Category Archives: Events

e-news: november 25, 2020

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


Teamsters Local 251

For Immediate Release: November 24, 2020

More School Bus Workers Join Teamsters Local 251

Durham School Services Becomes Latest Location to Vote Yes

(SMITHFIELD, R.I.) – For the second time in a week a group of student transportation workers voted to join Teamsters Local 251. On Monday, November 16, First Student school bus workers in Scituate, R.I., voted unanimously to join the union. Then on Friday, November 20, Durham School Services drivers, monitors and aides voted by an eight-to-one ratio to also join Local 251.

“These recent votes show the confidence student transportation workers have in the leadership of Local 251 to represent them well and negotiate a good contract for them,” said Rick Middleton, Teamsters Passenger Transport Division Director. “This group joins over 1,000 other student transportation workers at nine other school bus yards represented by our union throughout Rhode Island.”

“When workers organize collectively to join our union in the numbers we have seen in Rhode Island’s student transportation industry, it increases our ability to negotiate better standards for the workers in this field,” said Matt Taibi, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 251. “These workers safely transport our most precious cargo, our children, to school every school day. When companies realize the importance of these jobs to our communities; recognize and respect their workers with fair wages, benefits and safe working conditions – everybody wins.”
Read more here.


RI Building & Construction Trades Council Twitter: Pres. Sabitoni reminds us of indelible mark the late, great signatory contractor Leo V. Marshall had on the Building Trades & the Construction Industry. The Chair of JL Marshall & Sons will be forever missed – but never forgotten.

View image larger.


RI Labor History Society: Revisiting Saylesville: A Deeper Exploration of the Saylesville Massacre of 1934

Presented by Rhode Island AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Crowley with an introduction by URI Labor Historian Erik Loomis.

In 1934, workers across Rhode Island went on strike as part of one of the largest industrial actions in American history – the General Textile Strike. In the mill village of Saylesville, workers fought with deputy sheriffs and eventually the national guard. Two workers were killed in an event known as “The Saylesville Massacre.”

Watch Video


The Providence Journal: Opinion/Ruggerio and McCaffrey: The time for action is upon us

Dominick J. Ruggerio, D-North Providence, is president of the Rhode Island Senate. Michael J. McCaffrey, D-Warwick, is Senate majority leader.

First in, last out. That refrain became ingrained in our state’s collective psyche after our failure to quickly recover from the Great Recession.

The COVID-19 pandemic is as much an economic crisis as it is a public-health crisis. If we fail to take bold action now, then Rhode Island will slog to recovery just as it did in the aftermath of the Great Recession. That is why we are working diligently to chart a new course for Rhode Island in 2021.

Some of our priorities remain the same. During this time of unprecedented need, we will protect and foster the most fundamental socioeconomic needs of Rhode Islanders. The Senate will continue to fight for the codification of the Affordable Care Act, affordable housing, and a strong Equal Pay Act to address the gender wage gap. Read more here.


WIFR Channel 23: Union calls on governors to give firefighters highest priority for COVID-19 vaccine

The union sent a letter to the National Governors Association on Thursday, making the request.

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – The International Association of Fire Fighters requested governors include them on the highest priority tier in states like Illinois’ COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.

The union representing 322,000 professional fire fighters and emergency medical personnel, sent a letter to the National Governors Association on Thursday, making the request.

More than 30,000 professional fire fighters have had known exposures to COVID-19 in the course of duty, requiring more than 17,000 to quarantine or isolate. Nearly 150 professional fire fighters have been hospitalized upon contracting the virus, and at least 19 have died, according to the union.

“The virus not only places the lives and health of responders at risk, it also poses a risk to the larger community as well as to fire fighters responding to emergencies in homes, businesses and elsewhere before they may be aware of an infection,” the IAFF said.

You can read the entirety of the letter from IAFF General President Harold A. Schaitberger here.


The Washington Post: Workers call on Walmart, Amazon and other retailers to bring back hazard pay ahead of holiday rush

Though many grocery and retail chains offered extra pay — typically an additional $2 per hour early in the pandemic, most have done away with those bonuses.

Workers at Walmart, Amazon, Kroger and other major retailers are calling on their employers to reinstate hazard pay and strengthen safety protocols ahead of the busy holiday shopping season as coronavirus infection rates skyrocket.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), which represents 900,000 grocery employees at chains such as Kroger, Safeway and Giant, on Monday urged retailers to do more to protect workers from the virus that has sickened more than 12.3 million Americans. Separately, the workers rights group United for Respect called on such employers as Walmart, Amazon and Petco to pay an extra $5 an hour for the duration of the pandemic. Although many grocery and retail chains offered extra pay — typically an additional $2 an hour — early in the pandemic, most have since done away with the premium. Read more here.



Union Plus: Union-Made Thanksgiving: Turkey, sides, pie and more!

Ready to serve a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner this year? We have what you need to prepare your intimate family feast, from union-made cookware to our favorite recipes.

Make Thanksgiving extra special and one of big flavor with these festive dishes made with union-made ingredients. Also, check out the ways you can virtually connect with loved ones on Thanksgiving and even share those treasured family recipes!

See recipes here.

***Remember to buy Union-Made for Thanksgiving. Remember to buy at Stop &Shop, Shaws and East Side Marketplace where our union brothers and sisters work.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Register here.


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


Upcoming Segment:

Now showing on Labor Vision

The Labor Vision at Home Edition continues. Check out the latest episodes on our website: www.LaborVisionRI.org.

Never miss a segment. Like us on Facebook (@LaborVisionRI), follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube page (LaborVisionTV1).


Cox Channel 14 & FIOS Channel 33
Tuesday @ 7pm
Thursday @ 8pm
Saturday @ 5pm
                               
More Info on Labor Vision:                                    
Website: http://www.LaborVisionRI.org                          
FaceBook: @LaborVisionRI                                                    
Twitter: @LaborVisionRI                                                        
Instagram: LaborVisionRI
YouTube: LaborVisionTV1

e-news: november 25, 2020

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


Teamsters Local 251

For Immediate Release: November 24, 2020

More School Bus Workers Join Teamsters Local 251

Durham School Services Becomes Latest Location to Vote Yes

(SMITHFIELD, R.I.) – For the second time in a week a group of student transportation workers voted to join Teamsters Local 251. On Monday, November 16, First Student school bus workers in Scituate, R.I., voted unanimously to join the union. Then on Friday, November 20, Durham School Services drivers, monitors and aides voted by an eight-to-one ratio to also join Local 251.

“These recent votes show the confidence student transportation workers have in the leadership of Local 251 to represent them well and negotiate a good contract for them,” said Rick Middleton, Teamsters Passenger Transport Division Director. “This group joins over 1,000 other student transportation workers at nine other school bus yards represented by our union throughout Rhode Island.”

“When workers organize collectively to join our union in the numbers we have seen in Rhode Island’s student transportation industry, it increases our ability to negotiate better standards for the workers in this field,” said Matt Taibi, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 251. “These workers safely transport our most precious cargo, our children, to school every school day. When companies realize the importance of these jobs to our communities; recognize and respect their workers with fair wages, benefits and safe working conditions – everybody wins.”
Read more here.


