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.


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



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

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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.


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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


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
FaceBook: @LaborVisionRI
Twitter: @LaborVisionRI
Instagram: LaborVisionRI
YouTube: LaborVisionTV1