Category Archives: Uncategorized

e-news: august 26, 2021

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.



AFL-CIO: Shuler Elected AFL-CIO President

Redmond Tapped as Secretary-Treasurer, Forming Historic Leadership Team

The AFL-CIO Executive Council today elected Liz Shuler, a visionary leader and longtime trade unionist, to serve as president of the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. Shuler is the first woman to hold the office in the history of the labor federation. The Executive Council also elected United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the number two office. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.

The election of Shuler and Redmond comes after the unexpected and untimely passing of Richard Trumka, who served as AFL-CIO president from 2009 until his death on Aug. 5, capping a more than 50-year career of dedication to America’s unions and working people.

“I am humbled, honored and ready to guide this federation forward,” Shuler said after her election. “I believe in my bones the labor movement is the single greatest organized force for progress. This is a moment for us to lead societal transformations—to leverage our power to bring women and people of color from the margins to the center—at work, in our unions and in our economy, and to be the center of gravity for incubating new ideas that will unleash unprecedented union growth.” Read more here.


Laborers Local 271: Media Advisory


Providence Journal: Opinion/Quinn and Blais: We all need a say in RI’s proposed hospital merger

Patrick J. Quinn is executive vice president of SEIU 1199 New England. Anna Blais is a registered nurse at Women and Infants Hospital.

For months, the proposed merger between Care New England and Lifespan has dominated headlines and raised important questions about our future health-care system. We have a rare opportunity to fundamentally improve care and services for thousands of Rhode Islanders but it is critical that patients, employees and community members have a say. At SEIU 1199NE, we are a union of over 5,000 nurses and other health-care professionals who provide care at Women and Infants and Butler hospitals, the VNA of Care New England, and other health-care facilities across the state. We are fierce advocates for our patients and while others stayed home during COVID-19, we showed up everyday to care for patients at the beginning and end of their lives, and every moment in between. Read more here.


Providence Teachers Union Twitter:
Prepping to give away 10,000 books to our amazing preK-12 students! Food, fun, vaccine clinic, DJ at Young Woods and Kizarian!!! @PTU958 ready to get #BacktoSchool2021

Watch video here.


Colleen Callahan Twitter:
Great turnout for @PTU958 Back to School Celebration, 10,000 books, food and fun! @AFTunion @AFTEVPDeJesus @RIFTFrankFlynn @Renny920 @JeremySencer @rifthp @FirstBook @OHAGANA @StephanieLy1


Providence Journal: Providence teachers do a meet-and-greet with parents to welcome students back this fall

PROVIDENCE — Eight teachers, including the union president, fanned out to knock on doors on the streets near Young Woods Elementary School Tuesday, part of an effort to win the hearts and minds of the families they serve.  

With all of the uncertainties surrounding in-person classes, combined with this spring’s public sniping over a protracted teachers’ contract, the Providence Teachers Union decided it was time to rebuild relationships with families.

Teachers also canvassed families in the neighborhoods around Kizirian Elementary School.

“We want to let parents know that we have their backs,” said PTU President Maribeth Calabro. “We want to tell them that schools are following the CDC and state Department of Health guidelines, that they should feel comfortable returning to school.”  Read more here.


International Brotherhood of Teamsters: Teamsters Local 251 Strike at Johnson Brothers Marches On

Workers at Johnson Brothers of RI Demand a Fair Contract

(NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I.)—Dozens of Teamsters from all over New England showed up early Tuesday morning to stand in solidarity with their seven striking brothers at Johnson Brothers of RI, the state’s exclusive distributor of Gallo Wine products. Afterwards, they made their way to Haxton’s Tollgate Liquors in Warwick where they spent several hours hand-billing customers, holding banners and cheering each time the Teamster tractor trailer sounded its air horn as it drove by.

“It’s been 83 days since the strike began over unfair labor practices committed by the company along with unresolved wage, benefit and working condition issues,” said Teamsters Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer Matt Taibi. “This small group of drivers has stood up to Goliath and continues to stand strong to show the company they will not end their strike until they get a fair first contract.” Read more here.


RICOSH: Disaster Preparedness and Worker Safety

When you look at disaster preparedness from a worker health and safety standpoint you see three distinct strata or levels of agencies and workers involved. Primary emergency responders and response agencies would be called in to deal directly with the event (fire and EMS, health and public safety and related responders from state agencies (DEM, Health). And they would be at highest risk. Thus, their training and protective control methods should be the most extensive.

Another level that has received a lot of attention refers to disaster preparedness on the part of the general community as a whole. This directs attention to how a variety of institutions (business schools, universities etc.) while not directly called upon to respond might be impacted by an event. These need a preparedness plan and some training (and in certain cases provision for employee protection) but their levels of risk are limited. Thus their plans usually would instruct staff and employees (clients, students, resident) about what to do—and what not to do, i.e. with staying out of the situation. The key issues here would be evacuation and sheltering in place and communications. Read more here.






UPCOMING EVENTS:

Labor Day Screening of Slatersville

SLATERSVILLE: America’s First Mill Village, directed by Christian de Rezendes, will be screened at the Museum on September 3 and September 4, 2021at 1:30 pm. Slatersville will premiere on Rhode Island PBS in the fall of 2022. While the MoWC has hosted previous screenings virtually, this in-person event will combine two previously screened pieces, leading up to a newly edited piece. The stories are titled “The Wedding Present with 27 Rooms,” “Uncle Johnny”, and “Anything but Brotherly.” Admission is free. Reservations are encouraged. RSVP at mowc@rihs.org. Seating is limited to 45.

Museum of Work & Culture’s Labor Day Celebration is sponsored by the Rhode Island Labor History Society. More information here.


Climate Job Summit

On September 21, hear from union leaders in the climate jobs movement about how we can create millions of union climate jobs and build a renewable, worker-centered economy at the scale that science demands.

Register for the Climate Jobs Summit on September 21, 2021 here: https://climatejobs.ilr.cornell.edu/


United Way of Rhode Island’s 95th Annual Celebration

When: Tuesday, October 26, 2021 | 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Fete Music Hall | 103 Dike Street, Providence, RI

Please join us on October 26 for our 95th annual celebration. Together, we will celebrate Rhode Island United and honor our extraordinary community volunteers.

HONORING
Community United Award |Homes RI
Dante Mollo Labor United Award | George Nee, president of AFL-CIO Rhode Island
John H. Chaffee Live United Award | Linda Katz, co-founder of Economic Progress Institute
Partners United Award | Starkweather and Shepley Insurance Brokerage

Register here.


TEAMSTERS, Local 251SOLIDARITY WITH JOHNSON BROTHERS WORKERSPlease visit the picket line and show Johnson Brothers that workers stick together and will not be treated like second-class citizens. Picket lines are up 24 hours a day at: Johnson Brothers of RI 120 Moscrip Ave North Kingstown RI 02852 Key times are 7:30-9 am and 4-6 pm.

More information here.



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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

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

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

More Info on Labor Vision:
Website: http://www.LaborVisionRI.org
FaceBook: @LaborVisionRI
Twitter: @LaborVisionRI
Instagram: LaborVisionRI
YouTube: LaborVisionTV1

E-news: june 24, 2021

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.


SEIU, Local 580 Press Conference:

SEIU calls for full review of practices at the Department of Children, Youth, and Families that has endangered our most vulnerable children.

Watch Video

The Providence Journal: Lawmakers and social workers are calling for an audit of DCYF performance. What to know:

PROVIDENCE — A bipartisan group of lawmakers and state social workers on Tuesday called for a complete performance review of the state’s child welfare agency to once and for all root out what they said has been decades of mismanagement, nepotism, political patronage and child-protection failures.

The timing of the announcement was curious, as other calls for evaluations of the state Department of Children, Youth and Families – and there have been many over the years – have usually come after tragedies involving deaths of children in state care.

In this case the call for the audit comes after House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi and the House Finance Committee agreed to spend more on DCYF in next year’s budget – earmarked mostly for additional front-line workers – than Gov. Dan McKee requested. Read more here.


