Category Archives: Unions

E-NEWS: OCTOBER 21, 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.


This weekend!


United Way of Rhode Island Twitter: On Tuesday, 10/26, we’re honoring George Nee w/ the Dante F. Mollo Labor United Award at our 95th Annual Celebration. Register:http://bit.ly/uwri95ac The Dante F. Mollo Labor United Award is a reflection of our incredible partnership with R.I.’s labor community. #LiveUnitedRI


The Providence Journal: Contractor charged with wage theft during Barrington Middle School construction

Owners of an asbestos remediation company failed to pay employees for weekend overtime during the construction of Barrington Middle School, according to the attorney general’s office.

Five former employees are owed at least $12,000 by Franklin Analytical Service, based in Marion, Massachusetts, according to a news release. Two of the company’s owners, Thomas McCoog, 64, and Amy Franklin, 57, face misdemeanor charges.

McCoog and Franklin filed a false certified payroll document with the Town of Barrington while knowingly failing to pay employees overtime for their work on weekends, the attorney general’s office said.

Each faces five counts of failure to pay overtime on a prevailing-wage job, one count of conspiracy to failure to pay overtime wages, one count of conspiracy to file false certified payroll, and one count of filing a false certified payroll document. Read more here.


The Washington Post: Strikes are sweeping the labor market as workers wield new leverage

The labor activism runs the gamut of American industry, powered by the same grievances about wages, benefits and quality of life driving the Great Resignation.

Marcial Reyes could have just quit his job. Frustrated with chronic understaffing at the Kaiser Permanente hospital where he works in Southern California, he knows he has options in a region desperate for nurses.

Instead, he voted to go on strike.

While Americans are leaving their jobs at staggering rates — a record 4.3 million quit in August alone — hundreds of thousands of workers with similar grievances about wages, benefits and quality of life are, like Reyes, choosing to dig in and fight. Last week, 10,000 John Deere workers went on strike, while unions representing 31,000 Kaiser employees authorized walkouts. Some 60,000 Hollywood production workers reached a deal Saturday night, averting a strike hours before a negotiation deadline. Read more here.


Newsweek: Photo of Kellogg’s Worker on Strike Braving Torrential Rain on Picket Line Goes Viral

A powerful image has surfaced online showing a Kellogg’s worker standing strong on a picket line during torrential rain amid ongoing industrial action.

As many as 1,400 Kellogg Company employees from the firm’s U.S. cereal plants have been on strike since Tuesday, October 5, over a host of employment issues including the potential loss of premium healthcare, holiday pay and some vacation time.

There are also concerns among union leaders that some jobs could be moved to Mexico, where production and employee labor aren’t overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Read more here.



Axios: Kamala Harris announces new guidelines to encourage union membership

Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will today announce new guidelines to encourage federal workers to join unions, according to a White House official.

Why it matters: The Biden administration wants to bolster the collective bargaining power of workers across the country – and they are starting at home, with changes in the federal workforce.

  • With more than 2.1 million non-postal employees, the federal government is the U.S.’s largest employer.
  • But only 20% of federal employees belong to a union.
  • The administration also wants to promote the federal workforce as a venue for women and workers of color to join the labor movement.

Read more here.





UPCOMING EVENTS:

RICOSH: Health & Safety Training Series in October 2021

The New England Consortium (TNEC), based at UMass Lowell, is a worker health and safety training program that has been delivering training since 1987 in hazardous materials operations, emergency response, infectious disease preparedness, disaster preparedness, and general workplace health and safety.

COVID-19 and its Variants: Latest Workplace Protection Strategies: Register here.

HAZCOM – Hazard Communication: Register here.

Stress on the Job: Prevention Strategies: Register here.

Disaster Preparedness: Register here.



United Way of Rhode Island’s 95th Annual Celebration

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 |
5:30 p.m.
Please join us virtually 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. Chafee Live United Award | Linda Katz, Co-founder of Economic Progress Institute
Partners United Award | Starkweather and Shepley Insurance Brokerage

Due to the rising cases of COVID variants, United Way of Rhode Island will host this year’s annual celebration virtually. Please register to stay tuned on updates leading to our celebration.
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.



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: july 22, 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.


AFSCME: AFSCME Rhode Island fights privatization of services to the elderly and disabled

After a prolonged budget battle with Rhode Island state leaders, AFSCME members were able to protect key community services for the state’s elderly, disabled and vulnerable people against attempts to privatize and reduce them.

