e-news: May 28, 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 opinion piece in today’s ProJo by Michael F. Sabitoni, president of the Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council.

Providence Journal: My turn: Michael F. Sabitoni: In times of crisis, R.I. can count on union workers

A number of professions have been recognized for heroic calls to action during this pandemic, all of them well-deserving. One group that is rarely mentioned is the 10,000 skilled craftsmen and women of the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council.

A number of professions have been recognized for heroic calls to action during this pandemic, all of them well-deserving. One group that is rarely mentioned is the 10,000 skilled craftsmen and women of the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council.

For a number of years, I have been honored and privileged to serve as their president; but today, I am more proud than ever, because our members are answering the call of duty, courageously “lacing them up” every day during these most difficult times.

A most poignant example is the urgently needed field hospital recently constructed with extraordinary speed and skill for an anticipated rise in COVID-19 cases. Within a record two weeks, our union workforce turned a 365,000-square-foot space at the Rhode Island Convention Center into a total functioning hospital to treat Rhode Islanders infected with the coronavirus.


RICOSH Webinar Event Today

Reopening the economy from a workers’ perspective”

Date: Today, May 28th @ 4:30 PM

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device: Please click the link to join the webinar with streaming audio: https://aflcio.zoom.us/s/94468951126?pwd=Vjh4b2tPU3hsQ2FsQjFjWVpEZ2ZMdz09

Password: 639110

Rhode Island AFL-CIO // Workers First Caravan

Wednesday, June 3 @ 3 p.m.

Contact: Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Crowley @ PCrowley@NEARI.org

Details: Join the Rhode Island Labor Movement in a rolling caravan to call attention to the importance of the US Postal Service and America’s 5 Economic Essentials.

The caravan will start at the West River Street/Corliss Street intersection and proceed around the postal center, with stops at the Providence Teacher Union Hall and the Stop & Shop on West River Street.

Sign-up to attend this event: https://actionnetwork.org/events/ri-afl-cio-caravan/

Providence Journal: Omni hotel workers to lose subsidized health care

PROVIDENCE — On June 1, the Omni Providence Hotel will stop subsidizing health-insurance benefits for its employees in a move that union representatives say will leave many workers without affordable coverage in the middle of a public-health crisis.

“I don’t know what to do right now,” said Helena Dahn, a 35-year-old housekeeper who has been with Omni Providence since 2007. “They’re putting our lives in danger.”

The hotel temporarily laid off most of its employees when it closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and while it has continued to subsidize health insurance for its workers for two months, the expiration date on the benefit is fast approaching and the pandemic is far from over.

Dahn, whose health plan covers herself and her four children, said she appreciated having insurance when she and her whole family came down with COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, in April. No one had to go to the hospital, she said, and while they are improving, some of her family members are still experiencing “off-and-on” symptoms.


Providence Journal: East Greenwich firefighter tests positive for COVID-19; eight firefighters quarantined

EAST GREENWICH — A firefighter has tested positive for COVID-19, and eight firefighters are quarantined in total, the town manager and the union representing firefighters in town said.

A member of the town’s IT department is also quarantined because of contact with the firefighter, town manager Andrew Nota said.

With three vacancies in the department — which includes one resignation last week — there are 33 active firefighters in the town, so the eight members who are quarantined represent 24% of the department, Nota said.

“Most if not all” of those who are quarantined will be cleared to work in seven to nine days, Nota said. He said he and the fire chief are working on filling the three vacant positions.

“In the interim, the department is staffing its needs per the existing contract requirement in meeting the minimum manning standards,” Nota said in an email. “The shifts thus far have been voluntarily filled.”

The union representing firefighters in East Greenwich said in a social media post that the “remaining limited staff will remain on duty 24/7” to fill in for the quarantined firefighters and the three positions that haven’t been filled.


Providence Journal: Our Turn: Sen. William J. Conley Jr. and Rep. Karen Alzate: Sharing the burden of rebuilding our economy

The COVID-19 pandemic has created havoc in the lives of our families and friends and set in motion an economic maelstrom devastating every economic sector of Rhode Island. Working families, large and small businesses, public services from our state and municipalities and our collective sense of community are all struggling to cope with its destructive and existential consequences. This is a historically teachable moment that requires us to remain steadfast to the values of the social contract that have made our republic the greatest experience in governing in the history of civilization. It is time to discard divisive rhetoric and respond to the inspiring voices that are telling us we are all in this together.

The General Assembly is confronted with extraordinarily difficult decisions as it reconvenes. Among the many challenges is a revenue shortfall of over $800 million in our state budget. While significantly more state and municipal aid must be the foundation of Congress’s next relief package, Rhode Island must be nimble and innovative in creating its own revenue solutions so we do not retreat from investing in our future.

The task of rebuilding our economy will be an incremental process that will require constant review of reliable data, information and results. Strategic cuts in expenditures will be necessary, but we cannot simply take a machete to the budget and inflict further harm by reducing economic activity. We must pursue policies that support small businesses, generate consumer spending and stabilize an affordable, accessible public health-care system.


An excellent article written by Steven A. Tolman , President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and Steve Striffler, Director of the UMass-Boston Labor Resource Center

Telegram.com: As I See It: Deepen the rights of all workers to unionize

COVID-19 has upended our world while exposing the inequalities that characterize Massachusetts and the United States. Many working people are in the uncomfortable position of needing a job to survive and being terrified of work itself. Millions of people are jobless with little safety net while millions more are being forced to work in unsafe conditions.

This crisis has not only led to a massive increase in unemployment, but has also generated strikes, sickouts, and other forms of protest from workers in grocery stores, hospitals, factories, and every sector. Nor is this about to change. Many cannot work remotely. Three-quarters of people with a high school degree or less remain in workplaces outside the home. They are doing the millions of jobs that keep society running. They are vulnerable, and they are angry at employers and government for not moving quickly enough to protect them.

This combination of massive job losses and unsafe working conditions has brought two things into sharp relief. First, most people are exposed to a range of health issues, while also economically exposed. They hold jobs that provide few protections and can be fired at will. The crisis has revealed how so many of us are vulnerable to sudden financial and health-related stress.


AFL-CIO: FaceBook Town Hall

Join AFL-CIO Constituency Groups A. Philip Randolph Institute,
Pride at Work, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), Coalition of Labor Union Women, and CBTU for a town hall discussion about workers on the front lines.

Remember to purchase your food where your union brothers and sisters work: Stop & Shop, Shaws and Eastside Marketplace.


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.


Voices in Labor:

After 14 years of construction and the deaths of 27 workers, the Brooklyn Bridge over New York’s East River opened. Newspapers call it “the eighth wonder of the world”. – 1883

Men and women weavers in Pawtucket, Rhode Island staged the nation’s first “co-ed” strike. – 1824

The AFL-CIO began what was to become an unsuccessful campaign for a 35-hour workweek, with the goal of reducing unemployment. Earlier tries by organized labor for 32- or 35-hour weeks also failed. – 1962

The notorious 11-month Remington Rand strike began. The strike spawned the “Mohawk Valley (NY) formula,” described by investigators as a corporate plan to discredit union leaders, frighten the public with the threat of violence, employ thugs to beat up strikers, and other tactics. The National Labor Relations Board termed the formula “a battle plan for industrial war.” – 1936


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