open to signing if changes were made. The governor has recently said she felt this year’s version was different enough to allay her concerns, though municipal leaders have strongly disputed whether the changes are significant.


Teamsters, Local 251:

For immediate release

May 10, 2019


Teamsters Local 251 Opposes Gatehouse Media’s Efforts to Shirk Responsibility to Its Workers

(PROVIDENCE, R.I.)–Gatehouse Media, the corporate owner of the Providence Journal, has asked the state of Rhode Island for an exemption on Sunday and holiday overtime requirements.

Gatehouse recently filed the request with the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training. The company had flaunted state wage laws for four years, and the filing is another egregious attempt to milk more money from its workers. Teamsters Local 251 adamantly opposes this request.

Teamsters Local 251 has been in negotiations with Gatehouse Media for a successor collective bargaining agreement since September 2018. The company has yet to agree to any wage increases for the job classifications represented by the union; these include mailers, inserters and machine maintenance employees who work at the company’s Kinsley Street plant in Providence.


UFCW Local 1445: Macy’s Negotiations Reach Tentative Agreements!

As of May 14, Local 1445’s Macy’s negotiating teams and the company have reached tentative agreements that the teams feel they can favorably present to the Macy’s members for ratification, potentially averting a strike.

The tentative agreements include retaining time-and-a-half for Sundays, reduced health insurance premiums, and good wage increases, with NO GIVEBACKS.

Our Macy’s teams worked 10- and 12-hour days without a break, fighting strong and stubborn pushback from the company, to secure these agreements. “We were determined to make sure our members got the fair contracts they deserve,” said 1445 negotiator Brian Sangster. “We’re the ones who keep the stores running and the customers coming back, and the company needs to acknowledge that fact by giving us the wages and benefits we’ve earned.”


Office Space and Support Services available in Cranston

The Institute for Labor Studies and Research is located on 1540 Pontiac Avenue in Cranston, across from the Department of Labor and Training offices. The location currently has office space available in a variety of sizes and shapes that can be rented in the existing layout of modified to meet the operational or space needs of any union interested in renting space. The prices to unions are very competitive and also include the option of accessing the conference and or training rooms of the Institute if they are needed and available by any unions that may be interested in locating their offices at this facility that centrally located. There is a RIPTA bus stop in front of the location and plenty of parking.

Any individual or union interested in more information, please call Bob Delaney at the Institute for Labor Studies and Research at (401) 463-9900.

Machinist Union: IAM Files Charges Against Delta Air Lines for Anti-Union Tactics

Washington, May 15, 2019 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today filed election interference charges with the National Mediation Board (NMB) against Delta Air Lines.

The IAM has overwhelming evidence that Delta Air Lines has interfered with the Flight Attendants and Ramp employees’ lawful right to seek a vote for union representation free from interference, influence or coercion exercised by the carrier.

“The IAM has provided the NMB with evidence showing Delta has run an unlawful, systematic anti-union campaign that includes intimidation, discipline and terminations of union activists,” said IAM General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “Last week, the public was able to see what many behind the walls of Delta have always known; that Delta will go to great lengths to suppress their employees’ collective voices.”

Some examples of Delta’s illegal activity include a coordinated misinformation campaign through postings and electronic messages in the workplace, surveilling and photographing employees participating in union activities and the singling out and termination of union activists. -READ MORE

AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: Communications Workers of America

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

Name of Union: Communications Workers of America

Mission: CWA members and retirees fight for economic justice and democracy at the bargaining table, on the job, and in the legislative and political arena. They are committed to building a powerful movement that reaches beyond the workplace to build power for working families.

Current Leadership of Union: Christopher Shelton was elected president of CWA in 2015. Sara Steffens serves as the secretary-treasurer of CWA. In addition to the president and secretary-treasurer, CWA executive board includes vice presidents and leaders from seven geographic districts, seven industry sectors, four at-large members and the Canadian director.

Current Number of Members: 700,000.


Richard Trumka, President of AFL-CIO:

Machinists Union: Activate L!VE: Infrastructure Week with AFL-CIO¹s Tom Trotter and Labor Communications with our IAM Basic Communicators’ Class.



“We are the most powerful force for working families on the planet. So, we must be a beacon—not just debating the future of work, but defining it. Not just building worker power, but using it every single day.” AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Shuler at the AFL-CIO Northeast District meeting

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: Tuesday, May 21: Refreshments will be served at 4 p.m. and meeting starts at 4:30.
Where: R.I. Federation of Teachers & Health Professionals, 356 Smith Street, Providence
Details: Final planning and organizing for the May 28 rally for the Period Campaign Project. Get involved! New members welcomed. FaceBook


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



Jerry Wurf, who was to serve as president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) from 1964 to his death in 1981, born in New York City. The union grew from about 220,000 members to more than 1 million during his presidency – 1919

Amalgamated Meat Cutters union organizers launch a campaign in the nation’s packinghouses, an effort that was to bring representation to 100,000 workers over the following two years – 1917

Black labor leader and peace activist A. Philip Randolph dies. He was president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and first Black on the AFL-CIO executive board, and a principal organizer of the 1963 March on Washington – 1979



Dr. Okurowski returns again this week in the first half of the program to talk with Erica Hammond about the importance of AEDs (Automatic External Defibrillators) in the workplace, and how having them nearby during a cardiac event can significantly increase a patient’s chance of survival.

And in the second part of the show, a celebration from the State House of the one-year anniversary of the ability of worker-owned cooperatives to do business as a legal entity; brought to us by the members of Fuerza Laboral and their tireless leaders, Heiny Maldonado and Raul Figeuroa. Highlighted are workers from Healthy Planet Cleaning Co-op and several other co-ops from around the state.