Such fights – and victories – are nothing new for AFSCME Rhode Island Council 94 members, who have been fighting attempts to close several of Rhode Island’s state-run facilities that serve vulnerable residents.

Shoestring budgets that fail to invest in critical services and instead pad the pockets of private companies have only made matters worse for workers and the people they serve in these facilities.

“The real thanks go to the workers who, during the pandemic, kept going to work while management spent millions on private vendors,” said J. Michael Downey, president of Council 94. “This outsourcing trend is troubling: hiring outside vendors to do the work our members – some who have been with these facilities for years and built relationships there – were hired to do. Thankfully, the governor has put the brakes on all of that.” Read more here.


Providence Journal: Governor McKee announces agreement in Providence teachers’ contract

PROVIDENCE — Ten weeks after Gov. Dan McKee intervened in the acrimonious Providence teacher negotiations, he announced Tuesday that the state has reached a tentative agreement with the Providence Teachers Union.

At his afternoon news conference, the governor opened by saying, “I am glad to say we reached an agreement last night.”

No details will be released until teachers vote on ratifying the contract. It has been almost two years since the previous contract expired.

McKee said he looks forward to working with teachers, parents and students to “move Providence to that spot where it becomes the school of choice for the families that live in Providence.” Read more here.


General Teamsters, Local 251 Facebook:

Valets, shuttle drivers eager to get back to work at Twin River Casino. “Nearly 40 valets and shuttle drivers who worked at Twin River Casino in Lincoln are still hoping to be recalled to their positions after they were laid off in September 2020. But so far, they say they haven’t been given an exact date when they can expect to return. The Teamsters contract with Twin River calls for members who were laid off to be recalled if their jobs return within 24 months, according to Thomas Salvatore, Business Agent for Local 251.” Read more here.


Message from Providence Federation of Musicians

The Providence Federation of Musicians and the American Federation of Musicians would like to ask all union members and their friends and families to boycott the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, which is being held on the campus of the University of Rhode Island from July 24 through August 1.

The Festival management has refused to bargain or negotiate with the Providence Local, and has engaged in deceptive and misleading discussions with both the Philadelphia Local and the AFM.

In this year’s event, they have replaced all the union musicians with non-union players.

We are not in any way looking to disrupt the Festival, but we would appreciate it if our brothers and sisters in the labor movement would not patronize this festival, in view of the management’s bad faith attitudes.

Thank you,

Ed Plunkett, President


A great big thank you to Senator Reed and Senator Whitehouse for their ongoing commitment to not only Rhode Island working families but working families throughout the nation by co-sponsoring the PRO Act.

Senator Jack Reed Twitter:
Labor Unions helped to create and sustain the middle-class & working people deserve a voice, fair wages, and benefits – pass it on. I support the #PROAct along with @RIAFLCIO and all those who are #UnionStrong.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse Twitter: For decades, billionaires have been getting richer and richer at the expense of the middle class. I stand with @RIAFLCIO in support of the #PROAct because expanding workers’ rights to unionize is a sure way to create good, family-supporting jobs.


RIFTHP Twitter: Working together to celebrate Summer and Literacy!@AFTunion @rifthp @beaup3 @AFTEVPDeJesus @rweingarten @RIFTFrankFlynn @PSD_Sup @DonGrebien @GovDanMcKee @Riftcol @StephanieLy1

View Pictures here.


Local 37 Ironworkers Facebook:

Local 37 sponsored Alexander in a wish come true! Alex is very happy with his wish! Dreams do come true!!

View pictures here.


Labor Law Lite: A Great Week For The NLRB

It’s been a good eight days or so for those who wish to see the National Labor Relations Board enforce federal labor law as written:

  • On July 12, the House appropriations committee reported a budget bill that contained a proposed $317 million in funding for the Labor Board in FY22. That is $15 million more than the Biden administration requested for the agency and would represent a $43 million increase from its current budget, allowing the Board to potentially hire even more help than the 136 new full-time employees it projected using the administration’s number. The Senate may whittle down that number, but the added boost from the House’s efforts almost certainly improved upon whatever the final figure would have been.
  • On July 14, key Senate Democrats announced that they were including the Protecting the Right to Organize Act in the FY22 budget bill. Later developments made clear that Democrats would only include portions of the PRO Act that would likely pass the budgetary reconciliation process, namely the monetary fines for employer unfair labor practices, but this was arguably the most important part of the bill in terms of strengthening the NLRB from an agency that begs for voluntary compliance into one that can credibly demand observance of the National Labor Relations Act. Read more here.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

