E-News: April 21, 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.



Attorney General Peter F. Neronha: East Providence contractor charged with stealing over $93,000 in employee wages stemming from school construction work

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that the owner of a Rhode Island-based construction company was arraigned in Providence Superior Court on felony and misdemeanor charges following an investigation by the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Labor and Training into allegations that he stole over $93,000 in wages from workers during the construction and renovation of RISE Prep Mayoral Academy in Woonsocket in 2018 and 2019.

Marcos Mutz (age 48), the owner of the now defunct M. Mutz Construction, is charged with one count of obtaining money under false pretenses over $1,500, one count of unlawful appropriation over $1,000, one count of providing false certified payroll documents, and 12 misdemeanor counts of wage theft.

Under Rhode Island law, wage theft violations, unlike all other theft crimes, are misdemeanor crimes regardless of the amount in wages implicated. Attorney General Neronha has repeatedly introduced legislation to make such crimes a felony in Rhode Island, as they are in other states.

As alleged in court filings, the defendant is accused of failing to pay approximately $93,643 in wages to 12 former workers for work they performed during the construction and renovation of RISE Prep Mayoral Academy in Woonsocket between September 2018 and October 2019. During that time, M. Mutz Construction performed work as a subcontractor under Case Construction Company, the construction manager of the project. Read more here.


Wage theft affects workers in all industries and making it a felony is pro-worker, pro-business, and pro-taxpayer.

Watch video here.


The Brown Daily Herald: GLO files unfair labor practice charges over funding cuts

The Graduate Labor Organization filed three unfair labor practice charges against the University with the National Labor Relations Board in response to its cuts to top-up funds — payments to graduate student workers above their base stipends to ensure competitive compensation — in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences and the Department of Computer Science. GLO alleges the cuts represent bad-faith bargaining, retaliation against protected practices and direct dealing with employees on the part of the University, GLO Communications Coordinator Kate Clark GS said.
In its protests earlier this month, GLO alleged that the University forced the cutting of top-up funds by reducing budget allocations, The Herald previously reported.

Bad-faith bargaining

GLO’s first new charge with the NLRB alleges that the University engaged in bad-faith bargaining in its negotiations with the union. Bad-faith bargaining can encompass a number of violations, ranging from failing to negotiate with the union before making workplace changes to obstructing the bargaining process, according to the NLRB website.

In this case, GLO representatives claimed that the University unfairly bypassed the union in cutting top-up payments without discussion during bargaining. Read more here.


RI Building & Construction Trades Council Twitter:

President Sabitoni & RIBCTC with AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler @OurMovementOurMoment


UFCW 328 Twitter:

What better way to celebrate 4/20 than by showing support for Greenleaf workers in Portsmouth, RI! Visit https://linktr.ee/respect4greenleafworkers to see the ways you can tell company owner Seth Bock to stop the retaliation and to bargain in good faith #420day #cannabisworkersrising


Join us in support of SEIU, 1199 Healthcare for an informational picket at Blackstone Valley Community Health Center, 1000 Broad Street, Central Falls, RI on Monday, April 25, 2022 from 4 – 6PM (Speaking program at 5PM).

View flyer larger here.


SEIU 580: DHS Crisis: Backlogs Due To Unfilled (Already Funded) Frontline Worker Vacancies

Take less than 60 seconds to send, with two clicks, a pre-filled (option to edit) email, that will go directly to your state senator, state representative requesting legislative oversight hearings and the Governor’s office urging to fill all DHS frontline vacancies!

Let’s show our DHS members solidarity, by taking just 60 seconds to get DHS frontline worker vacancies filled!

The time is now to act!

The legislature is critically close to making final budget decisions and wrapping up the legislative session. Crushing caseloads due to unnecessary vacancies are impacting RI’s most vulnerable populations. Unless quickly, the legislature provides pressure through oversight hearings and we provide direct pressure to the Governor, lives will be further devastated and the system will be decimated.

Click here.


AFL-CIO: TAKE ACTION: Building a Better America

The Building a Better America plan puts working families first by solving problems we face every day:

  • Investing in clean energy and manufacturing jobs, right here in the United States.
  • Accessing better health care and lower prescription drug costs.
  • Lifting up our future generations with affordable, quality child care and investments in education.
  • Supporting the right to organize, providing real penalties on companies that violate the rights of working people organizing together.

While the Senate played political games, working people struggled for years. It’s time for your senators to do their jobs and help America’s working people.

Sign petition here.


WBUR: AFL-CIO, president Liz Shuler on the future of America’s labor movement

Liz Shuler is the first woman ever elected president of the AFL-CIO.

She took over a time when the world of work has been turned upside down.

Union organizing is happening in some unexpected places, and sometimes in ways that disrupt the traditional union playbook.

“If you have established unions, it’s great to have their support,” Brett Daniels, an Amazon union organizer, said. “But if they’re not the ones that are actually on the inside, maybe workers can’t relate to that as much, because who knows the warehouse conditions better than Amazon workers themselves?”

Today, On Point: A conversation with AFL-CIO president Liz Shuler.

Guest

Liz Shuler, AFL-CIO president. (@lizshuler)

Full Show Transcript

MEGHNA CHAKRABARTI: This is On Point, I’m Meghna Chakrabarti. In 1955, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in America. Separately, the two labor organizations date back further to the 19th century. From 1955 to 2005, AFL-CIO member unions represented nearly all organized workers in the United States.

Union membership peaked in 1979, when the AFL-CIO counted nearly 20 million members. Women have consistently played a critical role in the labor movement. Their influence grew as their presence in the labor market grew, as union member Wanda Garrett describes in the 1981 documentary A Time of Challenge. Read more here.




IUPAT:



UPCOMING EVENTS:

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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RICOSH:

Workers’ Memorial observances will begin on April 23rd and continue through May 1. Across the country and around the globe, we’ll see vigils and events to honor workers who have been killed, injured, and suffered occupational illness.

RICOSH is coordinating with the New England Roundtable event on Wednesday, April 27th @ 9.

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United Way of RI Celebrating Health Event

More information.

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

Fighting for freedom at home and abroad: The story of Boilermakers Local 308 and the
end of Jim Crow unions

Date:

Monday, June 6, 2022

Speaker:

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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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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LABOR VISION

Coming up on Labor Vision

Show host Autumn Guillotte sits down with the RI Building & Construction Trades Women’s Council to talk about their work to create a community for women on the jobs. Board members Vennicia Kingston, Darche Hood, and Devyn Maher talk about the experience of women in the trades, leadership, diversity, and the changing culture in a male dominated industry.

You can reach out to the women’s council at riwomencaucus@gmail.com

Read more here:

– Building Futures – https://www.bfri.org/women-in-the-trades/

– Tradeswomen are organizing together in the Women’s Council – https://www.bfri.org/ritradeswomencouncil/

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