General Teamsters Local 251 Facebook: Teamsters Local 251 Members at Praxair Unanimously Ratify New Contract

On Sunday June 13, Teamster members at Praxair unanimously voted to ratify a new 3 year deal. Members maintained their strong Teamster pension and Teamster healthcare. With the merger of Praxair and Linde, and expanded operations by the company in the region, members were unsure of how negotiations would go. They stood united and ratified another strong contract.
Strong job protections were maintained, with gains made in vacation bidding, solid wage increases and a reduced new hire progression.


Teamsters Local 251 Observes Juneteenth by Protesting at Home of Boss

Workers at Johnson Brothers of RI Demand a Fair Contract

(Mendon, MA) – Workers who have been on strike against Johnson Brothers of Rhode Island since May 26th marked the new federal holiday, Juneteenth by protesting at the home of their boss today. Johnson Brothers of RI is the exclusive distributor of Gallo Wine products in the Ocean State. Teamsters Local 251 has been negotiating a first contract with the company since November 2020.

The workers gathered at Johnson Brothers of Rhode Island President Keith Miranda’s home early this morning. They wore their strike signs, carried Black Lives Matter signs, chanted and gave flyers out describing their struggle in the exclusive Mendon, MA neighborhood.

“This small group of 12 workers is comprised predominantly of people of color. As we celebrate the emancipation of Black Americans on Juneteenth for the first time as a federal holiday, the truth of the matter is we still have corporate enslavement in America,” said Teamsters Local 251 Business Agent, Matt Maini.

“Some of these workers make as little as $15 per hour. How does Johnson Brothers expect them to pay up to $20,000 per year in premiums and out of pocket expenses for a family medical plan, put food on the table, keep a roof over their head and save for retirement with wages like that?” asked Matt Taibi, Teamsters Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer. “Before the strike even began one of the workers was already homeless. Another was living in an apartment with minimal furniture, very little food in the refrigerator, had to take out loans to stave off evictions, and took buses to get to work,” he said. Read more here.


Smithfield Firefighters IAFF Local 2050 Facebook:

E2 & R2 visited Generations Adult Day Health Center earlier this week while they participated in field day. We had several visitors come visit our trucks learning about what we carry on our trucks. Thank you Generations Adult Day Health Center for allowing us to take part in field day!


AFL-CIO: AFL-CIO Commends Biden Administration on Making Juneteenth a Federal Holiday

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and AFL-CIO Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Director Clayola Brown on Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the official freeing of the last enslaved Black people in the United States:

Today’s historic signing by President Biden making Juneteenth a federal holiday is a recognition of Black power and a reflection of America’s ongoing journey to tell our nation’s story. As we honor the sacred Juneteenth holiday that celebrates Black resilience and joy, America’s labor movement will continue to use our voice to lift up and learn from the Black experience. We must be a voice for all who live and work in the United States and to say out loud the names of those who were taken from us by racist violence.

Though explicit slavery has been abolished for more than 150 years, the exploitation of Black labor continues to this day through a systemically racist economy designed to promote wage disparity in the workplace and the chronic unemployment, underemployment and economic exploitation of Black people. America’s labor movement must remain at the tip of the spear to uproot systemic racism in all forms if we seek to fully uphold our nation’s promise of dignity for Black people.

Contact: Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018


AFL-CIO: Memorandum from President Richard Trumka

This past year, the need for food relief was greater than ever—and so was our determination to help. Throughout this pandemic, we have stepped up to help union members and struggling families keep food on their tables. We’re doing what the labor movement does best: joining together in solidarity, lifting each other up and serving our communities.

The AFL-CIO is proud to partner again with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) for the Stamp Out Hunger food drive campaign. Because of continued safety concerns, this year’s food drive was unable to happen as it usually does in May.

NALC is asking members of the community to participate by donating food directly to food banks in their area. Simply go to www.nalc.org/community-service/ food-drive/2021-donor-drive, select your state and find the food banks in your area.

I urge all of you to help promote the Stamp Out Hunger campaign among your union members and affiliates. Should you have any questions, please contact Kristie Small at ksmall@aflcio.org.

I recognize and thank each of you for your incredible efforts to support our members and your communities this past year. Your determination and courage is inspiring.

***Local Food Bank: Rhode Island Community Food Bank, 200 Niantic Avenue, Providence, RI 02907


Economic Policy Institute: Employer misclassification of workers as independent contractors deprives millions of their rights

Misclassification, the ABC test, and employee statusThe California experience and its relevance to current policy debates

Introduction

The determination of whether an individual performing services is treated as an employee or an independent contractor carries significant consequences for workers, businesses, and governments. In the United States, workers who are classified as independent contractors:

  • are not covered by worker protection laws such as wage and hour laws, anti-discrimination laws, and laws providing collective bargaining rights
  • do not receive unemployment benefits when temporarily jobless
  • do not receive workers’ compensation when injured on the job
  • are responsible for paying the full payroll tax contribution to federal Social Security and Medicare programs

This publication was created in collaboration with the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation. In contrast, employers are responsible for covering payroll tax and social insurance costs, and providing these worker protections, for workers classified as employees. Thus, classifying workers as independent contractors both deprives these workers of workplace protections and imposes significant costs, resulting in considerable cost savings for employers, as they are able to shift these costs onto workers and avoid making payments to government tax and social insurance programs. Read more here.




UPCOMING EVENTS:

RICOSH COVID Chronicles: Role of Ventilation and Filtration in Controlling COVID-19

Time: Friday, June 25, 2021 @ 2:00 PM via Zoom

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://aflcio.zoom.us/j/86462261420?pwd=NjdyTFo4NHNkZ1NHVEx1aHJxTHIrUT09

Meeting ID: 864 6226 1420, Password: 997593

Or Telephone: 888-844-9904, Conference code: 688346


20th Annual London/Riley Memorial Golf Tournament

Date: Monday, August 2, 2021

Where: Cranston Country Club, Cranston, RI

More information: LondonRiley.org


Teamsters, Local 251
SOLIDARITY WITH JOHNSON BROTHERS WORKERS
Please visit the picket line and show Johnson Brothers that workers stick together and will not be treated like second-class citizens. Picket lines are up 24 hours a day at: Johnson Brothers of RI 120 Moscrip Ave North Kingstown RI 02852 Key times are 7:30-9 am and 4-6 pm.

More information here.



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.


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

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

More Info on Labor Vision:
Website: http://www.LaborVisionRI.org
FaceBook: @LaborVisionRI
Twitter: @LaborVisionRI
Instagram: LaborVisionRI
YouTube: LaborVisionTV1

e-news: june 17, 2021

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.


WPRI Channel 12: McKee signs 20-year gambling contract with IGT, Bally’s

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee signed a bill Friday that gives gaming technology company IGT and Twin River owner Bally’s Corp. control of most of Rhode Island’s gambling operations for the next 20 years.

In exchange for the no-bid contract, both companies have committed to creating more jobs in the state.

“This legislation represents $250 million in economic development that includes securing 1,100 well-paying jobs right here in the state of Rhode Island,” McKee said.

Both House Speaker Joe Shekarchi and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio backed the deal once amendments were made last month, saying it’s critical to protecting local jobs and preserving one of the state’s largest revenue streams. Read more here.


Teamsters: New England Waste Workers Unite to Win Strong Contract at Veolia Water

Waste workers for Veolia Water in Fall River, Mass., have voted overwhelmingly to ratify an excellent three-year agreement after a hard-fought campaign to win respect at the bargaining table. The new contract raises wages, secures health and welfare, provides a retention bonus and other improvements for the members of Local 251 in East Providence, R.I.

“We’ve always been willing to bargain and work with the company on certain aspects of the contract, but this time it was different, and we were united to win a fair contract,” said Howard Paine, an 11-year maintenance worker at Veolia Water and steward for Local 251. “When they realized we were serious about striking, the company began to take us seriously. I am grateful to the guys for their solidarity. We all stuck together and it’s the best contract we’ve ever had.”

Paine noted that he and his co-workers refused to accept Veolia Water’s concessions, which included switching from the Teamsters Health and Welfare plan to the company’s inferior health care plan. Read more here.