RICOSH Zoom Webinar: Controlling the Hazards of Heat

There were 194 fatalities the recent heat wave in the Pacific Northwest. Climate change results in more frequent days of extreme heat and record-breaking summers become the norm; 37% of heat related deaths from 1991 to 2018 are attributed to climate change. (Nature Climate Change)

Workers are at risk because their livelihoods often depend on their exposure to hot weather and hot environs. In addition to outdoor occupations, such as farm, utility, landscaping, delivery, and construction, others who work in hot indoor environments include kitchens, laundries, warehouses are at risk.  According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2,830 workers suffered from heat-related illness and 37 died from heat stroke and related causes in 2015.

Date: Thursday, July 29th      Time: 3 – 4:30 p.m.

Join online here.Password: 929419

Or Telephone: (888) 844-9904 – Conference code: 688346


20th Annual London/Riley Memorial Golf Tournament

Date: Monday, August 2, 2021 Where: Cranston Country Club

More information: LondonRiley.org


ILSR 26th Annual Edward J. McElroy Golf Tournament

Date: Tuesday, August 17, 2021  Where: Valley Country Club

More information:Call ILSR at 401-463-9900


Teamsters, Local 251
SOLIDARITY 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.



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 LaborVision

Teamsters, Local 251 sit down with LaborVision to discuss their on ongoing strike at Johnson Brothers of RI. Through their discussion we learn about the company’s mistreatment of employees and it’s zero intention of bargaining in good faith. Johnson Brothers employees are being paid wages significantly lower than the industry average while being forced to pay outrageous out of pocket heath care costs. The company offers no retirement or 401k benefits and has cut back on truck staffing while truck loads and deliveries have increased.

Johnson Brothers employees have been on strike for over two months and the company continues to ignore their requests and concerns. There are several liquor stores still accepting Scab truck deliveries. Tune into this segment to learn how you can support these drivers. Find out which liquor stores near you are accepting scab deliveries and make sure you are shopping at the stores who are supporting these workers and REFUSING SCAB DELIVERIES. Check out the LaborVision social media pages to learn about which products you should be boycotted. Join your brothers and sisters on the picket lines and tune in to this segment to learn more about how you can support them.

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 3, 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.


Providence Journal: McKee signs bill setting highest staff-to-patient mandate in nation for RI nursing homes

PROVIDENCE — Gov. Dan McKee on Thursday signed into law a nursing-home staffing mandate that loomed large over the 2020 elections amid an aggressive drive by the Services Employees International Union to oust any state lawmaker unwilling to commit.

While the nursing-home industry warned legislators the mandate would result in closures, advocates of the legislation said it would prevent residents from having to endure long waits for care and boost the wages of currently overstretched staff.

“Today we take a step forward for staff, residents and their families,” McKee said during the signing ceremony outside the State House. “Stronger staffing standards and [more] funding for direct care staff will help raise the bar on resident care in our state.”

“I am so excited to see this day finally come,” said Adelina Ramos, a certified nursing assistant at the Genesis Healthcare nursing home in Greenville.

“More staff will be such a relief in our bodies, minds and spirits,” she said. “It will allow us to focus on better care … and by raising wages we will be able to attract more care-givers to the field who will know their work is valued and fairly compensated.” Read more here.


Watch the signing of the Nursing Home Staffing and Quality Care Act at the State House on May 27th.

Watch video here.


SEIU Local 1199 Facebook:

Last week, the Nursing Home Staffing and Quality Care Act became the law. This was the culmination of years of work by 1199 members, nursing home caregivers, family members, residents and community allies. We still have work to do to continue improving our nursing homes and winning the wages and benefits nursing home workers deserve but this is a MAJOR VICTORY in raising the bar for resident care.


