ENews: August 8, 2019

Rhode Island AFL-CIO Union Directory

An updated Union Directory listing union goods and services in R.I. can be found on our website at www.RhodeIslandAFLCIO.org under the “Resources” tab.

Here is the direct link—-> Union Directory

Please use this directory to find where you can buy union and use services in Rhode Island.

Boston Globe: Union, Republicans agree on this: more child welfare workers needed in Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE — Union leaders and Republican lawmakers find themselves in unusual agreement, calling for the state to hire more front-line child-welfare workers after a damning report about the death of an adopted 9-year-old who was left in a bathtub for up to eight hours.

Union members in the state Department of Children, Youth and Families plan to hold a “caseload/workload crisis rally” on the State House steps at 4 p.m. Thursday — one hour before the House Oversight Committee meets to see what action DCYF has taken on the report’s recommendations.

In a 57-page report issued in June, Child Advocate Jennifer Griffith and the Child Fatality Review Panel detailed a series of failures leading up to the January death of Zah-Nae Rothgeb, who had cerebral palsy and was one of eight special-needs children that Warwick’s Michele Rothgeb was allowed to keep in her care.


WPRI Channel 12: DCYF expands staffing following devastating Child Advocate report

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — In an effort to address concerns highlighted in a scathing report from the Office of the Child Advocate, the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) has hired 23 additional staff members.

The 57-page report released in early June found DCYF was partly to blame for the death of 9-year-old Zha-Nae Rothgeb, who was found face down in the bathtub of her adopted mother’s home back in January.

The report also found DCYF had ignored complaints about her adoptive mother, Michelle Rothgeb, for years prior to Zha-Nae’s death.

Following the report, DCYF spokeswoman Kerri White said the agency hired another 23 frontline workers: 17 social caseworkers, three frontline supervisors and three child support technicians.


GoLocalProv: Rhode Island PBS Ordered to Cease and Desist From Coercive Abuse of Employees by NLRB

A three-judge panel of the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that Rhode Island PBS was coercive in its treatment of employees — and tried to break a local union.

The sweeping decision orders RI PBS — the local public broadcasting station — to cease and desist from “coercively interrogating employees about their un­ion sympathies.”

The decision orders RI PBS to fairly negotiate with the Interna­tional Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1228.

The 17-page decision is the latest — and may be — the final setback for the Rhode Island-based public television station that the NLRB says has been trying to break the union.


Providence Journal: Providence officials point to school building improvements

The city recently approved $20 million worth of major renovations. And the Rhode Island Department of Education approved a plan by Providence to spend $278 million in repairs that, when completed, will “touch” every one of the city’s 41 schools.

PROVIDENCE — City and school officials offered a counter narrative Thursday to the teachers union’s complaints that some of the district’s buildings are in deplorable condition.

During a tour of the Veazie Street Elementary School near Branch Avenue, Mike Borg, director of public property, noted the new flexible membrane roof, part of $7.2 million worth of major renovations to the school planned over the next five years. The school was built in 1909.

The original tar roof sprung a major leak last winter, which can still be seen in the discolored tiles on the upper floors. The city had to step in and repair the leaks to the tune of $128,000, Borg said. It’s just this kind of costly emergency repair that Providence is trying to avoid by developing a five-year master plan for major capital repairs.

The Providence schools, like so many schools in Rhode Island, are seeing the result of decades of deferred maintenance, estimated at $372.4 million for Providence alone and that was just to make the schools “warm, safe and dry.”


Boston Newspaper Guild:

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

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

Name of Union: International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA)

Mission: To promote the best interests of our members and their families; to organize unorganized workers; to bargain collectively and to negotiate; to improve the wages, hours of work, job security, work and living conditions; to secure and promote laws for the benefit of all workers; to expand educational opportunities of our members and their families; and to promote health, welfare, pension, recreational and civic programs in the interests of our members and their families.

Current Leadership of Union: Harold J. Daggett serves as international president of ILA. Daggett began his career with ILA as a mechanic with Local 1804-1 in 1967. He is a third generation ILA member who worked with Sea-Land Services for more than a decade until he was appointed as secretary-treasurer and business agent for his local. He was re-elected to that position six times, while also serving as secretary-treasurer of the New York–New Jersey District Council. In 1991, he was elected secretary-treasurer of the ILA Atlantic Coast District, a position to which he was re-elected twice. In 1998, he was elected president of ILA Local 1804-1. He began serving as an ILA executive officer in 1999, the first eight years as assistant general organizer and then four years as executive vice president. He was first elected international president of the ILA in 2011 and has been re-elected in 2015 and 2019.


CNBC: Corporate profits have soared and workers from Amazon to United Airlines are now demanding their cut

In the decade since the U.S. emerged from the recession, many industries, including airlines and automakers, have enjoyed a near uninterrupted streak of profits.

U.S. airlines, better known for their boom and bust cycles, are headed for their 10th straight year of profitability. The top four biggest airlines and three biggest automakers in the country brought in more than $25 billion in profit last year.

Now, across the U.S., workers who assemble cars, fly planes, prepare airplane food, clean hotel rooms and stock grocery store shelves, just to name a few — many of them unionized employees in the middle of contract talks — are determined to get a bigger cut of the spoils.


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weekly statistic

33 million: The number of working people who would receive a raise under a $15 minimum wage.

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Voices of Labor:

Workers at Verizon, the nation’s largest local telephone company, launched what was to become an 18-day strike over working conditions and union representation. Nearly 85,000 unionized Verizon workers joined the picket line. – 2000

The Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers is formed. It partnered with the Steel Workers Organizing Committee, CIO in 1935; both organizations disbanded in 1942 to form the new United Steelworkers. – 1876

15,000 silk workers went on strike in Paterson, N.J. for 44 hour week. – 1919

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, led by President Ron Carey, went on strike at UPS. Involving 185,000 IBT members, the strike effectively shut down UPS operations for 16 days and cost UPS hundreds of millions of dollars. This victory for the union resulted in a new contract that increased wages, secured their existing benefits and gave increased job security. – 1997



In the first half of the show, President Tim Melia and Secretary-Treasurer Domenic Pontarelli of UFCW Local 328 recap the events of the 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 job site 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.