E-NEWS: MARCH 10, 2022

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.



Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Crowley Twitter: Postal Service Reform Act Press Conference

President George Nee of R.I. AFL-CIO, local labor leaders from APWU and R.I. Congressional Delegates at last week’s Postal Service Reform Act press conference.


AFL-CIO Press Release:

AFL-CIO Applauds Passage of Long-Overdue Postal Service Reform

March 8, 2022

Statement from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on passage of the Postal Service Reform Act:

Today’s final passage of the Postal Service Reform Act is a culmination of 15 years of efforts to fund and strengthen our U.S. Postal Service (USPS). The overwhelming bipartisan support is a recognition of how critical the USPS is to our everyday lives. During this pandemic, we relied heavily on postal workers to deliver everything, from medication to election ballots to Social Security and pandemic relief checks, and as usual, the USPS did not disappoint.

This legislation ensures the USPS is financially stable, ends the destructive pre-funding retiree health care benefits mandate and guarantees six-day delivery reforms that are desperately needed to keep this beloved institution running with the same efficiency we have all come to depend on. As the bill moves forward to President Biden’s desk, we know that the future of postal workers and our USPS is bright.

Contact: Liz Vlock, 202-637-5018


Providence Journal: Opinion/Phinney, Crowley and Toner: Workers have a climate plan for region

Cynthia Phinney is the president of the Maine AFL-CIO and a leader of the Maine Labor Climate Council. Patrick Crowley is the secretary-treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO and co-chair of the Climate Jobs RI coalition. Joe Toner is executive director of the Connecticut State Building Trades Council.

Amidst omicron, political discord and extreme weather disasters, 2022 hasn’t brought much good news. But flying under the radar is a game-changing story about state budget surpluses that could set New England on a path to tackling some of the biggest issues of our time: climate collapse and deep inequality.

Our states are flush with extra cash, thanks in part to relief money, federal infrastructure funding, and tax revenue that held steady during the pandemic. And it’s not chump change. Rhode Island is looking at a $618-million surplus. The state of Maine is carrying an extra $800 million, Massachusetts has a windfall of almost $6 billion and Connecticut has a whopping $2.2 billion extra in the public purse.

What to do with this money is the question. As labor leaders and advocates who represent the millions of working New Englanders who keep our region running, our answer is simple: invest in a pro-worker, climate-safe future.

Studies show that New England is warming faster than the global average. We got a glimpse of the impacts of climate breakdown during storm-fueled power outages from Hurricane Ida and this winter’s nor’easter – but intensifying weather is just the beginning. Rising seas could wipe out entire communities along our region’s coastline. Read more here.


Enlarge and read more here.


Climate Jobs RI Panel Discussion with some of Cornell Experts:

On February 2nd, Climate Jobs RI released a new report by the Worker Institute at Cornell University. The report, titled “Building a Just Transition for a Resilient Future: A Climate Jobs Program for Rhode Island”, outlines a comprehensive action plan to put RI on the path to building an equitable, pro-worker, clean energy economy.

For the first time ever, Rhode Island has a report that provides a glimpse into the economic and job growth potential of its clean energy future. Climate Jobs RI will be hosting this virtual panel discussion with some of the Cornell experts who researched and authored this report. The group will cover the wide-ranging policy recommendations highlighted in the report along with the broader climate plan of the coalition to transition the Ocean State’s building, energy, and transportation sectors to renewable energy with the strongest labor and equity standards.

Watch the panel discussion here.


Providence Business News: Environmental, labor leaders lay out plans for advancing R.I. green economy

PROVIDENCE – Tackling ambitious climate change goals and an economy still being dragged down by the aftermath of a pandemic might seem overly ambitious.

But economic and environmental progress can – and must – work together and the current moment offers a critical juncture to make that happen, according to local activists who spoke during a virtual panel event on Friday.

The discussion organized by Climate Jobs Rhode Island comes on the heels of a new report commissioned by the coalition and authored by The Research Institute at Cornell University. The February 2022 report offers specific recommendations for how Rhode Island can advance economic and environmental goals, building on the work begun since the coalition launched in January 2021.

“This is a clear and concise plan…that’s not just about making our economy more environmentally sensitive but making sure our economy is more centered in justice,” said Patrick Crowley, co-chair of Climate Jobs RI and secretary and treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO.

Transportation, renewable energy projects, public buildings and infrastructure are among the areas where Rhode Island can maximize environmental and economic benefits, according the outlined recommendations. Taken together, the policies and projects could create more than 17,000 direct jobs per year, with some of the largest job-creators coming from offshore wind development, affordable housing projects and expanded public transit.
Read more here.


West Warwick Firefighters Facebook:

On Thursday February 10, 2022 West Warwick Firefighters Local 1104 held our long overdue promotional /swearing in ceremony at the West Warwick High School.

