E-NEWS: JULY 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.




Unfair Labor Practice Strike Continues for Logistics Drivers in Pawtucket

(PAWTUCKET, R.I.) – Today marks a full week on the picket line for more than 60 drivers employed by Northeast Transportation Services in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Workers are currently picketing 24 hours a day at the facility to demand wages high enough to keep pace with the cost of living, as well as affordable healthcare and retirement benefits.

“This company doesn’t care about us. We are overworked and underpaid. Now, they are bringing outside scab labor and paying them more than we make. They can afford to treat us better. Our health care is too high, and our wages are too low. We are standing up for ourselves to let this company know that we deserve better,” said Jerry Porter, a driver for Northeast Transportation Services and member of Local 251.

On June 22, Local 251 members went on strike in response to unfair labor practices by the company. In addition to wages and health care, workers at Northeast Transportation Services are also fighting for retirement benefits and safety improvements, noting that equipment and vehicles at the facility are unsafe and dangerous, putting both workers and the general public at risk.

“Workers are fed up with this company. They know they deserve better, and they decided to do something about it. Our members are committed to staying on strike until Northeast Transportation ends its pattern of anti-worker, anti-union behavior and negotiates a fair contract that provides workers with proper wages, benefits and standards,” said Matt Taibi, International Vice President and Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit http://www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter at @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.

General Teamsters Local 251 Facebook:

A big Thank You from our members for the solidarity!Mark Davidson Facebook:

Happy 4th of July all! Our executive board came out this morning to update our members on our ongoing contract negotiations at DHL in Portland. Workers at DHL have to deliver on most holidays due to the worldwide nature of their business and the consumers thirst for 365 days a year e-commerce and home deliveries. Our stewards organized a passing of the Teamsters hat for donations to striking workers at Northeast Transportation out of Local 251 in Rhode Island. Thank you Garry and Brad for organizing this solidarity event!

View pictures here.

Laborers Local 271 Twitter:

RI #Offshorewind bill signing today in Quonset @GovDanMcKee @DawnEuer#jobs

Proud to work in partnership with ⁦@GovDanMcKee⁩ in growing our #RI economy and creating family supporting jobs ⁦@LIUNALocal271


After 36 years of leadership, Lawrence E. Purtill, president of NEA Rhode Island plans retirement in December

Cranston, R.I. (June 30, 2022)– The National Education Association Rhode Island (NEARI) officially announced today that Lawrence E. Purtill will retire as president of NEARI on December 30, 2022.

Purtill will complete his twenty-third year as president of the organization upon retirement, he served 13 years as vice president before taking the helm in 1999. Prior to his leadership at NEARI, Purtill taught history in Exeter-West Greenwich for 22 years. He will be succeeded by NEARI’s vice president, Senator Valarie Lawson, who will serve until May 2023 when she will be eligible for election by the NEARI Delegate Assembly.  

“I feel so fortunate to have dedicated my career to Rhode Island’s education and labor communities for the last 45 years,” said Purtill. “Teaching history was incredibly rewarding, and I loved being in the classroom. Serving as president of NEARI allowed me to have a broader impact on the lives of Rhode Island’s students from Pre-K through college by advocating for legislation and programs to make public education better now and into the future. It has been my great honor to represent the 12,000 active and retired members of NEARI. Our union is strong, and I have full faith that strength will continue under Val Lawson’s leadership.”

Purtill’s contributions to the vibrancy and strength of NEARI are many with a legacy of positive change and lasting impact across the many sectors of membership. Among his proudest accomplishments are leading NEARI into the greater labor community by joining RI AFL-CIO in 2012 and collaborating with educators, elected officials and community allies to increase awareness of mental health and social and emotional learning. Read more here.

Build RI: Union Built Summer Vacation

It’s hardly news that Rhode Island is a state worthy of visiting but did you know how much of our local hospitality infrastructure was built under PLAs?

Some of the more notable projects include the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, an expansion to the Westin hotel in Providence, and Hilton and Residence Inns.

The Westin Hotel expansion, completed in 2009 was a $90,000,000 project. The owner said afterwards that “given the size and complexity of this development, the time constraints and the challenging geography and traffic patterns, …the PLA contributed to the success of the Westin Hotel expansion.”

The expansion of the Twin River Casino in Tiverton was completed in 2017. Of working with the Building Trades the director of the casino said at the time; “The Project Labor Agreement provide beneficial [to this expansion], ensuring the availability of a skilled, qualified union workforce, needed worker flexibility in modifying schedules and assurances that construction would not be interrupted.”

AFL-CIO: Biden to Award Richard Trumka Presidential Medal of Freedom

Last year, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka passed after a long and distinguished career of fighting on behalf of workers across the country and throughout the world. Those of us who worked with him knew his commitment to the labor movement and will forever be thankful for his dedication to working people.

Add President Joe Biden to the list of those honoring Trumka’s life work. This week, Biden will award Trumka with the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Trumka is one of 17 honorees who will be recognized in a ceremony later this week.

In describing the recipients of the medal, the White House wrote, “These seventeen Americans demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation —hard work, perseverance, and faith. They have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities—and across the world—while blazing trails for generations to come.”

Labor 411 Facebook:


General Teamsters Local 251


Northeast Transportation Services members, who wear DHL-branded uniforms, drive DHL-branded vehicles, and service DHL Express packages and customers; are on strike as of Wednesday evening.

In response to worker demands for a fair contract, the Company stated it is “unreasonable” to meet the workers’ demands to pay livable wages, offer affordable healthcare and pay a share towards retirement. The South Carolina-based company apparently doesn’t believe that employees have rights and deserve fair treatment. This at a location that has more than doubled in number of employees in the last two years. The Union believes the Company has committed unfair labor practices. Workers are picketing 24 hours a day at 101 Concord St, Pawtucket RI. Please tell Northeast Transportation and DHL Express that unfair treatment of workers is unacceptable. Call 843-906-9655 and 1-800-225-5345. If you’re a customer serviced by Northeast Transportation Services, please refuse deliveries and ship by a union-represented shipper that treats its employees better.

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Coming up on Labor Vision

On this special segment of Labor Vision we visit the Museum of Work and Culture with the museum Executive Director Anne Conway and Rachael Guadagni, the Family and Youth Education Coordinator.

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