E-NEWS: JULY 14, 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.


AFL-CIO: Justice Delayed, but Finally Delivered

We welcome home an American patriot this week who was unjustly deported six years ago. Ivan Ocon, a brave Army veteran, won the right to return to the United States with the support of a powerful network of organizations, including the AFL-CIO; the Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO (UVC); the Deported Veterans Support House; and Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic. He was sworn in as a U.S. citizen in a ceremony held in El Paso, Texas, today.

“Justice has finally been served for Ivan and his family, and we look forward to helping more of our deported veterans return home where they belong,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “A few years ago, I was part of a labor delegation that visited the border where we met with veterans in Juarez still proudly wearing their U.S. military uniforms, despite being unable to cross into Texas. We immediately knew we had to take action. Deporting people who have risked their lives to defend our democracy is disgraceful, and unions are determined to right these wrongs.”

In 2021, the AFL-CIO Executive Council launched a campaign, under the leadership of the Union Veterans Council, to end the unjust deportation of U.S. military veterans, including hundreds who have served our nation in combat. The campaign seeks to bring our deported veterans home, reunite families, and prevent further efforts to criminalize and tear apart immigrant communities. Today, with the invaluable support of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic, we will begin to see the concrete results of our advocacy. Read more here.


Bloomberg Law: Unions Jockey For Offshore Wind Leasing Wins in Hostile States

Unions are positioning themselves as a key part of the Biden administration’s goal to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, pushing for worker-focused mandates while fielding questions about how it can be done, particularly in the waters off less union-friendly states.

After having lost out on footholds in industries that developed without union buy-in, organized labor is pushing to make sure they’re included at this table, where the many existing skillsets of their members can be put to work. Unions and private developers have already voluntarily agreed to collaborate on some of the slated projects, tapping into what some predict could be tens of thousands of jobs brought about by the industry—but they want more.

Creating equitable work conditions for all workers—including those not in a union—is a priority for labor leaders like Rick Levy, president of the Texas AFL-CIO.

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management “has the power in its own hands to shape the direction of this new technology forever,” said Levy. “It would be more than a shame—whatever word you would use—if we let this opportunity pass us by.”

Congressional Democrats, organized labor, and advocates want to see all offshore wind development completed with union labor, and project labor agreements linked to more future leases, actions that the Interior Department’s BOEM could take. Read more here.


CALLING ALL UNION MEMBERS!

The Future is Union photo contest is still active, please spread the word among your membership.  

This photography competition is a nationwide contest for union members and a selection of photos will win prizes up to $500 Visa gift cards. The contest closes on July 31st.

Any union member who sees their work as a “climate job” can submit a photograph to this contest—whether you’re driving an electric bus, working on wind turbines, teaching children about the climate crisis, cleaning up after climate-related disasters, constructing green buildings, installing solar, operating water systems, or any other form of climate work!

Here is an outreach template to help you spread the word amongst your membership, along with a link to the photo contest website where you will find more details. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me (erica@climatejobsri.org).


RICOSH Advisory: COVID Chronicles

COVID Vigilance: A Strict Constitutional Interpretation

Two new versions of Omicron are gaining ground in the U.S.

The spread of the subvariants adds more uncertainty to the trajectory of the pandemic in the US. These highly transmissible variants BA.4 and BA.t5 now account for the majority recent cases. But so far it has not led to huge spikes in hospitalizations or landing in ICUs and deaths.

“I think one of the things that remains somewhat undetermined with BA.4 and the BA. 5 surges are the levels of severe disease and death that we might expect. but the question is, how many hospitalizations and deaths will come as a result? And what does that mean for the health care system?” Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota BA.4 and BA.5 are picking up speed because they’re able to evade the body’s antibody response even more so than other variants, meaning they’re very good at establishing infections in people who have some level of protection. “Overall, this raises concerns about more frequent BA.4/BA.5 vaccine breakthrough infections than for BA.1/BA.2, and for Omicron reinfections,” the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reports

’BA.5 has an R0 of 18.6 – which means it is about as transmissible as measles, which is the most transmissible virus most of us know. That means you can come into a room two hours after an infected person was there and still get infected,’ according to Dr Michael Fine former RIDOH director. People who were infected by an earlier Omicron version could be susceptible to an infection from BA.4 or BA.5, scientists have found, though the combination of vaccination and an earlier Omicron infection provides more durable protection than an infection alone. But even as protection against transmission infection is diluted in the face of the newer variants, protection against serious outcomes continues to be maintained for most people who’ve been vaccinated or had prior infections. Read more here.


Wall Street Journal: Union Organizing Efforts Rise in First Half of Year

The number of U.S. workplaces where employees have started trying to organize unions jumped this year to the highest level in half a dozen years, a rise that reflects warming public attitudes toward unions amid a strong labor market.

In the first half of the year, workers at 1,411 U.S. workplaces filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board, the first step in joining a union, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of federal data. That represents a 69% increase from the same period in 2021 and the most of any year since 2015.

The union push comes as public opinion about organized labor is the most positive in decades. A Gallup poll last year found that 68% of Americans approve of unions, the highest share since 1965.

Still, the share of American workers who belong to unions has fallen steeply over past decades and remains low by historical standards. About 10.3% of American workers were union members last year, down from 29.3% in 1964, according to researchers from Georgia State University, Trinity University and the Urban Institute.

Of the 1,411 workplaces filing petitions so far this year, about 400, representing more than 21,000 workers, have already voted in favor of a union and around 150, representing almost 7,800 people, have voted against–a small slice of the 164 million in the U.S. labor force. The remaining petitions have either been withdrawn or are awaiting a vote. Read more here.


Liz Shuler Twitter:

The labor movement is calling on the @WhiteHouse to do whatever is necessary to ensure our union sister Brittney Griner is brought home swiftly & safely. #WeAreBG#FreeBrittneyGriner#WeAreNotThe144WithoutBG

Add your name & amplify the message! —> https://act.aflcio.org/forms/freebrittneygriner?source=social


AFL-CIO Facebook:

#FlashbackFriday: Former OPEIU – Office and Professional Employees International Union President John Kelly (1928-1994) marches alongside UFW founder Cesar Chavez (1927-1993) during the 1991 Delano Grape Strike.





UPCOMING EVENTS:

RICOSH Webinar:

Staying Healthy in the Heat

When: Monday, July 25 at 1 p.m.

This free virtual RICOSH workshop will explore the hazards of heat and ways to make working in hot environments safer. Workers are at risk because their livelihoods often depend on exposure to hot weather and to hot environs. 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-

Presenters: Jim Celenza and Dr Nick Tsiongas

Please Register in advance for this webinar:

Registration Link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0ufumqrTktEtRA6zi3i2iTyGQMnAOVmDRE

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General Teamsters Local 251

***NORTHEAST TRANSPORTATION SERVICES WORKERS ARE ON STRIKE***

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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LABOR VISION:

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.

Click below to watch the show: https://youtu.be/fm9TfQRKn94

And visit the museum website to learn more about upcoming events and exhibits: https://www.rihs.org/locations/museum-of-work-culture/

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