e-news: January 2, 2020

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.

WPRI 12: Firefighters call upon Middletown to fix ‘grossly inadequate’ staffing after New Year’s Eve fire

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Following a fire that left an 11-year-old girl and her father injured on New Year’s Eve, the Rhode Island Association of Firefighters is calling on the town to address its “grossly inadequate” staffing situation.

President of the Rhode Island Association of Firefighters Joseph Andriole said that, while emergency incidents have tripled in the town, the Middletown Fire Department’s staffing has remained unchanged for more than 30 years.

The fire broke out at a home on Woolsey Road while Middletown firefighters were responding to a medical emergency. Newport firefighters arrived on scene first and began to fight the flames.

Andriole called this unacceptable, adding that the understaffed department is draining resources from other nearby communities.

He said the fire, which also injured a Newport firefighter, is a “scary example of what we have been telling the town for a very long time.”

Andriole said the firefighter’s association has been in arbitration with the town for a while now and claims town leaders refuse to negotiate.


Article about the late Paul Russell who was a member of Ironworkers, Local 37

The Providence Journal: Here’s the story of the man who did a handstand on a railing during the Pell Bridge construction

As the Pell Bridge celebrated its 50th anniversary this past summer, The Daily News published a number of archive photos from the construction of the span that connects Newport and Jamestown.

One of those photos really stood out.

It was a man wearing a white T-shirt, jeans and boots, and he was photographed doing a handstand on one of the rails of the bridge, some 200 feet above the water. The photos that were published came with little to no caption information, so who was this death-defying man?

THE PHONE RANG and on the other end was a woman asking about the photo. She said her name is Paula Hopkins and was calling from Japan. “I think it’s my father,” she said. The Daily News sent her a high-resolution copy of the photo, one on which she could zoom in, and Hopkins confirmed it was indeed her father.

A reporter, with his interest piqued, wanted to know more about the man, and Hopkins obliged.


Label Letter:

Label Letter:

AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: NFL Players Association

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

Name of Union: NFL Players Association (NFLPA)

Mission: “To pay homage to our predecessors for their courage, sacrifice and vision;


pledge to preserve and enhance the democratic involvement of our members; [to] confirm our willingness to do whatever is necessary for the betterment of our membership—to preserve our gains and achieve those goals not yet attained.”

Current Leadership of Union: DeMaurice Smith serves as executive director of the NFLPA. He was elected unanimously in 2009 and re-elected in 2012, 2015 and 2017. Prior to serving the NFLPA, Smith was an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and counsel to former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder. Eric Winston is currently serving his third term as NFLPA president. Mark Herzlich serves as treasurer and the NFLPA has nine vice presidents: Sam Acho, Lorenzo Alexander, Zak DeOssie, Thomas Morstead, Russell Okung, Richard Sherman, Michael Thomas, Adam Vinatieri and Benjamin Watson.

Number of Members: More than 2,000.

Members Work As: Active or retired members of the National Football League (NFL).

Industries Represented: Players in the National Football League and retirees.


The Labor Network:



Tweet of the Day

“NAFTA is no more. It’s been replaced by a bill that is far more worker-friendly and more effective.” —AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) on the USMCA

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Visit our websitefor more information, news and events.

UPCOMING EVENTS:                                                        

Save our Custodians Rally

When: Tuesday, January 7 @ 6:00 p.m.

Where: Scituate High School, 94 Trimtown Road, N. Scituate, RI 02857

Details: The Scituate School Committee is considering outsourcing custodial jobs in the school district. Our permanent, dedicated custodians would be replaced by transient custodians who have not spent years working with our students and taking care of our schools. We say NO to privatization. Contact: Sarah Markey @ SMarkey@NEARI.org for more information.

Union Member Candidate Program:

If you are a Rhode Island union member who is considering running for municipal or state elective office in 2020, or who might want to serve as a campaign manager, or campaign worker, you are invited to an Open House on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at 5:30PM, at the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 328 Union Hall, 278 Silver Spring Street, Providence, RI. You can register online at  https://actionnetwork.org/events/ri-afl-cio-union-candidate-open-house.

*Before registering, please make sure that you discuss your interest with your local union leadership prior to the event and get their approval to attend. This is mandatory!

Sign-up for the next Leadership for a Future class.
The application is open and the deadline to apply is January 31, 2020.
Link to application: https://www.riilsr.org/leaf-application


Voices in Labor:

35,000 members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and the Amalgamated Transit Union working for the New York Transit Authority began a successful twelve-day strike, shutting down 135 miles of subway and 2,200 buses. The strike had an impact that was felt around the world and business losses were enormous. TWU leader Mike Quill and eight other union leaders were arrested for violating an injunction issued to end the strike. “I don’t care if I rot in jail, I will not call off the strike”, Quill said. Quill did not waver, responding at a crowded press conference “The judge can drop dead in his black robes!” The union successfully held out for a sizeable wage increase for the union. Other unions followed suit demanding similar raises. Ironically, it was Quill who dropped dead three days after the union’s victory celebration. He died of a heart attack. – 1966

Women weavers formed a union in Fall River, Massachusetts. – 1875

John L. Lewis was elected president of the United Mine Workers. Fifteen years later he would be a leader in the formation of that was to become the Congress of Industrial Organizations  (CIO). -1920


Next Week on Labor Vision:

As the General Assembly gears up for its annual session, President George Nee and Secretary-Treasurer Maureen Martin sit down with Erica Hammond for an extended look back at last year’s legislative victories and setbacks, including the Contract Continuation bill, and Firefighter OT bill; and look forward to the coming session, and the fight to bring the minimum wage on par with neighboring states, and ways to make employers pay their full share of healthcare costs, as well as making sure wage theft and overtime violations are dealt with as felonies against employees.

                                         Cox Channel 14 & FIOS Channel 33

                                        Tuesday @ 7pm

                                        Thursday @ 8pm

                                        Saturday @ 5pm