United Way of RI: Reaching a Livable Wage, a Community First Conversation

Watch last week’s Community First Conversation about getting to a livable wage in Rhode Island. Leaders of our state’s labor, housing, and finance communities shared what they’re doing to increase income for Rhode Island workers and how you can advocate for a livable wage for Rhode Islanders. Host:
– Kyle Bennett | Director, Policy and Equity, United Way of Rhode Island Guests:
– George Nee | President, Rhode Island AFL-CIO
– Melina Lodge | Executive Director, Housing Network of Rhode Island
– Representative from Bank of America


Green Energy Consumers Alliance

Spring Meeting breakout 2021! Join Kai Salem of Green Energy Consumers Alliance and Patrick Crowley of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO for a 30 minute discussion of how labor & climate groups are working together in RI. After a short presentation, an excellent discussion highlights how we can ensure a just transition to a low-carbon future. Watch video here.


Providence Journal: RI Senate passes IGT contract deal; bill heads to McKee’s desk

The long gambling-business relationship between International Game Technology, the company formerly known as Twin River and Rhode Island is on the verge of getting 20 years longer.

The state Senate on Tuesday gave final General Assembly approval to legislation extending IGT’s role as lottery technology provider and giving Bally’s, formerly Twin River, a share of the slot machine market.

The final vote was 28 to 7. Four Democrats joined three Republicans in voting against the bill.

The bill now goes to Gov. Dan McKee, who has said he supports it.

In exchange for exclusive control of lottery technology through 2043, the legislation requires the IGT-led partnership to employ at least 1,100 people in Rhode Island and make a $27-million upfront payment to the state. Read more here.


Clovis Gregor is the RI AFL-CIO’s endorsed candidate for Pawtucket City Council, Ward 5. Clovis is also endorsed by the Democratic Ward 5 City Committee and supported by State Representatives Barros and Tobon and Senator Kallman who represent the district. By working as a team and having influence with current elected officials, Clovis will be an effective leader for the district. Clovis Gregor will be a hands-on City Councilman. He will lead the beginning of his term by fighting to expedite renovations at Baldwin School, Re-open the West Ave. Fire Station and increase safety in our neighborhoods. Clovis is running to serve the working families of Pawtucket. Election Day (June 8th) is only a week away! For the past month, Clovis and his team of volunteers have been knocking on doors and calling Pawtucket voters every day, getting the word out about the election. Now we need to make sure that Clovis’s supporters show up to cast their ballots. We need you to sign up to canvass or phone bank! We’ll be knocking doors and making calls every day until Election Day. If you have even just a spare two hours to volunteer this week, please contact Matt Gunnip (President, SEIU Local 580) at 401-486-7719.


Smithfield Firefighters IAFF Local 2050 Facebook:

Members of L2050 spent a couple hours today participating in the “Murph” with @ironcladfitnesscenter . This workout is in memory of Lt. Michael Murphy who was KIA during Operation Red Wing. The workout is consists of a 1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats and another 1 mile run to cap it off. Thank you to all the service men and women that have served as well as made the sacrifice for our freedoms. Great work by everyone that participated today.


Local 37 Ironworkers Facebook:

RI Welding at JP Morgan Bank Providence, RI

View pictures here.


National Education Association: We Need to Fix School Buildings Now, Educators Tell Congress

Throughout the pandemic, more Americans have become aware that our school infrastructure is decaying, and that failing HVAC systems, leaky facilities that breed mold, and hazardous old building materials disproportionately harm students of color, students with disabilities, and students in rural counties.

Every student and educator deserves a safe learning and work environment, and educators around the country are speaking out about the conditions they face and how it affects their students.Read more here.



UPCOMING EVENTS:

Today!

Register here.


Green Energy and Consumers Alliance:

A conversation on transportation & equity in RI via Zoom on June 8th at 6:30 p.m.


By addressing the historical harm caused by the transportation system to communities of color, Tribal communities and lower income communities, the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program has the potential to create a new system that is not just healthier and more resilient, but also more equitable.

But this can only happen if the voices of the people disproportionately impacted by the transportation system are heard in developing and implementing the program. Join our panel-led conversation to learn more about the TCI program and to explore how Rhode Island can center equity within its decision-making processes.

The conversation will be led by Vernice Miller-Travis of the Metropolitan Group. Panelists include: Marcela Betancur, Latino Policy Institute; Camilo Viveiros, George Wiley Center; Enrique Sanchez, Olneyville Neighborhood Association; Rochelle Lee, Kennedy Plaza Resilience Coalition; and Pat Crowley, RI AFL-CIO.

Register here.

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.