RI Building & Construction Trades Council Twitter: Pres. Sabitoni reminds us of indelible mark the late, great signatory contractor Leo V. Marshall had on the Building Trades & the Construction Industry. The Chair of JL Marshall & Sons will be forever missed – but never forgotten.

View image larger.


RI Labor History Society: Revisiting Saylesville: A Deeper Exploration of the Saylesville Massacre of 1934

Presented by Rhode Island AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Crowley with an introduction by URI Labor Historian Erik Loomis.

In 1934, workers across Rhode Island went on strike as part of one of the largest industrial actions in American history – the General Textile Strike. In the mill village of Saylesville, workers fought with deputy sheriffs and eventually the national guard. Two workers were killed in an event known as “The Saylesville Massacre.”

Watch Video


The Providence Journal: Opinion/Ruggerio and McCaffrey: The time for action is upon us

Dominick J. Ruggerio, D-North Providence, is president of the Rhode Island Senate. Michael J. McCaffrey, D-Warwick, is Senate majority leader.

First in, last out. That refrain became ingrained in our state’s collective psyche after our failure to quickly recover from the Great Recession.

The COVID-19 pandemic is as much an economic crisis as it is a public-health crisis. If we fail to take bold action now, then Rhode Island will slog to recovery just as it did in the aftermath of the Great Recession. That is why we are working diligently to chart a new course for Rhode Island in 2021.

Some of our priorities remain the same. During this time of unprecedented need, we will protect and foster the most fundamental socioeconomic needs of Rhode Islanders. The Senate will continue to fight for the codification of the Affordable Care Act, affordable housing, and a strong Equal Pay Act to address the gender wage gap. Read more here.


WIFR Channel 23: Union calls on governors to give firefighters highest priority for COVID-19 vaccine

The union sent a letter to the National Governors Association on Thursday, making the request.

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – The International Association of Fire Fighters requested governors include them on the highest priority tier in states like Illinois’ COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.

The union representing 322,000 professional fire fighters and emergency medical personnel, sent a letter to the National Governors Association on Thursday, making the request.

More than 30,000 professional fire fighters have had known exposures to COVID-19 in the course of duty, requiring more than 17,000 to quarantine or isolate. Nearly 150 professional fire fighters have been hospitalized upon contracting the virus, and at least 19 have died, according to the union.

“The virus not only places the lives and health of responders at risk, it also poses a risk to the larger community as well as to fire fighters responding to emergencies in homes, businesses and elsewhere before they may be aware of an infection,” the IAFF said.

You can read the entirety of the letter from IAFF General President Harold A. Schaitberger here.


The Washington Post: Workers call on Walmart, Amazon and other retailers to bring back hazard pay ahead of holiday rush

Though many grocery and retail chains offered extra pay — typically an additional $2 per hour early in the pandemic, most have done away with those bonuses.

Workers at Walmart, Amazon, Kroger and other major retailers are calling on their employers to reinstate hazard pay and strengthen safety protocols ahead of the busy holiday shopping season as coronavirus infection rates skyrocket.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), which represents 900,000 grocery employees at chains such as Kroger, Safeway and Giant, on Monday urged retailers to do more to protect workers from the virus that has sickened more than 12.3 million Americans. Separately, the workers rights group United for Respect called on such employers as Walmart, Amazon and Petco to pay an extra $5 an hour for the duration of the pandemic. Although many grocery and retail chains offered extra pay — typically an additional $2 an hour — early in the pandemic, most have since done away with the premium. Read more here.



Union Plus: Union-Made Thanksgiving: Turkey, sides, pie and more!

Ready to serve a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner this year? We have what you need to prepare your intimate family feast, from union-made cookware to our favorite recipes.

Make Thanksgiving extra special and one of big flavor with these festive dishes made with union-made ingredients. Also, check out the ways you can virtually connect with loved ones on Thanksgiving and even share those treasured family recipes!

See recipes here.

***Remember to buy Union-Made for Thanksgiving. Remember to buy at Stop &Shop, Shaws and East Side Marketplace where our union brothers and sisters work.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Register here.


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


Upcoming Segment:

Now showing on Labor Vision

The Labor Vision at Home Edition continues. Check out the latest episodes on our website: www.LaborVisionRI.org.

Never miss a segment. Like us on Facebook (@LaborVisionRI), follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube page (LaborVisionTV1).


Cox Channel 14 & FIOS Channel 33
Tuesday @ 7pm
Thursday @ 8pm
Saturday @ 5pm
                               
More Info on Labor Vision:                                    
Website: http://www.LaborVisionRI.org                          
FaceBook: @LaborVisionRI                                                    
Twitter: @LaborVisionRI                                                        
Instagram: LaborVisionRI
YouTube: LaborVisionTV1

e-news: november 19, 2020

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


NEARI: NEARI and RIFTHP Call for Pause to In-Person Learning

Cranston, R.I. (November 16, 2020) – National Education Association Rhode Island (NEARI) President Larry Purtill and Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals (RIFTHP) President Frank Flynn, leaders of the unions representing the vast majority of Rhode Island teachers and education support professionals, today called for “a holiday pause” of in-person learning and a move to distance learning for K-12 students statewide by November 23.  

The Ocean State is amid an alarming rise in community spread of COVID-19. Viral caseloads coupled with a lag in contact tracing, staffing shortages due to quarantines, and the arrival of colder weather negatively impact health, safety, and instruction. The organizations agree a temporary move to statewide distance learning is a common-sense critical step in driving down incidence rates.

“Rhode Island is experiencing record high number of cases and an overwhelmed Department of Health, despite their best efforts, is falling behind with the required contact tracing that ensures effective quarantining and overall safety of students and educators,” said Purtill. “Districts already burdened and stretched thin are not equipped, nor do they have the capacity, to take on this duty.”  Read more here.


RI Building & Construction Trades Council Twitter:

President Sabitoni proud RIBCTC continues to be a national leader in offshore wind as its partner, Orsted, reaches an agreement with @NABTU to build wind farms along East Coast. Block Island Wind will serve as national model.

Reuters: Ørsted strikes deal with labor union on U.S. offshore wind development

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Danish renewable energy group Ørsted ORSTED.CO and North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) announced on Wednesday a deal to train an offshore wind construction workforce to build the firm’s pipeline of projects down the U.S. East Coast.

The memorandum of understanding aims to create a model for the nascent offshore wind industry in the United States at a time President-elect Joe Biden is promising to usher in a swift transition to renewable energy sources like solar and wind to fight climate change.

Labor unions have been wary of a rapid transition to renewable energy over concerns it will lead to a net loss of middle-class, career-sustaining jobs.

“We are working to proactively develop a plan to transition organized labor into the offshore industry,” Ørsted North America CEO David Hardy told Reuters.

The NABTU represents three million workers and its president Sean McGarvey praised the agreement. Read more here.


Building Futures FaceBook:

Let’s continue Construction Day of Rhode Island Apprenticeship Week by giving a shout to all of the Building Futures grads who completed their apprenticeship and earned their journeyworker status since our last in person alumni gathering!

