E-NEWS: April 30, 2020

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.



CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 RESOURCES

You can find some helpful resources on our website.
Share this link: https://rhodeislandaflcio.org/coronavirus-covid-19

Contact information from RI AFL-CIO Conference Call on 4/7/2020

https://centerforjustice.org/ 491-1101

https://www.uwri.org/ 2-1-1 or 444-0600

https://capitalgoodfund.org/ 866-584-3651



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An excellent Q&A between R.I. AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Crowley and Eric Loomis.

Lawyers, Guns and Money: Organized Labor and COVID-19: A Conversation

This post is a conversation between myself and Patrick Crowley, Secretary-Treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO and staffer for the National Education Association-Rhode Island, about organized labor and the response to COVID-19.

EL: The first bailout provided at least some workers with $1200 per person. But that’s far less than is needed for people to survive when they are not working. What does organized labor think the next bailout should entail?

PC: You’re right, but that’s not all it did. On the positive side, and one I wish got more attention, are provisions protecting collective bargaining and actually encourage union organizing. Section 4003 of the CARES Act says that for loans to mid sized companies from the Fed, that is between 500 and 10,000 workers, “The borrower will not abrogate existing collective bargaining agreements for the loan duration and for two years after completing loan repayment, and will remain neutral in any union organizing effort for the loan duration.” I’m not claiming that this provision is a 21st Century Section 7A of the National Industrial Recovery Act, but it is something, and the next package should have more like it. -READ MORE


An excellent Opinion piece in the Boston Globe by Chas Walker, former SEIU, District 1199 organizer.

Boston Globe: Poverty wages in nursing homes have accelerated the coronavirus outbreak

Before the current crisis, nursing home work was already harried and backbreaking.

Each passing day brings news of another outbreak of COVID-19 at a nursing home or assisted living facility in Massachusetts. On April 4, The Boston Globe reported that state health officials had found outbreaks in at least 94 senior facilities; by April 20 there were 214 such facilities with multiple cases of infection. As of this writing, 1,059 residents of long-term care facilities in Massachusetts have died from the virus, a shocking 54 percent of the 1,961 total deaths statewide.

These figures will continue to rise, because although the virus can affect anyone, the residents of long-term care facilities are particularly susceptible to COVID-19, given dynamics such as age, underlying illnesses, and their proximity to one another (including shared rooms and bathrooms) and to their caregivers. But these commonly accepted factors are not the only reason COVID-19 is proliferating in our nursing homes: The poverty wages paid to caregivers and the understaffing of our long-term care facilities are also to blame.

-READ MORE


RICOSH Prepared a Factsheet on Respirators.

Here is the link—->https://tinyurl.com/ya8xvy47


GoFundMe Page


Providence Journal: Warwick to lay off as many as 50 city workers

WARWICK — Mayor Joseph J. Solomon announced Wednesday that the city will lay off up to 50 workers to make up for a budget shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

He said in a statement that the layoffs were necessary after the union that represents municipal workers refused a request to forego a scheduled pay raise.

“During this unprecedented time of economic instability, when most municipalities are facing drastic losses in revenue, I believed it was a fair and equitable request to ask our Union to forego a 2.75% raise in exchange for job security and continued healthcare for themselves and their families so that we could keep our budget balanced while saving our taxpayers from additional hardship,” Solomon said.

“However, the Union rejected our proposal: when presented with the options on the table, the Union opted as a body to choose raises for some and pink slips for others,” the mayor continued. “That is within the Union’s purview to choose. It is not a decision I would have made, as I do not want to add any of our employees to Rhode Island’s already skyrocketing unemployment list. However, I conveyed the available options to the Union and told them I would abide by their decision.”READ MORE


UFCW: Stop & Shop and UFCW issue Joint Statement Calling for Grocery Workers To Be Classified As First Responders

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Stop & Shop and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) issued a joint statement calling on federal and state governments to designate associates at grocery stores as “extended first responders” or “emergency personnel.”

Stop & Shop and UFCW additionally announced that a 10 percent increase in pay for union hourly store associates would be extended through May 30. Stop & Shop and UFCW first announced the pay increase on March 22, along with flexible hours for associates and up to two weeks of additional paid sick leave for associates required to quarantine by government authorities or by the company.

Stop & Shop President Gordon Reid and UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“Stop & Shop workers, who are also UFCW members, across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York have worked to make sure that families have the food and groceries they need during these difficult times. Make no mistake, Stop & Shop associates are essential workers and they deserve essential protections.

“Stop & Shop and UFCW have worked together to provide these workers with benefits and protections during this health crisis, including emergency pay raises, additional paid sick leave, and access to KN95 masks and face shields, but even more can be done for these workers.