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
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: May 27, 2021

Press Conference: May 24, 2021

President Nee & Secretary-Treasurer Crowley joined APWU – The American Postal Workers Union local 387 President Jay Marrero and US Senator Jack Reed today to discuss elements of a plan to help strengthen transparency and accountability for Postal Service performance, keep the Postal Service operating in communities nationwide, and ensure it can better serve the American people. The bill will include technology upgrades allowing the Postal Service to develop a public online mail delivery performance dashboard so customers can view on-time delivery metrics by zip code each week.

U.S. Senator Jack Reed Website: Sen. Reed Helps Deliver New Bipartisan Reform Plan to Save the Post Office

Sen. Reed says a bipartisan group of Senate Democrats and Republicans has agreed on a plan to rescue the U.S. Postal Service, put it on path to financial sustainability, and ensure reliable mail service for RI

PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island citizens and businesses rely on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to deliver for them. But after the Trump Administration made operational changes to slow the mail, blocked needed funding for the USPS, and hobbled their finances, the Postal Service — which employs roughly 637,000 people, and which Americans count on for their prescriptions, paychecks, utility bills, and letters from loved ones — struggled to do its job.

Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed joined with local mail carriers outside the Providence Post Office on Corliss Street to demand action to save the USPS.

Senator Reed is backing a new, bipartisan postal reform agreement that will help save the Postal Service and put it on a stronger and more sustainable financial path. Read more here.


Press Release

For Immediate Release: May 21, 2021

The Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council Statement on the Providence City Council passing TSA Reform

The Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council (RIBCTC) thanks the members of the Providence City Council for their leadership and courage in passing long overdue tax stabilization agreement (TSA) reform. This ordinance, which had lengthy public review, is a victory for the hard-working, skilled men and women who build Providence every day and provides opportunities for minority and women-owned contractors, stronger apprenticeship standards, and a floor for family-supporting wages and benefits.

          Michael F. Sabitoni, RIBCTC President states, “It is finally time for the City of Providence to stand up for working men and women. TSAs can be a useful tool to fuel economic development, but over the years on many occasions they unfortunately have exploited low-wage labor, while boosting project profit. Many TSA-assisted projects are rampant with safety and wage violations, posing a threat to taxpayers and ruining their intended use, to spur economic growth for the entire City. Tax breaks and incentives for development should not come at the expense of hard-working tradespeople building those projects. We thank the City Council for standing strong with working families and we urge Mayor Elorza to sign this ordinance and support the working families of the city of Providence.”

          *The RIB&CTC is a federation of sixteen local trade unions with approximately 10-thousand union craftsmen and craftswomen in the construction industry. The members of the council, all of whom live in and around the Rhode Island area, have been involved in every major construction initiative-private or public-undertaken in and around the State of Rhode Island for nearly a century.

*For more information contact Michael F. Sabitoni at 401.331.9682 or msabitoni@local271.org        


Providence Journal: RI governor signs bill increasing minimum wage over the next 4 years

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee signed legislation on Thursday that will increase Rhode Island’s minimum wage to $15 over a four-year period.

“It’s just common sense, right? Especially as we’re dealing with coming out of the COVID-19, and knowing how important the people who are working in our small businesses are to our small businesses,” McKee remarked Thursday morning.

“If there was ever a time that we know that that’s true, it’s true,” he added

The state’s minimum wage has been $11.50 since last October when former Gov. Gina Raimondo signed a bill that raised wages by $1.

“Raising the minimum wage will benefit thousands of workers, and we need this progress now more than ever,” McKee said.

According to McKee, the R.I. Department of Labor and Training estimates the new law will raise wages for approximately 70,000 workers by 2022, and approximately 140,000 workers by 2025.

“The boost in wages will go back into our local community, supporting small businesses in all of the 39 cities and towns that we call home,” McKee added. Read more here.


SEIU 1199 Facebook:

BREAKING: The Rhode Island Senate just voted to pass The Nursing Home Staffing and Quality Care Act. This legislation, which has now passed the General Assembly, raises the bar on nursing home care and will improve the lives of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities while providing a pathway out of poverty for dedicated frontline caregivers who are disproportionately women of color. It would not have happened without the hard work and dedication of countless individuals over the years demanding that safe staffing become a reality. Now we need Governor McKee to sign this bill into LAW.


A well thought out Op-Ed in this week’s Projo pertaining to Tax Stabilization Agreements (TSAs).

