e-news: november 19, 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


NEARI: NEARI and RIFTHP Call for Pause to In-Person Learning

Cranston, R.I. (November 16, 2020) – National Education Association Rhode Island (NEARI) President Larry Purtill and Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals (RIFTHP) President Frank Flynn, leaders of the unions representing the vast majority of Rhode Island teachers and education support professionals, today called for “a holiday pause” of in-person learning and a move to distance learning for K-12 students statewide by November 23.  

The Ocean State is amid an alarming rise in community spread of COVID-19. Viral caseloads coupled with a lag in contact tracing, staffing shortages due to quarantines, and the arrival of colder weather negatively impact health, safety, and instruction. The organizations agree a temporary move to statewide distance learning is a common-sense critical step in driving down incidence rates.

“Rhode Island is experiencing record high number of cases and an overwhelmed Department of Health, despite their best efforts, is falling behind with the required contact tracing that ensures effective quarantining and overall safety of students and educators,” said Purtill. “Districts already burdened and stretched thin are not equipped, nor do they have the capacity, to take on this duty.”  Read more here.


RI Building & Construction Trades Council Twitter:

President Sabitoni proud RIBCTC continues to be a national leader in offshore wind as its partner, Orsted, reaches an agreement with @NABTU to build wind farms along East Coast. Block Island Wind will serve as national model.

Reuters: Ørsted strikes deal with labor union on U.S. offshore wind development

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Danish renewable energy group Ørsted ORSTED.CO and North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) announced on Wednesday a deal to train an offshore wind construction workforce to build the firm’s pipeline of projects down the U.S. East Coast.

The memorandum of understanding aims to create a model for the nascent offshore wind industry in the United States at a time President-elect Joe Biden is promising to usher in a swift transition to renewable energy sources like solar and wind to fight climate change.

Labor unions have been wary of a rapid transition to renewable energy over concerns it will lead to a net loss of middle-class, career-sustaining jobs.

“We are working to proactively develop a plan to transition organized labor into the offshore industry,” Ørsted North America CEO David Hardy told Reuters.

The NABTU represents three million workers and its president Sean McGarvey praised the agreement. Read more here.


Building Futures FaceBook:

Let’s continue Construction Day of Rhode Island Apprenticeship Week by giving a shout to all of the Building Futures grads who completed their apprenticeship and earned their journeyworker status since our last in person alumni gathering!

Steven Farrazzano, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 3, Tyrone Bell, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 99, Ricky Saquic, IBEW Local 99, Kevin Harrison-Lombardi, Union Ironworkers Local 37, Keyona Long, Ironworkers Local 37, Carl Paul, Ironworkers Local 37, Sophat Long, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local 195, Rothanak Heng, IUPAT Local 195, Nazario Guttierez, IUPAT Local 1333, Yinka Awodumila, LIUNA Local 271, Lachic Hill, Laborers Local 271, Shawn Lee, Laborers Local 271. Chris Melendez, Laborers Local 271, Juan Huertas, United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 330, Manny Goncalves, UBC Local 330, Luis Terrero, UBC Local 328

Proud of the accomplishments of BF grads in the field and in their trades

View Pictures



The Newport Daily News: Middletown firefighters prepare for potential LNG incidents

MIDDLETOWN — In emergency services, personnel often prepare for situations they hope never become realities. In the case of the Middletown Fire Department, recent training for handling liquefied natural gas emergencies is one such example.

Fire Chief Robert McCall said two firefighters recently traveled to the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy in Stow to learn more about LNG for the extremely low chance there’s an incident in town.

Next month, McCall said 10 more members of the department will head north for similar hands-on learning. National Grid is picking up the tab for all the training and related expenses.

“This training was extremely important due to the fact that LNG incidents are what we call low-frequency/high-risk events,” McCall said. “Which means, it’s rare that they happen, but there is a lot of risk in dealing with them.” Read more here.


AFL-CIO: AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Discusses Worker Safety and COVID-19 with President-Elect Biden

Today, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka joined President-Elect Joe Biden, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris and leaders from the business community and labor movement to share the federation’s vision for how to get people back to work safely in face of COVID-19.

Here are excerpts from Trumka’s remarks:

“We need to manufacture the respirators and personal protective equipment that continue to be in short supply. We need to make the investments to retrofit our workplaces and schools to meet the ventilation and distancing requirements scientists and workplace safety experts tell us are absolutely vital. We need to make sure all COVID-19 cases are counted and reported so we know where the major outbreaks are before they get worse.”

“But with close to 200,000 Americans becoming infected every day and workers dying at alarming rates, especially in communities of color, the most important thing we can do on Day 1 is to reestablish OSHA’s mission of protecting workers. For four years, OSHA has been AWOL. There’s been no full-time director. There are fewer inspectors today than at any point in the agency’s history.”Read more here.



Labor 411: What Are You Thankful for?

It’s been a very challenging year, but as we gather around our Thanksgiving dinner table on November 26, we can certainly be thankful for the delicacies of the season and for the hard working men and women who work for companies that treat them with dignity and give them a voice on the job. You have choices every time you go to the supermarket or order for delivery. This holiday, choose products like the ones below which are made by ethical union companies. And while we’re giving thanks, a shout out to the union members for the work they do to help strengthen the middle class. See list here.

***Remember to buy Union-Made for Thanksgiving. Remember to buy at Stop &Shop, Shaws and East Side Marketplace where our union brothers and sisters work.


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