“We are urgently requesting our nation’s state and federal leaders temporarily designate these workers as first responders or emergency personnel. This critical status would help ensure our state’s essential grocery workers have priority access to testing, emergency childcare, and other protections to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy.

“For the sake of workers, their families, and our nation’s food supply, this action will provide grocery workers with the vital protections they deserve.”



WATCH VIDEO


WATCH VIDEO


WATCH VIDEO




For more information visit Website.


Are you following Rhode Island AFL-CIO on Social Media? Click on the links below.

FaceBook: @riaflcio

Twitter: @riaflcio

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


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Limited seating. Sign-up HERE



THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Voices in Labor:

The first strike for the 10 hour day occurred on this date by Boston carpenters. – 1825

The final strike of the education strike wave of 2018 happened in Colorado. Lasting until May 12th, this strike was not as successful as the previous three, ending with an agreement for a 2% pay raise. Just before the strike, Republican State Senator Bob Gardner introduced a bill that would terminate, fine, and even send to jail, any teacher going on strike. The bill was quickly struck down. – 2018

Congress approved the creation of OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (only to watch idly as it was gutted by Reagan, and again by his successors). The AFL-CIO declared April 28 “Workers Memorial Day” to honor the hundreds of thousands of working people killed and injured on the job every year. – 1970.

-LEARN MORE


This week onLabor Vision

The Labor Vision at Home Edition continues. Check out the latest episodes on our website: www.LaborVisionRI.org.

Never miss a segment. Like us on Facebook (@LaborVisionRI), follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube page (LaborVisionTV1).


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

E-news: april 23, 2020

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.



CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 RESOURCES

You can find some helpful resources on our website.
Share this link: https://rhodeislandaflcio.org/coronavirus-covid-19

Contact information from RI AFL-CIO Conference Call on 4/7/2020

https://centerforjustice.org/ 491-1101

https://www.uwri.org/ 2-1-1 or 444-0600

https://capitalgoodfund.org/ 866-584-3651



A Statement regarding the termination of educator and NEA Tiverton President Amy Mullen
“This is by far the most egregious attack on a teacher and union leader I’ve seen in my 28 years at NEA Rhode Island, said NEARI Executive Director Robert A. Walsh, Jr. “Amy Mullen is a 25-year educator in Tiverton and has served as NEA Tiverton president for 20. She advocates for her special education students, their families and NEA Tiverton members every day. That is why when she learned Superintendent Sanchioni was moving forward with a distance-learning plan without input from teachers, she asked if they could discuss the plan.   “Amy offered no hardline union negotiations. No hold up of distance learning. She asked a question. And she was terminated for it . “Instead of working collaboratively within the framework of the collective bargaining agreement – which the Superintendent has failed to do on multiple occasions – Sanchioni and the Tiverton School Committee chose to silence Amy and prohibit her from speaking to her members, parents and students. In so doing, they violated her First Amendment rights and opened themselves up to personal liability in addition to their official capacity.
“Peter Sanchioni, aided and abetted by the Tiverton School Committee, is a bully and long ago proved himself a union obstructionist in his negotiation tactics and refusal to bargain or allow Amy to attend to her duties. They have demonstrated a clear disdain for the union and union activities and have set out repeatedly and with animus to diminish a local union president – just dig through the grievances and unfair labor practices that have piled up since Sanchioni has been in town.
“In fact, First Amendment violations are nothing new for Peter Sanchioni – they cost the Town of Natick, MA $70,000.
“Amy was not fired for any reason having to do with her job performance as a teacher. I have no doubt Amy will prevail in her suit and she has the full support of the entire labor movement across the State of Rhode Island.”


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ABC 6 News: New England Laborers Union shows support to RI health care workers

PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE) – Representatives from the Laborers Union’s New England region drove by Women and Infants and Rhode Island Hospital to show support to their health care workers.

The Laborers Union drove by the Providence hospitals with a large truck with a digital sign saying several different messages of appreciation to the doctors, nurses and staff helping the fight against COVID-19. -VIEW PICTURES


PROVIDENCE JOURNAL: Union members demonstrate at Butler Hospital. Their demand: N95 masks for all

PROVIDENCE — Unionized workers at Butler Hospital staged a drive-by demonstration along Blackstone Boulevard on Tuesday to oppose what they said was the hospital’s inequitable distribution of N95s, the advanced form of face masks being used when dealing with patients with COVID-19.

The union claimed that while nurses and emergency-room staff were given N95s, other classifications of workers such as housekeepers and dietary, clerical and social workers, were not.

In an interview, Dr. Raymond Powrie, executive chief of medicine for Care New England, and Robin Neale, the health system’s director of infection prevention, said the hospital was following federal guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.READ MORE


VIEW PICTURES


VIEW PICTURES


VIEW PICTURES


Providence Journal: Providence firefighters using Zoom to consult with doctors during rescue calls

PROVIDENCE — As they deal with a pandemic, the city’s fire rescue crews are trying out a new technique.

