E-News: August 15, 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.


For Immediate Release: July 29, 2019

RI Council 94 AFSCME Calls for Action to Protect the Public & Training School Staff

North Providence – Today, Rhode Island Training School Local 314, Rhode Island Council 94, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO issued the following statement addressing continuing concerns about safety and security at the Training School and out in the community at large.

Steve Shears, President of Local 314, stated, “We have met with DCYF administration on numerous occasions over the last year with our safety proposals, yet little progress has been made. Our highly competent staff are regularly injured due to assaults and insufficient equipment and staffing. Another problem is that RITS Staff lacks sufficient equipment/facilities to separate known rival gangs. Due to the administration’s resistance to providing protective tools, such as body armor, O.C. Pepper Foam, and safe rooms, it’s only a matter of time until another RITS staff member is grievously injured.”

President Shears continued, “Local 314 has repeatedly pointed out that DCYF’s rush to place juveniles, many of whom have committed serious crimes, back into the community has eroded public safety. In 2007 RI Training School housed approximately 150 juveniles. Today, the Training School houses around 50 juveniles.”

President Shears concluded, “In the face of overwhelming odds, our uniformed professional staff are struggling to maintain the safety and security of the Training School. Local 314 urges the Governor and General Assembly to take swift action to protect the public/state employees and avert another crisis.”

Contact: Nicole Barnard

724-5900 ext. 38–work

(917) 318-1050 -cell

RI Monthly: Why Labor Unions Are Increasing Influence

Unions have found their mojo and public approval is climbing. What’s behind it?

As negotiations entered their second month, Mike Pietros felt his optimism fade and his anger build. Pietros, fifty-three, had worked for Stop and Shop since 1998, when he was hired as a part-time meat cutter who floated from store to store. In twenty-one years, the North Providence resident had worked his way up to a meat manager’s position at the Cumberland store, and he now sat on the bargaining team for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union hammering out the terms of the next contract.

The grocery chain’s corporate parent, Ahold Delhaize, had posted a $2 billion profit in 2018, but its offers were paltry. The Netherlands-based company had proposed a small wage increase, but also a rise in workers’ health care premiums, and reductions to holiday pay and to pension benefits for new full-timers. The UFCW saw this fundamentally as a pay cut, and an attempt to create a two-tiered employee system. By the time the old contract expired on February 23, their respective positions had hardened.

“We were just treading water, and I started to get upset,” Pietros says. “The company was not taking us too seriously, but without us, they don’t have a company. We are the ones who take care of the people. The customers come in to see us, not the people in corporate. We had to send the company a message.”


WPRI Channel 12: Here’s why Victory Day is a holiday only in Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Like Del’s Lemonade or Saugy dogs, Victory Day is a unique summertime tradition in the Ocean State.

Monday is Rhode Island’s 71st annual Victory Day, continuing the state’s custom of being the only one that observes a legal holiday to mark the end of World War II. While the actual event it commemorates happened on Aug. 14, when Japan’s surrender was announced here, the holiday is now observed on the second Monday in August.

And no, despite what many residents believe, the legal name of Rhode Island’s holiday was never “V-J Day” (short for “Victory Over Japan”). It has always been called “Victory Day” on the statute books, going back to its establishment in 1948.

Rhode Island has apparently been on its own since the late 1960s or ’70s, when Arkansas dropped its version of Victory Day — known there as “World War II Memorial Day” — and reportedly gave state workers their birthdays off as a consolation. (While some websites claim Victory Day used to be a federal holiday, too, that appears to be a myth – there is no evidence for it in an authoritative 1999 U.S. Senate report on the topic.


Ironworkers Local 37 FaceBook:


Apprenticeship RI / Building Futures Twitter:

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

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

Name of Union: International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC)

Mission: To help workers in the industry deal with unfair treatment, discrimination and other workplace issues in pursuit of balancing the power that an employer has over individual employees. To provide information, training and support for bricklayers and allied craftworkers.

Current Leadership of Union: James Boland serves as president of BAC. Boland became a BAC member in 1977 and worked on projects in the San Francisco Bay Area for a decade. In 1988, he became a business agent for BAC Local 3 before being elected president in 1992. A year later, he joined BAC’s Executive Council. Boland joined the international union’s headquarters staff as assistant to the vice president. Later that year, he became regional director for California and Nevada. He served as secretary-treasurer from 1999 to 2010. He became president in 2010 and was re-elected in 2015.

Timothy J. Driscoll serves as secretary-treasurer. Gerard Scarano and Carlos Aquin serve as executive vice presidents. The executive council also includes regional vice presidents, regional directors, craft vice presidents and at-large members.

Members Work As: Bricklayers, stone and marble masons, cement masons, plasterers, tile setters, terrazzo and mosaic workers, pointers, cleaners and caulkers.


United Farm Workers Twitter:



“The question is how do we make the labor movement relevant for working people outside of our own? We are facing a tipping point, we can grow dramatically or we can continue to do things the same—we decide the future for us. Our greatest threats are our greatest opportunities.” —AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (IBEW) at the Virginia AFL-CIO State Political Conference on Saturday, Aug. 10

Are you following us on Social Media? Click on the links below.



Visit our websitefor more information, news and events.


Call (401) 463-9900 for more information on the golf tournament.


Voices of Labor:

Lane Kirkland, former AFL-CIO President from 1979-1995, died on this day. Kirkland inherited a labor movement under heavy assault. Moving quickly to stem labor’s decline, Kirkland initiated institutional innovations and secured the re-affiliation of almost all the large national unions that remained outside the AFL-CIO. Kirkland was a staunch anti-Communist and strong supporter of the Solidarity movement in Poland. – 1999

The national Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners was founded in Chicago in a gathering of 36 carpenters from 11 cities. – 1881

Based on the news that their boss, Florenz Ziegfeld, was joining the Producing Managers’ Association, the chorus girls in his Ziegfield Follies created their own union, the Chorus Equity Association. They were helped by a big donation from superstar and former chorus girl Lillian Russell. In 1955 the union merged with the Actor’s Equity Association. – 1919

Teamsters official William Grami was kidnapped, bound and beaten near Sebastopol, California. He was leading a drive to organize apple plant workers in the area. – 1955



Kathy McElroy, President of SEIU Local 580, representing workers at DCYF, sits down with Erica Hammond to talk about the recent hearing about ongoing issues in the department, the new hires to alleviate the under-staffing, and hopefully a new approach by legislators and elected officials on how to treat those forced into the worst of circumstances.

And in the second half of the show, Mike Whittaker and Dave Cookson of Beacon Mutual Life Insurance Co. sit down with Bob Delaney to talk about the dangers of heat-related illnesses while working on the job. And even while summer may be waning, everyone should still be vigilant for the signs and be careful on the job site.