E-NEWS: SEPTEMBER 8, 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


The Boston Globe: Strong unions make the economy — and R.I. — work better

Marking Labor Day, Rhode Island AFL-CIO leaders say passing legislation to make wage theft a felony, and addressing water infrastructure to replace lead pipes, are priorities going forward.

With public support for labor unions the highest it’s been in decades, and union organizing on the upswing around the country, there is much to celebrate this Labor Day. It’s incredibly exciting to see younger workers leading the way, experimenting with innovative approaches to worker organizing while linking unionization with broader calls for expanded social justice. This has always been a core principle of the labor movement.

The ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic has seen an incredible influx of resources from the federal government to rebuild our economy. The American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, the CHIPS Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act are not only helping states like Rhode Island get back on their feet economically, they are all working to transform the economy from the bottom up. These laws pair support for using union labor on rebuilding projects with making the economy more resilient to the ravages of climate change. In our view, the only way to truly decarbonize the economy is to focus on the communities most impacted by the changing climate and ensure the work going into this transformation is done using union labor.

The Rhode Island AFL-CIO, the largest union coalition in the state with over 250 affiliated unions representing close to 80,000 members, is proud of our efforts to help foster these changes here in the Ocean State. With our partners in the environmental movement, we formed Climate Jobs Rhode Island to help move forward an agenda centering workers and working-class communities in the conversation. Working together, we supported the 2021 Act on Climate, as well as legislation leading to Rhode Island becoming the first state in the nation to reach a 100 percent renewable energy standard. Climate Jobs Rhode Island, and many others, worked to require the state to secure up to a gigawatt of new offshore wind energy, and to pass strong legislation ensuring that key labor standards need to be used when large-scale renewable energy projects are built. Read more here.


The Boston Globe: On Labor Day, remembering the 1934 Saylesville Massacre

Patrick Crowley, secretary-treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO and author of “The Battle of the Gravestones,” discusses the week-long street battle between textile workers and the Rhode Island National guard — the largest strike in American history at the time.

PROVIDENCE — On Labor Day, Rhode Island labor officials will commemorate the 1934 Saylesville Massacre, in which striking workers fought a week-long street battle against the Rhode Island National Guard in the tiny mill village of Saylesville.

Patrick Crowley, secretary-treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, has written a book, “The Battle of the Gravestones,” about the events of September 1934, and he answered six questions about them:

Q: Monday marks the annual commemoration of the Saylesville Massacre. Remind us of what happened back in September 1934.

Crowley: On Sept. 4, 1934, the Textile Workers Union of America launched a nationwide textile strike, putting 500,000 workers on picket lines across the country. Here in Rhode Island, thousands of textile workers walked out of their factories to protest horrible working conditions and draconian wage cuts by employers. At the time, it was the largest strike in American history.

The strike was relatively peaceful in Rhode Island until Sept. 10, when deputy sheriffs patrolling the Saylesville Bleachery in Lincoln fired their guns on protesting workers. For the next week, workers, local and state police, and eventually the National Guard, fought a running street battle near the Moshassuck Cemetery in Central Falls. Two workers were shot and killed, and hundreds were injured by police batons and tear and nausea gas. The violence only ended after the owners of the Saylesville Bleachery finally agreed to shut the factory down for the duration of the strike, which ended a week later. Read more here.


The Boston Globe: Will Rhode Island choose to secure our own renewable energy future?

Laura Bartsch is a senior vice president of Advanced Energy Economy and chair of the Rhode Island Distributed Generation Board. Joe Walsh is business manager/financial secretary for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union 99 Providence. Helen Anthony is a lawyer practicing with Handy Law, LLC, and a member of the Providence City Council.

The federal government pledges great support for those who invest in energy and climate solutions. Rhode Island can realize that benefit or leave it to others; it is up to us.

Rhode Island is at a crossroads. Every day, we choose whether to build and control our own energy future or outsource it to others.

Our policies call us to build our own supply for cost-effectiveness, security and emissions reduction. But utility and state administrators have blocked the mechanics needed to deliver on that promise. We are taking the politically expedient path of refusing to site and look at our own energy supply in our backyards. As a result, we continue to import more costly, less reliable and dirtier utility-scale solutions by default.

Our General Assembly now requires us to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2033. The question is, where will that clean energy come from? A Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources study on this question says that in the best case, no more than half of our projected demand for electricity can come from offshore wind. Our Act on Climate now requires us to reach net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050. The Office of Energy Resources study did not project the demand produced by electrification of our heating and cooling systems or our vehicles that would be needed to achieve net-zero. In other words, we know we will need much more clean electricity from clean energy projects sited on land, but we don’t know how much more. How much will be produced in Rhode Island? Read more here.


TONIGHT!


Teamsters Local 251 Strike Support on Friday, September 9th

Please join Teamsters Local 251 striking Northeast Transportation Services workers in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, this Friday, September 9, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 am. for a gathering with fellow union workers, RI Governor Dan McKee and local leaders.