General Teamsters Local 251 Facebook:

Members in Fall River, Massachusetts voted overwhelmingly to ratify a strong 3-year agreement after a hard-fought campaign to win respect at the bargaining table!

The new contract raises wages, secures Teamster health and welfare, provides a retention bonus and other improvements for the members.


Providence Journal: Opinion/Clausius-Parks and Katz: It’s time to raise the RI Works benefit amount

Paige Clausius-Parks is a senior policy analyst at Rhode Island KIDS COUNT. Linda Katz is the policy director at the Economic Progress Institute.

While many of us may feel relieved with increasing numbers of vaccinations in RI and the gradual return to our previous lives, many low-income Rhode Islanders continue to face deep economic hardship. This is especially true for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), children in low-income communities, and families headed by women. Historical policies rooted in racism — policies that have barred and continue to limit access to wealth-producing opportunities — have left these communities disproportionately exposed and vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic and to the subsequent economic downturn.

Rhode Island Works, our state’s version of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, is designed to help very low-income families meet their basic needs by providing cash assistance and work supports, including employment services, SNAP benefits, health insurance, subsidized childcare, and a small annual clothing allowance for children. The maximum monthly benefit for a family of three is $554 per month. This benefit amount provides $6 per person per day and has not been increased in 30 years. Read more here.


SEIU, Local 580: Time is Now

Take 60 seconds to sign up to send a pre-filled  email (option to edit) that will seamlessly send automated email to your state senator and state representative.  

DCYF is understaffed and underfunded putting the lives of DCYF children at risk. Support DCYF to get accredited.

In 2010, legislation was passed  “to provide the resources for the department of children, youth, and families to meet, achieve and sustain accreditation by the Council on Accreditation” and “the general assembly shall appropriate sufficient funds for expenses associated with achieving initial COA accreditation and subsequent re-accreditation with said funds being placed in a restricted receipt account to be used solely for this purpose.”

In 2010, this law was voted for by every legislator and the Governor. However, the law was not implemented.

Since this time there have been child fatalities and a Children’s Rights class action lawsuit that exposed our broken child welfare system that highlighted children falling through the cracks to due excessive caseloads, being understaffed, amongst other systemic failures. A lawsuit settlement agreement mandated by a federal consent decree to overhaul the DCYF system. At this time 9 out of 12 benchmarks of the consent decree have still not been met despite years gone by. Read more here.


UA Local 51Facebook:
Local 51 is proud to introduce the graduated classes of 2020 & 2021! Congratulations to all the Apprentices who finished their schooling! Thank you to the family and friends who joined us for a fun filled evening at Kempenaar’s Clambake Club! We would also like to thank the JATC committee for their continued dedication to our Training program.

View Pictures


Cranston Firefighters Twitter: Cranston firefighters getting ready for the Gaspee Day Parade @GaspeeDay.


North Kingstown Firefighters Facebook:

View Pictures

On Saturday members on North Kingstown Fire Department Marine 5 along with Newport RI Fire Department Newport Firefighters IAFF Local 1080 and Portsmouth Fire Dept Portsmouth Rhode Island Firefighters gathered under the Newport Bridge to conduct a water cannon salute to the U.S. Coast Guard Northeast U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore U.S. Coast Guard Station Castle Hill U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod as they escorted one of their own for a burial at sea. It was an honor and a privilege to be part of this event, fair winds and following seas Chief Petty Officer Marquard, Rest In Peace.



Vox: Poll: A majority of voters support the PRO Act

The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act seems unlikely to succeed in the Senate due to a lack of Republican support — but it has the support of the majority of likely voters, according to a new poll from Vox and Data for Progress.

The act, a sweeping labor rights bill, would strengthen unions through overriding Republican-led “right to work” state laws, which impede unions’ abilities by allowing workers to join without paying dues. It would also penalize companies that restrict union activity, and would bestow independent contractors — such as drivers for Uber and Lyft — with the right to organize and collectively bargain.

The bill passed the House in March, with the support of just five Republicans and all but one Democrat. It has the support of President Joe Biden, and is part of his American Jobs Plan. Now, the bill faces long odds in the Senate, where all 50 Democrats and 10 Republicans, absent filibuster reform, would need to approve of the legislation for it to pass.

Read more here.



UPCOMING EVENTS:
Teamsters, Local 251
SOLIDARITY WITH JOHNSON BROTHERS WORKERS
Please visit the picket line and show Johnson Brothers that workers stick together and will not be treated like second-class citizens. Picket lines are up 24 hours a day at: Johnson Brothers of RI 120 Moscrip Ave North Kingstown RI 02852 Key times are 7:30-9 am and 4-6 pm.

More information here.



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.


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

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

More Info on Labor Vision:
Website: http://www.LaborVisionRI.org
FaceBook: @LaborVisionRI
Twitter: @LaborVisionRI
Instagram: LaborVisionRI
YouTube: LaborVisionTV1

e-news: March 25, 2021

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.


Build RI:

Reform Providence’s Tax Stabilization Act to guarantee fair wages and a local and diverse workforce – during and beyond construction

If our city is giving out tax breaks, working families deserve an opportunity, too.
Providence can adopt a groundbreaking ordinance that requires employers who receive city tax benefits to institute diverse hiring practices and to pay good wages during and after construction.

With strong support from construction workers, service workers, community groups, and several members of the Providence City Council, this much-needed Tax Stabilization Act needs your voice to ensure its passage.

More information here.


Providence Journal: Split on party lines, RI House passes Act on Climate

PROVIDENCE — Landmark legislation aimed at forming the foundation for Rhode Island to confront climate change is one step closer to Gov. Dan McKee’s desk after the House voted its approval Tuesday night.

Hailed by Democrats but assailed by Republicans, Act on Climate would make reductions in planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions mandatory in the state and hold government legally accountable for meeting a net-zero goal in 2050 as well as interim targets along the way.

The bill, which brings Rhode Island in line with Massachusetts, New York and other states that have enforceable climate goals, is seen by environmental groups as the key to tamping down the use of fossil fuels and accelerating the transition to renewable energy.

After four hours of debate, it won passage in the House by a 53-to-22 vote. The House and Senate will reconcile differences between the bills and, assuming no major conflicts arise, then send the bill to Gov. Dan McKee to be signed into law. Read more here.


Press Release: R.I. Building & Construction Trades Council

View press release larger here.


Fuerza Laboral Facebook:

HPCC with opportunities for collaboration, everyone wins!! Healthy Planet Cleaning Cooperative’s recent collaboration with the City of Central Falls food is a powerful example of how the whole community benefits when cities partner with worker-owned cooperatives. Fuerza Laboral’s network of co-ops has a social justice mission in addition to centering the values of human rights, worker autonomy, and dignity, and thus seek opportunities for collaboration over competition. Central Falls, a city of 1.5 square miles and over 20,000 residents, also has a high ratio of locally-owned businesses, especially food establishments. During the pandemic, many of these food establishments struggled to stay afloat. Dining space is necessarily very small in such a small, densely-packed City.
Meanwhile, Healthy Planet Cleaning Cooperative (HPCC) thrived during the pandemic, as reliable cleaning services were in greater need to disinfect commercial spaces. But members of HPCC were concerned with the dire situation of many of the immigrant-owned food establishments in our neighborhood. HPCC and Fuerza Laboral are members of the City of Central Falls’ Buy Local Campaign, an initiative that seeks to promote local shopping to keep our neighborhoods money within our neighborhood. Our participation in this campaign is a natural fit with the idea of co-ops ensuring that the money made by workers’ labor stays with the workers, instead of going up a long chain of management that doesn’t invest in the local community. Read more.


Pawtucket Firefighters Facebook:

Paying it forward…Pawtucket Firefighters union Local 1261 donated 10 bikes & helmets today to the Pawtucket Boys n Girls club.


CNN Business: Here’s why 2021 could be a big year for labor unions

Rarely has the chasm between rank-and-file-workers and the extremely wealthy been this wide. While millions of people have lost jobs, gone hungry and struggled to pay for their basic needs, billionaires’ wealth soared to new heights in 2020.

