e-news: july 22, 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.

AFSCME: AFSCME Rhode Island fights privatization of services to the elderly and disabled

After a prolonged budget battle with Rhode Island state leaders, AFSCME members were able to protect key community services for the state’s elderly, disabled and vulnerable people against attempts to privatize and reduce them.

Such fights – and victories – are nothing new for AFSCME Rhode Island Council 94 members, who have been fighting attempts to close several of Rhode Island’s state-run facilities that serve vulnerable residents.

Shoestring budgets that fail to invest in critical services and instead pad the pockets of private companies have only made matters worse for workers and the people they serve in these facilities.

“The real thanks go to the workers who, during the pandemic, kept going to work while management spent millions on private vendors,” said J. Michael Downey, president of Council 94. “This outsourcing trend is troubling: hiring outside vendors to do the work our members – some who have been with these facilities for years and built relationships there – were hired to do. Thankfully, the governor has put the brakes on all of that.” Read more here.

Providence Journal: Governor McKee announces agreement in Providence teachers’ contract

PROVIDENCE — Ten weeks after Gov. Dan McKee intervened in the acrimonious Providence teacher negotiations, he announced Tuesday that the state has reached a tentative agreement with the Providence Teachers Union.

At his afternoon news conference, the governor opened by saying, “I am glad to say we reached an agreement last night.”

No details will be released until teachers vote on ratifying the contract. It has been almost two years since the previous contract expired.

McKee said he looks forward to working with teachers, parents and students to “move Providence to that spot where it becomes the school of choice for the families that live in Providence.” Read more here.

General Teamsters, Local 251 Facebook:

Valets, shuttle drivers eager to get back to work at Twin River Casino. “Nearly 40 valets and shuttle drivers who worked at Twin River Casino in Lincoln are still hoping to be recalled to their positions after they were laid off in September 2020. But so far, they say they haven’t been given an exact date when they can expect to return. The Teamsters contract with Twin River calls for members who were laid off to be recalled if their jobs return within 24 months, according to Thomas Salvatore, Business Agent for Local 251.” Read more here.

Message from Providence Federation of Musicians

The Providence Federation of Musicians and the American Federation of Musicians would like to ask all union members and their friends and families to boycott the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, which is being held on the campus of the University of Rhode Island from July 24 through August 1.

The Festival management has refused to bargain or negotiate with the Providence Local, and has engaged in deceptive and misleading discussions with both the Philadelphia Local and the AFM.

In this year’s event, they have replaced all the union musicians with non-union players.

We are not in any way looking to disrupt the Festival, but we would appreciate it if our brothers and sisters in the labor movement would not patronize this festival, in view of the management’s bad faith attitudes.

Thank you,

Ed Plunkett, President

A great big thank you to Senator Reed and Senator Whitehouse for their ongoing commitment to not only Rhode Island working families but working families throughout the nation by co-sponsoring the PRO Act.

Senator Jack Reed Twitter:
Labor Unions helped to create and sustain the middle-class & working people deserve a voice, fair wages, and benefits – pass it on. I support the #PROAct along with @RIAFLCIO and all those who are #UnionStrong.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse Twitter: For decades, billionaires have been getting richer and richer at the expense of the middle class. I stand with @RIAFLCIO in support of the #PROAct because expanding workers’ rights to unionize is a sure way to create good, family-supporting jobs.

RIFTHP Twitter: Working together to celebrate Summer and Literacy!@AFTunion @rifthp @beaup3 @AFTEVPDeJesus @rweingarten @RIFTFrankFlynn @PSD_Sup @DonGrebien @GovDanMcKee @Riftcol @StephanieLy1

View Pictures here.

Local 37 Ironworkers Facebook:

Local 37 sponsored Alexander in a wish come true! Alex is very happy with his wish! Dreams do come true!!

View pictures here.

Labor Law Lite: A Great Week For The NLRB

It’s been a good eight days or so for those who wish to see the National Labor Relations Board enforce federal labor law as written:

  • On July 12, the House appropriations committee reported a budget bill that contained a proposed $317 million in funding for the Labor Board in FY22. That is $15 million more than the Biden administration requested for the agency and would represent a $43 million increase from its current budget, allowing the Board to potentially hire even more help than the 136 new full-time employees it projected using the administration’s number. The Senate may whittle down that number, but the added boost from the House’s efforts almost certainly improved upon whatever the final figure would have been.
  • On July 14, key Senate Democrats announced that they were including the Protecting the Right to Organize Act in the FY22 budget bill. Later developments made clear that Democrats would only include portions of the PRO Act that would likely pass the budgetary reconciliation process, namely the monetary fines for employer unfair labor practices, but this was arguably the most important part of the bill in terms of strengthening the NLRB from an agency that begs for voluntary compliance into one that can credibly demand observance of the National Labor Relations Act. Read more here.


RICOSH Zoom Webinar: Controlling the Hazards of Heat

There were 194 fatalities the recent heat wave in the Pacific Northwest. Climate change results in more frequent days of extreme heat and record-breaking summers become the norm; 37% of heat related deaths from 1991 to 2018 are attributed to climate change. (Nature Climate Change)

Workers are at risk because their livelihoods often depend on their exposure to hot weather and hot environs. In addition to outdoor occupations, such as farm, utility, landscaping, delivery, and construction, others who work in hot indoor environments include kitchens, laundries, warehouses are at risk.  According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2,830 workers suffered from heat-related illness and 37 died from heat stroke and related causes in 2015.

Date: Thursday, July 29th      Time: 3 – 4:30 p.m.

Join online here.Password: 929419

Or Telephone: (888) 844-9904 – Conference code: 688346

20th Annual London/Riley Memorial Golf Tournament

Date: Monday, August 2, 2021 Where: Cranston Country Club

More information: LondonRiley.org

ILSR 26th Annual Edward J. McElroy Golf Tournament

Date: Tuesday, August 17, 2021  Where: Valley Country Club

More information:Call ILSR at 401-463-9900

Teamsters, Local 251
SOLIDARITY WITH JOHNSON BROTHERS WORKERSPlease 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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Now Playing On LaborVision

Teamsters, Local 251 sit down with LaborVision to discuss their on ongoing strike at Johnson Brothers of RI. Through their discussion we learn about the company’s mistreatment of employees and it’s zero intention of bargaining in good faith. Johnson Brothers employees are being paid wages significantly lower than the industry average while being forced to pay outrageous out of pocket heath care costs. The company offers no retirement or 401k benefits and has cut back on truck staffing while truck loads and deliveries have increased.

Johnson Brothers employees have been on strike for over two months and the company continues to ignore their requests and concerns. There are several liquor stores still accepting Scab truck deliveries. Tune into this segment to learn how you can support these drivers. Find out which liquor stores near you are accepting scab deliveries and make sure you are shopping at the stores who are supporting these workers and REFUSING SCAB DELIVERIES. Check out the LaborVision social media pages to learn about which products you should be boycotted. Join your brothers and sisters on the picket lines and tune in to this segment to learn more about how you can support them.

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