From the scene of the rescue call, the Providence firefighters make contact with a doctor, via Zoom, on an iPad. The doctor’s input, based in part on vital signs and other information that firefighters provide electronically, can head off an unnecessary emergency visit to the hospital.

The Providence firefighters’ recent foray into the field of “telemedicine” is a direct consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Local doctors and the city’s fire rescue crews are trying out the technique, on a trial basis, to see if telemedicine can provide efficiencies that would help conserve emergency medical personnel and equipment for needed hospital visits, according to public safety officials.

READ MORE


Providence Journal: As risk rises in R.I. group homes, so does call for hazard pay

Even in normal years, the health workers who care for some of society’s most vulnerable — many earning about $13 an hour — toil on the periphery of attention; the fight for increased wages and against more cuts in state funding is a perennial struggle.

One battlefront in the coronavirus war became too much for Elizabeth Jalbert last week.

“They said I shouldn’t be able to go out [on leave] because of fear, but I have four kids at home to worry about,” said the 30-year-old behavioral specialist, whose work required her to bounce between two residential group homes to care for children with severe developmental disabilities.

Both homes, one in Warwick, the other in Smithfield, have staff who tested positive for the coronavirus, said representatives in Jalbert’s union, District 1199 of the Service Employees International Union. “But I worry about bringing it home” — the virus. “We’re all doing this without any hazard pay. So I’m planning on taking a leave.”

-READ MORE


AFL-CIO: Safety First: Working People’s Plan for Reopening the Economy the Right Way

Every day, health care workers, transit workers, meatpacking workers, first responders, grocery workers, utility workers, letter carriers, construction workers, doormen, retail workers, child protective service workers, factory workers, solid waste workers, corrections officers, janitors and other workers are being exposed to the coronavirus in U.S. workplaces. Hundreds of thousands of workers have been infected and thousands have died. The failure of federal and state governments to meet the following urgent needs before lifting or relaxing preventive measures that are currently reducing the number of cases and deaths due to COVID-19 will result in more working people falling sick and dying and more economic damage. Nothing would be worse for the economy than a premature reopening followed by an explosion of the disease and a second shutdown. Putting worker safety first is the first step in any viable plan to save lives, defeat the coronavirus and revive the economy, as the AFL-CIO has further laid out in America’s Five Economic Essentials.

1. Workers must have a say in these decisions at every level: workplace, industry, city, state and federal. Working people are the ones whose lives and health are on the line, and workers and our unions must have a role in deciding whether it is safe to go to work.

READ MORE


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For more information visit Website.


Are you following Rhode Island AFL-CIO on Social Media? Click on the links below.

FaceBook: @riaflcio

Twitter: @riaflcio

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


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Limited seating. Sign-up HERE



THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Voices in Labor:

Some 12,500 Goodyear Tire workers went on strike at nine plants in what was to become a three-week walkout over job security, wage, and benefit issues. – 1997

10,000 demonstrators celebrated textile workers’ win of a 10-percent pay hike and grievance committees after a one-month strike in Lowell, Massachusetts. – 1912

The National Association of Post Office Mail Handlers, Watchmen, Messengers & Group Leaders merged with Laborers. – 1968

United Auto Workers members ended a successful 172-day strike against International Harvester, protesting management demands for new work rules and mandatory overtime provisions. – 1980

-LEARN MORE


This week onLabor Vision

The Labor Vision at Home Edition continues. Check out the lasted episodes on our website: www.LaborVisionRI.org.

Never miss a segment. Like us on Facebook (@LaborVisionRI), follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube page (LaborVisionTV1).


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

e-news: April 16, 2020

The United Steelworkers and the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers unions merged to form the largest industrial union in North America. – 2005Rhode 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.



CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 RESOURCES

You can find some helpful resources on our website.
Share this link: https://rhodeislandaflcio.org/coronavirus-covid-19

Contact information from RI AFL-CIO Conference Call on 4/7/2020

https://centerforjustice.org/ 491-1101

https://www.uwri.org/ 2-1-1 or 444-0600

https://capitalgoodfund.org/ 866-584-3651



AFL-CIO: Rhode Island AFL-CIO Helps Coordinate Distance Learning

With American students learning from home, teachers, school staffers and their unions are stepping up in a variety of ways to create innovative solutions to meet the educational needs of young people during the coronavirus pandemic.

In Rhode Island, the AFT and the National Education Association (NEA) are working closely with Gov. Gina Raimondo, and the Rhode Island AFL-CIO is helping coordinate their efforts.