Steven Farrazzano, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 3, Tyrone Bell, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 99, Ricky Saquic, IBEW Local 99, Kevin Harrison-Lombardi, Union Ironworkers Local 37, Keyona Long, Ironworkers Local 37, Carl Paul, Ironworkers Local 37, Sophat Long, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local 195, Rothanak Heng, IUPAT Local 195, Nazario Guttierez, IUPAT Local 1333, Yinka Awodumila, LIUNA Local 271, Lachic Hill, Laborers Local 271, Shawn Lee, Laborers Local 271. Chris Melendez, Laborers Local 271, Juan Huertas, United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 330, Manny Goncalves, UBC Local 330, Luis Terrero, UBC Local 328

Proud of the accomplishments of BF grads in the field and in their trades

View Pictures



The Newport Daily News: Middletown firefighters prepare for potential LNG incidents

MIDDLETOWN — In emergency services, personnel often prepare for situations they hope never become realities. In the case of the Middletown Fire Department, recent training for handling liquefied natural gas emergencies is one such example.

Fire Chief Robert McCall said two firefighters recently traveled to the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy in Stow to learn more about LNG for the extremely low chance there’s an incident in town.

Next month, McCall said 10 more members of the department will head north for similar hands-on learning. National Grid is picking up the tab for all the training and related expenses.

“This training was extremely important due to the fact that LNG incidents are what we call low-frequency/high-risk events,” McCall said. “Which means, it’s rare that they happen, but there is a lot of risk in dealing with them.” Read more here.


AFL-CIO: AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Discusses Worker Safety and COVID-19 with President-Elect Biden

Today, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka joined President-Elect Joe Biden, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris and leaders from the business community and labor movement to share the federation’s vision for how to get people back to work safely in face of COVID-19.

Here are excerpts from Trumka’s remarks:

“We need to manufacture the respirators and personal protective equipment that continue to be in short supply. We need to make the investments to retrofit our workplaces and schools to meet the ventilation and distancing requirements scientists and workplace safety experts tell us are absolutely vital. We need to make sure all COVID-19 cases are counted and reported so we know where the major outbreaks are before they get worse.”

“But with close to 200,000 Americans becoming infected every day and workers dying at alarming rates, especially in communities of color, the most important thing we can do on Day 1 is to reestablish OSHA’s mission of protecting workers. For four years, OSHA has been AWOL. There’s been no full-time director. There are fewer inspectors today than at any point in the agency’s history.”Read more here.



Labor 411: What Are You Thankful for?

It’s been a very challenging year, but as we gather around our Thanksgiving dinner table on November 26, we can certainly be thankful for the delicacies of the season and for the hard working men and women who work for companies that treat them with dignity and give them a voice on the job. You have choices every time you go to the supermarket or order for delivery. This holiday, choose products like the ones below which are made by ethical union companies. And while we’re giving thanks, a shout out to the union members for the work they do to help strengthen the middle class. See list here.

***Remember to buy Union-Made for Thanksgiving. Remember to buy at Stop &Shop, Shaws and East Side Marketplace where our union brothers and sisters work.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Register here.


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


Upcoming Segment:

Now showing on Labor Vision

The Labor Vision at Home Edition continues. Check out the latest episodes on our website: www.LaborVisionRI.org.

Never miss a segment. Like us on Facebook (@LaborVisionRI), follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube page (LaborVisionTV1).


Cox Channel 14 & FIOS Channel 33
Tuesday @ 7pm
Thursday @ 8pm
Saturday @ 5pm
                               
More Info on Labor Vision:                                    
Website: http://www.LaborVisionRI.org                          
FaceBook: @LaborVisionRI                                                    
Twitter: @LaborVisionRI                                                        
Instagram: LaborVisionRI
YouTube: LaborVisionTV1

e-news: November 12, 2020

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


WJAR Channel 10: Providence City Council passes ‘Hospitality Worker Comeback’

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) — The Providence City Council on Thursday passed the “Hospitality Worker Comeback” legislation.

The legislation was introduced by City Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan at a City Council meeting earlier this month.

Any hotel worker who was laid off or furloughed because of the pandemic will have first priority at being rehired before other candidates.

“We don’t yet know how long this current pandemic will impact our hospitality industry, but this important piece of legislation ensures that our hospitality industry employees will have jobs to come back to when their hotel reopens,” said Ryan. “It also gives our hardworking hospitality professionals peace of mind that they will get their jobs back and reclaim their livelihoods as we return to normal business operations.”

This will apply to those workers when city hotels reopen.


WPRI Channel 12: Judge denies Providence teachers’ request to close school buildings

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Nathanael Greene Middle School will stay open after a judge denied a temporary restraining order filed by the Providence Teachers Union as part of a lawsuit challenging safety procedures in city schools.

The union had tried to revert the school — or any school in the district in a similar situation — to remote learning due to a high number of staff absences and quarantines due to the pandemic. And while the judge’s ruling focused only on the temporary restraining order, union president Maribeth Calabro said it was unlikely the teachers would move forward with the overarching legal challenge.

The R.I. Department of Education, which controls Providence schools, has filed a motion to dismiss the suit in Providence Superior Court.

“I am disappointed, but I understand what happened,” Calabro said in a news conference following the decision. “I am concerned given the urgency and the uptick of COVID and COVID-related issues within the state.” Read more here.


TODAY!

ZOOM meeting: Rhode Island Opioid Crisis: Our Response, Our Recovery

Please Click here to join the 10:30 a.m. Zoom meeting.            


Marijuana Business Daily: Cresco cannabis cultivation workers unionize in Massachusetts

Cannabis cultivation employees at a Cresco Labs facility in Fall River, Massachusetts, completed the process to unionize.

According to a news release, “an overwhelming majority of workers” were officially certified by the Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations to join United Food and Commercial Workers Local 328, which now allows the employees to negotiate a union contract. Cresco Labs, a multistate marijuana company based in Chicago, operates a cultivation and processing facility as well as Sunnyside Dispensary in Fall River.

In unionizing, the Fall River workers join Cresco employees in Chicago as well as workers at other cannabis companies in Massachusetts.

This latest move to unionize by Massachusetts workers comes as the marijuana industry in the state surpassed $1 billion in sales since adult-use sales began two years ago.

“We applaud cannabis workers for forming unions to make sure that, as this industry grows, workers are able to share in the success,” said Timothy Melia, president of UFCW Local 328.

Read more here.



RI Labor History Society Special Event – Revisiting Saylesville: A Deeper Exploration of the Saylesville Massacre of 1934

Presented by Rhode Island AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Crowley with an introduction by URI Labor Historian Erik Loomis.

In 1934, workers across Rhode Island went on strike as part of one of the largest industrial actions in American history – the General Textile Strike. In the mill village of Saylesville, workers fought with deputy sheriffs and eventually the national guard. Two workers were killed in an event known as “The Saylesville Massacre.”

Time: Wednesday, November 18 at 5:30 p.m.

Register here.


Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund: Months Late, Federal OSHA Finally Gets Moving on COVID-19 Citations

For months, public health organizations and labor groups have criticized OSHA for failing to issue an emergency temporary standard for COVID-19. Federal OSHA has stuck by its strategy of only issuing guidance based on ever-changing CDC recommendations, claiming that existing standards and the general duty clause are strong enough to allow them to protect workers and hold employers accountable.

