E-NEWS: JUNE 16, 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 Business News: CODE RED: Amid closures, nursing homes fight for survival

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, the staff at Cherry Hill Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Johnston worked in fear that they would spread the deadly virus among the center’s elderly residents. They also feared they might carry the virus home to their families.

After all, numerous residents had died amid the worst of the crisis as COVID-19 seeped into nursing home populations around the state despite the best efforts to stop it.

Toiling for hours at a time in N95 masks, face shields and ­other personal protective equipment – which had to be ­constantly changed – was mentally and physically draining for Cherry Hill’s workers.

“The PPE created a difficult barrier to interacting and communicating with residents, which saddened and frustrated the staff,” said Kathleen Gerber, executive director at the 170-bed Cherry Hill facility.

Adding to the stress, the staff took on an additional role: because relatives weren’t allowed to visit for months, nursing staff members found themselves filling the void, often taking calls from worried family members and helping with videoconferencing “visits.” Read more here.


Live this week with Climate Jobs Rhode Island rallying in support of legislation for 100% Renewable Energy by 2033.

Watch video here.


Climate Jobs National Resource Center: Breaking! Rhode Island unions celebrate passage of 100% renewable electricity legislation, strongest in nation

Labor And Climate Advocates Celebrate Passage Of 100% Renewable Electricity Legislation

When signed into law, the renewable energy standard will become the strongest in the nation, positioning Rhode Island as a climate leader.

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND—Members of Rhode Island’s labor and environmental movements celebrated the passage of H7277 (sponsored by Rep. Deborah Ruggiero), the RI House version of a bill that would require that 100% of Rhode Island’s electricity demand is met by renewable energy sources by 2033. The Senate passed mirror legislation (S2274, by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio) two weeks ago. Governor McKee is expected to sign the bill into law, establishing the strongest standard of this kind in the country.

“We’re hoping that by demonstrating that the labor movement and the environmental movement can work together, that other states—my sister and brother labor organizations across the country—can look at this as an example for how to get things done in a big way,” said Patrick Crowley, secretary-treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO and Co-Chair of Climate Jobs Rhode Island.

Read press coverage of the bill’s historic passage in the Boston Globe and Bloomberg Law and follow Climate Jobs Rhode Island on Twitter for more updates!


The Providence Journal: Warwick Starbucks is the first Rhode Island location to vote on unionizing; outcome unclear

WARWICK – It’s not clear yet if Rhode Island has its first unionized Starbucks.

The National Labor Relations Board counted ballots cast in the unionization election at the chain’s Pace Boulevard location on Tuesday and found that nine were in favor of a union and eight were against.

However, two unopened ballots were challenged, so the NLRB was unable to declare a result. The NLRB will now have to hold a hearing to determine whether either of those ballots, which have the potential to determine the outcome of the election, should be counted.

“It’s overwhelming and a little anxiety-inducing,” said Jennifer Maynard, a shift supervisor and union supporter. “Obviously, when it’s all that close, things are up in the air, and I’m not really sure how to feel.”

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the ballots in question had been challenged by Starbucks or by union representatives. The store, which is located near Savers and Best Buy off Universal Boulevard, is the first and so far only Starbucks location in Rhode Island where workers have announced their intent to unionize. Read more here.


United Food Commercial Workers Local 328 Facebook:

View pictures here.

Exciting news! Seven Stars Bakery workers employed at the three Providence locations are unionizing! Earlier today, they delivered signed letters to the company seeking voluntary union recognition.

The letters, signed by 50 employees representing an overwhelming majority of workers, states in part, “In the spirit of the values laid out by Seven Stars Bakery, and in good faith, we respectfully seek union recognition. We ask that the company reaffirm their commitment to their values by voluntarily working with UFCW 328 to show that Seven Stars Bakery truly is ‘proud that we are still true to the high standards and rich culture that were present when we first opened our doors.’ We hope that we may work together to rebuild these high standards and rich culture while ensuring a more equitable and fair workplace for all.”

While the workers await the company’s response, they have simultaneously filed for their union elections. We look forward to welcoming the hardworking employees at Seven Stars to our union family and encourage you to take a trip to Seven Stars to offer them your support!


1199 SEIU Rhode Island Facebook:

View pictures here.

Yesterday, SEIU 1199NE essential caregivers from all over the state gathered at the State House with one goal: to demand respect, recognition and immediate intervention in ending the capacity crisis.

“We are short-staffed, mentally and physically exhausted and don’t feel appreciated or valued for all our efforts for the last two years. Now COVID is again on the rise but we still don’t have the staffing and resources we need. It is critical that the General Assembly invest the funding allocated for COVID-relief into stabilizing our system,” said Anna Blais, RN at Women and Infants Hospital for 39 years.


RICOSH Worksite Solutions: Beat the Heat:                                                

In the last decade at least 384 workers died from environmental heat exposure in the U.S.,according to an investigation by NPR and Columbia Journalism Investigations

Workers are at risk because their livelihoods often depend on their exposure to hot weather and hot environs. In addition to outdoor occupations, such as farm, utility, landscaping, delivery, and construction, others who work in hot indoor environments include kitchens, laundries, warehouses are at risk.

Exposure to heat combined with physical activity and other factors in the environment can increase the body’s temperature and cause heat stress. The body responds to heat stress by trying to stabilize body temperature; however core temperature can be chronically stressed and subsequently overwhelmed leading to more significant impacts like heat exhaustion and heat stroke which can be fatal. Unrelieved heat strain increases the risk for heat-related illness. Heat stress and heat strain can also increase risk of injuries from dizziness or falls.

Many factors impact heat stress and heat strain, including air temperature, humidity, exposure to radiant sources and equipment, clothing, physical exertion, and hydration. This is a simple checklist to plan ahead but for more detail and more specific guidance consult the CDC website {www.cdc.gov.} and the OSHA website (www.OSHA.gov.)

Read more here.


AFL-CIO: Liz Shuler Elected AFL-CIO President at 2022 Convention Alongside Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond

The AFL-CIO Convention delegates today elected Liz Shuler to serve as president of the federation of 57 unions and 12.5 million members. Shuler is the first woman to hold the office in the history of the labor federation. Delegates also elected Fred Redmond to serve as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the office.

“We are going to amplify the voices of working people—their hopes, struggles, and demands. This is more than a comeback story,” said President Shuler. “This is a new story, yet to be told. A story we will write, on our terms, to be written by every one of us. A new era for all working people across this country.   And generations from now, they’ll tell the story of how we succeeded, together, in solidarity.”

In her acceptance speech, Shuler delivered a call to action to organize, innovate and reshape the labor movement to meet the moment that the country is in as it continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Shuler also announced the AFL-CIO’s moonshot to organize and activate 1 million workers throughout all 50 states to participate in the electoral process.

Read more here.



UPCOMING EVENTS:

The George “Bing” Fogarty Memorial Foundation

What: Annual Golf Tournament

When: Friday, June 24

Where: Exeter Country Club

Description: The George “Bing” Fogarty Foundation was established by family and friends to carry on “Bing’s” legacy of charitable works and helping others. For more information, contact Phil Fogarty at gphilfog3@cox.net or by telephone at (401) 932-3642.



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LABOR VISION

Coming up on Labor Vision

The Fight for Equal Rights During WWII: The Story of Boilermakers Local 308 and Jim Crow Unions with Patrick Crowley

On the special episode of labor vision, Rhode Island Labor History Society executive board member and RI AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Patrick Crowley shares his work on the Boilermakers Local 308 and Jim Crow unions in Providence, RI, during World War II.

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