ENews: June 13, 2019

Common Ground: Rhode Island Coalition of Labor Union Women notes successful #HelpASisterOutPeriod campaign

PROVIDENCE – Leaders of the Rhode Island Coalition of Labor Union Women (RICLUW) have announced that a recent campaign yielded more than 50,000 menstrual period products that will be used to provide care for 2,000 girls in women of lesser means.

Dubbed the #HelpASisterOutPeriod campaign, the effort was launched in February by the RICLUW with the support of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals (RIFTHP), Teamsters Local 251 and the Rhode Island AFL-CIO to raise awareness for women who lack the financial means to purchase menstrual products.

The RICLUW held a press conference with Rhode Island Food Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andrew Schiff, Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale CEO Kate Brewster and RIFTHP President Frank Flynn to announce the results that will give the girls and women a one-month supply of free products.

Maureen Martin, head of the RICLUW and secretary-treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, stated in a press release that: “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.”


Huffington Post: The Marriott Strike Helped Grow The Largest Hotel Workers Union

A labor union representing Marriott workers says it’s building off the success of a large strike last year to add new members inside the world’s largest hotel chain.

Nearly 8,000 Marriott employees in eight cities took part in the work stoppages in October and November, under the rallying cry “one job should be enough.” The strike grabbed national headlines and ended with higher wages and better health care for housekeepers and other hotel staff.

Since then, the workers’ union, Unite Here, has won elections at non-union Marriott properties in Baltimore, San Francisco, San Diego and Irvine, California. The four wins have added more than 1,000 new members to Unite Here’s ranks, expanding their footprint within a brand that historically hasn’t been easy for the union to organize.                                                                        

The union’s president, D. Taylor, said the high-profile strike gave them a significant boost in those efforts, allowing members to show non-members the gains they were making in unionized hotels.

AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: Fire Fighters

Next up in our series, which takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates, is the Fire Fighters.

Name of Union: International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).

Mission:To be a strong representative for our members through collective bargaining; to maintain their health and safety; to provide them with education, training and resources to do their job; and to be politically active in campaigns and legislation in order to make a difference in who gets to have the power that drives the decisions that affect members and the work they do.

Current Leadership of Union:Harold A. Schaitberger serves as the ninth general president of the IAFF. He was a local president and state president before coming to the IAFF to create its political and legislative operation. He was first elected president in 2000. Schaitberger began his professional career as a firefighter in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Edward A. Kelly serves as the IAFF general secretary-treasurer, hails from Boston and was elected in 2016. The IAFF is also represented by 16 district vice presidents who together form the IAFF Executive Board. The union conducts its convention every two years.

Current Number of Members:316,000.

Members Work As:Firefighters and paramedics.


Escondido Grapevine: Local ironworker Paul Pursley spent 10 weeks at Ground Zero following Sept. 11

Sept. 11, 2001: Local ironworker Paul Pursley spent 10 weeks at “Ground Zero” following attack. His major complaint in the years following concerned his inability to get correct, and affordable treatment due to the csts involved, costs that Congress has yet to cover almost 18 years later. John Stewart gave an impassioned plea for the zillionth time today to help out first responders like Paul Pursley. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Vapeville) has lots of time to try to get war criminal Eddie Gallagher released into the general population. As for Hunter’s constituent Paul Pursley, nary a word.

“Ironworkers worked every day,” Pursley said. “We went on 12-hour shifts starting at 6 (a.m.) or 7 (a.m.) The more iron we cut up, the more firemen we could find. But we only found parts; a hand, a leg, a torso, never a complete body. We found parts from 650 people. You thought you would find somebody alive at first, but we never did…

“…I never cut so much steel in my entire life. I hope I never have to again.”


UFCW: Twenty wonky labor terms every union member should know

Do you know what a shop steward is? What about Weingarten Rights? If you hang around union people long enough, there’s terms that will keep popping up that can be confusing if you’ve never worked a union job before or had much experience with labor unions.

For a longer list, download the UFCW Glossary of Labor Terminology.


A form voluntarily signed by an employee whereby the employee authorizes a labor organization (Union) to represent him/her for the purpose of collective bargaining. Some cards will also state that the employee desires an election to be held to determine whether or not the Union has the full support of the majority of the employees in the
bargaining unit.


Union certified by a government agency, such as the National Labor Relations Board, or recognized voluntarily by the employer, as the exclusive representative of all employees in the bargaining unit for purposes of collective bargaining.


The rights outlined in Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. Rights of workers to negotiate the terms and conditions of employment through chosen representatives. The bargaining agent is designated by a majority of the workers in a bargaining unit.


Teamsters FaceBook:

Teamsters of the Public Services Division are unsung everyday heros in our communities. These more than 200,000 members of our union provide critical public services through the government and municipalities. They respond to life threatening emergencies, clean our schools, drive our buses, transport our children, provide security in public buildings, care for the elderly and veterans, maintain our roads and support our military. Teamsters work at city hall and in the court system, and perform important services in the community protecting citizens as police, deputy sheriffs, safety aides and corrections officers. In the face of new attacks against collective bargaining rights in the public sector, Public Services Teamsters are stepping up and getting more involved than ever in the union!



“Union members know that when working people join together, we have the power to enact incredible change—even in the face of incredible odds.” Rusty McAllister


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John L. Lewis dies. A legendary figure, he was president of the United Mine Workers from 1920 to 1960 and a driving force behind the formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations – 1969

President Kennedy signs a law mandating equal pay to women who are performing the same jobs as men (Equal Pay Act) – 1963

Major League Baseball strike begins, forces cancellation of 713 games. Most observers blamed team owners for the strike: they were trying to recover from a court decision favoring the players on free agency – 1981

Unions legalized in Canada – 1872

Congress creates a Bureau of Labor, under the Interior Department. It later became independent as a Department of Labor without executive status in the Department of Commerce and Labor; in 1913 it became the Department of Labor we know today – 1884



In the first half of the program, Pat Crowley of the Rhode Island Labor History Society gives an enlightening lecture on the meteoric rise of the Boilermakers Local 308 during World War II, a local that broke the archaic race barrier in place at the time in order to get the job done for the war effort; but whose selflessness went unrewarded as the war came to an end and the local collapsed as the shipyard disappeared and the international no longer even has a record of them existing. And none of us would know any of this if not for the oral history of the workers and a box of papers left in a local library.

And in the second half of the show, the final award ceremony from this year’s ILSR Dinner, as Andrew Cortes from Building Futures accepts his Eagle Award.