The problem with this approach was that, despite receiving over 4,100 whistleblower complaints between February and June, federal OSHA wasn’t actually issuing any citations to employers who put the safety and health of their employees at risk. According to its COVID-19 Response Summary, the agency didn’t issue its first COVID-19 citation until the middle of July, and only issued four total in July and August. By comparison, WorkSafeBC, which oversees workplace safety and health in British Columbia, issued over 330 orders for health and safety violations related to COVID-19 by the middle of July – and that’s in a small province of roughly five million people. Read more here.


AFL-CIO: Trumka: Joe Biden’s Firewall Was Union Made

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka delivered the following remarks at his post-election press conference:

Good afternoon. Thank you for joining this call.

More than that, thank you for your role in making our democracy strong.

I am hopeful that the end of the Trump presidency will bring a newfound respect for the institution of journalism.

This has been an unprecedented election. And it came during an unprecedented year.

A year of anger and sorrow and civil unrest. A year of unfathomable loss. Loss of jobs and economic security. Loss of life.

The U.S. just reported more than 100,000 new COVID-19 infections, the most cases in a single day since pandemic’s start.

But during this trying year, union members have delivered for America—every day in every way. Stocking the shelves. Moving goods and people. Fighting the fires. Healing the sick.

The resilience of unions is the story of 2020. It’s been on display all year. Read more here.


AFL-CIO:


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Register here.


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


Upcoming Segment:

Now showing on Labor Vision

The Labor Vision at Home Edition continues. Check out the latest episodes on our website: www.LaborVisionRI.org.

Never miss a segment. Like us on Facebook (@LaborVisionRI), follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube page (LaborVisionTV1).


Cox Channel 14 & FIOS Channel 33
Tuesday @ 7pm
Thursday @ 8pm
Saturday @ 5pm
                               
More Info on Labor Vision:                                    
Website: http://www.LaborVisionRI.org                          
FaceBook: @LaborVisionRI                                                    
Twitter: @LaborVisionRI                                                        
Instagram: LaborVisionRI
YouTube: LaborVisionTV1

e-news: november 5, 2020

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


An excellent Opinion piece in the ProJo today by Michael F. Sabitoni, president of the Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council, Larry E. Purtill, president of the National Education Association Rhode Island with contribution from Frank Flynn, president of the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals.

Providence Journal: Opinion/Sabitoni and Purtill: No more lost opportunities — rebuild RI schools now

We are all trying to make the best of this school year and help our kids thrive in an environment upended by the pandemic. Whether it’s crafting together a kitchen corner for remote learning or trying to establish a regular routine for them, there’s one more thing that could help us create a welcoming environment for our kids. It’s fixing the physical school buildings to which they’ll eventually return.

No matter where we find ourselves this fall, as parents and as community members, the safety of our children remains paramount. Our attention is rightfully focused on the current condition of our schools as we set our priorities for the much-needed, long-term improvements.

Many of our kids aren’t physically in school full time but they will be soon. And they deserve to be welcomed into an environment that supports their learning and helps facilitate any lost academic ground the pandemic has caused.

Unfortunately, that’s not what will happen. For decades, the physical spaces where Rhode Island’s children learn have been crumbling — classrooms filled with mold, ceilings falling down and roofs that leak after each rainstorm. Adding COVID-19 to the mix, many schools are forced to keep their windows open and fans running for air ventilation and circulation as we head into the winter months. Read more here.


Providence Journal: Providence Teachers Union sues district, state over COVID risk

The Providence Teachers Union has filed a lawsuit to temporarily close Nathanael Greene Middle School, shift to distance learning and order the state education commissioner to develop clear COVID-19 safety, health and staffing standards for all schools.

The suit, filed in Superior Court, names state Commissioner of Education Angélica Infante-Green, Providence Supt. Harrison Peters and the Providence School Board. The teachers union has asked for a hearing on Wednesday.

The union claims (and the district last week confirmed) that at least 30 staff members were out due to COVID-related issues during the week of Oct. 26.

Nathanael Greene Middle School students and staff “have an incontrovertible right to work and learn in an environment that is safe and adheres to the guidelines laid down by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Rhode Island Department of Health,” the complaint said.

Infante-Green, the suit said, “does not have the discretion to avoid her responsibilities under the law and regulations.”

Providence Teachers Union President Maribeth Calabro said the union could not reach an agreement with local and state school leaders on the need for more measures to protect Providence schools. Read more here.


Teamsters Joint  Council 10:

Liquor stores, bars restaurants and members of the community in Rhode Island support Teamsters Local 251 drivers in their fight to protect their standard of living.

Recently Teamster Local 251 members at McLaughlin & Moran, the lone Budweiser distributor in Rhode Island, were told the distributor was being sold to one of the companies owned by the Mancini family. Mancini Beverage also owns the lone Miller/Coors distributor in Rhode Island. If this sale is approved by regulators, the combined company will essentially have a monopoly, as they’ll have the exclusive right to distribute the major beer brands that make up 76% of the national market share, as well as products from 300 other producers.

Not only could this sale hurt local restaurants, bars, and the rest of the hospitality industry, but it is bad for workers, too. Mancini Beverage has refused to honor the two years remaining on the Local 251 members’ current labor contract. HELP US FIGHT BACK. SIGN THE PETITION HERE: http://bit.ly/StopLiquorMonopoly

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AFL-CIO: Every Vote Must Be Counted

November 4, 20202

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the presidential election:

Democracy is rising in America. Despite the worst pandemic in a century, voters came out in record numbers to exercise our rights as citizens, and now those ballots must be counted. As we said in our statement with business and faith leaders today, this is a moment “to exercise patience with the process and trust in our system, even if it requires more time than usual.”

Joe Biden’s growing national lead reflects a country ready to turn the page on the dysfunction and division of the Trump era, and we are confident that when all the votes are counted, the Electoral College will render the same verdict.

In the days to come, America’s labor movement will defend our democratic republic and ensure our next president will be the person who is the choice of the citizens of the United States. Simply put, voters must decide—not courts, not legislators and certainly not one of the candidates.

Contact: Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018


American Labor Studies Center:

The labor movement is under increasing attack. Its enemies are out to destroy it. Labor’s best defense is to make sure all Americans, including our nation’s students, understand the role unions played, and continue to play, in advancing the rights of workers and helping working families improve their lives.

The mission of the American Labor Studies Center (ALSC) is to promote the teaching and learning about the American labor movement and its history to our nation’s elementary and secondary students. To reach the nation’s teachers, the Center works with the AFT and NEA and their affiliates to provide teaching materials for grades K-12 through its award-winning web site www.labor-studies.org. The site experienced 17,784 visits this past year alone. We also conduct workshops for teachers.

The ALSC annually sponsors a $1,000 prize and gold medal for the best National History Day (NHD) project on labor history. After winning an NHD gold medal, one student wrote, This program has had a long-lasting, positive impact on my life! If I had not pursued this topic, I feel my knowledge of American history would have been lacking, now that I know the profound impact that the labor movement has had on our country. Learn more here.


New York Times: Nurses Are at High Risk for Covid Among Health Workers, C.D.C. Says

Among health care workers, nurses in particular have been at significant risk of contracting Covid-19, according to a new analysis of hospitalized patients by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings were released Monday as a surge of new hospitalizations swept the country, with several states hitting record levels of cases.

About 6 percent of adults hospitalized from March through May were health care workers, according to the researchers, with more than a third either nurses or nursing assistants. Roughly a quarter, or 27 percent, of those hospitalized workers were admitted to the intensive care unit, and 4 percent died during their hospital stay.

