e-news: July 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.


Rally Today


ABC 6 News: Strike ‘not off the table’ for Cumberland school bus drivers

CUMBERLAND, R.I. (WLNE) – Bus drivers with Durham School Services in Cumberland are hoping to negotiate a contract that includes a Covid-19 safety plan before the school year starts.

Representatives with Union UFCW Local 328 tell ABC 6 the drivers have been working without a contract for almost a year.

In a letter to Durham School Services, local and state officials in Cumberland urged the company to come to the table with the union to work out a contract. Here we are about five or six weeks before the opening of school. We have so many obstacles we have to conquer in light of Covid-19 and certainly busing is one of them,” said Cumberland Town Council President Craig Dwyer.

The drivers have been working without a contract for several months. A union representative through UFCW Local 328 tells ABC 6 they’ve been unsuccessful in getting the company to meet with them.

“There’s many many safety issues to discuss based on the facts of what’s going on,” said Domenic Pontarelli of UFCW Local 328. Read more here.


Providence Journal: Some R.I. lawmakers get behind push to rehire food-service workers at T.F. Green

PROVIDENCE — A number of state politicians have signed a petition urging the Rhode Island Airport Corporation to pursue food-service contracts with bidders that commit to re-hiring laid-off airport employees.

About 120 food-service employees at T.F. Green airport lost their jobs when travel largely shut down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month, the airport corporation put out a request for proposals, seeking two additional restaurant operators to serve the airport as travel starts to pick up again.

The airport corporation, a state agency, has said that it will favor respondents that agree to hire qualified personnel employed by its previous food-service provider, HMSHost. But, in a statement, the airport corporation said that it has not received any pressure or communication from elected officials seeking to influence the request for proposals process.

Many workers were outraged when the airport corporation entered into a speedy no-bid contract with Dunkin’ at the end of June when its contract with HMSHost expired. Dunkin’ hired four previously laid-off workers out of 12 positions. Read more here.


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AFL-CIO: Executive Paywatch: 1,000-to-1 Pay Ratio CEOs Furlough Workers

AFL-CIO’s Executive Paywatch report, released today, shows that the imbalance between the pay of corporate CEOs and working people persists as a problem. In particular, the report shines light on the 20 companies with pay ratio disparities higher than 1,000-to-1 that furloughed workers in 2020.

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (IBEW) expanded on this new feature of the report:

With the COVID-19 shutdowns earlier this year, we saw many CEOs take salary cuts as a token of their solidarity with furloughed workers. While these CEO salary cuts made for good headlines, they are mostly window dressing. Base salary makes up less than 8% of total compensation for CEOs of S&P 500 companies. Most CEO pay is in equity awards. The real story in executive compensation was that companies ramped up their equity awards to senior executives at the beginning of this year. Meanwhile, millions of working people have been furloughed or laid off due to COVID-19 related shutdowns. This disparity represents a fundamental imbalance in our economy. Working people are being treated as disposable employees. Now these cast-off workers, as a result of COVID-19, are at risk of having their unemployment benefits cut.

The Executive Paywatch website is the most comprehensive, searchable online database tracking CEO pay. Key highlights of this year’s report: See more here.



International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers: Looking Back: The IAM’s Role in the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Sunday, July 26 anniversary of the signing of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a good time to reflect on how to empower and support workers with differing abilities that we see and interact with every day, whether we realize it or not.

The ADA is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination based on disability in employment, government services, transportation and public accommodations. It was signed into law July 26, 1990, but didn’t take effect for two years to give companies, businesses and other facilities time to implement the regulations.

“Every working person deserves access to a job that pays a livable wage with good benefits,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “The IAM fights for inclusion in the workplace and in the community, so everyone has improved quality of life with independence and mobility.”

The IAM logo appeared in the movie on Hertz trucks the union rented for travel once the protestors arrived in Washington, DC. Signs on the truck include one that says “Justice on the Job, Security for the Family, Service to the Community” and another that says “Support California handicapped.”  Read more here.


Labor 411: Ethical Camping Essentials Shopping List

The Coronavirus pandemic has scuttled most of the country’s summer vacation plans, but camping is still a safe option for many of us. As you pack up the RV and take to the road – or maybe the backyard – for an encounter with the great outdoors, remember that not all camping essentials are created equal. The products listed below are made by companies who treat their workers fairly and give them a voice on the job.

Enjoy your time outdoors, stay safe and let’s all work to build a stronger America.

See List



UPCOMING EVENTS:

RALLY & UPCOMING STRIKES

Rally: Thursday, August 6 at the State House at Noon

Frontline Health Care Heroes at five nursing homes plan to go on strike for better staffing for their residents and living wage for their co-workers. Caregivers have put their families at risk by caring for the most frail Rhode Islanders in nursing homes, yet many still cannot afford to take care of their own families.

1199 SEIU is asking for solidarity from Union sisters and brothers with striking Nursing Home Workers. Picketing will practice social distancing. Food plans look different, not family style, food must be individually packaged (boxed lunches or breakfasts, individually wrapped snacks, single serving drinks, canned food donations). Disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves, masks are welcome. Banners of locals are encouraged.

The 3-Day Strikes are planned from Weds, August 5, Thursday, August 6 and Friday August 7 (7am to 7pm):

The location of the strikes are:

Bannister Center (135 Dodge St., Providence)

Charlesgate Nursing Home (100 Randall St., Providence)
Greenville Center (735 Putnam Pike, Greenville)

Hopkins Manor (610 Smithfield Road., North Providence)
Pawtucket Center (70 Gill Ave, Pawtucket)

Please let 1199 SEIU know before the strike which venue your union would participate in. Contact Emmanuel at 440-9675 or Emmanuel@RISEIU.org

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CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 RESOURCES

You can find some helpful resources on our website.

Share this link: https://rhodeislandaflcio.org/coronavirus-covid-19


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



THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Voices in Labor:

The U.S. minimum wage increased to $6.55 per hour. The original minimum, set in 1938 by the Fair Labor Standards Act, was 25 cents per hour. – 2008

The U.S. minimum wage rose to $7.25 per hour, up from $6.55. – 2009

The Teamsters and Service Employees unions break from the AFL-CIO during the federation’s 50th convention to begin the Change to Win coalition, ultimately comprised of seven unions. They said they wanted more emphasis on organizing and less on electoral politics. – 2005

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) took effect. It required employers to offer reasonable accommodations to qualified disabled employees and banned discrimination against such workers. – 1992

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