E-NEWS: DECEMBER 9, 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.


Press Conference

Climate Jobs RI launches their Green and Healthy Schools Campaign.

Watch video here.


Climate Jobs Rhode Islandlaunched its Green and Healthy Schools Campaign, yesterday with a press conference in the statehouse (livestream recordedhere). Add your name to their pledge and join the movement to make schools, and the planet, healthier and safer for all.

  1. Add your organization’s name to theSign-on Letter we will be sharing with RI decision makers (or email your name, title, organization, and logo to erica@climatejobsri.org).
  2. Individuals are also asked to join on to our petition here.
  3. Share the letter with others to sign on (it’s an easy link: bit.ly/greenhealthyschools).
  4. Also, follow Climate Jobs RI on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @climatejobsRI

Providence Journal: Environmental and labor groups call on RI to invest in greener schools

PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island environmental and organized labor organizations are calling on state government to use an influx of federal funds to ensure that any plans to rebuild public schools also include the incorporation of solar power and other clean energy measures.

Climate Jobs Rhode Island, the coalition formed earlier this year between environmental advocates and labor leaders, announced a campaign Wednesday pushing for all public schools in the state to reach net-zero emissions by 2030.

Cornell University researchers working for the coalition tentatively estimate that attaining the goal would cost $2.5 billion, but that it would result in $35 million in annual energy savings and support more than 11,000 jobs over the next nine years.

How will net-zero schools be paid for?

Coalition members argue that the goal, though ambitious, is realistic given that $1.4 billion has been allocated to school construction in Rhode Island since voters approved $250 million in bonds in 2018 to rebuild school buildings.Read more here.


Laborers Local 271 Twitter:
@LIUNALocal271BM Sabitoni joining @SecGranholm and @GovDanMcKee to highlight #RI#offshorewind industry #BuildBackBetter#unionjobs @LIUNA @NABTU @ri_trades


Secretary Jennifer Granholm Twitter:
Workers across the nation are energized and ready to #BuildBackBetter! Our clean energy future will be powered by good-paying union jobs.


General Teamsters Local 251 Facebook: RI School Bus Workers Need ARPA Funding To Support Essential Services

School bus drivers, monitors and aides from Smithfield, Pawtucket, Bristol-Warren, Scituate and Portsmouth represented by Teamsters Local 251 are sending a loud and clear message to First Student and Durham School Services, “We give our best to the students we transport and deserve fair wages, benefits and working conditions!” Workers at all the bus yards have all authorized a strike and begun “practice picketing.” The Smithfield Durham bus yard will be the latest to make their message public when they picket on Thursday morning. General Teamsters Local 251 worked hard with the General Assembly and the Governor’s office to pass legislation that will bring these workers better wages and benefits, but the law won’t fully take effect until 2024. Currently these workers are still dealing with the consequences of COVID, whether from work schedule instabilities or concerns over the latest variant making its way onto their buses. In the meantime, the State and municipalities have the ability to allocate some of the $1.1 billion in broad stimulus funding already received from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) as a stopgap until the new law is fully implemented. Read more here.


Press Release:

For Immediate Release:   December 2, 2021                                                                

Contact: Lynn Loveday: (401) 724-5900                                                                                

RI Council 94, AFSCME Announces New Contract Approval & Ratification

North Providence -Today, Rhode Island Council 94, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees announced that the Master Agreement was approved by Council 94’s state employee membership. The final vote was 1963 accept to 97 reject.

Lynn Loveday, State Vice-President, stated, “Council 94’s state employee members voted overwhelmingly to approve a new contract. Council 94’s and the State’s negotiating committees engaged in several months of discussions and hard work which resulted in a contract that is fair and equitable for all parties. Council 94 especially appreciates that Governor Daniel McKee and Department of Administration Director Jim Thorsen recognized the hard work and sacrifices that state employees made during the pandemic to ensure that critical state services were continuously delivered during the pandemic.”

