E-News: September 12, 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.

NEARI: Addressing Mental Health in Public Schools

In November of 2018, NEARI hosted a Mental Health Summit with hundreds of educators and members. At that event, we collectively identified the areas of need to support mental health for Rhode Island students.

A smaller committee then met and put together this final document. It is our hope that with community partners we can use these recommendations to guide mental health advocacy for our students on the state and local level. We are in the midst of a mental health crisis and our students are counting on us.

Read the statement of values compiled by the committee [link button below]. Hard copies are available to NEARI locals by request. Email request to: smarkey@neari.org

“Addressing mental health in our schools is crucial. We are making this document available because our educators and education support professionals see firsthand every day that their students need mental health supports. The people who educate and nurture Rhode Island’s students want resources to help their kids. Let’s continue the conversation from their recommendations and work together to make it happen.” – NEARI President Larry Purtill

Read the Statement of Values on Mental Health

Press Release:

***Note about article below: The writer of this column is Paul F. Cole, Executive Director of the American Labor Studies Center and Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus of the New York State AFL-CIO. He served as the Vice President of the American Federation of Teachers. He holds degrees from Marquette University and Canisius College.

Albany Times Union: People of faith and unions share values

When the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered in Memphis, he was helping the city’s black sanitation workers protest their abysmal pay and dangerous working conditions. The workers went on strike after two of their coworkers were crushed to death in a garbage truck compactor. Before King was assassinated, he marched with those sanitation workers. Many of them wore signs that stated: “I Am a Man.”

Cesar Chavez often expressed gratitude to the priests, pastors and rabbis who stood by him as he organized farmworkers who desperately needed to negotiate their poverty level wages and endless work days under the blazing sun.

Justice for workers surely must be in the DNA of religious faith. Sacred texts of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Sikhs address the topic. The Israelites, with God as their champion, rebelled against their Egyptian enslavement.


Read the Fall/Winter Newsletter from RICOSH —-> NEWSLETTER

R.I. Labor History:

85 years ago today, Set 12, 1934, the Saylesville Massacre took place. It was the 3rd day of a running street battle in the mill village of Saylesville, RI and by the end of it 2 men – William Blackwood and Charles Gorcynski – would be shot dead by the forces of the State.

AFL-CIO: Get to know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: Operating Engineers

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

Name of Union: International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE)

Mission: To serve the needs and develop the skills of a constantly expanding and varied group of construction and maintenance professionals through collective bargaining, legislative action and extensive skills training programs.

Current Leadership of Union: James T. Callahan serves as the general president of IUOE. He was first elected in 2011. Previously, he served as international vice president and business manager of IUOE Local 15 in New York. Callahan was one of many operating engineers who responded immediately on 9/11, and he worked the entire recovery effort at Ground Zero.

Brian E. Hickey serves as general secretary-treasurer. IUOE also has 14 vice presidents: Russell E. Burns, James M. Sweeney, Robert T. Heenan, Daniel J. McGraw, Daren Konopaski, Michael Gallagher, Greg Lalevee, Terrance E. McGowan, Randall G. Griffin, Douglas W. Stockwell, Ronald J. Sikorski, James T. Kunz Jr., Edward J. Curly and Charlie Singletary.

Current Number of Members: 400,000.


Yahoo Finance: Unions under attack as their approval ratings soar

President Trump took to Twitter on Labor Day to attack AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, slamming him for his criticism of Trump’s trade deals. The AFL-CIO is the country’s largest coalition of more than 50 major unions and represents some 12.5 million American workers, from pilots to teachers.

dump their unions and stop paying “exorbitant” fees.” data-reactid=”16″>In his tweet, Trump claimed that union workers would not only vote for him in 2020, but should dump their unions and stop paying “exorbitant” fees.

Economic Policy Institute (EPI).” data-reactid=”17″>But even before Trump lashed out at Trumka, labor unions have been under attack in the United States from conservative politicians and employers alike. “Working people have been thwarted” in their attempts to unionize and collectively bargain, says a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

“It’s been a decades-long attack on working people,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler. “It’s been a slow decline from our peak in the 70’s — it’s been trailing off year after year primarily because of our broken labor laws.”

“It’s been a multifaceted attack because most of the people in power don’t want to see working people have a slice of that power. We are the last institution left standing to bring the collective strength of working people together to fight back,” she said.


Labor 411: New Report: The 10 Worst States For Workers Are ‘Right To Work’, While The 10 Best Are Not

If you are looking for the best states for workers, steer clear of “right to work” states, says a new study.

The Oxfam America report reveals that the ten worst states to work in America are the following, which are all “right to work:” Louisiana, Tennessee, North Dakota, Idaho, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Virginia.

And the ten best, none of which are “right to work,” are District of Columbia, California, Washington, Massachusetts, Maine, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, and Minnesota.

Oxfam relied on three indicators for their rankings: wage standards, worker protection, and right to organize. Oxfam also notes that “good ratings on labor policies definitely relate to positive economic and health indicators. For example, states with higher scores have longer life expectancy and lower infant mortality rates.”


Labor 411: Kick Off the Football Season with Ethical Brews

The wait is over. Football season, with all its intrigue, triumph and heartbreak, is back. That means parties will be thrown, jerseys will be worn and beer will be consumed in great amounts. The choices of brews available in your local supermarket or liquor store could practically stretch the length of a football field, but how many of those brews are ethically made by companies that give their employees a voice on the job? Consult the list below or go to the Labor 411 directory for a complete list of more than 250 smart choices. Here’s to the return of football season, and let’s all rush our way to a stronger America.



AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (IBEW) spoke about the future of work and workers this morning at the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future in Washington, D.C. Shuler outlined why the debate about the future of work must include workers: “Innovation and inequality go right through the labor movement. Worker voice and bargaining power are essential in any conversation about the work of the future.”

AFL-CIO: Want Power? Join a Union!


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UPCOMING EVENTS:                                                          

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:

Boston police walked off the job during the strike wave that was spreading across the country. The police had affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, prompting the police commissioner to suspend 19 of them for their organizing efforts, forcing others to go on strike in solidarity. Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge announced that none of the strikers would be rehired and he called in the state police to crush the strike. An entirely new police force was ultimately created from unemployed veterans of World War I. – 1919

More than 3,000 people died when suicide hijackers crashed planes into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field. Among the dead in New York were 634 union members, the majority of them New York City firefighters and police on the scene when the towers fell.- 2001

Crystal Lee Sutton, the real-life Norma Rae of the movies, died at age 68. She worked at a J.P. Stevens textile plant in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina when low pay and poor working conditions led her to become a union activist. She was fired from her job for “insubordination” after she copied an anti-union letter posted on the company bulletin board. – 2009



In the first half of the show, Sen. Sandra Cano (D) Pawtucket, sits down with Thom Cahir to talk about the need to count every person in Rhode Island during the upcoming 2020 census; especially those in under-counted populations, or fear losing a congressional seat and the funding for vital programs that goes with it.

And in the second part of the show, The R.I. Building Trades join Governor Gina Raimondo and the RI Congressional Delegation to outline the expansion of operations at local ports in Providence and Quonset Point which provide good-paying jobs in the offshore wind industry.