The study looked at 6,760 hospitalizations across 13 states, including California, New York, Ohio and Tennessee. Read more here.


Labor Notes: Test Your Wits in Our First-Ever Crossword Puzzle

Us vs. Them: Organizing for Worker Power

Click here for a printable PDF of this puzzle.


Labor 411:


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Register here.


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


Upcoming Segment:

Now showing on Labor Vision

The Labor Vision at Home Edition continues. Check out the latest episodes on our website: www.LaborVisionRI.org.

Never miss a segment. Like us on Facebook (@LaborVisionRI), follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube page (LaborVisionTV1).


Cox Channel 14 & FIOS Channel 33
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Saturday @ 5pm
                               
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e-news: october 29, 2020

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


Teamsters, Local 251

Recently our members at McLaughlin & Moran, the lone Budweiser distributor in Rhode Island, were told the distributor was being sold to one of the companies owned by the Mancini family. Mancini Beverage also owns the lone Miller/Coors distributor in Rhode Island. If this sale is approved by regulators, the combined company will essentially have a monopoly, as they’ll have the exclusive right to distribute the major beer brands that make up 76% of the national market share, as well as products from 300 other producers.

Not only could this sale hurt local restaurants, bars, and the rest of the hospitality industry, but it is bad for workers, too. Mancini Beverage has refused to honor the two years remaining on our members’ current labor contract at McLaughlin & Moran. This means that Mancini will cut our members’ pay by up to $7.00 per hour and will end their defined benefit pension plan.

We do not believe such a sale is in the best interests of our members or the citizens of Rhode Island.

This Friday, October 30 at 11:00 am, the RI Department of Regulations (DBR) has scheduled a virtual hearing for public comment on the transfer of McLaughlin & Moran’s license to the Mancini family business.

SAY NO TO MANCINI MONOPOLY IN RI! Click here.


Teamsters Joint Council 10 Facebook: Rogers Corp. Workers Ratify First Teamster Contract
Teamsters Local 251 members at Rogers Corporation voted by 90 percent to ratify their first contract with the Narragansett-based manufacturing facility. The more than 100 production, maintenance, inspection and shipping/receiving workers will now have a three-year contract that improves wages, healthcare, retirement, and vacation time. Additionally, the new members have strong contractual protections that creates just cause in discipline, automatic union representation, grievance and arbitration procedures, seniority rights on bidding and displacement and other strong Teamster protections. “A union contract is the only way for a U.S. worker to have real protections on the job that are not subject to the whim of management,” said Matt Taibi, Local 251 Principal Officer. “A Teamster contract not only provides the the legal protections, but it gives workers a strong, fighting force behind them.”

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Providence Journal: Central Coventry firefighters sue, claiming district stiffed them on overtime

The intersection of controversial financial turnaround guru Gayle Corrigan and firefighters is once again playing out in Rhode Island, this time in a lawsuit in U.S. District Court.

Coventry firefighters are accusing the Central Coventry Fire District, under the oversight of its manager, Corrigan, of violating federal fair labor standards by failing to pay them more than $139,000 in overtime over two years.

Capt. James Almagno sued the district last week in U.S. District Court on behalf of 25 current and former firefighters. The firefighters ask the court to declare that the district willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal law that sets minimum wage and overtime pay standards in the workplace. They are seeking back wages and unspecified damages. According to the lawsuit, the contract reached between Coventry Firefighters Union Local 3372 and the district in 2015 specifies that once the district pays out $120,000 in overtime any given fiscal year, the district “shall pay firefighters … their straight hourly rate” for any hours worked in excess of 53 a week or 212 over a 28-day period. The firefighters contend that cap violates federal law. Read more here.


In the United States of America, labor unions create democracy in the workplace and a voice for working families. Joe Biden has always shown up for labor – and now labor will show up for Joe.

Together, we will elect a Biden / Harris administration that will value the rights of union members, and that will build our nation back better.

On Sunday, November 1, 2020, at 7:00 P.M. EST, Joe will stand with us again during a special online “GOTV” event to rally union members across New England in one last big push to VOTE!

Organized by union members and leaders from across New England, this special online event hosted by Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh will unite top leaders and voices from across the region and beyond.

Please join with us by RSVP’ing today and you’ll receive special access to this historic event with Presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden.

RSVP at: http://bit.ly/NewEnglandGOTV to receive live stream details.



Economic Policy Institute: Raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2025 will restore bargaining power to workers during the recovery from the pandemic

The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom demanded a federal minimum wage that would, as economist Ellora Derenoncourt has observed, be the equivalent in inflation-adjusted terms of almost $15.00 an hour today. While organizing efforts such as the “Fight for 15” have led to many minimum wage increases at the state and local level, the current $7.25 federal minimum wage stands at less than half of that 57 year-old goal.

In spite of national grassroots efforts, Congress has failed for more than a decade to raise the federal minimum wage. Most recently, opponents have argued that the pandemic means that we still can’t afford to raise the minimum wage to the level sought by the Civil Rights movement back when John Kennedy was president.

In 1963, the applicable minimum wage varied by industry between $1.00 and $1.25 per hour, and there was no minimum wage at all for agriculture, nursing homes, restaurants, and other service industries that disproportionately employed Black workers. The March on Washington’s demands were for a $2.00 national minimum wage “that will give all Americans a decent standard of living” and to extend its coverage “to include all areas of employment which are presently excluded.” Read more here.


Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America:


AFL-CIO: Union-Made in America Halloween

Did you know that when you do your Halloween shopping, you can use the power of your paycheck to support good jobs that pay well and respect the rights of working people? Here is a handy guide to the union-made treats that will make your holiday not only fun, but will help working people, too.  See list.

**Remember to purchase your food where your union brothers and sisters work: Stop & Shop, Shaws and Eastside Marketplace.


AFL-CIO


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Register here.


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


Upcoming Segment:

Now showing on Labor Vision

▪ Labor Vision goes on location to learn about the pre-apprenticeship program at Building Futures as Director Andrew Cortés gives a tour of the Building Futures training facility and discusses how they give back to the community. Here, in partnership with One Neighborhood, Building Futures helps to improve the neighborhood in Riverside Park by constructing five net-zero emissions homes for low income residents. We also meet recent graduate, Lius Terrero, who gives insight into the skills he learned and how, now, as a union carpenter his family’s situation has dramatically changed for the better.

Never miss a segment. Like us on Facebook (@LaborVisionRI), follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube page (LaborVisionTV1).


Cox Channel 14 & FIOS Channel 33
Tuesday @ 7pm
Thursday @ 8pm
Saturday @ 5pm
                               
More Info on Labor Vision:                                    
Website: http://www.LaborVisionRI.org                          
FaceBook: @LaborVisionRI                                                    
Twitter: @LaborVisionRI                                                        
Instagram: LaborVisionRI
YouTube: LaborVisionTV1

e-news: October 22, 2020

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



Providence Journal: Lifespan nurses’ union blasts management bonuses, asks hazard pay for members

PROVIDENCE — The union that represents nearly 3,000 nurses, therapists and other healthcare professionals at Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital is criticizing Lifespan for giving bonuses to mid-level managers and supervisors amid the pandemic — and renewing its call for hazard pay for union members.