After Raimondo decided to close all of Rhode Island’s schools on March 23, one of the first things she did was reach out to the leaders of AFT and NEA to ask for their help with developing distance learning programs so students would continue to receive a quality education. The unions together represent about 12,000 teachers and school support staff across Rhode Island.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be perfect, but it’s been phenomenal so far,” said Pat Crowley (NEA), the newly elected secretary-treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO. “Teachers are going above and beyond the call of duty, improvising as they go along and getting lesson plans ready for this new world.”  ~READ MORE


UFCW Local 328: First Unionized Cannabis Workers in Rhode Island Win Bonus Pay Program

Perfect Union, one of the nation’s premier cannabis dispensary operations and the parent company of Ocean State Cultivation Center, a facility located in Warwick, Rhode Island, announced the extension of their retail-industry leading coronavirus bonus pay program for employees. The company, which operates vertically integrated dispensaries in California, New Mexico and Rhode Island began paying all employees an additional $2.50/hour on March 16th .

The bonus pay extends to over 200 dedicated Perfect Union employees, including those working in cultivation, distribution, manufacturing and retail. Most of the employees are members of our United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union. The UFCW has been a big advocate of creating a meaningful bonus pay structure for their members who are working during these challenging times to provide essential services to others. In September 2019, the employees at Ocean State Cultivation Center became the first cannabis workers in Rhode Island to unionize when they joined UFCW Local 328. During this crisis, they are working hard to cultivate safe and reliable medicine for patients across the state of Rhode Island.

-READ MORE


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WPRI Channel 12: ‘We don’t feel valued’: Staff at Pawtucket group home demand hazard pay, safer staffing

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Staff at The Arc of Blackstone Valley group home in Pawtucket are fed up with management, telling Eyewitness News that their dedication to their residents throughout the pandemic has been severely undervalued.

In what appears to be part of the “new normal,” employees of the facility participated in a caravan protest Wednesday afternoon, driving back and forth while honking their horns and holding up signs in front of the building.

Monica Scott, a direct support staff worker at the group home, said she hopes the caravan will convince management to provide its employees with hazard pay. She believes it’s the least they can do since their employees are putting their lives on the line every time they clock in.

“We don’t feel valued,” Scott said. “We could be at home collecting and getting $600 a week – which we don’t even make $600 a week here working without making overtime.”

-READ MORE


A letter of some good deeds happening in RI sent to R.I. Council 94 AFSCME
President J. Michael Downey

President Downey, I am writing to inform you of Local 528 members efforts to provide masks to our co-workers and other frontline workers. Several efforts are underway.
First Jessica Pena a 17hr housekeeper working in FS has helped to create a group of people in South County. They are using fabric/ elastic to create fabric masks and distributing them to frontline workers including members of Local 528. More info on Jessica’s group can be found on Face book South County Masketeers. They have produced a large number of masks for local grocery workers, pharmacy workers, and other frontline workers.
Deb Prior Housekeeper in FS is also sewing masks for our members. She has done this on her own initiative and to date has helped to provide several dozen mask to Local 528 members at URI.
In Dining Services a small group of members including but not limited to Diana Bebeault, Debbie Castrovillari, Carl hull among others. These ladies are also sewing masks and providing to our members.
President Dooley’s wife Lynn also has made some masks for our members.
Good example of something positive taking place.
In Solidarity, —
Mike McDonald President Local 528 Rhode Island Council 94 AFSCME, AFL- CIO Roosevelt Hall University of Rhode Island Kingston, RI 02881 (401) 874-2100/ (401) 742-5817 mmcdonalduri@gmail.com


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Providence Journal: She’s on the front lines of the coronavirus battle, cleaning the ER

Alice Morais awoke at 5:45 a.m. to get ready for duty at the state’s biggest emergency department.

She was about to battle coronavirus, though in a role often overlooked.

Alice, 54, has been on Rhode Island Hospital’s housekeeping staff for 18 years.

Her job is to clean and disinfect the ER, including rooms with COVID-19 patients.

These past weeks, while many have sheltered, she has found herself on the front lines.

As she came downstairs in her East Providence home, dressed in her standard blue uniform, she paused to take a knee and send an extra prayer:

“Thank you, God, for this new day, and please keep people safe from this virus.”

Her husband, Eduardo, now retired from his job as a fiberglass man at TPI boat builders, was in the kitchen making her coffee.

For energy, he stirred in three spoonfuls of brown flour, a touch from her native Cape Verde.

It’s where Alice grew up, daughter of a fisherman who brought the family to Rhode Island for a better life in 1985.  -READ MORE


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Time: The Country Won’t Work Without Them. 12 Stories of People Putting Their Lives on the Line to Help Others During Coronavirus

The term “frontline workers” often conjures images of doctors in Hazmat suits and soldiers in uniform. But during the coronavirus outbreak, workers across a vast array of industries have found themselves essential parts of the machine that keeps the world in motion, required to do their jobs despite great risk—whether hog farm employees or bus drivers, mental health counselors or police officers. Here, as part of TIME’s new issue, frontline workers of all types share their triumphs and fears in their own voices.READ THEIR STORIES



For more information visit Website.


