E-NEWS: JULY 28, 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


PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release: July 25, 2022                                                                                    

Contact: Patrick Crowley ▪ 401.330.6870 ▪ patrick@riaflcio.com

RI AFL-CIO Endorses Daniel McKee for Governor

Providence, RI – Today, the Executive Board of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO voted to endorse Daniel J. McKee for Governor in the Democratic Party primary election to be held on September 13, 2022.

George Nee, president of the state’s largest labor federation, said “Since becoming Governor in March of 2021, Governor McKee has consistently demonstrated a commitment to making life better for working Rhode Islanders. He signed into law several pieces of legislation important to union members including an increase of the minimum wage to $15 per hour, the Act on Climate, the nursing home safe staffing legislation, an extension of the Rhode Island Promise program, prevailing wage legislation for projects using state tax credits as well as for state contracts with janitorial and security vendors, the voting reform package known as “Let RI Vote” and a number of important gun safety measures. We look forward to continuing to work with the McKee Administration on issues that affect not only the 80,000 men and women of the Rhode Island labor movement but all of the Ocean State’s working people.”

Patrick Crowley, Secretary Treasurer of the RI AFL-CIO, highlighted the Governor’s record on climate change as a key reason for earning the labor movement’s endorsement. “Governor McKee was instrumental in enacting important legislation as Rhode Island looks to build a just transition to a carbon-free economy. The 100% Renewable Energy Standard law, the Off-Shore Wind Procurement law, and the Labor Standards in Renewable Energy Projects law are examples of forward-thinking legislation putting Rhode Island at the forefront of tackling the impact of climate change. Governor McKee’s leadership on these issues puts Rhode Island on the path to meeting the ambitious goals of the 2021 Act on Climate.”      

The endorsement comes after interview sessions with all the leading Democratic Party candidates for Governor, including Governor McKee, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, Dr. Luis Daniel Munoz, Helena Foulkes, and Matt Brown.  

The Rhode Island AFL-CIO represents over 250 affiliated unions and 80,000 working men and women across the Ocean State.  


Providence Business News: Rank and file revival: New kind of labor movement hits R.I.

Starbuckscustomers swinging through the drive-thru on a June morning in Warwick were greeted by something many weren’t expecting: a group of baristas and others holding signs with messages such as “Grind coffee, not workers” and “I want my coffee union made.”

It was an informational picket line ahead of a crucial vote for the 17 employees of the Starbucks Corp. outlet in a busy shopping plaza off Route 2 – a vote on whether they should unionize.

Many drivers beeped horns in support, pumped fists or rolled down their windows to let out a cheer.

Cassie Burke, 23, a Starbucks employee and organizer of the union effort, was among those holding signs. And she wasn’t hiding her frustration.

“With this current generation, there’s a lot of people who do not feel represented through government and law,” she said. “They see this as a way to make change in their community aside from voting every two years.”

The runup to the early June vote was perhaps the most visible example of a new type of union movement rippling across Rhode Island and the rest of the country, one of self-organization that runs counter to traditional labor organizing that has tended to be led by seasoned union officials. Read more here.


The Providence Journal: Security guards from a Warwick firm are trying to form a union after alleged intimidation

Security officers with Warwick firm USENTRA rallied on Tuesday for the creation of a union despite alleged intimidation on the part of management.

About two dozen employees gathered outside the Providence Community Health Centers complex on Prairie Avenue, one of the main locations security staff are sent. However, they also work in Brown University buildings, The Providence Journal printing plant, and other locations.

Sagno Almamy, who emigrated from Guinea in 2009 and started working with USENTRA in 2018, is one of the staffers who has been stationed at the printing plant, along with factories and hospitals.

Almamy, who is 70 years old and said he sometimes works significantly more than 40 hours a week, said he has no health insurance and makes differing wages based on the location he is posted.

At the PCHC complex, he makes $14 to $16 an hour, whereas at the printing plant, he makes $12.25 an hour, he told The Journal. He does, however, make overtime.