Teamsters Local 251 members have been on strike at Northeast Transportation Services, a contracted DHL service provider since June 22. In response to worker demands for a fair contract, the Company said that while it has the ability, they feel it is “not in the Company’s best interest” to meet our workers’ demands to pay livable wages, offer affordable healthcare, and pay a share towards retirement. The South Carolina-based company apparently does not 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.

The public support from the community, other unions and local leaders has been unwavering but the fight continues for these couriers and dockworkers. It is crucial that we stand together and send a message to the Company that all Teamsters deserve fair wages and benefits.

Please join elected Rhode Island officials in demanding that the contractor for DHL Express settles the strike and agrees to a contract that provides for good jobs in Rhode Island.

When: Friday September 9, 2022
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Where: Northeast Transportation Services, 101 Concord St, Pawtucket RI

Out of respect to the City of Pawtucket, please do NOT park on the side of the street closest to the DHL/Northeast Transportation location. Parking on both sides of the street can lead to traffic and public safety concerns.


RI Council 94 Facebook:

What have you been up to this summer? Down in Kingston, at the University of Rhode Island, Local 528 members working for the University of Rhode Island Lands and Grounds Department have spent a portion of summer installing irrigation on the main quadrangle. The project is a collaboration between Local 528 members and their supervisors within Lands and Grounds.

In what has been an unusually hot and dry summer Local 528 members have worked through these difficult conditions. Thanks to the joint effort of our members and their supervisors the lawn at the University’s center piece will flourish. The irrigation our members installed is a major upgrade and will be a significant factor in the overall improvement of the University landscape.

Thank you to the men and women of Local 528 working in URI Lands and Grounds. This effort is something to be proud of and will contribute to an enhanced student experience at the University of Rhode Island.

Michael McDonald

President, Local 528

State Vice President, RI Council 94

View pictures here.


UFCW Local 328 Twitter:

Thanks to all of our members, sponsors and all those who volunteered, our 25th annual charitable golf tournament was a success! Together, we were able to raise $86,328 to benefit the @MarchofDimes, a nonprofit organization focused on improving the health of mothers and babies.

View pictures here.


AFL-CIO: MLBPA joins AFL-CIO with goal of helping strengthen labor movement

September 7, 2022

The Major League Baseball Players Association announced today that it is formally affiliating with the AFL-CIO with a goal of supporting the efforts and strengthening the voice of the national labor movement.

“The MLBPA has a proud, 56-year history of success rooted in unity and a highly engaged membership,” Executive Director Tony Clark said. “We look forward to bringing that history and experience to bear as a more formal part of the movement.”

The announcement was made during an appearance by AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and Clark before the National Press Club.

“The MLBPA and every single one of its 1,200 players have a home in our movement because this union understands and lives the meaning of the word solidarity by leveraging the power of sports and helping others,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “Together, with our 12.5 million members, we will bring our strength to their fights, including working to organize 5,400 minor league players.”

Notably, the AFL-CIO and many of its member unions offered consistent support that helped the MLBPA withstand a 99-day lockout by Major League Baseball to achieve significant improvements in a five-year collective bargaining agreement reached on March 10. Read more here.


AFL-CIO: I Celebrated Labor Day Because…

Liz Shuler / September 6, 2022

Yesterday was Labor Day. This year, it was truly a day for workers to celebrate. And we have a lot to be excited about.

We celebrate our union movement that is delivering results, with workers coming together and organizing to make our jobs better, across the country. We celebrate the progress working people have made through decades of advocacy to create better lives for ourselves and our families, ensure safer workplaces and build a stronger economy.

It’s no wonder that unions are more popular today than at any time in more than 50 years! A record 71% of Americans now say we approve of unions.

We are celebrating the Biden–Harris administration that puts working families front and center in everything it does. Look at the victories we’ve had just this year, from the bipartisan infrastructure law to the CHIPS Act to the Inflation Reduction Act to student loan forgiveness. These laws are investments that will change working families’ lives, by creating new jobs, making prescriptions more affordable and lifting the burden of debt.

These are victories we achieved thanks to your activism, organizing and advocacy. Working people are recognizing the power we have when we join together to form unions. We are seeing every day the strength of workers coming together—from sheet metal workers in Alaska to REI workers in the Bay Area, from workers at the Milwaukee Art Museum to nurses in Coral Gables, Florida—and it is truly inspiring. Read more here.


UAW International Facebook:

Across the nation, classrooms are bustling again with children and their teachers as they start their school years. Please be alert and aware on our roadways and in school zones to help reduce accidents.



UPCOMING EVENTS:

See above for events happening today and tomorrow.


Are you following us on Social Media? Click on the links below.

FaceBook

Twitter

Instagram

Visit our website for more information, news and events.



If you want a voice on the job or to build a better workplace, click the here to start organizing and taking action.


LABOR VISION:

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

You can still watch all the episodes from this year!

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter (@LaborVisionRI)

Subscribe to our YouTube channel (LaborVisionTV1): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozCVw

Find us on our website at https://laborvisionri.org/