Are you following Rhode Island AFL-CIO on Social Media? Click on the links below.

FaceBook: @riaflcio

Twitter: @riaflcio

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


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Nursing Home Heroes Carvan 2 (Greenville)

Nursing home workers and direct support professionals caring for adults with developmental disabilities are front line heroes of the Covid-19 crisis. These front line caregivers are underpaid, under-equipped, and understaffed. Join our automobile caravans to help them demand hazard pay, #PPE, and safe staffing. The owners of these facilities have refused to increase workers’ pay despite an increase in federal and state dollars to better compensate caregivers.

Thursday, April 16 at 2:45 pm

Meetup: 870 Westminster St. Providence

RSVP on Facebook or RI@seiu1199ne

——————————————

Treasurer Magaziner is Hosting a Virtual Town Hall for Members of Rhode Island’s Retirement System

Members of the retirement system are invited to join R.I. Treasurer Seth Magaziner for a virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday, April 21 at 5 p.m.

During the one-hour meeting, Treasurer Magaziner will discuss the State’s response to COVID-19 pandemic, the pension system, and steps the system is taking to improve member service.

The Treasurer will be joined by Frank Karpinski, Director of Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island (ENSRI) for a Q&A session.

Here is the Link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/9187798843914578189



THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Voices in Labor:

Seventeen were arrested on felony riot charges after police tear-gassed striking Hormel meatpacking workers in Austin, Minnesota. The following day, 6,000 people demonstrated against Hormel and the police (nearly one-third of the city’s entire population). The strike was eventually suppressed by Hormel, with the collaboration of the state, and the workers’ own union. – 1986

31,000 Stop & Shop workers in New England struck for 11 days costing the company up to $110 million in profits. Workers went back to work after ratifying a contract that preserved their health and pension benefits and raised employee pay. – 2019

The Union Label and Service Trades Department was founded by the American Federation of Labor. Its mission was to promote the products and services of union members. – 1909

-LEARN MORE


This week on Labor Vision

•Newly-elected Coalition of Labor Union Women – RI chapter President, Desiree Leclair, sits down with Erica Hammond to talk about the changes being made to the “Help A Sister Out, Period!” campaign, in lieu of the COVID-19 Crisis.

• Jay Walsh, Executive Director of the URI/AAUP, joins Erica Hammond on Labor Vision’s At Home Edition to discuss the ways in which members and the University as a whole have addressed the COVID-19 Crisis. Jay also highlights some of the ways URI faculty are actively working to combat the crisis using the resources they have at the university.

• Erica Hammond sits down with Larry Purtill, President of NEARI to discuss the recent shift to distance learning made by educators across the state. Larry outlines the special circumstances and how students and teachers are adapting to these changes in education due to the COVID-19 crisis.

• What’s Up at the Institute – COVID-19 updates with co-hosts Robert Delaney and Erica Hammond with guests Fatima Martin and Sabine Adrian.


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

e-news: April 9, 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.



CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 RESOURCES

You can find some helpful resources on our website.
Share this link: https://rhodeislandaflcio.org/coronavirus-covid-19

Contact information from RI AFL-CIO Conference Call on 4/7/2020

https://centerforjustice.org/ 491-1101

https://www.uwri.org/ 2-1-1 or 444-0600

https://capitalgoodfund.org/ 866-584-3651



VIEW LARGER



-LEARN MORE


Union Plus: Free Webinar on 4/15: Managing Your Money During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Union Plus and Money Management International are pleased to present, “Managing Your Money During the Coronavirus Pandemic,” a free webinar to offer financial strategies for navigating the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

During the “Managing Your Money During the Coronavirus Pandemic” webinar, you will be offered practical tips and action plans for managing financial pressure and dealing with creditors during this challenging time.
Sign-up here


Watch Video


Watch Video

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Rhode Island Monthly: COVID Chronicles: Firefighter Scott RobinsonFirefighter, EMT-C, union head, behavioral health guru: Scott Robinson does it all. (In case you missed it: Robinson’s work on mental health in the fire service was featured in our February 2020 story, “The Things They Carry.”) Now, he’s on the frontlines of the coronavirus epidemic in Cranston, a hotspot for positive cases. We caught up with Robinson to see how his work has changed since the start of the outbreak.

Rhode Island Monthly: First off, how have you been doing?
Scott Robinson: I’m doing well. I think our training as first responders — operating in “go mode” and being able to adapt to ever changing environments — has definitely helped me and my brothers and sisters continue to work and be focused on the present situation and not get caught up in “what if” scenarios.

