e-news: september 3, 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

Inspections, or walkthroughs? Raimondo and teachers union disagree on her pledge to schools

PROVIDENCE — One of the state’s two teachers unions locked horns with Gov. Gina Raimondo on Wednesday, calling state “walk-throughs” of school buildings inadequate.

In a tweet shortly before Raimondo’s daily briefing on school reopenings, the National Education Association Rhode Island said inspectors were not visiting every classroom, that local school committees were not invited to participate, and, in at least one district, the entire tour lasted two hours.

“In one district, [the inspection team] said show us your best and worst schools,” said NEARI Executive Director Bob Walsh. “The point was in every district that wanted to reopen classrooms, the final piece of the puzzle was a room-by-room approval so that everyone was comfortable.

“We are trying to do this cooperatively,” he said. “This is the frustration.”

The recommendation for inspections came from NEARI President Larry Purtill.

Read more here.

See pictures here.

See pictures here.

IATSE, Local 23 FaceBook:

Providence Journal: Stung by pandemic, R.I. performing arts workers plead for help from Congress

PROVIDENCE — Hundreds of members of the union representing Rhode Island entertainment professionals marched from the Providence Performing Arts Center to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Tuesday night to call on Congress to act on multiple measures that would help revive their industry.

The crowd included lighting designers, audio technicians, exhibit builders, stage hands and other skilled professionals who are normally employed by theaters, concert halls and performance venues to help put on live shows, but have been out of work since pandemic-related lockdowns caused the cancellation of nearly all live entertainment across the nation.

“We are just so desperate to get back to work,” said Scott Mccausland, a 52-year-old audio technician. “We are trying to do everything that we can to bring attention to our cause and see if we can’t get ourselves back to work. This is our livelihood.”

The demonstrators called on Congress to pass the Save Our Stages Act, which would authorize the Small Business Administration to issue grants of up to $12 million to live-venue operators and other representatives of the entertainment industry, as well as the RESTART Act, which would extend the Paycheck Protection Program that guarantees loans to small businesses to help pay their employees. Read more here.

Providence Performing Arts Center:

More info and take action here.

ILSR August Newsletter:

View larger and read more here.

AFL-CIO Reacts to Police Shooting of Jacob Blake

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:

The labor movement joins with all those in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and across the country who are nonviolently demanding an end to systemic racial injustice after the shooting of Jacob Blake. Despite months of protest and the outpouring of heartfelt demands for change, incidents like these remain all too common and they shock our collective conscience. Actions that cheapen the lives of Black people and the service of good officers must be called out. As Americans, we must recognize the difference between right and wrong, and we must always stand up for what is right.

Statement from the AFL-CIO Task Force on Racial Justice:

We are outraged at the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. We pray for his full recovery and for his loved ones.

As details continue to come in, we cannot escape the images of a Black man being shot in the back in front of his children. What happened to Mr. Blake only strengthens our resolve to make sure Black Lives Matter in words and in deeds so we can heal our communities and our country. This is precisely why the AFL-CIO created the Task Force on Racial Justice and why we formed a subcommittee on policing. Read more here.

Buzz Feed: Postal Workers On Reddit Are Revealing The Things They Wish Customers Knew, And It’s So Important

By now, you’ve probably heard that the United States Postal Service is in crisis. The service is in desperate need of funding — which President Trump has opposed in an open attempt to suppress mail-in voting. And the new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, recently came under fire for announcing big cuts to the USPS, which many believe he did at the request of the Trump administration.

In response to major backlash for making these changes so close to an election, DeJoy has said he will delay the cuts for now. As you can imagine, all of this makes it a tough time to be an employee for the USPS. So last week, a viral Reddit thread asked postal workers: “What do you need right now? How can we brighten your day when we see you on our routes?”

The conversation garnered thousands of responses from USPS workers all across the nation, both former and present. Here are some of the top-voted suggestions: See list here.


RICOSH / RI AFL-CIO ZOOM Workship: Heat Illness and Staying Healthy in the Heat

Today, September 3rd at 3 p.m.

Climate change is already making extreme heat waves more likely and even hotter.  815 workers perished in the United States 1992 through 2017 from heat-related illness. Solutions to heat stress are well-known: constant water/liquid intake, rest in a shaded or climate-controlled location, among other measures. It is important that workers and employers recognize heat’s hazards and what works to minimize these hazards.

Register in advance for this meeting here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.



Basic/Advanced Steward Training Virtual Workshop via ZOOM

The Institute for Labor Studies and Research is offering a Basic/Advanced Steward Training Virtual Workshop via ZOOM consisting of 2 sessions.

Tuesday, September 22 @ 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 29 @ 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Seating is limited and on a first come first serve basis.

If you are interested in attending the Steward Training Virtual Workshop, please reply by Friday, September 11, 2020 directly to Denise Cesino at 401-463-9900 or dcesino@riilsr.org.

For more information visit Website.


You can find some helpful resources on our website.

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


Voices in Labor:

Walter Reuther was born. Reuther was president of the United Auto Workers from 1946 until his death in 1970 under suspicious circumstances. He was also president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) prior to its merger with the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Reuther was a supporter of political action and once said “There’s a direct relationship between the bread box and the ballot box, and what the union fights for and wins at the bargaining table can be taken away in the legislative halls.” – 1907

A 3-week strike in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, part of a national movement to obtain a minimum wage for textile workers, resulted in the deaths of three workers. Ultimately more than 420,000 workers struck nationally. – 1934

Union delegates from New York, Boston, Philadelphia and other East Coast cities met in a convention to form the National Trades’ Union, which united craft unions to oppose “the most unequal and unjustifiable distribution of the wealth of society in the hands of a few individuals”. The union faded after a few years but paved the way for more than 60 new unions. – 1834

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