And although the pandemic made things worse, America’s wealth gap has largely been expanding since the 1980s.

Among the many contributing factors: Far fewer jobholders have a seat at the table in negotiating with upper management than they did decades earlier. In 2020, union membership hit a new modern low.

“There is a direct correlation that when union membership is down, economic inequality is up,” said Kent Wong, executive director of the UCLA Labor Center, a department that studies labor and economic issues.

In cities across the US, and between the walls of some of the world’s largest enterprises, there is a swelling of union organizing activity that has been propelled by the pandemic and the recession.

Frontline workers — nurses, teachers, meatpackers, grocery-store clerks, delivery drivers and produce workers — protested for workplace protections and paid sick leave. In Big Tech, where multibillion-dollar companies have benefited from stay-at-home mandates, trailblazing unionization efforts are accelerating at Amazon and Google. Read more.



UPCOMING EVENTS:

Register here.




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.


Now playing on Labor Vision

The Labor Vision at Home Edition continues. Check out the latest episodes on our website: http://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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E-News: January 14, 2021

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


Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce YouTube:

Chamber President Laurie White spoke with Michael F. Sabitoni, President of the Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council and Business Manager for the Laborers’ Union Local 271.

Watch Video


Valley Breeze: Lawmakers happy with St. Joseph pension settlement

Senate President Dominick Ruggerio and House Speaker-elect Joseph Shekarchi were among the state leaders expressing hope and saying they were satisfied with a $30 million-plus settlement announced Monday between members of the failed St. Joseph pension plan and several of the defendants they sued for its mismanagement.

“In the end, we want to see the hardworking health care employees of the St. Joseph’s system get the security and funds they deserve for their retirement. We are hopeful that this settlement and any future settlements with remaining defendants will restore as much as possible to the members. One thing the pandemic has made clear is just how dedicated health care workers are and how critical they are to our community. Obviously, their hard-earned retirement assets should be protected, and we are glad to see progress toward addressing the grave injustice that was done to them in this situation,” said Ruggerio, of District 4, North Providence and Providence. Read more here.


RI Committee Occupational Safety & Health: A Year-end Summary of RICOSH Activities for 2020

• With the onslaught of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic RICOSH has been an active part of Protecting Workers Alliance an international network of occupational clinicians, academics, unionists and other health professionals to understand and explore the many facets of the pandemic, from modes of transmission to methods of control, to vaccines and surveillance and tracing. RICOSH has joined on the RIDOH COVID Providers advisory weekly (and now biweekly) briefings. At the request of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s’ staff we drafted a policy memo on Rebuilding a Robust Pandemic Planning and Response System. In the early stages of the pandemic we proposed to the RI healthcare community and the Governor and RIDOH to prepare for a possible surge that might well overwhelm our health care infrastructure by converting Pawtucket’s vacant Memorial facility to serve as a dedicated COVID isolation facility.

• Meanwhile RICOSH has continued working with a National Heat Protection Campaign a coalition of unions and occupational health professionals and advocates to address occupational heat stress issues especially as one key impact of our changing climate will be more frequent days of extreme heat. Read more here.


AFL-CIO: Trumka Unveils Workers First Agenda for 2021: Reiterates Call for Trump Removal

January 12, 2021
President Trumka’s full remarks.

Today, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka introduced the Workers First Agenda to fight back against COVID-19 and build an economy that puts more power and prosperity into the hands of working people. He also discussed the role the labor movement has in preserving democracy after last week’s riot incited by President Trump.

Key Excerpts:

“At the center of this agenda is the PRO Act—Protecting the Right to Organize. This worker empowerment legislation would allow millions to freely and fairly form a union. So we can raise wages and expand health care. So we can make workplaces safer and retirement more secure. So we can expand opportunities for women, immigrants, people of color and the LGBTQ community. The PRO Act is more than labor law reform legislation. It’s an economic stimulus bill. It’s a civil rights package.”

“That is why workers’ safety is another priority of our agenda. We will never get this pandemic under control if we cannot protect working people. That starts with emergency COVID-19 OSHA and MSHA standards so we can protect workers from this virus.”

Read more here.


AFL-CIO: AFL-CIO Launches Technology Institute

January 11, 2021

Amanda Ballantyne Named Inaugural Director

Today, the AFL-CIO launched its Technology Institute, which will leverage the power of technology and innovation for the labor movement. Leading this cutting-edge initiative is Institute Director Amanda Ballantyne, who brings diverse experience in labor and economic justice work. As executive director of the Main Street Alliance, she grew a groundbreaking project into a powerful, national organization. Under Ballantyne’s leadership, the organization developed campaign strategies to engage small business owners in winning a variety of progressive reforms, including job-quality policies like earned sick time, minimum wage and family leave.

The pace of current technological breakthrough is happening so fast, it has no historical precedent. Experts call this the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Technology, like automation and artificial intelligence, is changing life and work, and how people connect and communicate. And the COVID-19 pandemic is only accelerating the digital transformation. Read more here.


AFSCME: Health experts reassure union members that COVID vaccines are safe, effective

The nation’s four largest public sector unions, AFSCME, SEIU, AFT and NEA, sponsored a virtual town hall with leading scientific experts, academics and government officials to explain the safety, efficacy and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.

A big goal of Tuesday night’s town hall was to reassure union members that the vaccines are safe and effective and that they shouldn’t hesitate to get vaccinated when it’s their turn.

More than 8 million members of the four unions have been on the front lines of the pandemic, serving their communities, caring for the sick and the elderly, and keeping our cities, towns and schools functioning. Many of them will be among the first to receive the vaccines.

The experts’ responses offered a window into not only how the vaccines were developed safely, but how experts prioritized vaccine distribution equitably, across diverse communities.

The town hall was moderated by Dr. David Michaels of the George Washington University School of Public Health, who served in the Obama administration and is a member of the Biden-Harris COVID advisory board. Read more here.


Bread and Roses 1912-2012 Facebook:

Effective January 1, 1912, a Massachusetts law reduced the maximum workweek for women and children from 56 to 54 hours. When paid on January 11, Polish and Lithuanian women weavers at the Everett Cotton Mills realized their wages had been reduced by approximately 32 cents. Stopping their looms, they left the mill shouting, “Short pay, short pay!” On January 12, thousands more workers join the strike. The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune reported on a strike meeting held on Friday, January 11: “Voting unanimously to walk out if their pay for 54 hours is less than that received for 56 hours, several hundred Italians, Poles, and Lithuanians, who are employed in the local mills, met last evening at Ford’s Hall. A majority of those who attended the meeting will receive their pay today. A mass meeting will be held Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock in the City Hall at which speakers in English, Italian, Polish, and French will be present.”

As the strike entered its first full week mill owners expected things to return to normal on Monday, January 15; instead, lines hardened. More militia companies arrived to patrol the streets, as shown above. Strike leaders issued a call for others in the city to join them: “To all Workers of Lawrence, as long as the fight was confined to the mills of Lawrence and appeared not to extend any further we deemed it unnecessary to appeal to other classes of workers; but now that the combination of capitalists have shown the unity of all our adversaries, we call on you as brothers and sisters to join hands with us in this great movement. Our cause is just.”


UPCOMING EVENTS:

United Way of RI: Annual Celebration, 2021

Phil Fogarty of Utility Workers, Local 310 will receive the Dante Mollo Labor Award at the Annual Celebration, 2021

Join United Way of Rhode Island for our 94th Annual Celebration on Thursday, January 14, 2021 via Zoom.

During this inspiring evening, we’ll kick-off United Way’s new 5-year strategic plan: LIVE UNITED 2025. We will also celebrate our community partners and recognize local leaders who strive to make Rhode Island a better place.

Save the date:

When: TODAY
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Where: Zoom | Meeting details will be included in your confirmation email.Sign-up here.


Raise the Bar on Resident Care Event

Rally for Nursing Home JusticeDate: Thursday, January 21 at 3:30 p.m.
Location: Veterans Memorial Auditorium 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence

More 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.


