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.


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.



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.”


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


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

Watch Video

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.

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


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


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