The criticism from Local 5098 was sparked by Dr. Timothy J. Babineau, Lifespan’s president and CEO, who in a recent email to some employees outlined a one-time “monetary bonus” for middle managers and supervisors who “rose to meet the challenges of the last year.“

In a media release, Local 5098 president Frank Sims retorted that “anyone working in a hospital or clinical environment during this pandemic continues to put themselves and their loved ones at risk for the sake of providing care to others. Read more here.


Providence Journal: Dozens rally in Providence for ordinance requiring hotels to rehire workers

PROVIDENCE — Dozens of hotel workers on Thursday night rallied outside Providence City Hall in support of an ordinance that would require city hotels that have closed during the pandemic to, once they reopen, offer positions to previously laid-off workers before hiring new employees.

“When the jobs come back, we come back!” they shouted from the steps of City Hall while the Providence City Council met via Zoom.

Around 700 hotel workers in Providence are out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impacts, said City Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan.

“This ordinance before you tonight is really about fairness,” she said. “It’s about supporting our labor force… If you worked at a hotel in March and were laid off, then you should be called back when that hotel reopens.” Read more here.


Providence Hotel Workers Rally Outside City Hall

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Fortune: Why stronger labor unions would speed up America’s post-COVID recovery

Recessions always inflict the most pain on Americans in the middle and lower end of the income distribution range, destroying jobs, eroding wages and wiping out savings for those working in industries such as construction, manufacturing, hospitality and retail.

But the crushing economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have reached levels unseen in the last four decades, and the long-term scarring will be severe without intervention from Congress – not just in the form of emergency relief, but also with targeted policy solutions.    

One solution lawmakers should prioritize is a historic workers’ rights proposal, given that defanged labor protections are a large part of the reason the downturn has been so devastating to those who can least afford it. We need to bring back fairness to an economy that is increasingly plagued by a fundamental imbalance of power between workers and employers. And at a time when our nation is engaged in a vital conversation about economic justice, we need to make union membership a civil right.   Read more here.


Economic Policy Institute: Rebuilding American manufacturing—potential job gains by state and industry

Analysis of trade, infrastructure, and clean energy/energy efficiency proposals

This report examines the economic output and employment implications of a two-pronged strategy for rebuilding the domestic economy around high-wage jobs and restoring American manufacturing. Job losses due to growing U.S. trade deficits hit manufacturing industries particularly hard, shrinking the share of middle-class jobs available to workers without a college degree (Scott 2020; Scott and Mokhiber 2020). Failure to maintain and upgrade U.S. infrastructure investment has been a chronic weakness, hindering American public safety and productivity growth (ASCE 2017; Bivens 2014). Read more here.


Labor Notes: Review: Forty Years of Working-Class Films

If you search for films about labor, one makes every list: Norma Rae. This most iconic of union movies was a critical and box office smash when it came out in 1979, the same year Labor Notes published its first issue. At that moment, when more Americans than ever before were union members, it wasn’t surprising that a movie about a gutsy labor organizer would prove popular.

Now, over 40 years later, we know that the labor movement was not then surging but was on the cusp of collapse. And on the big screen, Norma Rae proved to be a one-off. Feature films expressly about class conflict have always been rare in American cinema, and in recent decades have become even more so.

It is still possible, though, to find engaging and valuable movies about working people where labor/management conflict is not the central focus. Here are my recommendations of some of the best that have come out since Norma Rae and Labor Notes debuted back in 1979.

To keep things manageable, I’ve excluded documentaries and foreign films. Most of my suggestions are available through online streaming services; see the box below for info on where to find them. Read more here.


The Labor Network:


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Register here.


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


Upcoming Segment:

Now showing on Labor Vision

The Labor Vision at Home Edition continues. Check out the latest episodes on our website: www.LaborVisionRI.org.

Never miss a segment. Like us on Facebook (@LaborVisionRI), follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube page (LaborVisionTV1).


Cox Channel 14 & FIOS Channel 33
Tuesday @ 7pm
Thursday @ 8pm
Saturday @ 5pm
                               
More Info on Labor Vision:                                    
Website: http://www.LaborVisionRI.org                          
FaceBook: @LaborVisionRI                                                    
Twitter: @LaborVisionRI                                                        
Instagram: LaborVisionRI
YouTube: LaborVisionTV1

e-news: october 15, 2020

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


****Note: Rally mentioned below has been changed to a FaceBook “Live” event. Here is the link to join: https://fb.me/e/4lCxdSIjr

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 13, 2020
Contact: Nicki Morris, 857-498-2495, nmorris@local26.org
Providence Hotel Workers to Rally Outside City Hall
Workers on the brink call on City Hall to pass Hotel Comeback Ordinance to protect their jobs
What: UNITE HERE Local 26 hotel workers to rally outside Providence City Hall in support of the Hotel Comeback Ordinance, a regulation to protect hotel workers through the crisis by giving those who lost their jobs because of the pandemic the ability to return to work once the work comes back. When: Thursday, October 15th, 6:00pm – 6:45pm Where: Providence City Hall, 25 Dorrance St, Providence, RI 02903 Who: UNITE HERE Local 26 members who work as hotel room attendants, front desk reception, bellmen, cooks, dishwashers, and union hotel and food service workers from across Rhode Island including TF Green Airport food and beverage, utility and warehouse workers, Twin River Casino workers, and downtown hotel workers from the Omni Providence, Graduate Providence, and Renaissance Providence, as well as political and community supporters
Note: Frontline UNITE HERELocal 26 hotel workers  and UNITE HERE Local 26 President Carlos Aramayo will be available for interview in person in front of City Hall as well as by phone.
Read more here.


UFCW, Local 328: Ocean State Cultivation Center Employees Ratify First Cannabis Union Contract in Rhode Island with UFCW Local 328

Providence, RI – The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 328 (UFCW) and management from the Ocean State Cultivation Center (OSCC) have come to an agreement on a finalized contract that will provide representation for OSCC employees while setting an important precedent for the expanding medical marijuana industry in Rhode Island.

The finalized contract comes after months of cordial negotiations between OSCC management and UFCW Local 328. The two parties agreed to a Labor Peace Agreement in late 2019, the first of its kind in the Rhode Island medical marijuana industry, which committed them to open, transparent dialogue throughout the negotiation process. The finalized contract will guarantee a living wage, comprehensive benefits, opportunities for career advancement and safe working conditions for the employees of OSCC.

Read more here.


Safe Schools Safe Futures RI: Let’s build the schools our children deserve

When our students physically return to their schools, they deserve to be welcomed into an environment that supports their learning and helps facilitate any lost academic ground the pandemic has caused.

We have a unique opportunity to make much needed fixes to our schools here in the Ocean State. We can use the time when teachers and students are not able to gather in person to repair and improve their learning experience.

See how you can help the communities that are leading the way:CranstonNewportProvidenceWarwick


Click here for more information.



International Association of Firefighters: On the Frontlines of the Opioid Crisis

While the world remains consumed by the COVID-19 pandemic, another public health crisis continues to rage. The opioid epidemic has ravaged both of our great nations; it’s estimated that in the U.S. alone, nearly 130 people die every day from opioid overdose.