Now playing on Labor Vision

The 3-segment series addressing the RI Opioid Crisis is now playing on our website: www.laborvision.org

In the first segment (Part I), Erica Hammond sits down with RI Building and Construction Trades Council President, Michael Sabitoni who outlines the industry impact this crisis has had. Nationally, construction workers account for 20-25% of overdose fatalities and in RI, 1 in 5 individuals who have died of an overdose worked in the construction industry. Over the past few years, the RI Building and Construction Trades Council, along with several partners, such as, Building Futures RI, the Associated General Contractors of America RI Chapter, and RI Dept. of Labor and Training have been working to address this issue and educate leaders and workers on ways to combat it. In this episode, Hammond and Sabitoni discuss some of the reasons this issue has affected construction workers at an alarming rate compared to other industries as well as what’s being done to address it. Sabitoni also highlights many of the peer support programs and resources available for individuals struggling with addiction.

During the second segment (Part II), Hammond is joined by Jill Traecy, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker & Health Initiatives Manager at Building Futures, to discuss a new training she’s been working on with partners mentioned above. The RI Opioid Crisis: Our Response Our Recovery training is to be offered in all trade union halls as well as on as many construction/job sites in the state as possible. In this segment Traecy outlines each of the training’s core components, additional resources, as well as how to schedule a training.

In the last segment (Part III), Hammond sits down with Tim Potter, a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, along with Jill Traecy to discuss the benefits and the significant importance of peer support programs along the path of recovery. The group talks about many of the resources offered to individuals who are struggling with addition and/or on the path to recovery.

Additional resources:

https://www.bhlink.org/

Check out these segments and all future segments on our website: www.laborvisionri.org


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e-news: december 30, 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



Turn to 10 WJAR: Omni Hotel Providence questioned by workers union over use of millions in PPP funds

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) — The union representing employees at Omni Hotels & Resorts has accused the company of failing to give out millions of dollars it received from the federal government to pay employees out of work during the pandemic.

Earlier this month, the president of UNITE HERE, the union representing workers, sent a letter to the Small Business Association requesting “strict scrutiny” be given to how Omni used the loans it received, including for its Providence location.

According to SBA records, Omni Providence requested a Paycheck Protection Program loan of $2.6 Million and promised to retain nearly 250 jobs.

“As far as I know, not a single worker has a seen a dime of that money,” UNITE HERE president Carlos Aramayo told NBC 10 News.

In the letter sent by Aramayo, he noted the Providence hotel “remains temporarily closed” and said “none of our members have been rehired or paid by the hotel.”

Aramayo said 300 workers at Omni Providence Hotel are members of the union. Read more here.


America’s Workforce Union Podcast: Laborers Local 271 sees post-pandemic promise through infrastructure spending

Talk of “Building Back Better” and making huge investments into American infrastructure is exciting for building trades members nationwide, as they will be entrusted with completing these massive projects.

Laborers International Union of North America Local 271 Business Manager Michael Sabitoni joined the AWF Union Podcast to discuss the state of work in Rhode Island, how Local 271 is working with employers, infrastructure work and more.

Work in Rhode Island

Sabitoni said that Rhode Island was one of the last states to come out of the previous recession, making the current economic struggles an even greater worry.

Despite their previous track record, Sabitoni believes the state has learned from past experiences and is better equipped to recover. There is promise that the recovery will be easier, as the construction industry has moved forward in the state by following all COVID-19 safety protocols. Read more here.


Providence Business News: Unions still powerful in R.I.

Labor unions may be losing power nationally, but they remain a strong presence locally, as a brewing dispute over beer delivery in the Ocean State illustrates.

Teamsters Local 251 is challenging the sale of Cranston-based McLaughlin & Moran Inc. to Mancini Beverage, claiming it would create a near monopoly on beer distribution in the state. The union, which represents most employees at Mancini, has presented a petition with the names of dozens of business owners and managers to the state attorney general’s office, asking for an investigation of antitrust violations.

West Greenwich-based Mancini naturally refutes the notion it would have anything approaching a monopoly, citing a growing local craft beer market.

Rhode Island in 2019 had the highest union representation rate in New England and the fourth highest in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If nothing else, the public attention raised by the Teamsters’ opposition to the pending sale will ensure it isn’t rubber stamped by regulators. And that’s in the best interests of not only the union but all Rhode Islanders.


RI Coalition of Labor Union Women Facebook:

@CLUWRI extends its sincere condolences to the family of Dorothy Donnelly. Dorothy was an integral part of CLUW’s continued success over the years. Her legacy will remain the epitome of what we strive to accomplish. Thank you for your service, Dorothy!

Read Obituary here.


Providence Business News: R.I. tradeswomen look to build their numbers

Darche Hood went to college to earn a degree in finance.

But now the numbers she’s calculating are from a measuring tape stretched between wall studs. Hood is an insulation installer working on an expansion project at Toray Plastics (America) Inc. in North Kingstown.

The 46-year-old Providence resident is typically one of the only female carpenters on the job, part of a small population of Rhode Island women who are finding benefits of going into construction, such as plentiful job opportunities and equal pay. They’re ironworkers, laborers, electricians – and in some cases, new business owners.

But while women accounted for about 10% of the national construction workforce in 2019, Rhode Island saw a dip in the number of women in the field – from 3.4% in 2017 to just 2.2% in 2018, according to figures provided by the R.I. Department of Labor and Training.

“For a long time, people looked down at us, putting on work boots instead of loafers and a tie,” said Michael Sabitoni, president of Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council and business manager for the Rhode Island Laborers’ Local 271. “But it’s one of the few industries where you get the same pay if you do the work. There’s absolutely more opportunity for women.” Read more here.


AFL-CIO: Top 10 AFL-CIO Blog Posts of 2020

By any measure, 2020 has been one of the most historic years in recent memory. Working people across the country stepped up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, continued to organize their workplaces and came together to help elect a labor-friendly president and vice president in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. We covered these stories and many others throughout the year and here are the top 10 most-read stories by you, our readers.1. In Memoriam: Union Members Lost in COVID-19 Pandemic: “As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the United States, our sisters, brothers and friends in the labor movement are among the first casualties. It is important for us to work together during this crisis to prevent further deaths. It is important to thank those who are doing the work to keep us safe and fed. It is important to remember those who we lost because of the coronavirus.”

2. Working People Respond to the Killing of George Floyd with Nationwide Protests: “Racism plays an insidious role in the daily lives of all working people of color. This is a labor issue because it is a workplace issue. It is a community issue, and unions are the community. We must and will continue to fight for reforms in policing and to address issues of racial and economic inequality.”Read more here.


Labor Notes: VIDEO: Signed, Sealed and Delivered: Film and Discussion of Rank-and-File Militancy at the Post Office

Mandatory overtime, speed-up, and union-busting at the U.S. Postal Service—sound familiar? Here’s how postal workers in 1978 confronted grueling and dangerous conditions: they walked out on a wildcat strike.

Signed, Sealed and Delivered: Labor Struggle in the Post Office (1980, 36 minutes, by Tami Gold, Dan Gordon, Erik Lewis) shows the strike and the events that followed. Management at the New Jersey Bulk Mail Center fired 200 strikers; workers launched a campaign to get them rehired. After a young worker was tragically killed on the job, their fight against dangerous conditions drew national attention.

Today postal workers are once again facing forced overtime, speed-up, and union-busting… plus the daily risk of deadly pandemic exposure. What can we learn from this history to power up our strategy for the fights ahead?

About 100 people on Zoom and on the Facebook livestream heard from the filmmakers and from veterans of the strike, in a webinar hosted by the organizers of the ad hoc “Save Our Postal Service” Facebook page. Read more here.



UPCOMING EVENTS:

No events at this time.


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

Nationally, construction workers account for 20-25% of overdose fatalities and in Rhode Island, 1 in 5 individuals who have died of an overdose worked in the construction industry. Over the past few years, the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council, along with several partners, have been working to address this issue and educate leaders on ways to combat the problem plaguing the industry.