RIM: How have things been at the firehouse? I heard some folks had to quarantine.
SR: We have two firefighters quarantined out of an abundance of caution because they responded for a person injured after a fall who tested positive for COVID. They are doing great and should return this week. And we had two firefighters who were traveling home from outside the country when this all broke so they self-quarantined. They are both back to work. The firehouse is the firehouse. But there definitely is an air of uncertainty and worry from the firefighters. There is an underlying worry with all of us that we will unwittingly carry the virus home to our families. -READ MORE


The Providence Journal: What does virtual learning look like for a special education teacher?

PROVIDENCE — Stephanie Zonfrillo’s physical classroom is closed, but she brings Room 304 to her students in all of its noisy, colorful detail every morning.

Zonfrillo, accompanied by her two daughters, is teaching from her basement in Warwick. Her seven students, most of whom have significant developmental disabilities, connect via zoom from their kitchens or living rooms in Providence.

Welcome to the new era of distance learning, something unimaginable to most teachers in Rhode Island three weeks ago, something that has become the new normal, thanks to a pandemic that doesn’t respect classroom walls.

When state education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green announced that schools had to submit plans for on-line learning last month, there was a lot of hand-wringing.

We don’t have enough laptops. Poor families will be left behind. Teachers lack the training to pull this off. Students will spend their days on TikTok. -READ MORE


AFL-CIO: In Memoriam: Union Members Lost in COVID-19 Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the United States, our sisters, brothers and friends in the labor movement are among the first casualties. It is important for us to work together during this crisis to prevent further deaths. It is important to thank those who are doing the work to keep us safe and fed. It is important to remember those who we lost because of the coronavirus.

This list includes those deaths we have currently learned of. If you aware of additional union members we should include on this list, please send details to kquinnell@aflcio.org and we will add them to the list.

-SEE LIST


New York Times: We are the First Responders

In their own words, workers across the country who have no choice but to confront the pandemic describe life in a changed world.

As states and cities across the country have closed schools, businesses and public spaces and as governors have ordered residents to stay home as much as possible, millions of Americans have continued to show up for work. Some can’t work from home but can’t risk losing their jobs and income. Some hold jobs that are critical to the functioning of our society. For many, both things are true. Day by day, they confront the stark new realities of life in a pandemic and adapt as best they can. These are their stories.When Fasika Getahun, 48, finishes her shift as a custodian at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle each day, she goes home exhausted but excited to see her seven kids. She’s a single mom who immigrated from East Africa, and it’s gratifying to come home to see them healthy and happy.

READ THEIR STORIES


The Nation: ‘We Will Not Sit Back and Let Transit Workers Be Treated Like Cannon Fodder’

Transit workers across the United States and Canada paused at 7:10 pm ET on Friday, March 27, for a moment of silence to honor the memory of Scott Ryan, a bus driver in Snohomish County, Washington, who was the first member of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) to die of Covid-19.

Ryan, a 41-year-old father of three, was a shop steward with ATU Local 1576 in the Everett, Washington, region—an area north of Seattle that is near one of the initial hot spots for the spread of the coronavirus. Local papers reported that he was one of 10 workers in his Community Transit workplace that had tested positive or presumptive positive for the coronavirus.

Ryan’s death was not the only one last week. Members of Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) Local 100 in New York City mourned the deaths of conductor Peter Patrassi and bus operator Oliver Cyrus, the first of their union brothers and sisters to succumb to Covid-19.

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The Hill: Grocery unions protect workers and save lives

Researchers have long known that unionized workplaces – whether in mining, construction, manufacturing or warehouses – are significantly safer for employees than non-union workplaces. Now we are learning in real time that the same is true for grocery workers, who have been unexpectedly thrust onto the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. Previously treated as “unskilled” and “disposable,” grocery workers are now recognized as essential personnel who are helping to keep millions of Americans alive.

From coast to coast, United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) locals are pushing grocery corporations to adopt measures that will help protect both workers and shoppers. They are also lobbying state and local governments to enact critical worker safety policies, such as reclassifying grocery clerks as essential personnel, providing access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and imposing limits on the number of people admitted to stores at any one time.

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Labor 411: Become an Ethical Chairman of the Board (game)

We get it. It’s no fun to be stuck indoors. You can call us old-fashioned, but Labor 411 suggests that one way to help to pass the time is to ditch the screens, silence the cells, warm up those dice rolling hands and make it a family game night. The games on the list below are enduring classics, the kind of entertainment that entertained your parents (and possibly even your grandparents) for days and nights on end. They also come with the added bonus of being manufactured by ethical companies that treat their workers fairly and give them a voice on the job. A special shout out to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) whose members make these classics.

