ENews: August 29, 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.

RICOSH Memo: What Price Carbon?

Comments on RI Carbon Pricing Study

In 2014 the Rhode Island General Assembly enacted the Resilient Rhode Island Act, which in turn created an Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4)composed of major state agencies(Departments of Energy, Environment, Transportation, Administration, as well as Infrastructure Bank , Coast Resources, Public Utilities etc.,)EC4’s mission is to“assess, integrate, and coordinate climate change efforts throughout state agencies toreduce emissions, strengthen the resilience of communities, and prepare for the effects of climate change.

The Climate ChangeCarbon Pricing Study

In 2017, the General Assembly amended the Resilient Rhode Island Act requiring the EC4 to study carbon pricing. It charged the EC4to “study the effectiveness of the state and/or multi-state carbon pricing program to incentivize institutions and industry to reduce carbon emissions. The study shall include the effectiveness of allocating revenues generated from such carbon pricing program to fund enhanced incentives to institutions and industry for targeted efficiency measures; projected emissions reductions; economic impact to businesses; any economic benefits to Rhode Island; and impacts to the state’s economic competitiveness if the program were implemented.”


AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: Elevator Constructors

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

Name of Union: International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC)

Mission: To promote and protect the interests of elevator constructors, with a focus on dignity, skills and the well-being of members.

Current Leadership of Union: Frank J. Christensen serves as general president, with James K. Bender II serving as assistant general president and Larry J. McGann as general secretary-treasurer.

Current Number of Members: 29,000.

Members Work As: Elevator constructors.

Industries Represented:Construction sites across industries throughout the United States and Canada.

History: On July 15, 1901, 11 men met at the Griswold Hotel in Pittsburgh. They were all elevator constructors in the early days of that field of work and they came from several cities. They drafted bylaws and a constitution, elected officers and formed the National Union of Elevator Constructors, which would later become the IUEC.

They applied for a charter and membership in the National Building Trades Council of the American Federation of Labor and were approved. The total expense of the founding convention was $13.90 and the whole process, from the launch of the convention to approval from the AFL, took three days. The elevator constructors knew what they wanted to achieve and had a pretty good idea of how to get it done.-READ MORE

Gallup: As Labor Day Turns 125, Union Approval Near 50-Year High

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sixty-four percent of Americans approve of labor unions, surpassing 60% for the third consecutive year and up 16 percentage points from its 2009 low point. This comes 125 years after President Grover Cleveland signed a law establishing the Labor Day holiday after a period of labor unrest in the U.S.

Union approval averaged 68% between Gallup’s initial measurement in 1936 and 1967, and consistently exceeded 60% during that time. Since 1967, approval has been 10 points lower on average, and has only occasionally surpassed 60%. The current 64% reading is one of the highest union approval ratings Gallup has recorded over the past 50 years, topped only in March 1999 (66%), August 1999 (65%) and August 2003 (65%) surveys.

Higher public support for unions in the past few years likely reflects the relatively good economic conditions in place, particularly low unemployment. By contrast, the lowest union approval ratings in Gallup history came from 2009 through 2012, years of high unemployment that followed the Great Recession. Gallup also observed relatively low union approval during the poor economic times in the late 1970s and early 1980s.


Economic Policy Institute: Low-wage workers are suffering from a decline in the real value of the federal minimum wage

Summary:The real value of the federal minimum wage has dropped 17% since 2009 and 31%since 1968. Workers earning the federal minimum wage today have $6,800 less per year tospend on food, rent, and other essentials than did their counterparts 50 years ago. Some stateshave raised their minimum wages beyond just the rate of inflation, and wage growth for low-wageworkers in those states is faster than in states without such increases. It’s not just minimum wageworkers who benefit: Low-wage workers in general tend to get a wage bump when the wagefloor rises. The Raise the Wage Act of 2019 would raise wages for 33.5 million workersnationwide by increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025,and would set it to updateautomatically each year based on median wage growth.

While the unemployment rate remains at historic lows and the labor market continues to tighten, wagegrowth has remainedbelow target levelsand has indeed showedsome signs of slowingin the first half of2019.1Over time,ever-tighter labor markets have been neededto generate a given pace of wage growth,in part because of the erosion of policy institutions and labor standards that support workers’ bargainingpower and leverage when they negotiate over pay with employers.


Labor 411: Labor Day Fun Around the Country.

The Labor Day weekend traditionally signifies the end of summer. But while we’re taking it easy, getting together with family and friends, or otherwise enjoying a well-earned day off, we should all remember a very basic fact. Labor Day is a holiday created by – and for – the labor movement that recognizes the contributions that working men and women to the strength, prosperity and well-being of America. The 40-hour work week? Weekends? On the job protection? We can thank unions for all these essentials and more.

For Labor Day 2019, we have highlighted a few events taking place over the August 31-Sept 2 weekend. These range from sports and cultural offerings (all of which are staffed by union employees, of course) to Labor Day parades and celebrations.  Although it happens the weekend after he holiday, we’ve also thrown in the New York City Labor Parade because…well…because it’s big.



“We entered these negotiations prepared to bargain in good faith with AT&T to address our members’ concerns and to work together to find solutions. Our talks have stalled because it has become clear that AT&T has not sent negotiators who have the power to make decisions so we can move forward toward a new contract.”CWA District 3 Vice President Richard Honeycutt

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Visit our websitefor more information, news and events.




When? Tuesday, September 3, 2019 from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM

Where? 210 Kinsley Avenue, Providence

Why? To demand a fair and equitable Contract !

Who? Teamsters Local 251 members and community supporters


House of Hope Event: Wednesday, September 11


Providence Central Federated Council Annual Fall “Fun Fest”

known as Hot Dogs and Beer Fundraising Event

When: Wednesday, September 18

Where: Scenic parking lot of UFCW, 278 Silver Spring St. Providence from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Details: Contributions are not necessary, But, if you are able to make a contribution, please do so. We need to support our friends who support issues critical to our members livelihood. Local unions can make contributions up to $1,000.


Voices of Labor:

The Mechanics Gazette, believed to be the first U.S. labor newspaper, was published in Philadelphia, the outgrowth of a strike by carpenters demanding a shorter, 10-hour day. The strike lost but labor journalism blossomed: within five years there were 68 labor newspapers across the country, many of them dailies. – 1827

The Gatling Gun Company, manufacturers of an early machine gun, wrote to B&O Railroad Company President John W. Garrett during a strike, urging that their product be purchased to deal with the “recent riotous disturbances around the country”. Says the company: “Four or five men only are required to operate (a gun), and one Gatling … can clear a street or block and keep it clear”. – 1877

The National Association of Letter Carriers formed. – 1889

The United Farm Workers Union began a lettuce strike. Sometimes called the “Salad Bowl Strike”, it was a series of strikes, mass pickets, boycotts and secondary boycotts which led to the largest farm worker strike in U.S. History. The strike was led by the United Farm Workers against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The Salad Bowl strike was in part a jurisdictional strike, because many of the actions taken during the event were not strikes. The strike led directly to the passage of the California Agricultural Labor Relation Act of 1975. – 1970-LEARN MORE


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.