e-news: February 27, 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.

On February 24 a special Executive Board meeting was held to elect a Secretary-Treasurer for the Rhode Island AFL-CIO to replace retiring Secretary-Treasurer Maureen Martin. Patrick Crowley of NEA Rhode Island was unanimously elected as Secretary-Treasurer. Congratulations Brother Crowley!

Rhode Island AFL-CIO wishes retiring Secretary-Treasurer Maureen Martin a long healthy enjoyable retirement. Best wishes on your next adventure. You will be missed. Enjoy and have fun!

Providence Journal: R.I. General Assembly to consider competing plans to raise taxes on high-earners

PROVIDENCE — The campaign to raise the income tax rate on Rhode Island’s highest earners has begun anew, with at least two competing proposals.

A union-backed coalition held a news conference on Tuesday to kick off its campaign to generate $128.2 million in projected new state revenue by raising the top rate from 5.99% to 8.99% on adjusted gross income above $475,000.

Senate Finance Chairman William Conley — the lead sponsor in the Senate — denounced as a “myth” the oft-heard argument that a tax hike on the rich will lead more of them to flee Rhode Island for friendlier tax climates.

“Nobody’s moving because of this,″ said Conley, D-East Providence. “Those who say they are have other reasons for doing it.”

“This is legislation which is going to keep families in Rhode Island,″ he said. “This is legislation that is going to create funds for affordable housing for those hard-working families, that is going to create an education system that makes them want to stay here in Rhode Island.”

Every speaker came to the rostrum with a wish list for the revenue, which is not earmarked for any specific purpose.

But House leaders were cool to the idea, and Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are strongly opposed because our current individual tax rate is in line with other New England states’. -READ MORE

Providence Business News: Battle looms over R.I. nursing home bill

State legislation that would hike pay rates for certified nursing assistants, would require nursing home caregivers to spend more time with each resident and would mandate additional training for nursing home employees is already garnering a lot of attention.

A union-backed group of nursing home employees, residents and community members says CNAs are underpaid and overworked in Rhode Island, and that residents don’t get enough daily time with caregivers.

Many nursing homes agree that wages are too low but contend that there is no money to increase pay. Low Medicaid reimbursements, combined with glitches in the state’s computer system that manages Medicaid approvals and payments, have drained cash reserves, according to groups that represent Rhode Island’s nursing homes.

The bill to be introduced by Sen. Maryellen Goodwin, D-Providence, on Feb. 25 calls for bumping pay rates for CNAs up to $15 an hour, for nursing home caregivers to spend at least 4.1 hours a day with each resident and additional employee training. -READ MORE

WPRI 12: Transit workers object proposal to merge RI’s transportation agencies

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ A proposal to merge the state’s transportation agencies was overwhelmingly shot down by members of a union representing the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) Friday evening.

The Amalgamated Transit Union, Division 618 & 618A, which represents most RIPTA employees, argues that the roles of RIPTA and RIDOT are completely different.

Union President Thomas Cute said while RIDOT is in charge of rehabilitating and maintaining highways, bridges, roads, and construction, RIPTA is more of a “people-moving business.”

RIDOT says the restructuring of the agencies could improve the quality, cost and reliability of public transportation statewide, but Cute said he fears it could jeopardize RIPTA’s federal funding.

“All those federal funds get utilized for transit projects like buying buses, rehabilitation of existing equipment. There’s money in the budget for rehabilitating the plaza and the tunnel up here,” Cute said. “We feel that shouldn’t change.”

Cute said RIPTA is expecting approximately $40 million from the Federal Transit Administration this year alone. He said the proposed merger would stop them from utilizing that money, and if it’s not used, he said those funds would be given to another state.

“Any of the monies that come here, we directly spend,” Cute explained. “That creates jobs and opportunity. It gives the bus rider a better experience with the equipment that we have.”


AFL-CIO: AFL-CIO Is Profiling Labor Leaders and Activists for Black History Month

For Black History Month, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various African American leaders and activists who have worked at the intersection of civil and labor rights. First, let’s take a look back at our past profiles: -SEE PROFILES

“We will fight this on every front and with every fiber of our being.” —AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) on the Trump administration’s plan to abolish collective bargaining at the DoD

For more information visit Website.

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Visit our website RhodeIslandAFLCIO.org for more information, news and events.



Voices in Labor:

Women and children textile strikers were beaten by Lawrence, Massachusetts police during a 63-day walkout protesting low wages and work speedups. – 1912

A new national child labor law passed in Congress and was declared unconstitutional in 1924. A similar law passed two years earlier was declared unconstitutional in 1918. – 1919

Congress passed a Federal Child Labor Tax Law that imposed a 10 percent tax on companies that employed children, defined as anyone under the age of 16, working in a mine/quarry or under the age of 14 in a “mill, cannery, workshop, factory, or manufacturing establishment”. The Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 1922 in Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. – 1919

District 1199 Health Care Workers became the first U.S. labor union to oppose the war in Vietnam. – 1965


Next Week on Labor Vision:

In the first half of the show, Rep, David Bennett (D) Warwick, and SEIU Healthcare 1199NE Elected Organizer, Emmanuel Falck sit down to talk about a series of issues with Erica Hammond, including the recent vote to increase the minimum wage in Rhode Island; the fact RI is the only state in New England without a minimum safe staffing requirement law, and what healthcare workers are planning to do to change that; and a shortened exchange on the need to increase pay for Direct Service Professionals that care for developmentally disabled members of society.

And in the second half of the show, a follow-up to a recent segment, we bring back Josh Homerston, President, and Nick Carnevale, V.P. of the Scituate custodians; and Sarah Markey of NEARI, to describe the outpouring of community support demonstrated after educating the public through a grassroots campaign as to the waste of privatization of services.

Cox Channel 14 & FIOS Channel 33
Tuesday @ 7pm
Thursday @ 8pm
Saturday @ 5pm
More Info on Labor Vision:
Website: http://www.LaborVisionRI.org
FaceBook: @LaborVisionRI
Twitter: @LaborVisionRI
Instagram: LaborVisionRI
YouTube: LaborVisionTV1