By buying union, you are supporting good jobs and helping to strengthen the middle class. Stay safe at home and let’s all play our way to a stronger America. -SEE LIST



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UPCOMING EVENTS:

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THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Voices in Labor:

The National Federation of Telephone Workers (NFTW) launched the first nationwide strike against AT&T and Bell. As many as 300,000 telephone workers walked off the job. By mid-May, 37 of the 39 member unions had won new contracts with raises. NFTW became the Communications Workers of America later that year. – 1947

15,000 SEIU Local 1877 union janitors went on strike in Los Angeles, California. – 2000

National Labor Relations Board attorney Melton Boyd told ILWU members to “lie down like good dogs” in  Juneau, Alaska. – 1947

What was to become a two-month strike by minor league umpires began, largely over money: $5,500 to $15,000 for a season running 142 games. The strike ended with a slight improvement in pay. – 2006

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This week on Labor Vision

• Desiree Leclair, newly-elected President of CLUW RI talks about “Help A Sister Out, Period!” and other group initiatives.

• From the California Newsreel documentary, “At the River I Stand,” about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s trip to Memphis to march with sanitation workers looking to organize with AFSCME.


Cox Channel 14 & FIOS Channel 33
Tuesday @ 7pm
Thursday @ 8pm
Saturday @ 5pm
                               
More Info on Labor Vision:
Website: http://www.LaborVisionRI.org
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Twitter: @LaborVisionRI
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e-news: april 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.



CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 RESOURCES

You can find some helpful resources on our website.
Share this link: https://rhodeislandaflcio.org/coronavirus-covid-19



For Immediate Release: March 30, 2020

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RICOSH is working with partners in National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences via the TNEC Lowell Project to develop materials and trainings on COVID-19.
Click here for more information.


Providence Journal: A morning with the Providence firefighters dedicated to coronavirus response
PROVIDENCE — As a voice came over the radio at the Reservoir Avenue fire station Friday morning, Capt. David Palumbo and rescue technician John Tierney prepared to suit up.

“We’re getting a call,” said Palumbo, 49, as he slipped a yellow plastic gown over his navy blue Fire Department shirt.

He strapped a mask over his mouth and nose before stepping into the passenger seat of Rescue 5 — the Providence Fire Department ambulance that’s dedicated to calls that may involve patients with COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

Tierney, 59, decked in the same protective gear, pulled the ambulance out of the driveway, sirens wailing and lights flashing.

“I think everyone owes them a debt of gratitude for stepping up to do this,” said Derek Silva, president of the Providence firefighters union. “By them doing it, they’re decreasing exposure to the rest of the Fire Department.”

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Union Veterans Council: TSA Officers’ Union Says Agency Has Answered their Call for Increased Protective Equipment

TSA Officers’ Union Says Agency Has Answered their Call for Increased Protective Equipment
Thanks to their union, TSA officers can now wear N95 masks

WASHINGTON – The union representing Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) nationwide says TSA has finally listened to their demands for increased safety protocols to protect officers and the flying public from COVID-19 by updating their policy to allow N95 respirator masks for employees.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which represents nearly 46,000 TSA officers nationwide, first wrote to TSA Administrator David Pekoske in January and asked the agency to aggressively respond to the emerging coronavirus threat. The union specifically requested N95 masks for every TSA officer. That request was ignored. Subsequent email requests from the union’s TSA leaders to Pekoske and TSA management were denied repeatedly in February and early March.

Since then, AFGE TSA union leaders have continued to urge TSA management and lawmakers to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) beyond the basic surgical masks that do not block small particles from coughs and sneezes that spread the virus. Since the pandemic, about 60 TSOs have tested positive for COVID-19 with dozens of their coworkers being forced to self-quarantine.

On Wednesday, TSA emailed all employees notifying them that N95 masks will be provided to all officers who elect to wear them. To be eligible, TSOs must complete a brief N95 Respirator training. Employees will be issued one respirator per work shift following completion of the training.

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NBC News: ‘We answered the call’: Custodial and sanitation workers demand support amid outbreak

When Fasika Getahun, 48, finishes her shift as a custodian at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle each day, she goes home exhausted but excited to see her seven kids. She’s a single mom who immigrated from East Africa, and it’s gratifying to come home to see them healthy and happy.

But since the coronavirus outbreak has pummeled Washington and her adopted city, the anxiety of working on the front lines in a hospital — where she thoroughly disinfects bathrooms and infected patient areas without personal protective equipment — has begun to wear on her.

Returning home now doesn’t bring the same comfort it once did.

Getahun said she and the 50 other members of the cleaning staff are asked to constantly work without masks or any protective gear, and their team meetings each morning begin in a small room where they are packed together tightly.

