e-News: March 11, 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.


Providence Journal: Opinion/Sabitoni: Providence workers rise together for tax break reform

Michael Sabitoni is president of the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council and a member of the Providence Rises Together Coalition, a collection of labor unions representing both construction workers and service workers encouraging the Providence City Council to pass the Tax Stabilization Investment Act. For more information, visit http://www.ProvidenceRisesTogether.org.

At a time when families need help the most due to the crippling economic effect of COVID-19, Providence is hungry for swift action to bolster our economy and protect our workers.

In Rhode Island, the amount of working-age people who are earning wages or trying to find work just shrunk to a historic 20-year low in December. This pain has hit low-income workers the hardest. Downtown Providence is struggling with no tourists, no office workers, and no convention events to fuel our economy that was thriving a year ago today.

For too long, decades-long tax breaks have been doled out to big developers who have broken their commitment to the City of Providence, using contractors plagued with unfair and inequitable labor practices, including wage theft. Read more here.


Patch: Opinion: Charter School Expansion Would Leave Children Behind

By Sandra Cano and Ana B. Quezada

Providing access to a quality public education is a primary responsibility of policymakers and elected officials. All children are entitled to a quality education no matter their race, socioeconomic status, or zip code.

The moratorium on charter school expansion recently approved by the Rhode Island Senate is neither anti-education nor anti-charter school. Rather, it is about saving traditional public schools, thereby ensuring every child in our state has a fighting chance at a quality education before it’s too late.

Recently, the Board of Education granted preliminary approval of 5,835 more charter school seats. Any increase to the number of seats at charter schools inherently draws financial resources from traditional public schools, and the estimated fiscal impact of this expansion exceeds $90 million. The new and expanded charter schools would be funded through $25.4 million charged to the sending districts directly. Those sending districts would also forego state aid of approximately $66.9 million, which would instead be directed to the new charter schools. That is on top of the increased demand for resources from school district struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.


Overview of the IGT/Twin River 2021 Legislation:

Watch Video here.


UFCW Local 328 Twitter:

We are proud to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement with Durham School Services on behalf of the over 100 hardworking school transportation workers who service Cumberland Public Schools, BVP and PMA! We want to thank the community for all of your support!


Institute for Labor Studies and Research: English Classes

Next week ILSR is starting up a Back to Work RI English Class for union members who are out of work due to COVID. Enrollment is still open, and we have space for 6 more participants. Eligible participants who enroll will have access to comprehensive support services through RI Reconnect including assistance with housing, childcare, groceries, and tech needs. Please help us get the word out to your members.
Here’s the website where they can sign up: https://forms.gle/vn5yLrLWduDE8h5UA
Please contact Sabine Adrian (sadrian@riilsr.org) if you have any questions about this opportunity.


RICOSH Political Action Message:

‘Six warmest years on record have occurred since 2014’

2021 Act on Climate Change

“Working people and their families are on the front lines of the devastation of climate change. ….too many countries are failing to meet emission reduction targets and too many are still in denial. Lack of ambition and lack of action is the fuel for our own destruction. Measures like investment in low carbon infrastructure, manufacturing and services can both ensure jobs and sustainability a Just Transition must be an essential protection for displaced workers.

International Trade Union Confederation’s General Secretary Sharan Burrow, Climate Action Summit, San Francisco.
Recent decades have seen a steep rise in global temperatures due to emissions from human activity increasing the concentration of heat-trapping gases to levels not seen in the past million years. National and international health and climate experts have cataloged several interconnected adverse health outcomes, especially as the rate of temperature rise continues. These include frequent, intense and longer-lasting extreme heat; wildfire and air pollution risks; frequent, extreme precipitation, intense storms, and changes in precipitation patterns that lead to drought and ecosystem changes and rising sea levels that intensify coastal flooding and storm surge. Multi-stressor situations, such as impacts on vulnerable populations following natural disasters also damage the social and physical infrastructure necessary for resilience and emergency response, are particularly important to consider when preparing for the impacts of climate change on human health. Each of these events is expected to have dramatic impact on human health – directly and indirectly. Read more here.


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AFL-CIO: Trumka: The PRO Act Is Our Next Frontier

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka delivered the following remarks at a bipartisan press conference of congressional, labor and civil rights leaders in advance of House passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act:

Good morning, everyone.
Together, we will make the PRO Act the law of the land.

All of us agree that a union card is the single best tool working people have in the fight to win a fair share of the value we create every day.

The right to freely and fairly organize is a patriotic belief, not a partisan one. Union members vote for both political parties and we live in red and blue states. Unionism transcends ideology, and it transcends any one issue.

It strengthens civil rights. It makes us safer on the job. It creates fairer workplaces. It builds a stronger economy.

In an era of extreme polarization, nearly two-thirds of Americans approve of labor unions. Seriously, think about how hard it is to find something more than 50 percent—let alone 65 percent—that the country agrees on. Read more here.



AFL-CIO: Shuler at International Women’s Day Event: Our Work Is Essential

On behalf of America’s labor unions: Happy International Women’s Day! We have 6.5 million women—and growing—so that makes the AFL-CIO the largest organization of working women in the entire country.

I’m Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, Treasurer of the Solidarity Center Board of Trustees and proud member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women.

Through so many challenges, the tremendous loss of life and jobs through this pandemic, threats to our communities and democracy, women are carrying the heaviest burdens.

We are withstanding so much. But we are not alone and we are not remaining silent. We’re protesting and organizing and mobilizing, online and in the streets.

We’re raising our voices and we, women of every age and color and faith we are claiming our power through our unions. That’s not a new story. But it is one of the most important stories in the world and we need to keep telling it. Because it’s about our strength and it is about our collective power.

In the U.S., long before women had the right to vote, women organized unions. Many were young, immigrants, poor and discriminated against. Read more here.




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Now playing on Labor Vision

Erica Hammond sits down with United Way of RI’s Jennifer Remmes and Brooke Havens to talk about the 2nd Annual 401 Gives event, happening on April 1, 2021. Last year was a huge success and raised over 1.3 million dollars for 366 nonprofit organizations across Rhode Island. The goal for this year is to increase donations and expand outreach to support even more nonprofits throughout the state. It is not too late to register your organization for this day of giving. The flexible deadline: March 15th and the process is quick and easy. Go to 401Gives.org to register and learn about the 250 organizations who’ve already joined. Remmes and Havens highlight the impact last year’s 401 Gives had on the organizations who participated, what to look forward to this year, and how to participate. Don’t miss this segment and remember to mark your calendars for April 1, 2021 at 6 a.m.! It will be a day to celebrate all of the good going on in our communities.

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