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

September 27, 2022  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                

CONTACT:  Brian Hodge ▪ (401) 274-4400 x2234 ▪ bhodge@riag.ri.gov ▪ Twitter @AGNeronha    

Three contractors charged with stealing over $64,000 in wages from 14 workers stemming from school construction work

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that three Rhode Island-based drywall installation contractors have been arraigned in Providence Superior Court on felony and misdemeanor charges following an investigation by the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Labor and Training into allegations that they stole more than $64,000 in wages from 14 workers during the construction and renovation of RISE Prep Mayoral Academy in Woonsocket in 2018 and 2019.

In total, four contractors have been charged with wage theft and related charges stemming from an investigation into alleged wage theft during the construction and renovation of RISE Prep. Earlier this year, an East Providence contractor was charged with stealing over $93,000 in wages from workers employed at the RISE Prep construction site.

Eduardo Benitez (age 33) of Woonsocket, the owner of Benitez Y Rojas Drywall (BYR) Empire Drywall (Empire), and New Generation Drywall (New Gen) is charged with three counts of unlawful appropriation of over $1,000, three counts of failure to pay wages, two counts of conspiracy to unlawfully appropriate money, and one count of providing a false document to a public official.

Teresa Rojas (age 36) of Pawtucket, affiliated with Empire Drywall (Empire), is charged with one count of unlawful appropriation of over $1,000, one count of conspiracy to unlawfully appropriate money, and one count of providing a false document to a public official.

Yuliana Gonzalez (age 25) of Providence, affiliated with New Generation Drywall (New Gen), is charged with one count of unlawful appropriation of over $1,000, one count of conspiracy to unlawfully appropriate money, and one count of providing a false document to a public official.

As alleged in court filings, the defendants are accused of failing to pay and misappropriating approximately $64,000 in wages to 14 former workers for work they performed during the construction and renovation of RISE Prep Mayoral Academy between 2018 and 2019. During that time, BYR, Empire, and New Gen drywall companies performed work as subcontractors under Case Construction Company, the general contractor of the project.

Read more here.

Thursday, September 22, 2022


Treasurer Magaziner Celebrates Progress of Historic Investment in Rhode Island Public SchoolsStatewide school construction program has invested more than $2.2 billion in funding to repair or replace over 200 school buildings across 31 districts in Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, RI – General Treasurer Seth Magaziner today celebrated the progress of the historic investment made in Rhode Island schools through a once-in-a-generation plan to repair or replace Rhode Island’s public school buildings that provides enhanced state funding for public school districts. As co-chair of the Rhode Island School Building Task Force, Treasurer Magaziner led the development of the statewide school construction program that was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2018.  

The Fiscal Year 2023 Budget passed by the Rhode Island General Assembly contains $300 million of funding to extend the statewide school construction program, including a $250 million bond proposal for voters to consider on the 2022 ballot.  

“This year, more Rhode Island students have been able to attend schools that are safe, warm, dry, and equipped for 21st-century learning than ever before,” said General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. “Despite this progress, this work is far from over. Thankfully, Rhode Islanders understand that investing in our schools and our students is how we build a strong economy for the future, and I encourage voters across the state to continue this historic progress by approving a $250 million school construction bond on Tuesday, November 8.”

Read more here.

NEARI Stephanie DeSilva Mandeville Twitter:What a great night celebrating the contributions of these two wonderful men! While we watch

@RobertAWalshJr tiptoe through the first month of retirement, we are fortunate to have 3 more months of @LawrencePurtill’s leadership. Thank you to everyone who shared the night with us!

View pictures here.

General Teamsters Local 251 Facebook:

Watch video here.


These Teamsters are fighting for affordable healthcare and livable wages while management buys pricey vacation homes. Which side are you on?

General 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.

Support for strikers has increased dramatically since news footage of Pawtucket Police attacking, pepper spraying and arresting picketers unprovoked during a rally aired on news broadcasts throughout the state.

Here’s how you can help:

Do not ship through DHL if you are in Rhode Island, Southeastern MA, Cape Cod or Eastern Connecticut.

Stop by the picket line at 101 Concord St, Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Contact us before stopping by please.

Give financial contributions:

Teamsters Local 251 Strike Fund

121 Brightridge Ave

East Providence, RI 02914

Tell Northeast Transportation Services that unfair treatment of workers is unacceptable. Call 843-906-9655 and 1-800-225-5345.

Laborers Local 271 Twitter:

Proud to celebrate 5 year anniversary of Block Island Wind Farm @OrstedUS @GovDanMcKee @RISpeaker @SenatorRuggerio @riaflcio @climatejobsri #unionbuilt #offshorewind #RhodeIsland

See pictures here.

IBEW Local 99 Twitter:

Tonight was a very informative class about climate change and how labor and environmentalists can act together to combat it through legislation and family sustaining union jobs.

Teamsters Local 251 Driving School Facebook:

Just as promised late last night! We are going to be somewhat working our way backwards over the next few days in recognizing all of our recent grads!

Huge congrats to Rick Parenteau in successfully completing his training here at the school. He takes the notoriaty for being the final participant of our program that was ELDT exempt. As a Real Jobs RI participant, Teamster member, Rick was able to train here at the school to change career paths and change his life. Everyone here at the Driving School wants to wish him the best of luck in his new career and we can’t wait to see him on the road real soon!

United Way of Rhode Island’s 96th Annual Celebration

Wednesday, October 12 | 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Farm Fresh Rhode Island, 10 Sims Avenue Unit 103, Providence

Join us to celebrate the positive impact we’ve made this year, thanks to you — our donors, partners, and volunteers. Together, we’re building hope in a better tomorrow for every Rhode Islander.

In addition, each year we honor the heroes among us and celebrate their contributions in helping us fulfill our mission to build racial equity in Rhode Island and to create justice and opportunities for all.


·         John H. Chafee Live United Award | Beverly Ledbetter

·         Dante F. Mollo Labor United Award | Patrick Quinn

·         Partners United Award | Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island

·         Community United Award | Rhode Island Center for Justice

·         Live United Exemplary Service Award | Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott

This event is free and open to all.

Labor 411: Our Union-Made Oktoberfest Shopping List

It’s officially fall and that means Oktoberfest is here! It’s a time for great beer, great food, and (hopefully) great company. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of drinks and snacks so that you can celebrate the festival while supporting good union jobs. Happy Oktoberfest and let’s all work together to build a stronger America.

View list here.

***Remember to purchase your food and drinks at Stop & ShopShaws and Eastside Marketplace where our union brothers and sisters work.


OEHCRI: Lunch & Learn Seminar


R.I. Building & Construction Trades Council:

For details, please call Meredith Cotta, Development & Operations Associate at 401-921-2434 x 202 or events@BigsRI.org.

Direct Donation / Registration for Sponsorship Opportunities or More Information: bigsri.org.

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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.

Coming up on Labor Vision …

This special segment of Labor Vision features the 2022 Rhode Island Labor History Society’s Annual Labor Day Address, “Labor and Environmentalists: A Lost History of Solidarity,” on the history of labor-environmental alliances in the 20th century and the current coalition building green energy while creating union jobs.

Click here to watch the show: https://buff.ly/3SIZfKj

And visit this link to learn more about and join the RI Labor History Society: https://buff.ly/3BjyRB8