LaborVision has made this issue a priority in the new year and beginning on Monday, January 4th we will be releasing a 3-segment series focusing on the RI Opioid Crisis. Throughout this series you will hear from Michael Sabitoni, President of the RI Building and Construction Trades, Jill Traecy, an Independent Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Health Initiatives Manager at Building Futures, and Tim Potter an Electrician with IBEW Local 99 and a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist.

We will discuss the industry impact and why this issue is impacting the construction industry at such an alarming rate. We will also take a closer look at the RI Opioid Crisis: Our Response Our Recovery training developed by Building Futures, in partnership with the RI Building and Construction Trades and the Associated General Contractors of America, RI Chapter, with support from the RI Dept. of Labor and Training. In the final segment of the series the group will discuss Peer Support Models and the importance of Peer Recovery Programs throughout the industry.

Do not miss this series airing on January 4th, 6th, and 8th. Keep up with all LaborVision’s latest segments on our website: www.laborvisionri.org

LaborVision has a new email address. If you or your organization has an event or issue, you’d like LaborVision to cover please email: laborvisionri@riilsr.org

The LaborVision team wishes everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!


Cox Channel 14 & FIOS Channel 33
Tuesday @ 7pm
Thursday @ 8pm
Saturday @ 5pm
                               
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E-News: December 17, 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


RI Federation of Teachers And Health Professionals: Letter to Governor Raimondo

December 14, 2020

Dear Governor Raimondo:

Back in November 2019, you pledged that education would be the number one priority of your second term. You voiced your commitment to a quality public school education for all Rhode Island students and vowed to “stay the course” to transform Providence schools, saying, “Change is hard. … I’m not going to turn my back on these kids or on these teachers.”1

We are writing to ask you to stand by this pledge and urge the state Board of Education’s K-12 Council to table the proposed drastic charter school expansion it is considering on Dec. 15.

This expansion would financially destabilize the Providence school district, because it would drain money from neighborhood public schools. Districts across the country have been driven into terrible financial distress by charter expansion in recent years.2 Expanding charters could cost affected Rhode Island districts $27 million in unrecoverable costs in the 2021-22 school year alone—and a total of $217 million in lost costs over the next five years.

The damage won’t be just to specific districts like Providence and Central Falls. Already, 23.3 percent of proposed new education aid in the state’s FY21 K-12 education budget has been allocated for charters. This expansion would siphon even more money from the traditional public schools that the vast majority of Rhode Island children attend. And for what? Extensive research over the past decades has failed to substantiate any clear charter “advantage.”

Read more here.


RI Building & Construction Trades Council Twitter:

Pres. Sabitoni: Brown’s construction of its Performing Arts Center represents hope and work opportunities for those in the RI Building Trades despite difficult times. We are grateful to Brown and Shawmut for keeping our union workforce safe.

Watch Video


Opinion/Amore: A ‘pause’ is needed in charter school expansion

Rep. Gregg Amore, a Democrat, represents District 65 in East Providence. He is the chair of the Finance Subcommittee on Education and a member of the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare.

In this, the season of the “pause,” I urge the Rhode Island Board of Education to take a step back and pause before taking up consideration and approving the recent requests to significantly expand charter schools in Providence and throughout the state.

Traditional public schools serve the overwhelming majority of students in their communities and Providence students deserve the opportunity to see the turnaround promised to them fully underway before resources are diverted. Significantly expanding charter schools or seats were not highlighted or even mentioned as a strategy for improvement in the Turnaround Action Plan for Providence Public Schools (TAP).

When Johns Hopkins University released its report regarding the state of the Providence school system, many feared that its findings would be used as a justification to rapidly expand charter schools in the city. I was not among those skeptics.Read more here.


Teamsters Joint Council 10 Facebook:
THE MOST IMPORTANT HOLIDAY DELIVERY Teamsters Local 251 Preload Chief Steward Matthew Knowlton chief steward delivers the vaccine to Rhode Island Hospital. Knowlton and his Teamster sisters and brothers throughout the logistics chain are delivering vaccines to hospitals across the nation. Rhode Island Hospital is the home to nearly 3,000 Teamster Local 251 members who have been on the front-lines in the fight against the pandemic. Thanks to Brother Knowlton and all the Teamsters on the front lines.


Teamsters Joint Council 10 Facebook:

“The Teamsters are very happy to help out with this effort to help our homeless brothers and sisters,” said Matt Taibi, Teamsters Local 251 Secretary Treasurer. “We are well aware that the pandemic has not only made the needs of struggling Rhode Islanders greater, but has also made it harder than ever to connect people with the help they need. We are grateful for the opportunity to help make a difference for the most vulnerable people in our state.”

Read more here.


Teamsters Local 251 Driving School FaceBook:

While picking up the full load of coats this afternoon at the RI state House, Gina Raimondo talked briefly with the Director Brian Palmer and trainer Eddy Reis as to the the great job the driving school is doing training our CDL drivers. Without the hard work of the whole Real Jobs team at the RIDLT under the direction of Dir. Jensen, Julie O’Connell and our own grant advisor Keith Murray, those that have had their lives changed for the better with a CDL may not have had the opportunity. We couldn’t be prouder than to be driving around the state with the RJRI and Teamsters logo on the side of all of our trailers and it is a testament to the great work done by the leadership in the state and Local 251 day in and day out.


Firefighter Cancer Support Network, Rhode Island Facebook:

We are so excited to announce our partnership with the International Association of Fire Fighters!

We are teaming up for the entire month of January and beyond to affect positive change and educate firefighters across the nation about occupational cancer and how to stop it. Would you or someone you know benefit from joining us on this month-long journey? Sign up for the email list here: https://buff.ly/3miM5TN.

The campaign, which kicks off January 4th, draws attention to the scope of the cancer problem in the fire service, and focuses on education, best practices for prevention and helping survivors of occupational cancer. Resources include safety stand downs, daily training briefs, fact sheets and other tools for prevention and mitigation.

We invite you to share the link to sign up for our email list, follow our social media outlets, listen to our podcasts, participate in our Safety Stand Downs, and follow our training briefs and help us win this fight against cancer. Together we can make a difference!



UPCOMING EVENTS:

No events at this time.


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

On the latest episode of LaborVision, RI AFL-CIO’s President George Nee and Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Crowley discuss a handful of the legislation on RI Labor’s agenda for next year’s legislative session. President Nee discusses the work that will continue to increase the minimum wage with a path to $15/hour over a span of three years. He also highlights the ongoing campaigns to increase the wages and working standards of both Direct Service Providers and individuals working in the nursing home industry. Secretary-Treasurer Crowley highlights labor’s concerns with the current continuing contract legislation and the benefits of extending this legislation to all public-sector workers. The group also discusses the Revenue for Rhode Island campaign which will add one new tax bracket for top 1% of earners on adjusted gross income above $475,000. The pair also discuss an exciting new project in Rhode Island involving green infrastructure and green manufacturing.

Don’t miss this segment and stay up to date on all LaborVision’s latest episode’s by visiting our website:www.laborvisionri.org.


Cox Channel 14 & FIOS Channel 33
Tuesday @ 7pm
Thursday @ 8pm
Saturday @ 5pm
                               
More Info on Labor Vision:                                    
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FaceBook: @LaborVisionRI                                                    
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e-news: september 24, 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


PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release: September 22, 2020

Contact: Patrick Crowley

401.330.6870 / pcrowley@neari.org

Rhode Island AFL-CIO Endorses Ballot Question Changing the Official Name of the State of Rhode Island

Providence, RI – On Monday, September 21, 2020, the executive board of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO unanimously voted to endorse the proposed amendment to the state’s Constitution, dropping the phrase “ and Providence Plantations” from the official state name. The 80,000 member AFL-CIO is the largest labor organization in the state, representing working men and women in every community in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island AFL-CIO President George Nee said, “It is time for Rhode Island to remove the hurtful references to plantations in the official state name. Part of the mission of the AFL-CIO is to “vanquish ­oppression, privation and cruelty in all their forms” and one of those forms is embedded in the very name of our state. As working people, we cherish the idea of solidarity and take seriously the idea that “an injury to one is an injury to all.” As the entire country struggles to come to terms with the original sin of slavery in America, we as union members must also do our part. This is an important step in the right direction.”