Alexis Santoro, Executive Director, added, “Some of our members who work in direct care settings, such as the Rhode Island Veterans Home, Eleanor Slater Hospital, and RICLAS group homes, and other state agencies contracted and recovered from COVID multiple times. The new contract provides modest raises and incentive payments to help retain state employees. State government has faced challenges in recruiting and retaining employees during these challenging times. Our members are taxpayers too and facing the impact of increased inflation that is challenging all Rhode Islanders.”

J., Michael Downey, President, concluded, “Through the years, state employees have undergone multiple rounds of pension reductions, increases in health care costs, and the elimination of longevity. I am grateful for the dialogue that brought this ratification vote to a successful conclusion today.” Council 94, Rhode Island’s largest state employee union, represents over 3,800 state employees.


The Rolling Stones: Cereal Killers: How 80-Hour Weeks and a Caste System Pushed Kellogg’s Workers to Strike

After decades on the losing end, company workers are demanding a better deal. The cereal giant has other plans

OMAHA — The shelves at the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union Local 50 are lined with boxes of Kellogg’s products that the union members and their mothers, brothers, and grandfathers have packed over the past century. A Froot Loops box commemorating the 2012 Olympics sits next to Special K Plus, a cereal that for some reason comes in a milk carton. A toy truck delivers Corn Flakes. Still, what catches your eye is a box featuring an impossibly cute boy slurping up his Rice Krispies. No one knows when exactly the box is from — probably the early 20th century — but it conjures a homier time for the company. That’s when company founder W.K. Kellogg was asked about profits and said, “I’ll invest my money in people.”

That was a long time ago. Now, the investment only goes to certain people, like Kellogg CEO Steve Cahillane. He brings in nearly $12 million a year in compensation, nearly 280 times the company average.

The workers? They’ve time-traveled to William Blake’s dark-satanic-mills era of factory work, where a purposely understaffed labor force­ endures, according to union workers, 72- to 84-hour work weeks — not a typo — that includes mandated overtime and a point system that dings you if you dare beg off to go watch your son’s Little League game. (Kellogg’s claims its employees only work 52 to 56 hours a week and 90 percent of overtime is voluntary, a claim BCTGM workers hotly dispute.) Read more here.


AFL-CIO: Union-Made In America Holiday Gift Ideas

It’s not too late yet to find that perfect holiday gift that carries a union label and is made in America. Below is a wide range of gift possibilities, from clothes to games to sports equipment and more, made by members of UNITE HERE, Boilermakers (IBB), Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), Machinists (IAM), United Steelworkers (USW), Teamsters (IBT), UAW, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/UFCW (RWDSU/UFCW) and United Farm Workers (UFW).

This list is compiled from Union Plus, the AFL-CIO Union Label and Service Trades Department (UL&STD) and the BCTGM website. Check them out for even more gift ideas.

See list here.





UPCOMING EVENTS: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 Rhode Island
120 Moscrip Ave.
North Kingstown RI 02852
Key times are 6:30-8:30 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.
Customer banners are typically on Wednesdays from 4-6pm. Contact us to participate.
Johnson Brothers of RI Donations can be made to: Teamsters Local 251 Strike Fund, 121 Brightridge Ave. East Providence RI 02914

More information here.



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Coming up on Labor Vision

New show host Autumn Guillotte sits down with Nick DeCristofaro, President and Business Agent for the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 618 to discuss Labor’s Recommendations for RI’s ARPA Funding and how it can be used to improve Rhode Island’s Public Transportation Infrastructure.

The American Rescue Plan Act (or “ARPA”) was signed into law on March 11, 2021 by President Biden. This Act is a way for the Federal Government to aid State and Municipal governments coping with the fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic. Rhode Island’s share of these dollars includes $1.13 billion for state fiscal relief, $540 million for local fiscal relief, and $415 million for relief for k-12 schools.

On August 4, 2021, the Rhode Island AFL-CIO convened a gathering of labor leaders from across the state to discuss how the State could best deploy these funds to help working class Rhode Islanders. The full list of 26 Recommendations can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/ARPARecs.

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