e-news: february 4, 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.

Rhode Island AFL-CIO Climate Jobs R.I. conference held on Friday, January 29th.

Watch conference here.

AFL-CIO: The Legendary Career and Spiritual Calling of John Sweeney

February 1, 2021

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the passing of AFL-CIO President Emeritus John Sweeney:

John Sweeney was a legend, plain and simple. He was guided into unionism by his Catholic faith, and not a single day passed by when he didn’t put the needs of working people first. John viewed his leadership as a spiritual calling, a divine act of solidarity in a world plagued by distance and division. The son of Irish immigrants, he used work as a way to directly apply his values, consistently exhibiting grit over flash and pursuing progress instead of posturing. He built SEIU into a powerhouse, doubling its membership, earning respect across the labor movement and in the halls of power. Throughout his storied life, John used the lessons he learned as a ground-level union leader to uphold dignity for all working people and expand human rights worldwide. I was proud to join his insurgent ticket in 1995, which recommitted the AFL-CIO to worker organizing and collective power. As president, John was a great leader and true innovator, driving the labor movement forward. We stand on that foundation today as we take on the challenges of inequality, systemic racism and much more. Former President Bill Clinton called John “a force for inclusion and activism.” I was blessed to call him a brother, a mentor and a friend. May God bless John’s memory, his family and the labor movement to which he devoted his life.

Contact: Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018

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AFT Share My Lesson: Black History Month Lesson Plans and Resources

Black History Month Activities: Exploring The Roots of a Celebration

It’s a misconception that Black History Month has only been around since its official designation by President Gerald Ford in 1976. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard-trained historian and the renowned father of black history in America devoted his life toward advocating for visibility, recognition, and appreciation of the black experience and contributions to American history, culture and society. Pursuing these ambitions, Woodson laid the foundations for Negro History Week (NHW) in 1925. The event was first celebrated in February 1926 and was to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Although NHW launched a powerful interest in black culture and representation, by the 1960s, during the civil rights movement, the most popular textbook for eighth-grade U.S. history courses only contained mention of two black people in the entirety of events that had transpired since the Civil War. This dearth of representation surrounding black contributions to society in our education system triggered a revolt against the traditional curriculum that eschewed the achievements of the Black Community. Responding to this, several institutions of higher education began advocating for an official Black History Month as a way to realize the ambitions that Woodson had initially fought for decades earlier. On the 50th anniversary of NHW’s first celebration, the U.S. officially designated February as Black History Month in 1976, and it has been celebrated each year since then.

Read more here.

Economic Policy Institute: The impact of raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2025, by congressional district

Mapping the impact of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 on workers

The federal minimum hourly wage is just $7.25 and has not increased since 2009. The Raise the Wage Act of 2021, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on January 26, 2021, would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. EPI research shows that raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would lift pay for nearly 32 million workers across the country—that’s 21% of the U.S. workforce. The increases would provide an additional $107 billion in wages for the country’s lowest-paid workers, with the average affected worker who works year-round receiving an extra $3,300 a year.

Read more here.

CDC Vaccine Factsheet: FAQs about COVID-19 Vaccination in the Workplace: For Workers

1. Will my employer require proof that I am vaccinated?
Whether an employer may require or mandate COVID-19 vaccination is a matter of state or other applicable law. If an employer requires employees to provide proof that they have received a COVID-19 vaccination from a pharmacy or their own healthcare provider, you do not need to provide any medical information as part of the proof. Learn more from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

2. How will I remember to get the second shot? Each person getting the COVID-19 vaccine will receive a vaccination record card to make sure they receive the correct vaccine for the second dose. You can also enroll in v-safe, a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. V-safe will remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one.

3. What if I miss my second shot?

People who receive the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine but are not able to receive the second dose when their employer offers it may bring their vaccination record card to another location that is administering vaccine in their area to complete the vaccine series. You should not need to restart your series of shots. It is important that you get the same vaccine for both your first and second dose. You should not mix and match the different brands like Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. Learn more here.


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