Rhode Island AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Crowley said, “Black Lives Matter is not just a slogan: it is a call to action. As we identify the elements of structural racism that are holding us back as a country and as a state, we are committed to tearing down those structures that reinforce inequality and discrimination. It’s about more than a name on stationary – it is about standing together with all our sisters and brothers, in every community, and moving our state forward.”

The Rhode Island AFL-CIO is calling upon all members, and all working families, to vote YES on Question 1 to support the changing of the official name of the state on November 3.

# # #


Watch Video


WJAR Turn to 10: Providence teachers protest district’s ‘Virtual Learning Academy’

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) — Ahead of Tuesday’s Rhode Island Department of Education meeting, dozens of Providence teachers gathered along Westminster Street to protest the district’s Virtual Learning Academy, a new option for students who chose not to attend school in-person.

“There was little to no planning for virtual learning,” said Providence Teachers Union President Maribeth Calabro. “They think things are going swimmingly in the opening of schools and we know differently. Parents signed on believing it would be the same as it was in the spring, but virtual learning, as it stands now, is not a teacher with 26 students. Now, it’s a teacher with 52 students at the elementary level.”

Calabro, who called the class-size an “impossible task” for some teachers to manage, said each is responsible for about 200 students at the high school level, and argued teaching middle school is complicated, too.

“With students online and students in front of them, that’s a logistical nightmare, trying to walk around with a Zoom camera to try and make sure the students online and the students in front of you can see the instruction,” Calabro said.Read more here.


Watch Video


Watch Video


AFL-CIO: Ginsburg One of America’s Greatest Jurists

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

America has lost one of the greatest jurists in our nation’s history. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her career defending the Constitution and the everyday working people who bring that document to life. She was a consistent, unshakable champion of civil and women’s rights and the freedom to form a union. The AFL-CIO, the labor movement and all those who aspire for dignity on the job are better off because of Justice Ginsburg’s service. Her passing leaves a hole in our collective hearts and a vacancy on the highest court in the land, and you can rest assured that America’s unions will honor Justice Ginsburg’s memory as we fight for our democracy in the days and weeks to come.


AFL-CIO: Get to Know AFL-CIO’s Affiliates: United Steelworkers

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the United Steelworkers.

Name of Union: The United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (USW)

Mission:The values upon which the USW was founded in 1942 still guide the organization today. These include:

  • Uniting in one organization, regardless of creed, color or nationality, all workmen and working women eligible for membership.
  • Increasing the wages and improving the conditions of employment of members by legislation, joint agreements or other legitimate means.
  • Securing equitable statutory old-age pension, workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance laws.
  • Enforcing existing just laws and to secure the repeal of those which are unjust.
  • Securing, by legislative enactment, laws protecting the limbs, lives and health of members, protecting their right to organize and other legislation as will be beneficial.

Current Leadership of Union:Thomas M. Conway has served as the international president of the USW since July 15, 2019. Prior to that, he served as the international vice president (administration) since 2005. Born to a New Jersey union household, Conway began his union career in 1978 after serving in the U.S. Air Force.

Learn more here.


Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America: Take a STAND Against Suicide This September

With a suicide rate four times higher than the national average, the construction industry is one of the most at-risk industries for suicide. Male-dominated industries tend to have more suicides, and the macho, tough guy culture of construction can discourage those most at risk for suicide from seeking help. There are many other contributing factors that put construction workers at a heightened risk for suicide. However, changing the workplace culture is likely one of the biggest differences we can make to help people come forward and ask for the help they need and deserve.What Is the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention?

The Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP) was started in response to a CDC report that ranked construction as the #1 industry for deaths by suicide between 2012 and 2015. CIASP’s mission is to raise awareness about suicide prevention and provide resources and tools to create a zero suicide industry by uniting and supporting the construction community. The Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention is made up of contractors, association representatives and union representatives. Jamie Becker, the LHSFNA’s Director of Health Promotion, serves on the CIASP Board of Trustees.

Read more here.


AFL-CIO:


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Memorial service for nursing home victims of COVID-19

Today at 4 P.M at RI Department of Health, 3 Capitol Hill, Providence, RI

Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, hundreds of nursing home residents – our mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles – along with their caretakers, have tragically lost their lives to the virus in Rhode Island. The sad truth is too many nursing homes were unprepared to meet the challenge head on, lacking the proper staffing and supplies to keep residents and staff safe.

Join us for a Memorial Service for the victims of this terrible tragedy. Help us honor their lives, mourn their passing and commit ourselves to working to ensure every Rhode Island nursing home has safe staffing levels, proper supplies, equipment and training for staff to prevent a tragedy of this magnitude from ever happening again.

Sign-up here.

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:

▪ Bob Delaney and Erica Hammond co-host the latest What’s Up at the Institute LaborVision segment and they are joined by three of their colleagues from the Institute for Labor Studies and Research (ILSR); Sabine Adrian, Fatima Martin, and Lorina Harte. The group discusses their new partnership with Tri-County Community Action Agency and the role ILSR played in Tri-County’s Virtual Career Exploration Academy. The group also highlights many of the programs ILSR has been running virtually including, English classes for speakers of other languages, the Pathways to Education Professions Program, and the Occupational Health and Safety Training for young workers.

▪ Also, 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.

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: September 10, 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


R.I. History’s People Museum: An interview with RI AFL-CIO President George Nee

Watch video here.


Watch video here.


Providence Journal: Providence Teachers Union protests district’s reopening plan

PROVIDENCE — Members of the Providence Teachers Union say they are concerned about returning to school next week in buildings they say have been unsafe and unclean since long before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve said for years that the schools aren’t as clean as they should be,” Maribeth Calabro, president of the teachers union, said during a protest staged by the group outside the State House on Tuesday. “If the expectation is that we’re going to be in school, then the expectation should be that we’re going to have clean schools with good ventilation.”

Elementary school students in Providence Public Schools will begin returning to school, on a staggered schedule, on Monday. The return of older students will be phased in through Oct. 13, according to School Department spokeswoman Laura Hart.

Calabro said the union is concerned about risks of returning to schools that have long been plagued with infrastructure issues. Teachers have complained of classroom windows that don’t open, rodent feces on classroom floors, grimy desks, undrinkable water coming from bubblers and leaking ceiling tiles, she said. Read more here.



AFL-CIO: Am I Safe at Work?

Far too many employers are putting the lives of working people at risk. We are being asked to work without the adequate protections and protocols that help keep us safe from becoming infected with COVID-19.

Find out if your employer is doing enough to keep you and your co-workers safe. See website here.


Gallup: At 65%, Approval of Labor Unions in U.S. Remains High

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Labor Day approaches and economic conditions in the U.S. remain tenuous, Americans’ 65% approval of labor unions is once again the highest it has been since 2003. Public support for labor unions has been generally rising since hitting its lowest point of 48% in 2009, during the Great Recession.

Gallup’s initial reading of the public’s support for labor unions was 72% in 1936, at the advent of the modern U.S. organized labor movement, and approval peaked at 75% in 1953 and 1957. The lowest ratings to date have been recorded during particularly weak economic times. This includes the late 1970s and early to mid-1980s — when support fell below 60% for the first time — and 2009 through 2012, when it hovered around 50%.

While the latest reading, from a July 30-Aug. 12 poll, comes at a time of severe economic upheaval, this has so far not had a negative impact on the public’s view of unions, as it is little changed from last year’s reading.

Read more here.


Parade: 10 Fascinating Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the History of Labor Day and the Labor Movement

There’s more to Labor Day than what often seems to only amount to the final barbecues and three-day weekends of summer. The federal holiday, celebrated the first Monday in September, marks a major win for American workers. Learn about the history of Labor Day and why it deserves recognition beyond burgers and sales.