Providence Journal Op-Ed: City must level tax breaks for developers

Vennicia Kingston and Jose Marcano Guest columnists Recently, state leaders named racism as a public health threat, and even closer to home, the City of Providence released a comprehensive report on systemic racism in our city. It’s encouraging that leaders are looking for ways to tackle historical inequities baked into our policies and underwritten by our tax dollars. One clear next step for Providence city councilors to take: ensure a more equitable Providence by reforming how the city approves tax breaks for developers.

The Providence Tax Stabilization Investment ordinance would standardize the processes for future tax incentives for developers. Along the way, the reform would simplify an often convoluted, opaque process and add needed transparency by clearly defining the requirements that all developers must follow to get a tax break from the people of Providence. The proposed legislation’s appeal is that it not only protects the city’s financial interests, but also encourages new development by creating a system that’s more predictable, measurable, and accountable. Read more here.


Tweets of the Week:


General Teamsters, Local 251 Facebook:

Picket lines are up 24 hours a day at: Johnson Brothers of RI, 120 Moscrip Ave., North Kingstown RI 02852 A year ago, they were heroes. They deserve better treatment!

Let Johnson Brothers know about your concerns: 651-649-5800 Corporate l 401-583-0050 Rhode Island.

View list of Gallo wines here.



Labor 411:

On Memorial Day, we remember the brave servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our great nation. The holiday and the accompanying weekend is an opportunity for friends and family to prepare for summer. Although the calendar says it may officially still be spring, once Memorial Day weekend arrives, vacations and summertime fun are just around the corner. That means barbecues, picnics, sunshine and lots of outdoor activities, following all of the appropriate health guidelines, of course. To get the party started, we have listed some of our favorite food and accessories. Even better, the items below are all made by ethical companies who treat their workers with respect and give them a voice on the job.

Happy Memorial Day and let’s all work together to build a stronger America.

View list here.

***Remember to purchase your food and beverages from Stop & Shop, Shaws and Eastside Marketplace where our union members work.



UPCOMING EVENTS:

TODAY @ 2 p.m.

United Way of Rhode Island

Getting to a Livable Wage in Rhode Island, A Community First Conversation Join us for a Community First Conversation about getting to a livable wage in Rhode Island. Leaders of our state’s labor, housing, and finance communities will share what they’re doing to increase income for Rhode Island workers and how you can advocate for a livable wage for Rhode Islanders. Host:
Kyle Bennett | Director, Policy and Equity, United Way of Rhode Island Guests:
George Nee | President, Rhode Island AFL-CIO
Melina Lodge | Executive Director, Housing Network of Rhode Island
– Representative from Bank of America

Register here.



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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
Tuesday @ 7pm
Thursday @ 8pm
Saturday @ 5pm
                               
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E-NEWS: April 8, 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.


AFT Twitter: “We’ve been out there every day working for our kids and proposing solutions.” –@Renny920 Amazing @PTU958 rally today to say #WeArePTU, demand education justice, and come #Together4PVD students, families, teachers, and staff.

Providence Teachers Union Community Outreach Facebook:

Video on April 6th Rally with educators and community in calling for education justice and an end to broken promises.

Watch Video


Pictures from Rally on April 6th at the State House


View pictures from Patrick Crowley’s Twitter here.

More pictures from Patrick Crowley’s Twitter here.

View pictures from Colleen Callahan’s Twitter here.


UFCW Local 328: Greenleaf Workers Vote to Unionize in Historic Election Victory

Portsmouth, RI – In a milestone moment, the employees at Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center in Portsmouth, Rhode Island became the first cannabis dispensary workers in the state to unionize after an overwhelming majority voted to join United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 328 (UFCW) by a vote of 21 to 1.

The newly organized team at Greenleaf includes budtenders, keyholders, online team members and delivery associates. Each day, these workers strive to serve the needs of their patients by providing medicine and guidance through the state’s legal medical marijuana program.

In the weeks leading up to the election, Greenleaf management hired out of state anti-union consultants who held mandatory meetings and distributed flyers to employees in the dispensary. Despite their attempts, the workers at Greenleaf remained united and displayed incredible support and solidarity. The tactics by the company only reaffirmed the workers’ strong commitment for forming their union and securing a better and brighter future for all at Greenleaf. Read more here.



Providence Business News: 5Q: Michael Sabitoni

President, Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council | Chairman, Providence Rises Together Coalition

What is the Providence Rises Together Coalition and why was it formed?

