E-NEWS: AUGUST 25, 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


For immediate release: August 22, 2022                                                                              

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

PRESS RELEASE

RI AFL-CIO endorses Joseph Shekarchi for State Representative in District 23

Providence, RI – The Executive Board of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO voted to endorse Joseph Shekarchi for State Representative in District 23 in the Democratic Primary election to be held on September 13, 2022.

George Nee, president of the state’s largest labor federation, said “As Speaker of the House, Representative Shekarchi has made a positive impact for the working people of Rhode Island. He has provided targeted tax relief for Rhode Islanders by eliminating the car tax, delivering $250 tax credits to working families with children, and eliminating the state income tax on military pensions. He has also passed a bill that increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour and has strongly supported efforts to protect current law that provides for mandatory time and a half pay for all workers who work on Sunday and holidays. We’re supporting Speaker Shekarchi because he has a record of standing with our members.”

Patrick Crowley, Secretary Treasurer of the RI AFL-CIO, highlighted Speaker Shekarchi’s role in creating more jobs in the green economy as a key factor in earning the RI AFL-CIO’s endorsement. “Speaker Shekarchi helped push through the two most consequential climate bills in Rhode Island history – the Act on Climate and the 100% Renewable Energy Standard. These bills are difference makers in protecting our environment and reducing carbon emissions, but they also create good, well-paying green jobs and transition us to a green economy. Speaker Shekarchi has had the foresight to put us on a path to a cleaner environment and ensure we are creating the jobs of the future.”  

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


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Contact: Alana O’Hare ▪ Alana@GovernorDanMcKee.com ▪ 401-486-3582

United Auto Workers Endorses Governor Dan McKee

UAW 9A represents nearly 1,000 workers in Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE – Today, the United Auto Workers (UAW) announced its endorsement of Governor Dan McKee for a full term. UAW Region 9A represents nearly 1,000 workers in diverse sectors of the economy including the automotive, childcare, gaming, and human service industries.

“Working Rhode Islanders need steady leadership that will invest in good-paying jobs with good benefits to support them and their families. Together, we have created jobs and put Rhode Islanders back to work, earning Rhode Island the lowest unemployment rate on record. With investments to expand key sectors of our economy, and send direct tax relief to Rhode Island families, Veterans, seniors, and businesses, we are making Rhode Island a better place to live, work, and raise a family. I’m grateful to have the UAW’s support and look forward to keeping Rhode Island’s momentum going,” said Governor Dan McKee.

“Governor McKee has made clear that he has the backs of working people and their families,” said Beverley Brakeman, UAW Region 9A Director. “He supports the issues that are important to our members, including better and more fair working conditions, a strong economy, and tax relief for Rhode Islanders. In his first 18 months in office, he has proven that he has the leadership skills to turn Rhode Island’s economy around, and we look forward to supporting him at the polls on September 13.”

UAW Region 9A joins labor organizations Rhode Island AFL-CIO, NEA Rhode Island, Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council, Laborers’ District Council, AFSCME Council 94, IBEW Locals 99 and 2323, Teamsters Local 251, ATU Local 618, NAGE/IBPO Rhode Island, Painters District Council 11, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 51, Iron Workers Local 37, United Nurses and Allied Professionals, Rhode Island State Association of Fire Fighters, IFPTE Local 400, Boilermakers Local 29, Bricklayers Local 3, Eastern Millwright Local 1121, Elevator Constructors Local 39, Heat & Frost Insulators Local 6, Plasterers & Cement Masons Local 40, Roofers Local 33, Sheet Metal Workers Local 17, Sprinkler Fitters Local 669, as well as the Rhode Island Democratic Party, the Democratic Governors Association, and the Cumberland, East Providence, Johnston, North Providence, Pawtucket, Providence, and Westerly Democratic committees in endorsing Governor Dan McKee’s campaign for a full term.


