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.


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


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.


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.”




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FaceBook: @riaflcio

Twitter: @riaflcio

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


Limited seating. Sign-up HERE


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.


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