E-news: may 14, 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

UFCW Local 328: UFCW Local 328 Rallies to Raise Awareness for Worker Safety at Taylor Farms

On Friday, May 8th, UFCW Local 328, joined by community and labor allies, rallied outside of Taylor Farms, a food manufacturer located in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. Taylor Farms produces fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, including to-go meals. This location has been one of the state’s hotspots for coronavirus cases. As of April 22nd, there had been approximately 100 cases documented of the virus and more cases since. In April, an employee at the location sent photos to ABC 6 News, alerting the media that workers were not being provided personal protective equipment and there were not adequate social distancing measures in place.

We have spoken to workers at this facility who have expressed fear of going into work each day and frustration that the company waited so long to implement necessary safeguards. Many of these workers have not only been infected themselves but have in turn infected members of their own families as well, which has resulted in hospitalizations. In addition to the coronavirus concern, in early April, over 600 workers were evacuated at the plant due to an ammonia leak which resulted in 13 hospitalizations.


Providence Journal: Groden Center workers protest for hazard pay

PROVIDENCE — The struggle of some workers who care for young people with autism, in congregate settings where exposure to the coronavirus is a risk, drew attention late Thursday afternoon on Mount Hope Avenue.

A caravan of protesters, employing their vehicles to keep social distance, paraded around the block in a public appeal to win hazard pay for the men and women who work at the Groden Center.

A train of vehicles, estimated at 40, passed by the Groden Center. Flags fluttered and horns honked.

About 45 caregivers, who are represented by Council 1199, are trying to secure hazard pay from Groden.

Under normal conditions, young people with autism attend two school facilities operated by Groden.

Some of the students live at home with their families, others live in group homes.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the two Groden schools have closed. Personnel have been sent to three group homes where they are trying to provide programming to students in the homes while carrying out distance-learning to students at home with their families.





AFL-CIO: AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Addresses America’s Unemployment Crisis.


CNBC: Plans to reopen US economy must ‘talk about worker safety,’ says AFL-CIO president

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka on Friday warned that workers will be at risk of getting sick with the coronavirus if restrictions on businesses are lifted without robust safety protocols in place.

“Don’t talk about tough restrictions and guidelines. Talk about worker safety,” Trumka said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” “We want them to open up, but we want them to open up consistent with the health and safety of those workers.”

The failure to prioritize worker safety while restarting the economy will only multiply the threat of additional Covid-19 outbreaks, Trumka argued. “All that we will do is open up and then immediately in a month or so have to close back down because workers got infected,” he said.

Trumka said the U.S. needs to continue expanding its testing capacity and the availability of personal protective equipment to adequately protect workers. “There are shortages of both now,” he said, which he argued will only be compounded when the millions of out-of-work Americans try to return to the job. Increasing the supply of both, he said, is critical in preventing “a second epidemic, or a second surge” of Covid-19 cases.


Bloomberg Law: Nonprofit Workers Turn to Unions During Pandemic Uncertainty

Uncertainty fueled by the coronavirus pandemic has sped up a growing number of nonprofit workers joining unions.

From environmental justice organizations to political advocacy groups, nonprofit employees are turning to organized labor to achieve a greater say in how their organizations are run. And unions in turn are capitalizing on the newfound interest to shore up low levels of unionization in the nonprofit industry and provide a boost to their membership.

“We know our organization already has high standards and a commitment to things like gender equity, professional development—but we still want that seat at the table, not only for workers’ benefits but also in terms of the direction of the organization,” said Rikki Baker Keusch, an employee at the nonprofit organization J Street where a union campaign was announced last month. “And also, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the urgency has really spurred us on.”

In a 16-day span last month, seven workplaces announced organizing campaigns with the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union, a local of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers. The local’s number of bargaining units grew 35% in less than a month.


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.


Bring Back Amy Rolling Rally: Caravan to Support Amy Mullen

When: Thursday, May 14 at 4 p.m.

Amy Mullen is fighting back against a bully superintendent and the Tiverton School Committee that does his bidding.Let’s show her we are in this fight with her and tell Superintendent Sanchioni to #bringbackAmy.  

4:00 Meet at Portsmouth Middle School, 125 Jepson Ln, Portsmouth, RI 02871

4:15 Pick up “Bring Back Amy” yard sign

4:30 Larry Purtill leads off rally

4:45 Rally rolls out to drive by Mullen residence on Harbor View Rd.

We will do the loop of Amy’s neighborhood a few times and then return to Portsmouth Middle School for final remarks  

Wear your purple and decorate your car! Let’s show Amy we stand with her! #bringbackAmy

*No need to leave your car, but be prepared to adhere to social distancing/facemask guidance


Voices in Labor:

The Pullman Railroad Strike began in Chicago, Illinois. This was the largest industrial strike to date in the United States. Eugene Debs rose to prominence as a labor leader during this strike, which was eventually broken by federal troops. The strike and boycott crippled railway traffic nationwide and at its peak involved 250,000+ workers in 27 states. At least 24 strikers were killed. – 1894

The Laundry and Dry Cleaning International Union was granted a charter by the AFL-CIO. – 1958

The International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots merged with the Longshoremen’s’ Association. – 1971

200 labor leaders were arrested in Chicago for complicity in the murder of two policemen and the bombing of factories – 1922

UMW struck at selected U.S. mines. – 1993


This week onLabor Vision

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

Upcoming Segment:

  ▪ Erica Hammond sits down with Justin Kelley, Business Representative of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, Local 195 of District Council 11. The pair discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted IUPAT members as well as the many safety concerns Kelley has for unrepresented workers on non-union worksites as the economy begins to reopen. Kelley also highlights the importance of strong social partnerships on a local level and how organizations and businesses can be doing their part to not support the underground economy and combat the further exploitation of workers.

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
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YouTube: LaborVisionTV1