ENews: May 30, 2019

Providence Journal:

Maureen Martin, president of the Rhode Island chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women and secretary-treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, speaks at a news conference Tuesday at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, which received donations of menstrual-care products for women in need. At left is Frank Flynn, president of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals. Both unions, and others, helped organized the effort. [THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL / BOB BREIDENBACH]

For immediate release:

May 28, 2019


The Rhode Island Coalition of Labor Union Women celebrates the donation of menstrual products from the #HelpASisterOutPeriod campaign.

The coalition announced that over 60,000 menstrual period products will be donated, providing 2,000 girls & women of lesser means with a month’s supply of free menstrual products.

Providence, RI -The Rhode Island Coalition of Labor Union Women (RICLUW), with the support of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals (RIFTHP), Teamsters Local 251, and the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, launched the #HelpASisterOutPeriod campaign in February to raise awareness for women who lack the financial means to purchase menstrual products. Today, the RICLUW is holding a press conference with Rhode Island Food Bank CEO Andrew Schiff, Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale CEO Kate Brewster, and RIFTHP President Frank Flynn to announce the over 60,000 menstrual products they received through donations that will be used to provide menstrual care for girls and women in need.

Maureen Martin, head of RICLUW and Secretary-Treasurer of Rhode Island AFL-CIO, stated, “Every day, girls and women in Rhode Island miss days of school and work because they can’t afford the menstrual products they need. Access to period products and supplies is a matter of personal dignity and it’s a genuine health concern.



Hartford Courant: Connecticut workers celebrate as $15 minimum wage is signed into law

With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill Tuesday to raise Connecticut’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, directly impacting the lives of more than 300,000 workers across the state.

Some of those workers gathered in Hartford and cheered as they watched Lamont sign the bill — at times chanting with other advocates and elected leaders who had pushed for the measure for the past six years. The first increase will be to $11 in October, up from the current minimum of $10.10 an hour, and the minimum wage will eventually reach $15 an hour in 2023.

“We tried and failed a couple of times, and this year we got it done,” Lamont told the enthusiastic crowd gathered in a function room at a nursing home. “As Joe Biden might have said, this is a big deal.”

Business groups said the higher minimum wage will force employers to cut jobs, reduce employees’ hours and speed up automation. -READ MORE

AFL-CIO: Teamwork On and Off the Ice: Worker Wins

Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with women’s hockey players forming a union and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life.
Top Women’s Hockey Players Form Union in Pursuit of Pro League: More than 200 of the top women’s hockey players in the world have come together to form the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association. Among the goals the union is pursuing are a “single, viable women’s professional league in North America,” coordination of training needs and the development of sponsor support. Olympic gold medalist Coyne Schofield said: “We are fortunate to be ambassadors of this beautiful game, and it is our responsibility to make sure the next generation of players have more opportunities than we had. It’s time to stand together and work to create a viable league that will allow us to enjoy the benefits of our hard work.” -READ MORE

AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: Theatrical Stage Employees

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).

Name of Union: International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees

Mission: To support members’ efforts to establish fair wages and working conditions throughout the United States and Canada, embrace the development of new entertainment mediums, expand the craft, innovate technology and grow the union to new geographic areas.

Current Leadership of Union: Matthew D. Loeb serves as international president. He was first elected in 2008 and has since been re-elected twice. He has been a member of the United Scenic Artists Local 829 since 1989, Local 52 since 1996 and of Local 491 since it was first established in 1994. Loeb was IATSE’s first director of Motion Picture and Television Production. He also serves on UNI Global Union’s world executive board and is president of UNI’s Media and Entertainment Industry sector.


Pacific Standards: Responsive Unions Help Make Work Feel More Meaningful

New research finds that the boons of union membership can extend beyond wages and benefits.

For many of us, meaningful work is an essential component of a fulfilling life. But what, exactly, gives meaning to one’s work?

A sense of vocation—an intuition that you were born to do this—can often do the trick. But what if you’re not lucky enough to find a “calling”? What else can make you feel fulfilled at your job?

New research provides an unexpected answer: a smart, sympathetic labor union.

“We found that when employees perceive their union to be responsive and caring, work meaningfulness was enhanced,” writes a research team led by M. Teresa Cardador of the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign. The right kind of union “helped fulfill workers’ psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness,” the team found.


International Union of Painters and Allied Trade:

Check out the documentary “Bridge Brothers”, which explores the lives of our own IUPAT bridge painters, working on two of Philly’s most important bridges.

Bridges are in decay across the U.S. To Keep these massive structures standing near Philadelphia, union bridge painters risk their lives to restore two of the area’s most important bridges.



“After years of grassroots organizing, Connecticut will finally catch up to our neighbors. We applaud the legislature for doing the right thing and raising wages for over 330,000 workers in our state.” Connecticut AFL-CIO President Sal Luciano (AFSCME)

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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





Animators working for Walt Disney begin what was to become a successful 5-week strike for recognition of their union, the Screen Cartoonists’ Guild. The animated feature Dumbo was being created at the time and, according to Wikipedia, a number of strikers are caricatured in the feature as clowns who go to “hit the big boss for a raise” – 1941

Union Carpenters win a 25¢-per-day raise, bringing wages for a 9-hour day to $2.50 – 1898

Some 12,500 longshoremen strike the Pacific coast, from San Diego to Bellingham, Wash. Demands included a closed shop and a wage increase to 55¢ an hour for handling general cargo – 1916



After nearly a decade of trying to legislate a solution, Jim Parisi joins Erica Hammond as a guest to explain the history behind the “Continuing Contract,” bill, the court ruling that upset the decades of peaceful coexistence between labor and management before that, and the false narrative some were pushing to try and keep the leverage on the management side during bargaining.

And in the second half of the show, Business Agent Mike Daley of IBEW 99, the first of the Eagle Award winners from the Institute for Labor Studies and Research awards night accepts his award. Congratulations Mike and thanks for your years of service.