The opioid epidemic also affects IAFF members from every angle. Fire service personnel battle this crisis daily on the frontlines of their communities, but fire fighters also suffer – often in silence – from their own struggles with pain management, prescription drug use and addiction.

To address the ongoing opioid problem, and with support from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Department of Energy (DOE), the IAFF has launched a new online resource, Responding to the Opioid Epidemic, a 10-segment video and podcast series. The series provides an in-depth understanding of opioid addiction and treatment, addiction treatment considerations for fire fighters and responsible approaches to pain management for fire fighters living with pain. The IAFF is able to provide this critical training with support from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Read more here.


Watch video here.


Union Plus:


UPCOMING EVENTS:

URI: Suffrage Centennial Lecture Series

In 2020 we celebrate two monumental events in American history: the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting American women the right to vote, and the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment that at least nominally enfranchised African American men. To mark the occasion, URI is planning a yearlong virtual series. Join us as we explore suffrage history and modern-day voting issues. Virtual lectures and registration info here.


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


Upcoming Segment:
Now playing on Labor Vision…

• President Nee and Secretary-Treasurer Crowley join Erica Hammond to talk about the alternate nature of doing things in these times, from working at the legislature, to organizing, and holding rallies and strikes, all virtually. As well as working to achieve electoral goals, including the bond issues to change the state name; and on the local level to approve school improvements in several communities.

Never miss a segment. Like us on Facebook (@LaborVisionRI), follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube page (LaborVisionTV1).


Cox Channel 14 & FIOS Channel 33
Tuesday @ 7pm
Thursday @ 8pm
Saturday @ 5pm
                               
More Info on Labor Vision:                                    
Website: http://www.LaborVisionRI.org                          
FaceBook: @LaborVisionRI                                                    
Twitter: @LaborVisionRI                                                        
Instagram: LaborVisionRI
YouTube: LaborVisionTV1

e-news: october 8, 2020

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


Providence Journal: Workers at Providence nursing home being 3-day strike

About 50 workers picketed and chanted outside the Dodge Street facility to bring attention to what they said were dangerous under-staffing conditions and low pay offerings that are preventing additional hirings.

Patrick Quinn, vice president of the Rhode Island chapter of Service Employees International Union, said Bannister’s $12 an hour starting wage was the lowest in the city.

In negotiations with company representatives, the union, which has 100 workers at Bannister, initially asked for a $2 increase over three years, union officials said. The two sides eventually agreed to consider a one-year deal in light of the pressures of the coronavirus. But they could not come to terms on wages.

The union asked for a 75-cent hourly increase; the company came no higher than a 40-cent-an-hour increase, union officials said.

And there is the issue of staffing. Read more here.


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Providence Journal: Union sounds alarm on ownership plan for Fatima, Roger Williams hospitals

PROVIDENCE – The union that represents some 1,000 nurses, certified nursing assistants and other health professionals at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital is raising new concerns about an application before the Health Services Council that would give private investors David Topper and Samuel Lee ownership of Fatima and Roger Williams Medical Center.

Both are operated by CharterCARE Health Partners, a for-profit joint venture with Los Angeles-based Prospect Medical Holdings, which owns 85% of the two hospitals.

“We discovered that they had not made a full disclosure of a whole broad range of lawsuits and things that they’ve been involved in that the application requires they disclose to the regulator. So we have filed a formal, written objection,” Chris Callaci, general counsel for Local 5110 of the United Nurses and Allied Professionals union, or UNAP, told The Journal.

The concerns follow a recent ProPublica investigation that disclosed heavy debts held by Prospect and what employees of company hospitals, including Fatima, said were substandard conditions precipitated by that debt. And they precede a hearing before the Health Services Council, a regulatory division of the state Health Department, scheduled for Tuesday.Read more here.


International Brotherhood of Teamsters: Stericycle Drivers in Rhode Island Join Teamsters

(EAST PROVIDENCE, RI) – Stericycle drivers in Woonsocket, R.I. voted overwhelmingly, by a 2-1 margin, to join Teamsters Local 251 in Providence yesterday. The 35-worker unit is seeking a strong voice to address their workplace concerns.

“I think by unionizing we made a great company greater; and with the camaraderie of the drivers, we can win the respect, wages, safety and health care all waste workers deserve—the sky’s the limit,” said Joe Rubiano, a route driver at Stericycle for two-and-a-half years.

According to Jim Richard, a Stericycle route driver and former member of Teamsters Local 170 in Worcester, Mass., his co-workers had long known the need for union representation, but the push to organize became all the more crucial in the weeks and months after the pandemic started.

Read more here.


Providence Journal: Opinion/Miller and Linde: Staff layoffs at RIC jeopardize its mission

Elisa Miller and Robyn Linde are Rhode Island College faculty members. This commentary also was signed by 74 RIC faculty members.

As faculty members at Rhode Island College, we are writing to express our support for 35 colleagues of the AFSCME Council 94 who were recently fired. The layoffs are the result of a large budget deficit caused by cuts to RIC’s funding by the governor and General Assembly, as well as decreased enrollment due to COVID-19 and the Rhode Island Promise program for the Community College of Rhode Island.

Even before these recent cuts, Rhode Island was ranked 45th among U.S. states in per-capita public higher education funding. A decrease in funding and continuing uncertainty has enabled the RIC administration to make radical and unnecessary structural changes to the college, most recently in the form of layoffs that threaten the academic excellence and future of RIC.

Most of the layoffs involved administrative and janitorial staff, who are dedicated and valued members of the RIC community. These employees performed critical services during the pandemic when they risked their own health to ensure that the campus was sanitized, kept departments functioning virtually and made financial sacrifices in their salaries to help the institution in a time of crisis. Read more here.


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Institute for Labor Studies and Research Newsletter:


AFL-CIO: Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, the AFL-CIO Releases Its Annual Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect Report

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka highlights how the current health crisis is a product of the Trump administration’s regulatory rollbacks, weakened regulations and OSHA neglect. Expresses urgency in passing the HEROES Act.

View Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect report here: aflcio.org/dotj-2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, affecting more than 7.4. million Americans, with more than 210,000 deaths in the United States, the AFL-CIO today released its annual Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect report, which contains data showing how the current administration’s failure to act in the past has been a main contributor to the gravity of the current public health crisis.

During a video press conference to release the report, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka outlined the current health crisis as a product of the Trump administration’s regulatory rollbacks, weakened regulations and resource cuts to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).   Read more here.


Labor 411: Ethical Bites for a Sports-a-palooza TV Watch Party

Snacks
Act II Popcorn (UFCW)
Cheez-It (BCTGM)
Cheetos (BCTGM)
Chex Mixes (IBT)
Doritos (BCTGM, IBT)
Rold Gold Pretzels (BCTGM, IBT)
Slim Jim (UFCW, IBT)
Sun Chips (BCTGM, IBT)
Wheat Thins (BCTGM, IBT)

See full list here.

***Remember to buy your food and beverages at Stop & Shop, Shaws, and Eastside Marketplace where our union brothers and sisters work.


AFL-CIO:


UPCOMING EVENTS:

URI: Suffrage Centennial Lecture Series

In 2020 we celebrate two monumental events in American history: the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting American women the right to vote, and the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment that at least nominally enfranchised African American men. To mark the occasion, URI is planning a yearlong virtual series. Join us as we explore suffrage history and modern-day voting issues.

