e-news: may 6, 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.


The Providence Journal: House approves nursing home staffing mandate with dose of relief thrown in

PROVIDENCE — A heated fight over a proposed nursing-home staffing mandate was largely averted on Tuesday, by the mid-debate promise of millions of additional state dollars to help the homes pay for the new nurse-to-patient requirement.

The incremental increase in nursing home reimbursement rates will, by October 2023, provide the industry with an additional $12 million or so a year.

The House voted 64-to-9 for the bill, despite the warnings of one Republican lawmaker after another that the mandate would force the nursing homes to cut back in other vital areas unless the legislature committed to even more financial relief.

“The ‘moms and pops’ are going to have to sell out … and guess who’s going to pick up the slack?” said Republican Rep. David Place of Burrillville.

“All that will be left is the corporate raiders,” said Place, “the very people that we should [be] demonizing, the very people that are going in and using our seniors to make money.”

Read more here.


Rhode Island State Association of Firefighters Facebook:

President Andriole would like to thank all our RISAFF Locals, the families of our lost brothers and sisters and elected Officials who attended today to acknowledge and pay tribute to all of our Rhode Island Fire Fighters who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

Our thoughts and prayers are always with them, their families and the Fire Departments in which they served.

Thank you to all the RISAFF members who worked tirelessly to make today’s ceremony such a beautiful tribute.

A special thanks to RISAFF Emeritus President Paul Reed for representing RISAFF in the wreath presentation.

View Pictures here.


National Education Association RI (NEARI) Twitter: It seems the team is a bit rusty from the break…

Join @LawrencePurtill, @RobertAWalshJr, & @Steph_DeSilva as they celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week and more.

Watch here.


Laborers, Local 271 Twitter:

BM Sabitoni joins DOT state and local leaders during National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week. He reminds motorists to be patient, go slow and adhere to flaggers, speed warnings and orange cones near highway work zones. Lives depend upon it.


Dan York State of Mind: DYSOM 4/16/21: Mike Sabitoni

Business Manager of the R.I. Laborers District Council Mike Sabitoni joins Dan Yorke to discuss the controversy and uncertain future surrounding the state-run Eleanor Slater Hospital and it’s Zambarano Unit. Watch video here.


The Providence Journal: State lawmakers to unveil bill for free RIPTA bus fares

State lawmakers will soon introduce legislation for free fares on Rhode Island Public Transit Authority buses, an effort Democrats say will fight climate change, boost the economy and foster racial justice.

On Wednesday, Sen. Meghan Kallman and Rep. Leonela Felix, both Democrats from Pawtucket, announced their intent to unveil the bill, which Kallman said would be released within the next two weeks.

The program has a $25-million price tag, which lawmakers are aiming to finance with revenues from the gas tax and the Transportation and Climate Initiative, or TCI. That program still needs authorization from state lawmakers. If approved, it would launch in 2023, requiring certain fuel suppliers to pay allowances for the pollution their fuels create. TCI is expected to generate about $276 million in its first year. Read more here.


View pictures below from the Press Conference where State lawmakers unveiled bill for free RIPTA bus fares.

View pictures here.


RICOSH: Worker Memorial Day Brief

Funding for Infection Control Assistance

More than 182,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19, representing about one-third of all coronavirus fatalities in the U.S. A section of the American Rescue Plan contains a critical and positive response to this epicenter of the pandemic.

The American Rescue Plan incorporated Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-RI) COVID-19 Nursing Home Protection Act, to provide funding for infection control assistance and organizing local health and emergency workers – known as “surge” teams – to manage COVID-19 outbreaks and care for residents.

The American Rescue Plan will authorize $250 million in funding to states to implement surge teams and another $200 million for the Secretary of HHS to provide essential infection control assistance to nursing homes. The legislation also requires the HHS Secretary to collect and make public demographic data on COVID-19cases and deaths, including information on age, race, ethnicity, and preferred language. Read more here.


General Teamsters, Local 251 Facebook:
JOHNSON BROTHERS WORKERS DEMAND BETTER

View pictures here.

A day after a “Just Practicing” informational rally at their workplace, workers from Johnson Brothers of RI along with other Teamsters Local 251 members again informed the public about Gallo wine products. Despite pleas from Applebee’s management at the South Kingstown, Rhode Island restaurant to leave the area, workers engaged customers and the general public.
Ask Applebee’s for an arsenic-free wine!


General Teamsters, Local 251 Facebook: UPS TEAMSTERS RALLY & BLOW THE WHISTLE

View pictures here.

Local 251 members at the Warwick UPS building rallied, leafleted and blew whistles all day today. Members demanded to be treated with dignity and respect as essential workers. Management has been harassing and overly supervising workers, all the while COVID protocols haven’t been followed by the Company. Grievances, OSHA complaints, Dept of Business Regulation complaints and NLRB charges have all been lodged against management. Workers who have been working hard throughout the pandemic are blowing the whistle on poor treatment.


Teamsters Joint Council 10 Facebook:

TEAMSTERS LOCAL 251 PARTICIPATE IN NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AT STERICYCLE Teamsters Local 251 Stericycle members stood together to protest workers’ rights violations. In Ohio, Rhode Island and North Carolina. The members joined Locals 391 and 377 in conducting a practice picket to protest the company’s anti-worker practices and unfair labor practice (ULP) charges for violating workers’ rights. Last October, the 35 workers at the Woonsocket facility voted 201 to join Local 251. “Jointing a union is an act of solidarity not just with your coworkers, but with working people across the country,” said Matt Taibi, Teamsters Local 251 Princiipal Officer. “When we stand as one, we can fight back against a national employer Stericycle.”


Economic Policy Institute: Who are today’s union workers?

Unionized workers are diverse, and they work in most industries across America.

One in nine workers—15.9 million working women and men in the United States—are represented by a union.1 This makes organized labor one of the largest institutions in America. It is also one of the most diverse, representing workers of all ages, at all levels of education, of diverse races and ethnicities, and across most industries in America.

Altogether, about two-thirds of working people ages 16+ who are covered by a union contract are women and/or people of color.

  • As of 2020, roughly 10.6 million of the 15.9 million workers covered by a union contract are women and/or people of color.
  • Almost half of workers represented by a union are women (47.1%).
  • Nearly four in 10 (37.4%) are African American, Hispanic, AAPI, or other nonwhite workers.
  • Black workers are the most likely to be represented by unions: 13.6% are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, compared with 12.3% of white workers, 11.0% of Hispanic workers, and 10.3% of AAPI workers. Read more here.




UPCOMING EVENTS:

Nursing Home Workers Pawtucket Picket

Stand in Solidarity with Frontline Caregivers at Pawtucket Center

When: Saturday, May 8th 2-4pm Where: 70 Gill Ave, Pawtucket

Facebook invite link here.

Background:

  • Caregivers are fighting for safe staffing. The new ownership proposed taking away CNAs on each floor while we’re already short staffed.
  • Nursing home heroes didn’t get a raise since the pandemic started. Management proposed a $0.05 raise,
  • Healthcare workers deserve affordable health insurance. Management proposed increases of $70/week for employee health insurance contributions.
  • The company is projecting profits of $1.9 million each year by 2023.

(Note: this is an informational picket)



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