e-news: May 27, 2021

Press Conference: May 24, 2021

President Nee & Secretary-Treasurer Crowley joined APWU – The American Postal Workers Union local 387 President Jay Marrero and US Senator Jack Reed today to discuss elements of a plan to help strengthen transparency and accountability for Postal Service performance, keep the Postal Service operating in communities nationwide, and ensure it can better serve the American people. The bill will include technology upgrades allowing the Postal Service to develop a public online mail delivery performance dashboard so customers can view on-time delivery metrics by zip code each week.

U.S. Senator Jack Reed Website: Sen. Reed Helps Deliver New Bipartisan Reform Plan to Save the Post Office

Sen. Reed says a bipartisan group of Senate Democrats and Republicans has agreed on a plan to rescue the U.S. Postal Service, put it on path to financial sustainability, and ensure reliable mail service for RI

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island citizens and businesses rely on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to deliver for them. But after the Trump Administration made operational changes to slow the mail, blocked needed funding for the USPS, and hobbled their finances, the Postal Service — which employs roughly 637,000 people, and which Americans count on for their prescriptions, paychecks, utility bills, and letters from loved ones — struggled to do its job.

Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed joined with local mail carriers outside the Providence Post Office on Corliss Street to demand action to save the USPS.

Senator Reed is backing a new, bipartisan postal reform agreement that will help save the Postal Service and put it on a stronger and more sustainable financial path. Read more here.


Press Release

For Immediate Release: May 21, 2021

The Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council Statement on the Providence City Council passing TSA Reform

The Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council (RIBCTC) thanks the members of the Providence City Council for their leadership and courage in passing long overdue tax stabilization agreement (TSA) reform. This ordinance, which had lengthy public review, is a victory for the hard-working, skilled men and women who build Providence every day and provides opportunities for minority and women-owned contractors, stronger apprenticeship standards, and a floor for family-supporting wages and benefits.

          Michael F. Sabitoni, RIBCTC President states, “It is finally time for the City of Providence to stand up for working men and women. TSAs can be a useful tool to fuel economic development, but over the years on many occasions they unfortunately have exploited low-wage labor, while boosting project profit. Many TSA-assisted projects are rampant with safety and wage violations, posing a threat to taxpayers and ruining their intended use, to spur economic growth for the entire City. Tax breaks and incentives for development should not come at the expense of hard-working tradespeople building those projects. We thank the City Council for standing strong with working families and we urge Mayor Elorza to sign this ordinance and support the working families of the city of Providence.”

          *The RIB&CTC is a federation of sixteen local trade unions with approximately 10-thousand union craftsmen and craftswomen in the construction industry. The members of the council, all of whom live in and around the Rhode Island area, have been involved in every major construction initiative-private or public-undertaken in and around the State of Rhode Island for nearly a century.

*For more information contact Michael F. Sabitoni at 401.331.9682 or msabitoni@local271.org        


Providence Journal: RI governor signs bill increasing minimum wage over the next 4 years

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee signed legislation on Thursday that will increase Rhode Island’s minimum wage to $15 over a four-year period.

“It’s just common sense, right? Especially as we’re dealing with coming out of the COVID-19, and knowing how important the people who are working in our small businesses are to our small businesses,” McKee remarked Thursday morning.

“If there was ever a time that we know that that’s true, it’s true,” he added

The state’s minimum wage has been $11.50 since last October when former Gov. Gina Raimondo signed a bill that raised wages by $1.

“Raising the minimum wage will benefit thousands of workers, and we need this progress now more than ever,” McKee said.

According to McKee, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training estimates the new law will raise wages for approximately 70,000 workers by 2022, and approximately 140,000 workers by 2025.

“The boost in wages will go back into our local community, supporting small businesses in all of the 39 cities and towns that we call home,” McKee added. Read more here.


SEIU 1199 Facebook:

BREAKING: The Rhode Island Senate just voted to pass The Nursing Home Staffing and Quality Care Act. This legislation, which has now passed the General Assembly, raises the bar on nursing home care and will improve the lives of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities while providing a pathway out of poverty for dedicated frontline caregivers who are disproportionately women of color. It would not have happened without the hard work and dedication of countless individuals over the years demanding that safe staffing become a reality. Now we need Governor McKee to sign this bill into LAW.


A well thought out Op-Ed in this week’s Projo pertaining to Tax Stabilization Agreements (TSAs).

Providence Journal Op-Ed: City must level tax breaks for developers

Vennicia Kingston and Jose Marcano Guest columnists Recently, state leaders named racism as a public health threat, and even closer to home, the City of Providence released a comprehensive report on systemic racism in our city. It’s encouraging that leaders are looking for ways to tackle historical inequities baked into our policies and underwritten by our tax dollars. One clear next step for Providence city councilors to take: ensure a more equitable Providence by reforming how the city approves tax breaks for developers.

The Providence Tax Stabilization Investment ordinance would standardize the processes for future tax incentives for developers. Along the way, the reform would simplify an often convoluted, opaque process and add needed transparency by clearly defining the requirements that all developers must follow to get a tax break from the people of Providence. The proposed legislation’s appeal is that it not only protects the city’s financial interests, but also encourages new development by creating a system that’s more predictable, measurable, and accountable. Read more here.


Tweets of the Week:


General Teamsters, Local 251 Facebook:

Picket lines are up 24 hours a day at: Johnson Brothers of RI, 120 Moscrip Ave., North Kingstown RI 02852 A year ago, they were heroes. They deserve better treatment!

Let Johnson Brothers know about your concerns: 651-649-5800 Corporate l 401-583-0050 Rhode Island.

View list of Gallo wines here.



Labor 411:

On Memorial Day, we remember the brave servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our great nation. The holiday and the accompanying weekend is an opportunity for friends and family to prepare for summer. Although the calendar says it may officially still be spring, once Memorial Day weekend arrives, vacations and summertime fun are just around the corner. That means barbecues, picnics, sunshine and lots of outdoor activities, following all of the appropriate health guidelines, of course. To get the party started, we have listed some of our favorite food and accessories. Even better, the items below are all made by ethical companies who treat their workers with respect and give them a voice on the job.

Happy Memorial Day and let’s all work together to build a stronger America.

View list here.

***Remember to purchase your food and beverages from Stop & Shop, Shaws and Eastside Marketplace where our union members work.



UPCOMING EVENTS:

TODAY @ 2 p.m.

United Way of Rhode Island

Getting to a Livable Wage in Rhode Island, A Community First Conversation Join us for a Community First Conversation about getting to a livable wage in Rhode Island. Leaders of our state’s labor, housing, and finance communities will share what they’re doing to increase income for Rhode Island workers and how you can advocate for a livable wage for Rhode Islanders. Host:
Kyle Bennett | Director, Policy and Equity, United Way of Rhode Island Guests:
George Nee | President, Rhode Island AFL-CIO
Melina Lodge | Executive Director, Housing Network of Rhode Island
– Representative from Bank of America

Register here.



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