Virtual lectures and registration info here.


Upcoming Segment:

▪ Now showing on Labor Vision, the frontline workers of SEIU Local 1199NE at Bannister House in Providence went on strike from Oct. 2-4 for safe staffing legislation. Watch and listen how labor leaders and politicians alike question how residents are shortchanged by receiving only two hours a day of care when industry standards say they should receive 4.1 hours a day.

Never miss a segment. Like us on Facebook (@LaborVisionRI), follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube page (LaborVisionTV1).


Cox Channel 14 & FIOS Channel 33
Tuesday @ 7pm
Thursday @ 8pm
Saturday @ 5pm
                               
More Info on Labor Vision:                                    
Website: http://www.LaborVisionRI.org                          
FaceBook: @LaborVisionRI                                                    
Twitter: @LaborVisionRI                                                        
Instagram: LaborVisionRI
YouTube: LaborVisionTV1

e-news: october 1, 2020

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


Rhode Island AFL-CIO: Start organizing and taking action

78% of Rhode Islanders think labor unions are necessary to protect working people (March 2020 Fleming & Associates poll of registered RI voters). By joining together, working women and men gain strength in numbers so you can have a voice at work. Unions negotiate contracts with your employer for a fair and safe workplace, better wages, a secure retirement, and family-friendly policies such as paid sick leave and scheduling hours. This creates a more stable, productive workforce that provides better services and products. If you want a voice on the job or to build a better workplace, click this link to start organizing and taking action.



Providence Journal: Rhode Island minimum wage to rise $1 this week

On Thursday Rhode Island’s minimum wage rises $1 to $11.50 an hour.

The election-season pay raise for the state’s lowest wage earners, passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Gina Raimondo earlier in the year, is smaller than left-leaning advocates say is needed and larger than some businesses say they can afford.

“While lawmakers may think they are helping workers by raising the minimum wage they may end up harming them as small businesses like food service, retail and hospitality still struggle to recover from months of shutdowns and restrictions,” the National Federation of Independent Business wrote in a news release Monday. “The business owners simply can’t afford higher labor costs at this time so the jobs will be eliminated and the employees won’t have a bigger paycheck, they’ll have no paycheck.”

“For many of the hardest-hit businesses it may be the final nail in the coffin,” it added.

Even with the increase, Rhode Island’s minimum wage remains lower than those in neighboring states.

Massachusetts’ $12.75 an hour minimum wage is set to rise to $13.50 on Jan. 1. Connecticut’s minimum wage rose from $11 to $12 an hour on Sept. 1.

The hourly federal minimum wage is $7.25. Read more here.


ABC 6 News: Workers at Providence nursing home to strike on Friday

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Starting Friday morning workers represented by local union SEIU 1199 at the Bannister Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing will go on strike looking for raises and what they say are unsafe staffing levels.

“What we know that we need and have said over and over again, is we need safe staffing – 4.1 hours of care, and we need to be paying care takers a living wage,” said Adanjesus Marin of the union’s Lifelong Care Team.

According to Marin, residents at Bannister are getting less than half of the 4.1 hours of care recommended by the government.

The pandemic has also hit residents and workers at the center hard.

“They now have close to 20 deaths and workers have reached the point where they’re just not willing to continue to put themselves at risk and their residents at risk,” said Marin.

Read more here.




UFCW: UFCW and Stop & Shop Announce New Premium Pay Agreement for Grocery Workers on Frontlines As COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) – which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery, retail, and other frontline industries – announced a new agreement with Stop & Shop on premium pay for 56,000 union Stop & Shop associates represented by UFCW.

The agreement will provide retroactive premium pay – in the form of lump sum payments equal to 10 percent of all hours worked between July 5, 2020 and August 22, 2020 – to recognize their ongoing efforts to ensure communities have access to the food and supplies they need as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone and Stop & Shop President Gordon Reid released the following joint statement:

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the U.S. in March, UFCW members and Stop & Shop workers have gone above and beyond to ensure that our stores have remained open to serve our communities’ essential needs. These workers have risen to the challenge and Stop & Shop deeply appreciates everything they have done in difficult circumstances – at work and at home – as they care for their neighbors and their families during a national crisis. Read more here.


AFL-CIO: Updated HEROES Act Latest Effort to Bring Long-Overdue COVID-19 Relief to America’s Workers

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on introduction of updated HEROES Act in the House:

The updated legislation introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a promising, good-faith effort to push negotiations on long-overdue COVID-19 relief forward. It is geared toward helping the people who need it most: front-line workers, the unemployed, the uninsured, retirees and all those who rely on critical public services like schools, fire and emergency medical services, sanitation, and child care. It includes many of the essential elements of the original HEROES Act, including a strong federal workplace infectious disease standard and critical multiemployer pension relief, and provides new funding to keep aviation workers on the job, all at a price tag designed to bring Senate Republicans and the White House back to the table.

If this bill does spark a new round of talks, the labor movement will strongly advocate for the addition of COBRA health insurance subsidies. In addition, as we said in May, since there is no consensus among our unions about the GROW Act, we would suggest that there be further review and debate on this provision as the HEROES Act moves toward enactment. Read more here.


Read it here.


Labor 411:  Oktoberfest with a Union Flair

The much-loved fall gathering known as Oktoberfest may look a little bit different this year due to limits on large public gatherings and social distance requirements. But you can still celebrate at home by raising a pint of a favorite fall ale and chasing it down with a bite of something salty. As you prepare for your fest feast, be sure to load up on products made by employers who treat their workers well and give them a voice on the job. Happy Oktoberfest and let’s all work together to build a stronger America. See list here.

***Remember to buy your food and beverages at Stop & Shop, Shaws, and Eastside Marketplace where our union brothers and sisters work.


AFL-CIO:


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Stand with Striking Nursing Home Workers at Bannister (Providence)

When: October 2 @ 6 a.m. – October 4 @ 7 p.m.

Where: 135 Dodge St, Providence, RI 02907

Hosted by 1199 SEIU Rhode Island, Lisita de Novais and 2 others

Details: Stand with Bannister Nursing Homes workers who are going on strike for safe staffing for their residents and a living wage. Despite large profits and huge federal windfalls, the New York based management at Centers Health Care refused to address low pay, $12.00 per hour starting rate and low staffing for residents. Over 20 residents and workers have died due to Covid-19 and Bannister management continues. Despite this ownership continues to disrespect the heroes that show up every day to provide care. Stand in Solidarity with these Health Care Heroes.

·         There will be a community rally at Noon on Friday, October 2nd.

·         Strike lines will be up 6:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Friday, Oct 2nd through Sunday October 4th.

Participants should wear a mask and practice safe social distancing.

URI: Suffrage Centennial Lecture Series

In 2020 we celebrate two monumental events in American history: the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting American women the right to vote, and the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment that at least nominally enfranchised African American men. To mark the occasion, URI is planning a yearlong virtual series. Join us as we explore suffrage history and modern-day voting issues.

Virtual lectures and registration info here.


Upcoming Segment:

▪ Erica Hammond sits down with Jim Parisi of the RI Labor History Society to get an idea of what the organization does, how it operates, how it keeps interest alive by sponsoring history-themed projects with students, and a short lesson on its annual Labor Day commemoration.

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