“That’s one of the problems,” said Franklin Soults, a spokesperson for the Service Employees International Union, Local 32BJ. “They never know how much they’re going to be getting.”

Read more here.


AFL-CIO: CHIPS Act Will Help Secure America’s Future

July 26, 2022

Statement from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on the passage of the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America (CHIPS) Act in the U.S. Senate:

Today’s passage of the bipartisan CHIPS Act in the Senate is a critical step toward rectifying years of underinvestment in our nation’s manufacturing and research and development capabilities. This legislation will boost America’s domestic supply chains, create thousands of high-paying jobs, strengthen our technology infrastructure, increase national security and promote vital research to ensure that we remain a global leader in innovation.

The billions of dollars in funding allocated for the semiconductor industry will expand our ability to develop more chips and incentivize companies to ramp up production nationwide. We also welcome the stipulations in the bill that hold companies accountable for how they utilize taxpayer dollars; facilitate the growth of a well-trained, highly skilled workforce; and create opportunities for historically disadvantaged communities to participate in CHIPS Act–funded projects and training programs.

We will continue to advocate for many of the important trade-related provisions that were not included in this version of the bill and would have done more to protect working people. Provisions such as the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program—which expired in July—would have given workers who have lost their jobs to offshoring the opportunity to gain skills suited for newly built semiconductor facilities. Reinforcing U.S. labor laws and deterring China’s harmful trade practices are top priorities for our movement, and we won’t stop fighting until these necessary measures and reforms are in place. Working people deserve a voice and a seat at the table in every step of the process, and when we have one, we will build a more competitive America.


IUPAT Twitter:

Every day, our union organizes to build and expand on the legacy of the generations of IUPAT women who’ve proudly made our union the union it is today, which has the largest number of women in the building trades.

Watch video here.


RICOSH Advisory: Practical Steps To Beat The Heat

The following is a basic checklist to chose (mix and match) for heat-health:

· Download OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool. Real-time heat index and hourly forecasts, specific to your location, with heat safety recommendations. [www.osha.gov,]

· Regular hydration (fluid intake) is vital. But water and sports drink intake alone will not prevent heat illnesses. It is also important to adjust the work environment and regimen.

· Take frequent rest breaks. If you work outdoors try to take these breaks inside or in a cool shaded area. The hotter it gets, take more and longer breaks. Many cities have designated cooling centers (libraries, auditoriums, school gyms etc): for outdoors crews (landscaping, construction, road work etc) locate nearest cooling center and take breaks and meals in these centers.

·  Schedule heavy work at cooler times.

·  Workers and staff should have time to adjust to hot environments.

·  Shield machinery or equipment that produces heat.

·  Attach overhead covering to( lifts, scaffolding etc,); erect open tents to cover stationary work.

·  Supply portable general ventilation and spot cooling in hot work areas.

·  Providing cooling protective clothing (e.g., water-cooled garments, air-cooled garments, cooling vests, and wetted overgarments).

· Eat smaller meals and avoid sugar, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol.

· Provide training and select a crew or staff member for specific emergency medical training on how to handle a victim of heat stroke.

· Review hazards and precautions when a heat wave is predicted.


Labor 411: The 2022 Union-Built Cars, Trucks, And SUVs List

For most people, cars are the second biggest purchase that they will make. And a great way to vote with all those dollars that they are are spending is to choose union-made cars.

When we buy union, we are supporting companies that pay fair wages. At the same time we are denying money to those automakers that engage in union avoidance, whether it’s through moving plants to “right to work” states or practicing union-busting.

But with so many cars built in North America nowadays, it’s not always easy to know which are assembled at union plants. With that in mind, the United Autoworkers (“UAW”) puts together an annual list of cars assembled at UAW factories. It’s a terrific resource to help consumers vote with their wallets.

Below are the car, truck, and SUV sections of the 2022 UAW list. For the full list of UAW vehicles, visit the union’s guide here.





UPCOMING EVENTS:

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).

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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 is going on break for the rest of the summer. We’ll be back in September!

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