10 Facts About the History of Labor Day and the Labor Movement

1. The first Labor Day “parade” was actually a strike.

On Sept. 5, 1882, tens of thousands of union laborers marched from New York City Hall to Union Square to protest deplorable working conditions amid the Industrial Revolution: Workers, including children as young as five years old, labored in unsafe factories, farms, mills and mines for 12 hours or more per day, seven days a week, often without breaks, fresh air or even clean water. Many workers risked their jobs and livelihoods in order to march.

Learn more here.


Labor 411: Keeping your Home, Work and School Space Spic and Span

For so many of us during this pandemic, our home is doubling as a work space while also serving as our children’s classroom. That means it needs to be clean. You have choices when you tidy up, and Labor 411 encourages the use of products made by union-friendly companies that treat their workers fairly and give them a voice on the job. So before that work/school/home day begins, get your house in order, and let’s all clean our way to a stronger America. See list here.

**Remember to buy your union-made food and beverages at Shaws, Stop & Shop and Eastside Marketplace to support our brothers and sisters who work there.


UPCOMING EVENT:

Basic/Advanced Steward Training Virtual Workshop via ZOOM

The Institute for Labor Studies and Research is offering a Basic/Advanced Steward Training Virtual Workshop via ZOOM consisting of 2 sessions.

Tuesday, September 22 @ 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 29 @ 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Seating is limited and on a first come first serve basis.

If you are interested in attending the Steward Training Virtual Workshop, please reply by Friday, September 11, 2020 directly to Denise Cesino at 401-463-9900 or dcesino@riilsr.org.For more information visit Website.


CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 RESOURCES

You can find some helpful resources on our website.

Share this link: https://rhodeislandaflcio.org/coronavirus-covid-19


Are you following Rhode Island AFL-CIO on Social Media? Click on the links below.

FaceBook: @riaflcio

Twitter: @riaflcio

Visit our website RhodeIslandAFLCIO.org for more information, news and events.


This week on Labor Vision

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

Upcoming Segment:

▪ International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees(IATSE) Rally For The Heroes Act

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: september 3, 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


Inspections, or walkthroughs? Raimondo and teachers union disagree on her pledge to schools

PROVIDENCE — One of the state’s two teachers unions locked horns with Gov. Gina Raimondo on Wednesday, calling state “walk-throughs” of school buildings inadequate.

In a tweet shortly before Raimondo’s daily briefing on school reopenings, the National Education Association Rhode Island said inspectors were not visiting every classroom, that local school committees were not invited to participate, and, in at least one district, the entire tour lasted two hours.

“In one district, [the inspection team] said show us your best and worst schools,” said NEARI Executive Director Bob Walsh. “The point was in every district that wanted to reopen classrooms, the final piece of the puzzle was a room-by-room approval so that everyone was comfortable.

“We are trying to do this cooperatively,” he said. “This is the frustration.”

The recommendation for inspections came from NEARI President Larry Purtill.

Read more here.



See pictures here.



See pictures here.


IATSE, Local 23 FaceBook:


Providence Journal: Stung by pandemic, R.I. performing arts workers plead for help from Congress

PROVIDENCE — Hundreds of members of the union representing Rhode Island entertainment professionals marched from the Providence Performing Arts Center to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Tuesday night to call on Congress to act on multiple measures that would help revive their industry.

The crowd included lighting designers, audio technicians, exhibit builders, stage hands and other skilled professionals who are normally employed by theaters, concert halls and performance venues to help put on live shows, but have been out of work since pandemic-related lockdowns caused the cancellation of nearly all live entertainment across the nation.

“We are just so desperate to get back to work,” said Scott Mccausland, a 52-year-old audio technician. “We are trying to do everything that we can to bring attention to our cause and see if we can’t get ourselves back to work. This is our livelihood.”

The demonstrators called on Congress to pass the Save Our Stages Act, which would authorize the Small Business Administration to issue grants of up to $12 million to live-venue operators and other representatives of the entertainment industry, as well as the RESTART Act, which would extend the Paycheck Protection Program that guarantees loans to small businesses to help pay their employees. Read more here.


Providence Performing Arts Center:

More info and take action here.




ILSR August Newsletter:

View larger and read more here.


AFL-CIO Reacts to Police Shooting of Jacob Blake

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:

The labor movement joins with all those in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and across the country who are nonviolently demanding an end to systemic racial injustice after the shooting of Jacob Blake. Despite months of protest and the outpouring of heartfelt demands for change, incidents like these remain all too common and they shock our collective conscience. Actions that cheapen the lives of Black people and the service of good officers must be called out. As Americans, we must recognize the difference between right and wrong, and we must always stand up for what is right.

Statement from the AFL-CIO Task Force on Racial Justice:

We are outraged at the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. We pray for his full recovery and for his loved ones.

As details continue to come in, we cannot escape the images of a Black man being shot in the back in front of his children. What happened to Mr. Blake only strengthens our resolve to make sure Black Lives Matter in words and in deeds so we can heal our communities and our country. This is precisely why the AFL-CIO created the Task Force on Racial Justice and why we formed a subcommittee on policing. Read more here.


Buzz Feed: Postal Workers On Reddit Are Revealing The Things They Wish Customers Knew, And It’s So Important

By now, you’ve probably heard that the United States Postal Service is in crisis. The service is in desperate need of funding — which President Trump has opposed in an open attempt to suppress mail-in voting. And the new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, recently came under fire for announcing big cuts to the USPS, which many believe he did at the request of the Trump administration.

In response to major backlash for making these changes so close to an election, DeJoy has said he will delay the cuts for now. As you can imagine, all of this makes it a tough time to be an employee for the USPS. So last week, a viral Reddit thread asked postal workers: “What do you need right now? How can we brighten your day when we see you on our routes?”

The conversation garnered thousands of responses from USPS workers all across the nation, both former and present. Here are some of the top-voted suggestions: See list here.



UPCOMING EVENTS:

RICOSH / RI AFL-CIO ZOOM Workship: Heat Illness and Staying Healthy in the Heat

Today, September 3rd at 3 p.m.

Climate change is already making extreme heat waves more likely and even hotter.  815 workers perished in the United States 1992 through 2017 from heat-related illness. Solutions to heat stress are well-known: constant water/liquid intake, rest in a shaded or climate-controlled location, among other measures. It is important that workers and employers recognize heat’s hazards and what works to minimize these hazards.

Register in advance for this meeting here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

###

###

Basic/Advanced Steward Training Virtual Workshop via ZOOM

The Institute for Labor Studies and Research is offering a Basic/Advanced Steward Training Virtual Workshop via ZOOM consisting of 2 sessions.

Tuesday, September 22 @ 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 29 @ 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Seating is limited and on a first come first serve basis.

If you are interested in attending the Steward Training Virtual Workshop, please reply by Friday, September 11, 2020 directly to Denise Cesino at 401-463-9900 or dcesino@riilsr.org.



For more information visit Website.


CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 RESOURCES

You can find some helpful resources on our website.

Share this link: https://rhodeislandaflcio.org/coronavirus-covid-19


Are you following Rhode Island AFL-CIO on Social Media? Click on the links below.

FaceBook: @riaflcio

Twitter: @riaflcio

Visit our website RhodeIslandAFLCIO.org for more information, news and events.



THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY

Voices in Labor:

Walter Reuther was born. Reuther was president of the United Auto Workers from 1946 until his death in 1970 under suspicious circumstances. He was also president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) prior to its merger with the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Reuther was a supporter of political action and once said “There’s a direct relationship between the bread box and the ballot box, and what the union fights for and wins at the bargaining table can be taken away in the legislative halls.” – 1907

A 3-week strike in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, part of a national movement to obtain a minimum wage for textile workers, resulted in the deaths of three workers. Ultimately more than 420,000 workers struck nationally. – 1934

Union delegates from New York, Boston, Philadelphia and other East Coast cities met in a convention to form the National Trades’ Union, which united craft unions to oppose “the most unequal and unjustifiable distribution of the wealth of society in the hands of a few individuals”. The union faded after a few years but paved the way for more than 60 new unions. – 1834

Learn more


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