E-News: december 5, 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.

Chris Callaci is general counsel for the United Nurses and Allied Professionals and represents approximately 400 active members at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital who are included in the St. Joseph’s Health Services of Rhode Island pension plan.

Providence Journal: My Turn: Chris Callaci: Putting investors above pensioners

By: Chris Callaci

James Bennett’s Nov. 8 Commentary piece (“Unjust to drag us into pension case”) on behalf of Prospect CharterCARE carefully and conveniently omits several facts and claims that reasonably explain why Prospect is a named defendant in the lawsuit seeking justice for active and retired participants in the failed St. Joseph’s Health Services of Rhode Island pension plan.J

Mr. Bennett’s attempt to absolve Prospect from liability ignores statements by his own for-profit, out-of-state corporation that one could argue were critical to assuaging concerns of key stakeholders and state regulators over the continued solvency of the St. Joseph’s pension fund.

The federal complaint in which Prospect remains a defendant makes specific and alarming allegations that Prospect committed fraud through intentional misrepresentations and omissions to the state Department of Health and the attorney general’s office — the two regulatory agencies responsible for overseeing hospital conversions. These same misrepresentations were also made to the United Nurses and Allied Professionals, as well as other plan participants.


Providence Journal: Tag Tale: A tribute to the Teamsters 251 ‘family’

From truck drivers to warehouse workers to workers at Twin River to hospital staff to bus drivers and delivery people, Teamsters Local 251 has proudly represented these fine members for decades.

From the days of Al Hylek, Jackie Amaral, Jimmy Boyajian, Francis Reddy, Jerry Blinkhorn and Charlie Burke, to Joe Barros, Stu Mundy, Joey Boyajian and Kevin Reddy, to the present administration led by Matt Taibi, Local 251 leaders have carried on the proud tradition of faithful representation of their membership, set in motion — years ago — by the founder of the Teamsters Union, James “Jimmy” Hoffa.

These men have, as my father would say, had both a frustrating but also a satisfying job to do while dealing with worker concerns and negotiating contracts.

The favorite concern of my father, Charlie, who served as a business agent for the union from 1978 to 1993, came from a worker as a late-night phone call. The worker was at Brook’s warehouse, where there were dozens of women working the night shift. It was summertime and the factory was warm and there were only a certain number of fans available to cool off the workers. The caller was complaining about the direction that the fans were pointing! It was amusing to my father at that time because there weren’t a lot of women working in the Teamsters Union. He was so used to dealing with grumpy truck drivers complaining about problems with management or problems with equipment (trucks, forklifts, etc.). To him it was refreshing to have a complaint about something as simple as the direction of a fan.


AFL-CIO: Union-Made In America Holiday Gift Ideas

It’s not too late yet to find that perfect holiday gift that carries a union label and is made in America. Below is a wide range of gift possibilities, from clothes to games to sports equipment and more, made by members of UNITE HERE, Boilermakers (IBB), Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), Machinists (IAM), United Steelworkers (USW), Teamsters (IBT), UAW, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/UFCW (RWDSU/UFCW) and United Farm Workers (UFW).

This list is compiled from Union Plus, the AFL-CIO Union Label and Service Trades Department (UL&STD) and the BCTGM website. Check them out for even more gift ideas.


The Guardian: How much does union membership benefit America’s workers?

Union membership in the US has fallen dramatically over the last generation. In 1980, one in five workers were in a union, but today it’s just one in 10. Despite that, data shows being in a union is still very effective in protecting the rights of workers and their earnings.

Data on full-time wage and salary workers comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The bureau’s numbers on weekly earnings show a clear and consistent fact: members of unions earn more than non-members.

The earnings of those represented by unions were almost identical to the earnings of those who are members (for the charts below, I used membership). Women who are members of unions earn $10 more per week than men who aren’t members of a union.


Quote of the Week

“Wall Street destroyed our economy, and they got a bail out. These workers, retirees and small businesses did everything right. Congress has a responsibility to protect the pensions they worked hard for and earned. We need to act now, before it is too late. Failure is not an option for millions of Americans.”Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in response to the GOP pension proposal

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UPCOMING EVENTS:                                                        
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Voices in Labor:

130,000 workers from 142 unions – including workers from factories, industries, services, retail stores, transportation systems, and more, declared a “work holiday” and walked off their jobs in support of striking Oakland, California, department store clerks and in opposition to police intervention that was facilitating strike-breaking activity. The Oakland General Strike lasted for two days. – 1946

Textile strikers won a 10-hour day, Fall River, Massachusetts. – 1866

The National Federation of Postal Clerks was chartered on this date. – 1906

Walter Reuther, President of the United Auto Workers, was elected head of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). Four years later, he led the merger of the CIO and the American Federation of Labor to form the AFL-CIO. -1951



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