e-news: november 5, 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

An excellent Opinion piece in the ProJo today by Michael F. Sabitoni, president of the Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council, Larry E. Purtill, president of the National Education Association Rhode Island with contribution from Frank Flynn, president of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals.

Providence Journal: Opinion/Sabitoni and Purtill: No more lost opportunities — rebuild RI schools now

We are all trying to make the best of this school year and help our kids thrive in an environment upended by the pandemic. Whether it’s crafting together a kitchen corner for remote learning or trying to establish a regular routine for them, there’s one more thing that could help us create a welcoming environment for our kids. It’s fixing the physical school buildings to which they’ll eventually return.

No matter where we find ourselves this fall, as parents and as community members, the safety of our children remains paramount. Our attention is rightfully focused on the current condition of our schools as we set our priorities for the much-needed, long-term improvements.

Many of our kids aren’t physically in school full time but they will be soon. And they deserve to be welcomed into an environment that supports their learning and helps facilitate any lost academic ground the pandemic has caused.

Unfortunately, that’s not what will happen. For decades, the physical spaces where Rhode Island’s children learn have been crumbling — classrooms filled with mold, ceilings falling down and roofs that leak after each rainstorm. Adding COVID-19 to the mix, many schools are forced to keep their windows open and fans running for air ventilation and circulation as we head into the winter months. Read more here.

Providence Journal: Providence Teachers Union sues district, state over COVID risk

The Providence Teachers Union has filed a lawsuit to temporarily close Nathanael Greene Middle School, shift to distance learning and order the state education commissioner to develop clear COVID-19 safety, health and staffing standards for all schools.

The suit, filed in Superior Court, names state Commissioner of Education Angélica Infante-Green, Providence Supt. Harrison Peters and the Providence School Board. The teachers union has asked for a hearing on Wednesday.

The union claims (and the district last week confirmed) that at least 30 staff members were out due to COVID-related issues during the week of Oct. 26.

Nathanael Greene Middle School students and staff “have an incontrovertible right to work and learn in an environment that is safe and adheres to the guidelines laid down by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Rhode Island Department of Health,” the complaint said.

Infante-Green, the suit said, “does not have the discretion to avoid her responsibilities under the law and regulations.”

Providence Teachers Union President Maribeth Calabro said the union could not reach an agreement with local and state school leaders on the need for more measures to protect Providence schools. Read more here.

Teamsters Joint  Council 10:

Liquor stores, bars restaurants and members of the community in Rhode Island support Teamsters Local 251 drivers in their fight to protect their standard of living.

Recently Teamster Local 251 members at McLaughlin & Moran, the lone Budweiser distributor in Rhode Island, were told the distributor was being sold to one of the companies owned by the Mancini family. Mancini Beverage also owns the lone Miller/Coors distributor in Rhode Island. If this sale is approved by regulators, the combined company will essentially have a monopoly, as they’ll have the exclusive right to distribute the major beer brands that make up 76% of the national market share, as well as products from 300 other producers.

Not only could this sale hurt local restaurants, bars, and the rest of the hospitality industry, but it is bad for workers, too. Mancini Beverage has refused to honor the two years remaining on the Local 251 members’ current labor contract. HELP US FIGHT BACK. SIGN THE PETITION HERE: http://bit.ly/StopLiquorMonopoly

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AFL-CIO: Every Vote Must Be Counted

November 4, 20202

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the presidential election:

Democracy is rising in America. Despite the worst pandemic in a century, voters came out in record numbers to exercise our rights as citizens, and now those ballots must be counted. As we said in our statement with business and faith leaders today, this is a moment “to exercise patience with the process and trust in our system, even if it requires more time than usual.”

Joe Biden’s growing national lead reflects a country ready to turn the page on the dysfunction and division of the Trump era, and we are confident that when all the votes are counted, the Electoral College will render the same verdict.

In the days to come, America’s labor movement will defend our democratic republic and ensure our next president will be the person who is the choice of the citizens of the United States. Simply put, voters must decide—not courts, not legislators and certainly not one of the candidates.

Contact: Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018

American Labor Studies Center:

The labor movement is under increasing attack. Its enemies are out to destroy it. Labor’s best defense is to make sure all Americans, including our nation’s students, understand the role unions played, and continue to play, in advancing the rights of workers and helping working families improve their lives.

The mission of the American Labor Studies Center (ALSC) is to promote the teaching and learning about the American labor movement and its history to our nation’s elementary and secondary students. To reach the nation’s teachers, the Center works with the AFT and NEA and their affiliates to provide teaching materials for grades K-12 through its award-winning web site www.labor-studies.org. The site experienced 17,784 visits this past year alone. We also conduct workshops for teachers.

The ALSC annually sponsors a $1,000 prize and gold medal for the best National History Day (NHD) project on labor history. After winning an NHD gold medal, one student wrote, This program has had a long-lasting, positive impact on my life! If I had not pursued this topic, I feel my knowledge of American history would have been lacking, now that I know the profound impact that the labor movement has had on our country. Learn more here.

New York Times: Nurses Are at High Risk for Covid Among Health Workers, C.D.C. Says

Among health care workers, nurses in particular have been at significant risk of contracting Covid-19, according to a new analysis of hospitalized patients by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings were released Monday as a surge of new hospitalizations swept the country, with several states hitting record levels of cases.

About 6 percent of adults hospitalized from March through May were health care workers, according to the researchers, with more than a third either nurses or nursing assistants. Roughly a quarter, or 27 percent, of those hospitalized workers were admitted to the intensive care unit, and 4 percent died during their hospital stay.

The study looked at 6,760 hospitalizations across 13 states, including California, New York, Ohio and Tennessee. Read more here.

Labor Notes: Test Your Wits in Our First-Ever Crossword Puzzle

Us vs. Them: Organizing for Worker Power

Click here for a printable PDF of this puzzle.

Labor 411:


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If you want a voice on the job or to build a better workplace, click the here to start organizing and taking action.

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