E-news: june 24, 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.

SEIU, Local 580 Press Conference:

SEIU calls for full review of practices at the Department of Children, Youth, and Families that has endangered our most vulnerable children.

Watch Video

The Providence Journal: Lawmakers and social workers are calling for an audit of DCYF performance. What to know:

PROVIDENCE — A bipartisan group of lawmakers and state social workers on Tuesday called for a complete performance review of the state’s child welfare agency to once and for all root out what they said has been decades of mismanagement, nepotism, political patronage and child-protection failures.

The timing of the announcement was curious, as other calls for evaluations of the state Department of Children, Youth and Families – and there have been many over the years – have usually come after tragedies involving deaths of children in state care.

In this case the call for the audit comes after House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi and the House Finance Committee agreed to spend more on DCYF in next year’s budget – earmarked mostly for additional front-line workers – than Gov. Dan McKee requested. Read more here.

General Teamsters Local 251 Facebook: Teamsters Local 251 Members at Praxair Unanimously Ratify New Contract

On Sunday June 13, Teamster members at Praxair unanimously voted to ratify a new 3 year deal. Members maintained their strong Teamster pension and Teamster healthcare. With the merger of Praxair and Linde, and expanded operations by the company in the region, members were unsure of how negotiations would go. They stood united and ratified another strong contract.
Strong job protections were maintained, with gains made in vacation bidding, solid wage increases and a reduced new hire progression.

Teamsters Local 251 Observes Juneteenth by Protesting at Home of Boss

Workers at Johnson Brothers of RI Demand a Fair Contract

(Mendon, MA) – Workers who have been on strike against Johnson Brothers of Rhode Island since May 26th marked the new federal holiday, Juneteenth by protesting at the home of their boss today. Johnson Brothers of RI is the exclusive distributor of Gallo Wine products in the Ocean State. Teamsters Local 251 has been negotiating a first contract with the company since November 2020.

The workers gathered at Johnson Brothers of Rhode Island President Keith Miranda’s home early this morning. They wore their strike signs, carried Black Lives Matter signs, chanted and gave flyers out describing their struggle in the exclusive Mendon, MA neighborhood.

“This small group of 12 workers is comprised predominantly of people of color. As we celebrate the emancipation of Black Americans on Juneteenth for the first time as a federal holiday, the truth of the matter is we still have corporate enslavement in America,” said Teamsters Local 251 Business Agent, Matt Maini.

“Some of these workers make as little as $15 per hour. How does Johnson Brothers expect them to pay up to $20,000 per year in premiums and out of pocket expenses for a family medical plan, put food on the table, keep a roof over their head and save for retirement with wages like that?” asked Matt Taibi, Teamsters Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer. “Before the strike even began one of the workers was already homeless. Another was living in an apartment with minimal furniture, very little food in the refrigerator, had to take out loans to stave off evictions, and took buses to get to work,” he said. Read more here.

Smithfield Firefighters IAFF Local 2050 Facebook:

E2 & R2 visited Generations Adult Day Health Center earlier this week while they participated in field day. We had several visitors come visit our trucks learning about what we carry on our trucks. Thank you Generations Adult Day Health Center for allowing us to take part in field day!

AFL-CIO: AFL-CIO Commends Biden Administration on Making Juneteenth a Federal Holiday

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and AFL-CIO Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Director Clayola Brown on Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the official freeing of the last enslaved Black people in the United States:

Today’s historic signing by President Biden making Juneteenth a federal holiday is a recognition of Black power and a reflection of America’s ongoing journey to tell our nation’s story. As we honor the sacred Juneteenth holiday that celebrates Black resilience and joy, America’s labor movement will continue to use our voice to lift up and learn from the Black experience. We must be a voice for all who live and work in the United States and to say out loud the names of those who were taken from us by racist violence.

Though explicit slavery has been abolished for more than 150 years, the exploitation of Black labor continues to this day through a systemically racist economy designed to promote wage disparity in the workplace and the chronic unemployment, underemployment and economic exploitation of Black people. America’s labor movement must remain at the tip of the spear to uproot systemic racism in all forms if we seek to fully uphold our nation’s promise of dignity for Black people.

Contact: Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018

AFL-CIO: Memorandum from President Richard Trumka

This past year, the need for food relief was greater than ever—and so was our determination to help. Throughout this pandemic, we have stepped up to help union members and struggling families keep food on their tables. We’re doing what the labor movement does best: joining together in solidarity, lifting each other up and serving our communities.

The AFL-CIO is proud to partner again with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) for the Stamp Out Hunger food drive campaign. Because of continued safety concerns, this year’s food drive was unable to happen as it usually does in May.

NALC is asking members of the community to participate by donating food directly to food banks in their area. Simply go to www.nalc.org/community-service/ food-drive/2021-donor-drive, select your state and find the food banks in your area.

I urge all of you to help promote the Stamp Out Hunger campaign among your union members and affiliates. Should you have any questions, please contact Kristie Small at ksmall@aflcio.org.

I recognize and thank each of you for your incredible efforts to support our members and your communities this past year. Your determination and courage is inspiring.

***Local Food Bank: Rhode Island Community Food Bank, 200 Niantic Avenue, Providence, RI 02907

Economic Policy Institute: Employer misclassification of workers as independent contractors deprives millions of their rights

Misclassification, the ABC test, and employee statusThe California experience and its relevance to current policy debates


The determination of whether an individual performing services is treated as an employee or an independent contractor carries significant consequences for workers, businesses, and governments. In the United States, workers who are classified as independent contractors:

  • are not covered by worker protection laws such as wage and hour laws, anti-discrimination laws, and laws providing collective bargaining rights
  • do not receive unemployment benefits when temporarily jobless
  • do not receive workers’ compensation when injured on the job
  • are responsible for paying the full payroll tax contribution to federal Social Security and Medicare programs

This publication was created in collaboration with the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation. In contrast, employers are responsible for covering payroll tax and social insurance costs, and providing these worker protections, for workers classified as employees. Thus, classifying workers as independent contractors both deprives these workers of workplace protections and imposes significant costs, resulting in considerable cost savings for employers, as they are able to shift these costs onto workers and avoid making payments to government tax and social insurance programs. Read more here.


RICOSH COVID Chronicles: Role of Ventilation and Filtration in Controlling COVID-19

Time: Friday, June 25, 2021 @ 2:00 PM via Zoom

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://aflcio.zoom.us/j/86462261420?pwd=NjdyTFo4NHNkZ1NHVEx1aHJxTHIrUT09

Meeting ID: 864 6226 1420, Password: 997593

Or Telephone: 888-844-9904, Conference code: 688346

20th Annual London/Riley Memorial Golf Tournament

Date: Monday, August 2, 2021

Where: Cranston Country Club, Cranston, RI

More information: LondonRiley.org

Teamsters, Local 251
Please visit the picket line and show Johnson Brothers that workers stick together and will not be treated like second-class citizens. Picket lines are up 24 hours a day at: Johnson Brothers of RI 120 Moscrip Ave North Kingstown RI 02852 Key times are 7:30-9 am and 4-6 pm.

More information here.

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