e-news: august 26, 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: Shuler Elected AFL-CIO President

Redmond Tapped as Secretary-Treasurer, Forming Historic Leadership Team

The AFL-CIO Executive Council today elected Liz Shuler, a visionary leader and longtime trade unionist, to serve as president of the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. Shuler is the first woman to hold the office in the history of the labor federation. The Executive Council also elected United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the number two office. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.

The election of Shuler and Redmond comes after the unexpected and untimely passing of Richard Trumka, who served as AFL-CIO president from 2009 until his death on Aug. 5, capping a more than 50-year career of dedication to America’s unions and working people.

“I am humbled, honored and ready to guide this federation forward,” Shuler said after her election. “I believe in my bones the labor movement is the single greatest organized force for progress. This is a moment for us to lead societal transformations—to leverage our power to bring women and people of color from the margins to the center—at work, in our unions and in our economy, and to be the center of gravity for incubating new ideas that will unleash unprecedented union growth.” Read more here.

Laborers Local 271: Media Advisory

Providence Journal: Opinion/Quinn and Blais: We all need a say in RI’s proposed hospital merger

Patrick J. Quinn is executive vice president of SEIU 1199 New England. Anna Blais is a registered nurse at Women and Infants Hospital.

For months, the proposed merger between Care New England and Lifespan has dominated headlines and raised important questions about our future health-care system. We have a rare opportunity to fundamentally improve care and services for thousands of Rhode Islanders but it is critical that patients, employees and community members have a say. At SEIU 1199NE, we are a union of over 5,000 nurses and other health-care professionals who provide care at Women and Infants and Butler hospitals, the VNA of Care New England, and other health-care facilities across the state. We are fierce advocates for our patients and while others stayed home during COVID-19, we showed up everyday to care for patients at the beginning and end of their lives, and every moment in between. Read more here.

Providence Teachers Union Twitter:
Prepping to give away 10,000 books to our amazing preK-12 students! Food, fun, vaccine clinic, DJ at Young Woods and Kizarian!!! @PTU958 ready to get #BacktoSchool2021

Watch video here.

Colleen Callahan Twitter:
Great turnout for @PTU958 Back to School Celebration, 10,000 books, food and fun! @AFTunion @AFTEVPDeJesus @RIFTFrankFlynn @Renny920 @JeremySencer @rifthp @FirstBook @OHAGANA @StephanieLy1

Providence Journal: Providence teachers do a meet-and-greet with parents to welcome students back this fall

PROVIDENCE — Eight teachers, including the union president, fanned out to knock on doors on the streets near Young Woods Elementary School Tuesday, part of an effort to win the hearts and minds of the families they serve.  

With all of the uncertainties surrounding in-person classes, combined with this spring’s public sniping over a protracted teachers’ contract, the Providence Teachers Union decided it was time to rebuild relationships with families.

Teachers also canvassed families in the neighborhoods around Kizirian Elementary School.

“We want to let parents know that we have their backs,” said PTU President Maribeth Calabro. “We want to tell them that schools are following the CDC and state Department of Health guidelines, that they should feel comfortable returning to school.”  Read more here.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters: Teamsters Local 251 Strike at Johnson Brothers Marches On

Workers at Johnson Brothers of RI Demand a Fair Contract

(NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I.)—Dozens of Teamsters from all over New England showed up early Tuesday morning to stand in solidarity with their seven striking brothers at Johnson Brothers of RI, the state’s exclusive distributor of Gallo Wine products. Afterwards, they made their way to Haxton’s Tollgate Liquors in Warwick where they spent several hours hand-billing customers, holding banners and cheering each time the Teamster tractor trailer sounded its air horn as it drove by.

“It’s been 83 days since the strike began over unfair labor practices committed by the company along with unresolved wage, benefit and working condition issues,” said Teamsters Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer Matt Taibi. “This small group of drivers has stood up to Goliath and continues to stand strong to show the company they will not end their strike until they get a fair first contract.” Read more here.

RICOSH: Disaster Preparedness and Worker Safety

When you look at disaster preparedness from a worker health and safety standpoint you see three distinct strata or levels of agencies and workers involved. Primary emergency responders and response agencies would be called in to deal directly with the event (fire and EMS, health and public safety and related responders from state agencies (DEM, Health). And they would be at highest risk. Thus, their training and protective control methods should be the most extensive.

Another level that has received a lot of attention refers to disaster preparedness on the part of the general community as a whole. This directs attention to how a variety of institutions (business schools, universities etc.) while not directly called upon to respond might be impacted by an event. These need a preparedness plan and some training (and in certain cases provision for employee protection) but their levels of risk are limited. Thus their plans usually would instruct staff and employees (clients, students, resident) about what to do—and what not to do, i.e. with staying out of the situation. The key issues here would be evacuation and sheltering in place and communications. Read more here.


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.

Climate Job Summit

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/

United Way of Rhode Island’s 95th Annual Celebration

When: Tuesday, October 26, 2021 | 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Fete Music Hall | 103 Dike Street, Providence, RI

Please join us on October 26 for our 95th annual celebration. Together, we will celebrate Rhode Island United and honor our extraordinary community volunteers.

Community United Award |Homes RI
Dante Mollo Labor United Award | George Nee, president of AFL-CIO Rhode Island
John H. Chaffee Live United Award | Linda Katz, co-founder of Economic Progress Institute
Partners United Award | Starkweather and Shepley Insurance Brokerage

Register here.

TEAMSTERS, Local 251SOLIDARITY 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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