E-NEWS: APRIL 7, 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.


Providence Journal: Rattled by RIPTA breach that affected 22,000, lawmakers propose policy changes

Lawmakers say that last year’s breach of Rhode Island Public Transit Authority computer systems highlighted glaring problems with the way the state responds to the theft of people’s personal data.

About 22,000 former and current state employees were affected by the breach, which occurred when hackers got hold of unsecured files containing years’ worth of health insurance billing data.The incident sparked widespread frustration, and Sen. Louis DiPalma, D-Middletown, and others hope that the result will be concrete policy changes.

“Let’s seize this opportunity,” DiPalma said.

DiPalma’s bill, S 2664, is designed to expand the protections and reporting requirements outlined in the Identity Theft Protection Act of 2015. A companion bill, H 7884, was introduced in the House by Rep. Terri Cortvriend, D-Middletown.

Everything that’s in the bill is a result of the oversight hearing we had,” DiPalma told The Providence Journal, referring to a Senate Oversight Committee hearing that he chaired in February, in which RIPTA officials and the state’s Department of Information Technology were grilled about what had gone wrong. Read more here.


The Boston Globe: Starbucks workers trying to form union in Rhode Island

Workers at the coffee chain’s location on Pace Boulevard in Warwick on Wednesday announced their intention to unionize. It’s the first store in Rhode Island to petition for unionization.

PROVIDENCE – The Starbucks unionization drive has reached Rhode Island.

Workers at the coffee chain’s location on Pace Boulevard in Warwick on Wednesday announced their intention to unionize. It’s the first store in Rhode Island to petition for unionization.

“A democratic workplace is right for everyone,” Cassie Burke, a barista at the Warwick location who was involved in the organization effort, said in an interview. “It’s something everyone should have and feel they have the right to fight for.”

Burke said the local organizers needed 30 percent of workers there to sign cards expressing support for a union, but were able to quickly get more than half of the workers to do so. Now, Starbucks could choose to voluntarily recognize the union, although that almost certainly won’t happen. If Starbucks doesn’t voluntarily recognize the union, a vote among workers governed by the National Labor Relations Board would take place. If a majority of workers who vote say yes, the NLRB will certify the union. If they vote no, the union won’t be formed.

Read more here.


It’s time to pass the Let RI Vote bills!

Improving voter access helps working people. The RI AFL-CIO has joined the Let RI Vote coalition. You can show your support too by sending this letter in support of voting rights directly to key House and Senate leaders today!

Click here and send your message of support to these key House and Senate leaders:

Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Cynthia Coyne, House Speaker Joe Shekarchi, House Majority Leader Chris Blazejewski, House State Government and Elections Chair Evan Shanley

The Bills

S2007/H7100 — The ‘Let RI Vote Act’

Will improve access and opportunity to vote in Rhode Island by:

·         Removing the requirement for an excuse to vote by mail or early in-person

·         Removing the requirement for two witnesses or a notary to vote a mail ballot

·         Providing an online application to request a mail ballot

·         Providing secure drop-boxes to return mail ballots up to the close of polls on Election Day

·         Creating an official multilingual voter information hotline

·         Improving voter list maintenance to ensure records are accurate & up to date

·         Reducing lead-time to request a Braille ballot from 45 days to 21 days

·         Permitting long-term nursing home residents to join the permanent ballot application list

S2216/H7225 — The Same-Day Registration Resolution

Will put a question on the ballot asking Rhode Island voters to amend the state constitution, allowing the General Assembly to change the voter registration deadline up to the day of an election.


Laborers Local 271 Twitter:

@ri_trades and @LIUNALocal271 with @SecRaimondo at #NABTU202.



Fuerza Laboral / Power of Workers Facebook:

Mujeres se reúnen para hablar de sus experiencias empresariales en “Pawtucket Promotes: Women in Business Forum” Somos imparables!

Women gathered today to talk about their experiences in the “Pawtucket Promotes: Women in Business Forum” We are Unstoppable!

View pictures here.


National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 301 Facebook:

Shop Steward Training, FMLA/OWCP

Branch 18, Providence RI


The White House: FACT SHEET: The Biden-⁠Harris Action Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure

Vice President Harris to Outline Actions for Bolstering Clean School Infrastructure and Transportation to Support Student Learning and Health

Administration Launches $500 million Grant Program from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Program to Save Schools Money with Energy Upgrades Today, Vice President Kamala Harris is announcing the Biden-Harris Action Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure to upgrade our public schools with modern, clean, energy efficient facilities and transportation—delivering health and learning benefits to children and school communities, saving school districts money, and creating good union jobs. The action plan activates the entire federal government in leveraging investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and American Rescue Plan to advance solutions including energy efficiency retrofits, electric school buses, and resilient design.

The science of learning and development

has shown that students need school environments filled with safety, belonging, and health to learn and thrive. Yet many schools rely on outdated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that make classrooms less comfortable and may pose health risks to students and teachers exposed to contaminants or particles in the air that can trigger allergies or asthma attacks and potentially spread infectious diseases – including COVID-19. Dirty diesel buses pose additional health risks for students on board and the neighborhoods they travel through — and exhaust from idling buses can pollute the air around schools. Read more here.


AFL-CIO:

Here is a list of union-made in America treats to fill an Easter basket and your holiday dinner table brought to you by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s resource site, Labor 411.

See list here.

***Remember to purchase your food and snacks at Stop & Shop, Shaws and Eastside Marketplace where our union brothers and sisters work.



AFL-CIO:



UPCOMING EVENTS:

R.I. Labor History Society: 2022 Spring Speaker Series

Lessons on African American Labor History

Dates:

Monday, April 18, 2022

Monday, June 6, 2022

Speakers:

Keith Stokes, Director of Business and Development for the City of Providence

Patrick Crowley, Organizer and Government Affairs Specialist with the NEARI and Secretary-Treasurer of RI AFL-CIOFor more information and topics see here.

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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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Rhode lsland P.O.W.E.R. Network

Request the pleasure of your company ,as we commemorate the
Fourth Anniversary of the State Day of the Cooperative in Rhode Island

RI State House, 2nd floor

On Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022
3:00p.m. – 5:00p.m.
Press Conference: 3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Resolution at the Senate: 4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m

Cooperative Fair: 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Hall, 2nd Floor

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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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If you want a voice on the job or to build a better workplace, click the here to start organizing and taking action.


LABOR VISION

Coming up on Labor Vision

Show host Autumn Guillotte sits down with Majority Whip Katherine Kazarian, House sponsor of the Let RI Vote Act and Marcela Betancur, Director of the Latino Policy Institute and spokesperson for the Let RI Vote Campaign.

Continuing with the conversation on this year’s legislative priorities for working people, we discuss the Let RI Vote Act and how  improving voter access helps working people.

Voting rights and unions put power behind our voices!

You can learn more about everything discussed here at https://letrivote.org/

And, click here to send a message to key House and Senate leaders, asking them to support the bill!  

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