e-news: october 1, 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


Rhode Island AFL-CIO: Start organizing and taking action

78% of Rhode Islanders think labor unions are necessary to protect working people (March 2020 Fleming & Associates poll of registered RI voters). By joining together, working women and men gain strength in numbers so you can have a voice at work. Unions negotiate contracts with your employer for a fair and safe workplace, better wages, a secure retirement, and family-friendly policies such as paid sick leave and scheduling hours. This creates a more stable, productive workforce that provides better services and products. If you want a voice on the job or to build a better workplace, click this link to start organizing and taking action.



Providence Journal: Rhode Island minimum wage to rise $1 this week

On Thursday Rhode Island’s minimum wage rises $1 to $11.50 an hour.

The election-season pay raise for the state’s lowest wage earners, passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Gina Raimondo earlier in the year, is smaller than left-leaning advocates say is needed and larger than some businesses say they can afford.

“While lawmakers may think they are helping workers by raising the minimum wage they may end up harming them as small businesses like food service, retail and hospitality still struggle to recover from months of shutdowns and restrictions,” the National Federation of Independent Business wrote in a news release Monday. “The business owners simply can’t afford higher labor costs at this time so the jobs will be eliminated and the employees won’t have a bigger paycheck, they’ll have no paycheck.”

“For many of the hardest-hit businesses it may be the final nail in the coffin,” it added.

Even with the increase, Rhode Island’s minimum wage remains lower than those in neighboring states.

Massachusetts’ $12.75 an hour minimum wage is set to rise to $13.50 on Jan. 1. Connecticut’s minimum wage rose from $11 to $12 an hour on Sept. 1.

The hourly federal minimum wage is $7.25. Read more here.


ABC 6 News: Workers at Providence nursing home to strike on Friday

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Starting Friday morning workers represented by local union SEIU 1199 at the Bannister Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing will go on strike looking for raises and what they say are unsafe staffing levels.

“What we know that we need and have said over and over again, is we need safe staffing – 4.1 hours of care, and we need to be paying care takers a living wage,” said Adanjesus Marin of the union’s Lifelong Care Team.

According to Marin, residents at Bannister are getting less than half of the 4.1 hours of care recommended by the government.

The pandemic has also hit residents and workers at the center hard.

“They now have close to 20 deaths and workers have reached the point where they’re just not willing to continue to put themselves at risk and their residents at risk,” said Marin.

Read more here.




UFCW: UFCW and Stop & Shop Announce New Premium Pay Agreement for Grocery Workers on Frontlines As COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) – which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery, retail, and other frontline industries – announced a new agreement with Stop & Shop on premium pay for 56,000 union Stop & Shop associates represented by UFCW.

The agreement will provide retroactive premium pay – in the form of lump sum payments equal to 10 percent of all hours worked between July 5, 2020 and August 22, 2020 – to recognize their ongoing efforts to ensure communities have access to the food and supplies they need as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone and Stop & Shop President Gordon Reid released the following joint statement:

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the U.S. in March, UFCW members and Stop & Shop workers have gone above and beyond to ensure that our stores have remained open to serve our communities’ essential needs. These workers have risen to the challenge and Stop & Shop deeply appreciates everything they have done in difficult circumstances – at work and at home – as they care for their neighbors and their families during a national crisis. Read more here.


AFL-CIO: Updated HEROES Act Latest Effort to Bring Long-Overdue COVID-19 Relief to America’s Workers

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on introduction of updated HEROES Act in the House:

The updated legislation introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a promising, good-faith effort to push negotiations on long-overdue COVID-19 relief forward. It is geared toward helping the people who need it most: front-line workers, the unemployed, the uninsured, retirees and all those who rely on critical public services like schools, fire and emergency medical services, sanitation, and child care. It includes many of the essential elements of the original HEROES Act, including a strong federal workplace infectious disease standard and critical multiemployer pension relief, and provides new funding to keep aviation workers on the job, all at a price tag designed to bring Senate Republicans and the White House back to the table.

If this bill does spark a new round of talks, the labor movement will strongly advocate for the addition of COBRA health insurance subsidies. In addition, as we said in May, since there is no consensus among our unions about the GROW Act, we would suggest that there be further review and debate on this provision as the HEROES Act moves toward enactment. Read more here.


Read it here.


Labor 411:  Oktoberfest with a Union Flair

The much-loved fall gathering known as Oktoberfest may look a little bit different this year due to limits on large public gatherings and social distance requirements. But you can still celebrate at home by raising a pint of a favorite fall ale and chasing it down with a bite of something salty. As you prepare for your fest feast, be sure to load up on products made by employers who treat their workers well and give them a voice on the job. Happy Oktoberfest and let’s all work together to build a stronger America. See list here.

***Remember to buy your food and beverages at Stop & Shop, Shaws, and Eastside Marketplace where our union brothers and sisters work.


AFL-CIO:


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Stand with Striking Nursing Home Workers at Bannister (Providence)

When: October 2 @ 6 a.m. – October 4 @ 7 p.m.

Where: 135 Dodge St, Providence, RI 02907

Hosted by 1199 SEIU Rhode Island, Lisita de Novais and 2 others

Details: Stand with Bannister Nursing Homes workers who are going on strike for safe staffing for their residents and a living wage. Despite large profits and huge federal windfalls, the New York based management at Centers Health Care refused to address low pay, $12.00 per hour starting rate and low staffing for residents. Over 20 residents and workers have died due to Covid-19 and Bannister management continues. Despite this ownership continues to disrespect the heroes that show up every day to provide care. Stand in Solidarity with these Health Care Heroes.

·         There will be a community rally at Noon on Friday, October 2nd.

·         Strike lines will be up 6:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Friday, Oct 2nd through Sunday October 4th.

Participants should wear a mask and practice safe social distancing.

URI: Suffrage Centennial Lecture Series

In 2020 we celebrate two monumental events in American history: the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting American women the right to vote, and the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment that at least nominally enfranchised African American men. To mark the occasion, URI is planning a yearlong virtual series. Join us as we explore suffrage history and modern-day voting issues.

Virtual lectures and registration info here.


Upcoming Segment:

▪ Erica Hammond sits down with Jim Parisi of the RI Labor History Society to get an idea of what the organization does, how it operates, how it keeps interest alive by sponsoring history-themed projects with students, and a short lesson on its annual Labor Day commemoration.

Never miss a segment. Like us on Facebook (@LaborVisionRI), follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube page (LaborVisionTV1).


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