The Providence Rises Together Coalition includes a growing number of community groups, janitors, security guards, hotel workers, construction workers and other professionals advocating for reforms to city tax-stabilization agreements.

2 Why is the city’s existing tax stabilization agreement policy a problem? What are the top changes you would like to see made?

One of the key problems with the current TSA policy is developers are ignoring their reporting requirements. A 2017 audit uncovered a history of “widespread noncompliance” among the 54 developers who were TSA recipients, as well as reporting errors, wage theft, worker misclassification, missed administrative payments and dismal reporting practices.

The proposed reforms will create stronger reporting requirements; require investments in minority and women-owned businesses; start a career building apprenticeship program; and guarantee livable wage standards during and after ­construction.

Developers are pushing back against the proposed policy changes as making their projects too costly and say it will dissuade development. What is your response?

Those opposing these common-sense reforms to protect taxpayers and workers want all the benefits of TSAs with little accountability. Profiting at the expense of working families on projects financed with taxpayer money is simply bad public policy. Read more here.


Boston Globe: How could the American Jobs Plan improve Rhode Island’s infrastructure?

We ask 10 local experts how they’d like to see President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan put to use in the Ocean State

Remember Gina Raimondo? Rhode Island’s former governor is one of five cabinet secretaries who President Joe Biden has asked to help push his $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan, so it’s safe to say you’re going to being seeing a whole lot more of her on television.

Since she might not have as much time to read letters from her neighbors about pot holes and sidewalks, Globe Rhode Island asked a bunch of super smart people to quickly explain how they’d like to improve Rhode Island’s infrastructure if the American Jobs Plan becomes law.Read more here.


1199 SEIU Rhode Island Facebook:

Butler members Sticker and #PurpleMask Day. Health care heroes deserve a #faircontract NOW! #UnionStrong

View pictures here.



UPCOMING EVENTS:

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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.


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).

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Thursday @ 8pm
Saturday @ 5pm
                               
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e-news: february 18, 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.


Seven questions.
One answer: YES

This spring, Rhode Islanders have a chance to carve out our own path to recovery by voting for better schools, clean drinking water, safer roads and bridges, and jobs that sustain our families.

On or before March 2nd, 2021, vote YES for Rhode Island’s future.

Learn more here.


Providence Business News: Special election to decide fate of capital improvement projects

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island’s voters have been tasked with deciding whether the state will spend $642 million on seven proposed capital improvement projects.

The total amount for financing the capital projects includes $241.9 million in interest, based on 20-year loans and an interest rate of 5%. The principal cost for the projects is $400 million.

On March 2, voters will cast their ballots in the special referenda election, which will authorize the state to borrow money through bonds and temporary notes to finance the capital projects.

The Rhode Island Coalition hosted a virtual meeting on Zoom on Wednesday to provide information about the seven referenda questions. The coalition urged voters to vote “yes” on all seven of the bond questions, emphasizing an “urgency” in investing in the state’s projects for economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.


PRESS RELEASE: Teamsters

Shred-it Workers in Rhode Island Join Teamsters

Drivers and Helpers in Pawtucket Choose Union Representation with Local 251

(PAWTUCKET, R.I.) – Drivers and helpers for Shred-it in Pawtucket, RI voted overwhelmingly, 13-2, to join Teamsters Local 251 in Woonsocket on Friday. The 20-worker unit overcame an aggressive anti-union campaign by management throughout the organizing drive.

“We are proud of what we accomplished in this election. Despite the company’s efforts to divide and scare us, we stood strong to win a voice on the job,” said Josh Linton, a Shred-it driver who played a key role in the unionization effort. “We knew better than to fall for the company’s lies. I applaud my co-workers for sticking together.”

A leading voice in the worker-led organizing committee, Linton was terminated illegally in retaliation for his strong support to form a union with the Teamsters. Local 251 is actively working for his reinstatement and has filed two additional unfair labor practice (ULP) charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for the company’s attempts to misinform, intimidate and retaliate against workers during the organizing campaign. Read more here.