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Axios: The New Labor Movement

The coronavirus pandemic has had a big impact on working people, who are increasingly banding together to put pressure on employers and raise public awareness about health and safety issues they’re facing on the job.

Why it matters: After years of declining union membership, a new labor movement is rising, amplified by the power of social media and fueled by concerns that workers deemed essential during the crisis are putting their lives at risk to ensure the well-being of others.

Driving the news: Some Whole Foods employees used an online petition to organize a so-called sick out Tuesday, demanding double hazard pay, a day after workers at Amazon and Instacart staged other actions.

Unionized nurses, flight attendants and auto workers have all leveraged their collective voices in recent weeks to try to influence policy and corporate decision-making during the crisis.

  • The United Auto Workers union — which has had at least nine of its members succumb to the disease in the past week — pressured Detroit carmakers to close their factories on March 18 until social distancing protocols could be established.
  • Nurses in New York, Georgia, Illinois and California staged protests this week calling for more personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, gloves and gowns.

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CNN: Health care workers on frontlines feel like ‘lambs to the slaughterhouse’

An anesthesiologist in Arizona turned to eBay for N95 masks. A nurse in Ohio said she and her colleagues are forbidden from wearing any masks for fear that it would spread anxiety. A nursing home employee in Arkansas who developed a fever said she couldn’t get tested.

Across the country, health care workers on the frontlines of the escalating fight against Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, describe a grim scene of rationed personal protective equipment — widely known as PPE — and lack of testing.

The scarcity of equipment is at a critical stage, where medical workers are being asked do something that weeks ago would have brought reprimand or even termination: reuse supplies. “I was provided one mask; they said that’s all I’m getting,” said a certified nurse anesthetist in Akron, Ohio, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal. “We just had a survey by the joint commission that oversees the hospital…One of the sticking points in the survey was that you need to change your mask between every case.”

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The American Prospect: Union Wins $3 Billion to Protect Airport Workers

After four years working as a baggage handler at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, Kachelle Lasley was laid off last Saturday, becoming one of thousands of airport workers laid off nationwide as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Like many of these laid-off workers—a group that includes wheelchair attendants, airplane-cabin cleaners, skycaps, and security guards—Lasley was deeply worried how she would pay her April rent.

“I’m not sure how I’ll survive,” she said in an interview on Tuesday. “I still have a few dollars from my last paycheck. I worry whether I’ll have enough money for food next week.”

Lasley, 30, joined a major campaign by her Manhattan-based union, Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, that called on Washington not to give the airlines the $60 billion bailout they were seeking unless airport workers—not just direct employees like pilots and flight attendants, but also contracted airport employees like baggage handlers and cabin cleaners—benefited from the bailout.

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March 31 is Cesar Chavez day. President George Nee used to work for Chavez and the UFW back in the 70s. View the link on our website to read an essay he wrote about his time working with Cesar Chavez.

Read Essay by President George Nee on HERE.


The Institute for Labor Studies & Research (ILSR) is a 501 (c) (3), private, non-profit educational institution that provides education and training to enable working Rhode Islanders and the labor movement to have a stronger voice in the workplace, to participate more effectively in Rhode Island’s changing job market and to create a more just and equitable society.

The ILSR has been supporting businesses, labor unions, and workers since 1980 by working to build an educated, competitive workforce that helps Rhode Island grow and prosper.

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For more information visit Website.


Are you following Rhode Island AFL-CIO on Social Media? Click on the links below.

FaceBook: @riaflcio

Twitter: @riaflcio

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


UPCOMING EVENTS:

No events at this time.



THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Voices in Labor:

Major league baseball players began what was to become a 13-day strike, ending when owners agreed to increase pension fund payments and to add salary arbitration to the collective bargaining agreement. – 1972

More than 2,000 workers went on strike at the Draper Corporation power loom manufacturing plant in Hopedale, Massachusetts. They were seeking higher wages and a nine-hour workday. Eben S. Draper, president of the firm and a former state governor, declared: “We will spend $1 million to break this strike” and refused to negotiate. Striking workers staged protest marches, rallies, and mass meetings and were met with concerted and relentless legal action, police violence, and scabs. The strike ended in a stalemate 13 weeks later. – 1913

The U.S. minimum wage increased to $3.80 per hour. – 1990

The U.S. minimum wage increased to $4.25 per hour. – 1991

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This week on Labor Vision

New segment running this week; LaborVision At Home edition! In lieu of the COVID-19 crisis, Erica Hammond sits down with Patrick Crowley, Rhode Island AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer and Government Relations Director of NEA RI, through Zoom conferencing, to discuss Labor’s response to the crisis in Rhode Island.

In the second half of the show, one from late last year that is of growing importance now, Senator 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 hard-to-count communities, or RI fears losing a congressional seat and the funding for vital programs that accompany it. Also view on YouTube.


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