ENews: June 27, 2019

The Valley Breeze: Closure of St. Joseph’s School of Nursing shocks, saddens

Union says reopening it will be part of negotiations

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Hundreds of comments came pouring in after last week’s announcement that the St. Joseph School of Nursing at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital would be shut down immediately after more than 117 years in operation, many expressing sadness, shock and disappointment.

The news broke with a post on the school’s Facebook page, where current and former students lamented the loss of the institution.

“This is heartbreaking, always have been proud to be a St. Joe’s grad,” wrote Kathy Souza Crawley, of Cumberland.

Some questioned how the closure was handled and why they had to learn through a Facebook post.

“It’s with heavy heart we learned today that School of Nursing will be shuttering its doors immediately. Current students will be accepted into the NEIT program,” read the June 18 post. “The school has provided countless graduates who provided care to residents of Rhode Island over its 100-plus years, as well as the world. We wish to thank the present and past faculty and the alumni association for their help and guidance. Our hope is to preserve the memories of our school and the honored reputation of being a St Joe’s grad.”


AFL-CIO: AFL-CIO Releases 2019 Executive Paywatch Report

Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler Highlights Vast Executive-Worker Pay Inequity

The AFL-CIO today released its annual Executive Paywatch report. AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler discussed the federation’s findings during a call with reporters, highlighting the continuing pay inequity between workers and CEOs, discussing the impact of the Trump administration’s tax law on executive compensation and pointing out some of the worst offenders among major corporations. You can view the full report, including state-by-state data, HERE.

Below are some key points from the report:

  • $14.5 Million: S&P 500 CEOs’ average 2018 compensation.
  • 287:1: The average S&P 500 CEO-to-worker pay ratio.
  • $5.2 Million: Increase in the average S&P 500 CEO’s pay over the past 10 years, a raise of more than half a million dollars annually.
  • $7,858: Increase in the average U.S. rank-and-file worker’s pay over the past 10 years, a raise of less than $800 per year annually.
  • $93 Billion: Decrease in corporate income tax collections following the passage of the 2017 GOP tax cut, a 31% drop for FY 2018.
  • $0: Federal income taxes paid by 60 of the largest U.S. companies in 2018 despite being profitable. This list includes corporations like Amazon, Activision Blizzard and Delta Airlines.

Secretary-Treasurer Shuler’s introductory remarks, as prepared for delivery, are available HERE.

AFL-CIO: Winning the Future: A Conversation with AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler

Julie and Tim talk to AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler who is pushing the labor movement to be bold, take risks and not be afraid of failure.

AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: Machinists

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the Machinists.

Name of Union: International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)

Mission: To work for members to preserve and grow the IAM on the basis of solidarity and justice, and to strive for a higher standard of living for people who work.

Current Leadership of Union: Robert Martinez Jr. is the 14th international president of IAM. Martinez is a U.S. Navy veteran who began his career in labor in 1980. That year, he joined IAM Local 776A in Fort Worth, Texas, where he worked as an aircraft assembler at Lockheed Martin. In the ensuing years, he served in various positions in the local before being appointed to the IAM Safety and Health Department in 1995. In 1999, he was named the Southern Territory Education Representative. That position was followed in 2002 by appointment as special representative and in 2003 with Martinez being named as general vice president for the Southern Territory.

Dora Cervantes serves as the general secretary-treasurer and IAM has eight general vice presidents: Gary R. Allen (Western Territory), Sito Pantoja (Transportation), Mark Blondin (Aerospace), James Conigliaro (Eastern Territory), Rickey Wallace (Southern Territory), Stan Pickthall (Canada), Brian Bryant (Headquarters) and Steve Galloway (Midwest Territory).

Current Number of Members: 600,000.


Labor 411: Millennials: The Next Generation of Labor

The future of organized labor rests solidly on the shoulders of the next generation, and even in a post-Janus era, the signs are excellent that millennials are ready to grab the torch from their Gen-Y brothers and sisters and break into a sprint.

In 2017, the largest gains in union membership were for workers aged 34 and under. Unions gained 262,000 new members, 198,000 of them under 35. To some extent, this is not surprising considering that data from a recent Pew survey found that 68 percent of people aged 18 to 29 have a favorable view of unions.

The reasons for the surge in millennial engagement are not difficult to understand. Researchers point to increases in part-time and contract work and automation while wages stay largely stagnant. Younger workers view banding together against management as a necessity. Even before they enter the professional ranks, millennials are getting their first experience with collective bargaining as graduate students at universities across the country are demanding their rights as legitimate employees.

In addition to asserting their clout within the world of organized labor, young workers have been equally proactive within protest movements such as Occupy, the Fight for 15, and #MeToo. As the AFL-CIO’s Liz Schuler told the Guardian, “The millennial and Gen Z generations are more civic minded and acutely in tune with the power of collective action. A union card helps them leverage their power.”-READ MORE

SEIU 32BJ Facebook:

PublicSource recently profiled Shayla Hopkins, a 32BJ Member, as part of its series on Pittsburgh-area workers. “Shayla Hopkins works in the cafeteria at Duquesne University, washing dishes. It’s hot and the work is repetitive. Hopkins’ ex-girlfriend derisively calls her a ‘lunch lady.’ But Shayla, who started the job in November, has never been happier at work.”



“Our economy works best when consumers have money to spend. That means raising wages for workers and reining in out of control executive pay. This year’s report is a stark reminder that working people must use our collective voice to form bigger, stronger unions and rewrite the economic rules once and for all.”AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (IBEW) on the AFL-CIO’s 2019 Executive Paywatch

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President Grover Cleveland signs legislation declaring Labor Day an official U.S. holiday – 1894

Birthday of machinist Matthew Maguire, who many believe first suggested Labor Day. Others believe it was Peter McGuire, a carpenter – 1850

A Liberty Ship named after the founding president of the American Federation of Labor, Samuel Gompers, is launched in Sausalito, Calif. She replaced a cargo steamship bearing Gompers’ name which had been torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese sub in the South Pacific the previous year – 1944

The federal government sues the Teamsters to force reforms on the union, the nation’s largest. The following March, the government and the union sign a consent decree requiring direct election of the union’s president and creation of an Independent Review Board – 1988



In the first half of the show, President Tim Melia and Secretary-Treasurer Domenic Pontarelli of UFCW Local 328 recap the events of the recent strike against retail giant Stop & Shop with host Bob Delaney; detailing how negotiations deteriorated, how union leadership saw it coming and used the time to plan for the worst, and how membership were professionals about leaving the jobsite and always courteous on the picket line as they won the hearts and minds of customers, the public, the media and local politicians.

And in the second half of the show, Principal Officer Matt Taibi, President Paul Santos, and Vice-President Tony Suazo sit down with Erica Hammond to discuss their recent success in getting a contract for their members at Rhode Island Hospital.