E-NEWS: MAY 19, 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.

The Providence Journal: Opinion/Baginski and Quinn: Front-line health workers merit extra thanks

Rep. Jacquelyn Baginski, a Democrat, represents District 17 in Cranston. Patrick J. Quinn is the executive director of Service Employees International Union District 1199.

Since COVID-19 became a household word, every aspect of our lives as Rhode Islanders has changed. We lost loved ones and friends, our businesses have suffered, we skipped family gatherings, and we’ve missed milestones like graduations and weddings. Through it all, one thing has not changed: the dedication and hard work of our front-line health-care workers.

While much has been written about the stress that the pandemic has caused in the medical and care fields, we’ve done little to reward our selfless health-care personnel’s hard work or to encourage them to remain with their jobs. Furthermore, many of these caregivers are women who were tasked with simultaneously caring for their patients and their families — adapting to household challenges like distance learning, closures of child-care programs and keeping their loved ones warm, safe, and fed amid shortages of all kinds. They are exhausted.

The steadfast commitment of our health-care workers to their professions saved lives, families and businesses. We should demonstrate our gratitude and invest in their careers.

Read more here.

National Education Association RI (NEARI) Facebook:

President Larry Purtill gave farewell remarks for Executive Director Robert A Walsh Jr. who attended his last Delegate Assembly tonight. Bob retires after 30 years at NEARI on Aug. 1. There was cake.

View pictures here.

LIUNA New England Region Twitter:
Recently, in observance of construction safety week, staff members from our Health & Safety Fund coordinated a “Fit for Duty” jobsite visit in Prov., RI. They designed and presented a “Stretch & Flex” demonstration with @LIUNALocal271 members & other members of the trades. With the recent trend in the number of soft tissue injuries, increased stretching and flexibility are proven techniques that are known to reduce such injuries in the workplace.

View pictures here.

Build RI: TF Green Airport

As summer begins and people start embarking on their summer getaways Build RI would like to highlight some of the union-built projects that make that travel possible. In Rhode Island, union labor has been integral in the construction of our major transportation hubs including TF Green Airport.

The People Mover that connects the main terminal and the rental car garage is one such example. An $80,000,000 project that overarches a parking lot and a busy highway, this required a wide array of skilled craftspeople to complete.

The main terminal of the airport was expanded in 1993 under an all union workforce. This expansion allowed for the addition of two gates which service international airlines.

The Read Beam garage – the main long-term parking structure for those catching flights – was yet another union project

This summer when you travel, thank a union for getting you there!

AFL-CIO: AFL-CIO On Racially Motivated Killing In Buffalo

May 15, 2022

Statement from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Vice President Fred Redmond on Saturday’s racially motivated killing of 10 and wounding of three people in Buffalo, New York:

The entire labor movement is appalled by the killing of 10 people and wounding of three by a man with racist beliefs who targeted Black people. While there’s no way to make sense of yet another racially motivated, hate-inspired attack on innocent people because of the color of their skin, it’s clear these types of mass shootings are perpetrated by those radicalized online, and we must take action. Our deepest condolences are with the family, friends, UFCW members and an entire community who are once again dealing with unfathomable pain due to one person’s racist beliefs.

Contact: Carolyn Bobb, 202-637-5018

AFL-CIO: 30th Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive a Triumph for NALC Members Helping Families in Need

The National Association of Letter Carriers’ (NALC’s) annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive was a huge success for the NALC members who made it happen and for millions of families across the country who are in need. On Saturday, letter carriers picked up bags of nonperishable food items from postal customers along their delivery routes and brought them to local food banks. The traditional food drive was not held the past two years because of the pandemic. “Simply being able to return to delivering food to food banks and pantries has made this year’s drive a monumental success,” NALC Assistant to the President for Community Services Christina Vela Davidson said.

National partners of the NALC’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive are the UFCW, the AFL-CIO, the United Way, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, the U.S. Postal Service, CVS Health, Valpak, Valassis and Kellogg Company.

Labor 411: Study Shows Most Employees At Large Chains Still Get Paid Less Than $15 An Hour

Employers are crying “labor shortage.”

But their dismal pay, per a new study, shows that they pay most workers a poor wage. Heck, even $15 an hour isn’t enough in most places nowadays with inflation and the surge in housing/rental prices.

“Some of the largest, most profitable companies in retail and food services are still paying most of their workers less than $15 an hour, and many still make less than $10 an hour, according to a new company wage tracker developed by the Economic Policy Institute and the Shift Project.

The tracker, which covers 66 large retail and food service corporations, found:

  • Dollar General pays 92% of workers less than $15 an hour and 22% are paid less than $10 an hour.
  • McDonald’s pays 89% of its workers less than $15 an hour and 23% are paid less than $10 an hour.
  • Wendy’s pays 87% of workers less than $15 an hour and 17% are paid less than $10 an hour.
  • At Sonic, 85% of workers are paid less than $15 an hour and 22% less than $10 an hour.

Similarly high percentages were found at Arby’s, Burger King, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.

Read more here.


Providence Federation of Musicians

Spring addition of the Cavalcade of Bands

When: Tuesday, May 31

Where: Rhodes-on-the-Pawtucket

Dancing: 5:30 – 10:30 p.m.

For more information and a list of bands performing, click here.


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


Monday, June 6, 2022


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

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Visit our website for more information, news and events.

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


Coming up on Labor Vision

Show host Autumn sits down with Michael Sabitoni, Business Manager, Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) Local 271 & Secretary‐Treasurer of the Rhode Island Laborers’ District Council, and Adam Lupino, Regional Policy Coordinator, LiUNA New England Region to talk about this issue of wage theft and misclassification in Rhode Island.

Payroll fraud is estimated to have cost RI taxpayers between $25.1M and $54.4M and has cost workers at least $5M in overtime pay in 2019. This year, legislation is up at the General Assembly to make wage theft and misclassification a felony in Rhode Island.

What can we do????

– Call your representatives: https://vote.sos.ri.gov/Home/ElectedOfficials

– Share this episode!!!

– If it’s happening to you, report it! https://protectyourpayri.com/  

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