e-news: january 28, 2021

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.

More information here.

Raise the Bar Resident Care Facebook:

TODAY, Rhode Island caregivers and supporters rallied at the State House to demand safe staffing and fair wages through passage of The Nursing Home Staffing and Quality Care Act. “We’ve faced a staffing crisis for years in our nursing homes, but COVID has only made being a caregiver even more challenging,” said Trish Connley, a CNA at Greenville Center. “Working over the last year has been so emotionally and mentally exhausting, and there are days when I have gone home in tears because I feel like I can’t give our residents the care they need. We desperately need our General Assembly to pass the Nursing Home Staffing and Quality Care Act so we can provide our residents with the compassionate, high-quality care they deserve.” Safe staffing is long overdue; it is time our lawmakers agree!

Providence Journal: Opinion/Blais: Prospect payout to pensioners was no act of good faith

The Providence Journal printed an opinion piece on Jan. 19 entitled “Prospect Medical again steps up for Fatima Hospital (Commentary). The authors of the piece, Dr. A. Robert Buonanno and Dr. William Beliveau, are entitled to their own opinions. They are not, however, entitled to their own facts.

The fact is, Prospect Medical Holdings was sued in state and federal court for the role it allegedly played in the collapse of the St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island Retirement Plan. The allegations are horrifying: Prospect was sued for, among other things, fraud through intentional misrepresentations and omissions, conspiracy to injure, willingly/knowingly giving false or incorrect information, and knowingly aiding and abetting in breaches of fiduciary duty.

Doctors Buonanno and Beliveau claim that Prospect “voluntarily settled the pending lawsuit as a gesture of commitment to those who have lost pension benefits.” They further claim that Prospect “has consistently acted in good faith” and “has once again done the right thing.”

Read more here.

LIUNA New England Facebook:

Watch video here.

AFL-CIO: Increase in Union Density Part of a National Groundswell

January 22, 2021

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the increase in union density in 2020:

In 2020, America saw working people in a new light, as the true engines of our economy and the trusted servants who can carry us through a crisis. While last year was filled with unemployment and economic pain because of a deadly pandemic and the incompetent federal response to it, union density rose. We believe this increase is part of a national groundswell. The popularity of unions is at 65%, one of the highest marks in a half-century, and research shows that more than 60 million workers would vote to join a union today if given the chance. The inauguration of President Joe Biden, who showed on his first day he is willing to fight for working people’s safety and to get union busters out of government, presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to finally create an environment where what workers desire truly drives union density. And that requires passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act so that our labor laws support and protect the freedom to form a union.

Contact: Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018

IATSE Twitter: BREAKING: Theatrical Stage Employees union formally offers labor and infrastructure to @WHCOVIDResponse and @fema in the effort to build field vaccination sites.

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Economic Policy Institute Why the U.S. needs a $15 minimum wage

The federal minimum hourly wage is just $7.25 and Congress has not increased it since 2009. Low wages hurt all workers and are particularly harmful to Black workers and other workers of color, especially women of color, who make up a disproportionate share of workers who are severely underpaid. This is the result of structural racism and sexism, with an economic system rooted in chattel slavery in which workers of color—and especially women of color—have been and continue to be shunted into the most underpaid jobs.1

The Raise the Wage Act of 2021 would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 and narrow racial and gender pay gaps. Here is what the Act would do:

  • Raise the federal minimum wage to $9.50 this year and increase it in steps until it reaches $15 an hour in 2025.2
  • After 2025, adjust the minimum wage each year to keep pace with growth in the median wage, a measure of wages for typical workers.
  • Phase out the egregious subminimum wage for tipped workers, which has been frozen at a meager $2.13 since 1991.3
  • Sunset unacceptable subminimum wages for workers with disabilities employed in sheltered workshops and for workers under age 20.

Read more here.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic: Union Members Summary – 2020

In 2020, the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions–the union membership rate–was 10.8 percent, up by 0.5 percentage point from 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, at 14.3 million in 2020, was down by 321,000, or 2.2 percent, from 2019. However, the decline in total wage and salary employment was 9.6 million (mostly among nonunion workers), or 6.7 percent. The disproportionately large decline in total wage and salary

employment compared with the decline in the number of union members led to an increase in the union membership rate. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent and there were 17.7 million union workers.

Union membership data are collected as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 eligible households that obtains information on employment and unemployment among the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and over. For more information, see the Technical Note in this news release. Read more here.

None at this time.

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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