e-news: august 19, 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.

AFL-CIO: Richard L. Trumka’s Lifelong Devotion to Family and Democracy

Richard Louis Trumka dedicated his entire life to making sure every institution he touched—the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), the AFL-CIO, the U.S. government and the world community—served working people and the public interest, comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable.
In that sense Trumka’s legacy above all was his fight for democracy, from the UMWA of his youth to the AFL-CIO to the United States in 2020 to the world that he influenced through the global labor movement. Every day of his career, Trumka fought for the right of working people to be heard everywhere it mattered—and the people he remembered were those who suffered in that cause—his friend the Colombian mine worker assassinated as he rode a bus to work, the miners he worked side by side with who gave life and breath to power our communities, the nurses, grocery workers, meatpackers, hotel workers, taxi drivers, steelworkers and autoworkers whose picket lines he joined and whose stories he heard through a lifetime of leading their fights. Read more here.

Providence Journal: RI: Health-care workers who aren’t vaccinated will be blocked from entering facilities

PROVIDENCE — Volunteers, interns and employees of state-licensed healthcare facilities and providers “must receive their final dose of COVID-19 vaccine by October 1” or face financial penalties “and/or suspension/revocation of their license,” the Rhode Island Department of Health announced on Wednesday.

The only exceptions, the department said, would be to those who can provide proof of a medical exemption.

“The regulation applies to staff at RIDOH-licensed health care facilities, including those with direct patient contact and those who may not be involved in patient care,” the department said in announcing the mandate.

“It also applies to individually licensed providers who utilize their license as part of their position in a healthcare facility. Prior to October 1st, any worker in a RIDOH-licensed healthcare facility who is not vaccinated is required to wear a face mask and be tested at least twice weekly.” Read more here.

Providence Journal: Nurses’ union seeks bargaining on Oct. 1 COVID vaccine mandate

PROVIDENCE — United Nurses and Allied Professionals president Lynn Blais on Thursday evening urged all Rhode Islanders to be vaccinated against coronavirus disease, then said “a mandatory vaccine for healthcare workers should be bargained.”

In a statement that followed Gov. Dan McKee’s announcement Tuesday that health-care workers at state-licensed hospitals, nursing homes, and similar facilities must be vaccinated by Oct. 1, Blais endorsed negotiations between providers and the union, which represents nurses and other professionals at several hospitals in Rhode Island.

“The members of the United Nurses and Allied Professionals have put ourselves and our families at great risk for more than a year, caring not just for COVID patients, but for all patients at our state’s hospitals,” Blais said.

“No one understands the devastating toll that COVID-19 has taken on our communities more than nurses and health professionals do, and for that reason, we strongly urge all Rhode Islanders to get the vaccine as soon as possible. It is without question the best way to help protect our communities from further harm.” Read more here.

UFCW Local 328 Cannabis Division Facebook:

Exciting news! The hardworking budtenders at Solar Therapeutics located in Somerset, Massachusetts, have filed for their union election!
This morning, workers delivered a signed letter, calling on the company to respect their rights to organize and voluntarily recognize their union. While the workers await a response, they have simultaneously filed for their union election. The letter, addressed to Solar Therapeutics CEO Edward Dow and CFO Robert Keller, reads: “Mr. Dow and Mr. Keller, We, the dedicated undersigned employees of Solar Therapeutics Somerset, MA dispensary formally request Solar Therapeutics Inc. to recognize United Food and Commercial Workers Local 328 (UFCW 328) and begin the bargaining process. We are excited to be joining the thousands of cannabis workers across the country who have already joined with the UFCW to build better, more equitable workplaces within this industry. By partnering with the UFCW, we look forward to doing the same here at Solar Therapeutics. Read more here.

Climate Jobs Summit:

Wildfires. Droughts. Heatwaves. Floods. Climate breakdown is already hitting working people throughout the country, first and worst.

There has never been a better or more critical time to invest in climate action, address longstanding racial and economic inequality, and build a brighter future for our kids. We can do it all by making bold climate investments that create good union jobs — with dignity, respect, and strong worker protections — in communities that need them most.

On September 21, hear from union leaders in the climate jobs movement about how we can create millions of union climate jobs and build a renewable, worker-centered economy at the scale that science demands.

Register for the Climate Jobs Summit on September 21, 2021 here: https://climatejobs.ilr.cornell.edu/

About the Climate Jobs Summit:

The Climate Jobs Summit will bring together newly established state Climate Jobs coalitions, labor leaders, union climate activists, environmental and environmental justice advocates, clean-energy developers, policymakers, educators, scientists, and all who want to build the clean-energy economy of tomorrow with good union jobs. The Summit will feature speakers and panelists from around the country.

We will talk about the ways that climate change and inequality are inextricably linked, dig into the once-in-a-generation opportunity to create good family-sustaining jobs by developing the renewable energy sector, and engage in a holistic discussion about just transition for workers in fossil fuel industries and their communities.

Providence Business News: Unchartered training: How does region build workforce for new wind sector?

Toiling hundreds of feet above the open ocean, sometimes amid stormy weather and battering waves, technicians in the offshore wind industry need not only be skilled at installing and maintaining turbines. They must be prepared for the worst.

The depth of training required and the potential of the emerging offshore wind sector to pump billions of dollars into the regional economy now has colleges, government agencies, nonprofits and private stakeholders ramping up efforts to prepare the pipeline of skilled workers needed to build and maintain massive wind turbines off the southern New England coast.

But there are also challenges in readying a workforce for an industry that doesn’t yet exist in the U.S. and still may be many more years

in the making. Murky timelines for wind projects have complicated decisions on how to best offer specialized job training and safety certifications for the masses. Read more here.

Labor 411: Union-made back-to-school shopping guide

It’s that time of the year again for the little ones to go back to school. For some parents it’s a moment of sadness – and for others it’s a little bit of relief. Either way, the kids need school supplies and we’re here with a list that are union-made so that you can support good jobs while you shop. The products listed below are made by companies that treat their workers fairly and give them a voice on the job.

Study hard, stay healthy, and let’s all work together to build a stronger America.

See list here.

Bricklayers Union:


Labor Day Screening of Slatersville

SLATERSVILLE: America’s First Mill Village, directed by Christian de Rezendes, will be screened at the Museum on September 3 and September 4, 2021at 1:30 pm. Slatersville will premiere on Rhode Island PBS in the fall of 2022. While the MoWC has hosted previous screenings virtually, this in-person event will combine two previously screened pieces, leading up to a newly edited piece. The stories are titled “The Wedding Present with 27 Rooms,” “Uncle Johnny”, and “Anything but Brotherly.” Admission is free. Reservations are encouraged. RSVP at mowc@rihs.org. Seating is limited to 45.

Museum of Work & Culture’s Labor Day Celebration is sponsored by the Rhode Island Labor History Society. More information here.

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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