UFCW Local 328 Cannabis Division Facebook:

Exciting news!!! The hardworking team at Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center located in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, have filed for their union election! This group of budtenders, keyholders, online orderers and delivery associates strive to provide the best possible service for their patients. They are proud to call each other a family and are organizing with UFCW Local 328 to win a collective voice on the job to strengthen benefits and secure important workplace protections. On Tuesday, February 16th, a delegation of workers delivered a signed letter and photo collage to management, requesting the company to voluntarily recognize their union. An overwhelming majority of workers have shown support for unionizing. While we wait to hear a response from the company, a union election has been simultaneously filed. We call on the company to do what’s right and to respect the wishes of their employees to organize. The delivered letter from the workers includes, “We collectively made this decision because we love working at Greenleaf, and want to continue to be able to provide excellent services for our patients. We know that it is our hard work and drive to go above and beyond for our patients, and for each other, that has made it possible for us to set this compassion center apart from other medicinal facilities around the Northeast. Through our partnership with UFCW, we know we will have a stronger voice at our workplace, which will benefit all employees, patients and our company.” View more pictures here.


Central Falls of R.I. Facebook:
There are true heroes in our Central Falls community. Private Ryan Griffin and Battalion Chief Ken Brousseau with ourCity of Central Falls Fire Department are two of them.
On Sunday, February 7 at 1am, one of our off-duty firefighters, Private Ryan Griffin, was driving to work a night shift at the fire station, and passed by a house on Dexter Street. He immediately noticed unusual smoke coming from a home, pulled over, and called in a fire. As he got closer, Private Griffin could see an orange glow and fire rolling across the second-floor ceiling. He noticed footprints in the fresh snow, indicating someone may be home, and soon heard a young female’s scream for help. He spotted her in the second-floor window, and ran to the back of the home to try to make an entry, but fire at the doorway made it impossible.
Private Griffin knew there wasn’t much time. The young female was too terrified to climb to the fire escape, and scared to leave her dog. Private Griffin’s training and calm demeanor helped calm the young woman in her extreme distress. He convinced her to throw her dog safely onto a snowbank. He then coached her to squeeze through the tiny smoke-filled window onto the fire escape, where she then jumped into his arms to safety. The fire department soon arrived and put out the home’s fire. Read more here.


Building Futures Facebook:

**Opportunity Alert!** Building Futures’ Construction Pre-Apprenticeship program is recruiting for our next class! Pick up an application from Building Futures, 1 Acorn Street, Providence, 02903, Monday -Friday from 9 am – 4 pm February 22nd – March 12th. Learn more at http://www.bfri.org/orientation-dates/
“The work is interesting- especially if you have the bug for knowing how stuff is put together- working with your hands. If you’re a hands-on learner and hands-on worker. It is definitely something for your future- 100%. I’m already making more money than I did in 2 years working at my last job.” – Jessica Joyce, Apprentice Bricklayer, Local 3


The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Twitter:

Right-to-work originated in the 1940s as a way to maintain Jim Crow in the South. By passing the PRO Act, we could override right-to-work laws all across the country all at once. Let’s put right-to-work for less into the dustbin of history where it belongs once and for all.

Watch video here.



UPCOMING EVENTS:

Sign-up 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

In case you missed it, check out the latest episode of LaborVision on our website LaborVisionRI.org. A converstation with LISC Rhode Island’s, Jay O’Grady and Erin Cox, along with Jenni and Dennis Deloach from Joyful Hearts Child Care Center. The group discusses an important bond question Rhode Islanders will see on their ballots March 2, 2021. Question 5 is a $15 million bond authorization question which will capitalize the Early Childhood Care and Education Capital Fund. With host Erica Hammond, the group will discuss the existing state of childcare facilities in RI what this bond would mean for not only care providers but most importantly, the young Rhode Islanders they work with every day.

Rhode Islanders can vote early, in person, February 10 – March 1 or vote on Election Day, March 2, 2021 at your designated polling location. Find your polling location at vote.ri.gov.

Next week on LaborVision…

Don’t miss next week’s segment, Erica Hammond sits down with United Way of Rhode Island’s CEO Cortney Nicolato. At the start of the new year United Way of RI introduced its LIVE UNITED 2025 strategic plan. This plan will guide the organization for the next five years from 2020 until 2025. Nicolato highlights the ways 2020 forced them to take a step back, examine the work they’ve been doing for 50 years, and make a conscious effort to improve. The pair will discuss the importance of explicitly addressing systemic inequity in their fight against poverty throughout the state and exactly what their organization is doing to make this happen.

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


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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                                                    
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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:

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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:


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