An excellent Op-Ed in today’s ProJo by Priscilla De La Cruz, senior director of government affairs for Audubon Society Rhode Island, president of the Environment Council of Rhode Island, and co-chair of Climate Jobs Rhode Island. Patrick Crowley is the secretary-treasurer of the RI AFL-CIO and co-chair of Climate Jobs Rhode Island.

The Providence Journal: Opinion/De La Cruz and Crowley: Federal climate jobs act a boon to RI workers

Federal climate jobs act a boon to workers in RI

The $379-billion Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the biggest climate bill to pass Congress, will give us a fighting chance to slash harmful pollution and secure a better future for our kids.

But the IRA isn’t just a climate win. It’s a climate jobs win. And that’s what makes it such a big deal for Rhode Island, where we’ve already led the nation with ambitious climate goals and strong investments in a pro-worker renewable energy transition.

Last year, we passed a landmark climate law, the Act On Climate, that laid Rhode Island’s climate action foundation with an ironclad commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This year, climate and labor advocates upped the ante by winning the country’s strongest 100% renewable electricity standard and securing up to an additional 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind power to help us get there.

The IRA is about to turbocharge our efforts to meet these climate goals with aggressive tax incentives that will unleash clean energy development across the country. Importantly, the IRA’s tax credits are tied directly to strong labor standards. Under the IRA, if a developer builds a new utility-scale wind or solar farm, they’ll get a 30 percent tax credit by paying workers the federal prevailing rate for wages and benefits, and for employing a certain number of apprentices. Renewable energy developers will also be eligible for additional benefits by building projects in low-income or fossil fuel dependent communities, or if they build with U.S.-made materials, which will create manufacturing jobs in solar, wind, and electric vehicles across the country.

Rhode Island towns and school districts will be eligible to receive these credits directly as cash through the IRA’s ‘direct pay’ option, which will give a major boost to statewide decarbonization initiatives, like the Green and Healthy Schools campaign. This is our opportunity to maximize the state’s investments in school infrastructure, create tons of good-paying local jobs, and build safe, healthy, and resilient buildings. Read more here.


UFCW Local 328: Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center Workers in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Unanimously Ratify First Contract

The newly ratified agreement marks the first collective bargaining agreement for compassion center workers in Rhode Island

PORTSMOUTH, RI – Today, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 328, the union for 11,000 Rhode Island and Massachusetts workers, announced that the budtenders, keyholders, online orderers and delivery drivers employed at Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, voted unanimously to approve a first contract. The two-agreement includes:

  • Immediate wage increases for all employees, including up to 22% for employees with 1 year or more of service
  • Additional wage increases in the second year
  • Immediate improvement in starting rates for all classifications by over $2.00 an hour with an additional increase in the second year
  • Paid vacations and improved paid sick time
  • Protection of bargaining unit work
  • Clothing allowance
  • Additional paid holidays
  • Protected time and a half on Sunday
  • Robust grievance procedure and workplace protections
  • Newly secured opportunity to earn tips
  • Ratification bonus of $1,000

Nicholas Ventetuolo, a delivery driver at Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center and a member of the negotiating committee, stated after the vote, “This contract sets a tremendous precedent for cannabis workers in Rhode Island, at a time where the industry is undergoing massive changes in preparation for the introduction of recreational sales. Our contract is a powerful statement on the collective power of a united workforce. The workers at Greenleaf would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to UFCW Local 328 for their unwavering support throughout this entire process.” Read more here.


The Boston Globe: Back in R.I., Raimondo said new federal legislation offers ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’

The federal government plans to incentivize up to 10 ‘football field-sized’ semiconductor chip plants, and union leaders and local officials would like to see one in Rhode Island.

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — “Tell me what you need from me.”

Gina M. Raimondo, the current US commerce secretary and former Rhode Island governor, posed that challenge to a group of union members and elected officials on Monday. The response was immediate.

Michael F. Sabitoni, president of the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council, said, “We want a (semiconductor) chip plant in Rhode Island.”

Raimondo said every state will get a shot at the $52 billion in grants and other incentives included ina newly passed $280 billion federal legislation package aimed at boosting the semiconductor industry, and she encouraged Rhode Island officials to make a pitch for one of 10 potential new plants.

Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos, sitting in the front row, said she would call Governor Daniel J. McKee about taking advantage of the opportunity.

East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva, who was also in the audience, suggested putting one of those plants in East Providence. Read more here.


Laborers Local 271 Twitter:

Honored to have @SecRaimondo address the @ri_trades Women’s Council on issues facing women in construction @LGSabinaMatos @mayorbobdasilva


1199 SEIU New England Facebook:

This week, caregivers at Women and Infants and Butler Hospitals delivered thousands of petitions that a supermajority had signed to Administrators at both buildings. Delegates made it clear that we know that 80% of recent budget funding must be used on frontline staff and we fully intend to have a say in how the funding is used. NOW is the time to address our ongoing workforce crisis by investing in recruitment, retention and training. We won’t settle for anything less!


Local 37 Ironworkers Facebook:

MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

My name is Cash Pina, and I am a member of Local 37 Ironworkers out of Providence, Rhode Island. A friend of mine told me about being an ironworker, so I gave it a shot and haven’t looked back ever since. What drew me in honestly was how thrilling the work looked and also seeing so many successful individuals earning a living through honest work.

What keeps me motivated every day? For me right now there’s a deep sense of brotherhood and camaraderie between the guys I’m working with. We’re building our union together every day and we get to see the work we do that will outlive all of us. Our brotherhood is unmatched and unrivaled. Every ironworker should be welcomed in to see what our union can offer. The union has changed my life. I have a sense of security knowing that every hour I work has my retirement in mind.

One of the coolest jobs I ever got to work on was in the Port of Providence. There’s a new manufacturing facility that will be producing the steel bases for the offshore wind project Revolution Wind, in Rhode Island’s coastal waters. I was there for the steel erection, and I connected near the end. Straight shot 100-foot drop – it was a GREAT view. When it’s up and running there will be union ironworkers fabbing and welding the structures. And I just think that is so cool. I want Ironworkers to have a slice of the pie when it comes to the maintenance of wind turbines. It’s my goal to get as qualified as I can in order to move up in this new offshore wind industry. There are something like 64 wind turbines planned to be installed off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. We’ve done the training. It’s a whole new industry, and I know we have our place in it.

To all my non-union brothers and sisters: the time is now to organize or join up through an apprenticeship program. I can tell you one thing, the union has been wonderful to me. I show up and put in an honest day’s work and I get peace of mind. I’ve had opportunities to make a killing, and I’ll keep getting those opportunities as long as we keep growing our union. And with our focus on education through apprenticeship, our journeyman upgrade programs, and organizing unrepresented ironworkers, I think that our success will be assured.

It feels good to be an ironworker. One week I’m connecting in Boston, the next week I’m in Providence at Brown University’s amazing new performing arts center. I truly get to see it all!





UPCOMING EVENTS:

Climate Jobs RI Is Hosting A Zap50 Cleanup – JOIN OUR TEAM

WHEN: Saturday, August 27, 2022, 8-11AM

WHERE: Stop & Shop, 70 Mendon Rd., Cumberland, RI 02864

WHO: Climate Jobs RI, friends and family

ZAP50 represents the 50th Anniversary of the largest one-day regional environmental cleanup in American History – Blackstone Valley’s Operation ZAP! Climate Jobs RI has signed up as an “Organization in Action”, which means we’ve identified a location that needs a team to clean it up and we’re calling on our coalition members, friends in labor and environment, to turn out and show up in strong support.

In 1972, 10,000 volunteers lined the banks of the Blackstone River to remove tons of trash, appliances, cars, and other debris from its banks. This year, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, among other organizations, plan to recreate this historic day and hundreds of community members and volunteers throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts, are already committed to taking part in this day of action.

All are welcome and encouraged to join us. Bring your friends, family, and anyone willing to help. We will provide all cleanup gear (gloves, bags, etc.), along with breakfast snacks and refreshments. RSVP HERE

Questions? Email Erica Hammond at 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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