It was a great night for our members and their families to recognize the time and dedication that has been put into becoming a West Warwick Firefighter and the commitment to advance through the leadership ranks in their careers.

26 Members were sworn in and pinned with their new badges by proud family members and friends. We also recognized 6 recent retirees for their years of dedicated service. It was a very special night for all involved!

Special Thank you to Chief Varone for ensuring that this ceremony took place, Town Manager Mark Knott for his kind words of encouragement, Master of Ceremonies BC Eric Norberg , the R.I. Professional Firefighters Pipes & Drums, Local 1104 Honor Guard , Father Paul Lemoi , Kyleigh Arenas, WWHS.

Thank you as well to State Rep Patricia Serpa and Thomas Noret who presented our members individual citations upon their swearing in.

Congratulations to all!  

View pictures here.


Building A Better America

State of the Union for Union Members

Friday, March 11th 3/11 at 1pm ET

Please join the White House, the Department of Labor, and the AFL-CIO for a special Building A Better America event on President Biden’s priorities for American workers. We are honored to be joined by special guests Secretary of Labor, Marty J. Walsh and President of the AFL-CIO, Liz Shuler.

This post-State of the Union event will take place at 1:00 PM ET on Friday, March 11th. It will feature a discussion of the concrete ways President Biden’s agenda will impact union members across the nation.

Please RSVP here, and all are welcome!


Labor 411: Bill Makes It Illegal For Employers To Revoke Workers’ Health Insurance During Strike

From U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s website:

Today, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Striking Workers Healthcare Protection Act which would require employers to continue providing health insurance to workers exercising their right to strike, so working families aren’t forced off the health coverage they’ve earned and negotiated, and aren’t forced to pay out-of-pocket for potentially lifesaving health care.

“Too many times in Ohio and around the country, we’ve seen corporations kick their workers off their health coverage in an attempt to break a strike. Employers shouldn’t be able to cut off health insurance for workers and their families or threaten to as a way to silence workers,” said Sen. Brown. “Threatening the wellbeing of employees, their families and their communities because they’re exercising their right to strike for fair pay, good working conditions, and a voice in their workplace is unacceptable and shouldn’t be a tool employers can use to break a strike and force workers back into subpar conditions.”

The bill would create a separate unfair labor practice category, punishable by fines, for when employers cut or alter workers’ health insurance while the workers are on strike. The fines would vary based on their history of violations, size, the scope of the harm, and the public interest.

“When workers strike, they do so because they’re fighting for a level playing field for themselves, their coworkers and their families,” said Sen. Casey. “Employers should be coming to the table and negotiating with workers, not forcing them to choose between health care and their voice in the workplace. I’m proud to join my friend Senator Brown to introduce legislation to ensure employers can’t kick workers off their health care while they’re exercising their fundamental right to organize.”  Read more here.



AFL-CIO:



UPCOMING EVENTS:

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Calling All Union Members! Don’t miss your chance to enter the “Future is Union: Climate Urgency through the Eyes of Workers” photo contest! Submit a photo that shows what climate work means to you and win up to $500!

The contest is open to any union member who sees their work as a “climate job” – whether you’re driving or fixing electric buses, working on wind turbines, teaching students about the climate crisis, cleaning up after climate-related disasters, working on green buildings, installing solar, operating water systems, or anything that relates to climate change.

Learn more and submit your photos before April 22 here: https://www.climatejobsphotocontest.org/

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TEAMSTERS, Local 251

SOLIDARITY WITH JOHNSON BROTHERS WORKERS

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 at:

Johnson Brothers of Rhode Island

120 Moscrip Ave

North Kingstown RI 02852

Key times are 7:30-8:30 a.m.

Let Johnson Brothers know about your concerns at:

651-649-5800 (Corporate) or 401-583-0050 (Rhode Island)

Donations can be made to: Teamsters Local 251 Strike Fund, 121 Brightridge Ave. East Providence RI 02914

More information here.

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United Way of RI:

For more information, visit website here.



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LABOR VISION

Coming up on Labor Vision

Labor Vision – From The Vault: We are bringing back featured episodes from the past that are still relevant today! This week we are revisiting the RI AFL-CIO’s webinar on Organizing A Union In The Time Of Covid-19, With Megan Carvalho, UFCW Local 328, Justin Kelley, IUPAT, Damian Oquendo, SEIU, 32BJ, Matt Taibi, Teamsters 251, John Burns, AFSCME Council 94, Hosted by Patrick Crowley Secretary – Treasurer RI AFL-CIO.

Watch here: https://youtu.be/iOY5-I1Xvm8

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter (@LaborVisionRI), and subscribe to our YouTube channel (LaborVisionTV1). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYjDqDCHe_I&t=205s