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Labor Day Events 2017

Labor Day is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race or nation.

Samuel Gompers

As we celebrate and relax with our family and friends this Labor Day, please take a few minutes to reflect and remember the struggles working people have endured to achieve gains in the workplace and society we enjoy today.

Read about the Saylesville Strike at the Rhode Island Labor History Society http://rilaborhistory.org/The_Great_Textile_Strike_1934.html

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Labor Day Events

Rhode Island Labor History Society Remembrance of the Saylesville Massacre
When: Labor Day September 4th @ 10am
Where: Moshassuck Cemetery- 978 Lonsdale Ave, Central Falls
Details: The Rhode Island Labor History Society remembers the 1934 Textile Strike, when thousands of factory workers across the country went on strike to protest poor conditions and labor practices. In Central Falls, a major textile producer at the time, demonstrators were met with police and military. Four Rhode Island workers lost their lives- Charles Gorcynski, William Blackwood, Jude Courtemanche, and Leo Rouette. This year’s speech is being given by Marti Rosenberg Health Care Advocate Labor Day Memorial Speech: “Reflecting on the Past – Organizing for the Future”

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Labor Day Anti-Racist March and Rally
When: Labor Day September 4th @ 12:30pm
Where: Burnside Park Providence
Details: In light of recent events in Charlottesville, Boston, and throughout the country, local Rhode Island labor unions, political organizations, and citizens will be joining together this Labor Day for an anti-racist march and rally in Providence. In addition to highlighting the role of the labor movement in developing a freer and more equitable society, this event will focus specifically on the important role that organized labor, workers, and concerned citizens have to play in the ongoing struggle against racism in our society.

9 Things You Need to Know About the Role of Unions in 2017

Union Advantage

via AFL-CIO Now Blog

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute takes a deep look at the role and importance of unions as the key avenue for working people to come together and negotiate for an expansion of their rights and freedoms. Here are nine things you need to know about the state of the labor movement in 2017.

Continue reading 9 Things You Need to Know About the Role of Unions in 2017

Over 1,000 Union Members Support Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State at Providence Bruins Union Night

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L-R  Michael F. Sabitoni,  Pres., RI Building & Construction Trades Council; Taylor Millspaugh, BBBSOS Development & Communications Coordinator; Scott Duhamel, Secretary-Treasurer, RI Building & Construction Trades Council; Big Brothers and Big Sisters with their ‘Littles’

More than a thousand proud union members and their families from the Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council (RIB&CTC) cheered on the Providence Bruins Sunday while supporting the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State (BBBSOS) at the same time!  It was all part of the 7th Annual Rhode Island Building Trades Hockey Night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence.  Two dollars from every ticket purchased was donated to the BBBSOS.  During a special, first period presentation, RIBCTC President Michael F. Sabitoni and Secretary-Treasurer Scott Duhamel presented a check in the amount of $2,412 to BBBSOS Representatives. Families received free P-Bruins hats and enjoyed great lower level seats.  Not only was it an exciting time for Building Trade families, but also Little Brothers and Little Sisters who were able to spend a great night out with their adult mentors.

“We are grateful for the generous support from the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council and the Rhode Island AFL-CIO,” stated BBBSOS Executive Director Katje Afonseca.  “This amazing partnership has allowed us to pair disadvantaged children in with a caring, adult mentor who can serve as a strong, adult role model throughout their young lives.”

The Building Trades sold more than 1,200 tickets to the April 9th game. The annual P-Bruins Hockey event is only one of many fundraisers the RIB&CTC has helped organize for nearly a decade, raising tens of thousands of dollars for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“I am always very humbled and proud to see so many of our dedicated union craftsmen and women come out to support this vital organization,” expressed Mr. Sabitoni.  “We know the importance of giving back to the communities where we work and raise our families.  Collectively and individually we have the wonderful opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of children who are in need of a Big Brother or Big Sister.”

Joint Statement by Rhode Island AFL-CIO President George Nee and Secretary-Treasurer Maureen Martin on President Donald Trump’s Immigration Ban

President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrants and refugees is an affront to the values we hold dear and true as Americans. All people should be outraged at Trump’s actions, but we as Rhode Islanders should be especially offended. Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams on principles of religious freedom and welcoming with open arms all oppressed people no matter their background.

The Rhode Island AFL-CIO leadership calls on President Trump to immediately rescind his executive order. One of the abiding ideals of the labor movement has been, and always will be, an injury to one is an injury to all- Donald Trump’s executive order is a grievous injury to the millions of immigrants and refugees who, over generations, have come to America seeking a better life and in turn have made America great. The Rhode Island labor movement stands in solidarity with all who oppose Trump’s executive order.

That Trump’s order was signed on Holocaust Remembrance Day should be a stark and sobering reminder of past eras when immigrants and refugees were banned from America based on their religious views. May we never forget the words of German Protestant minister, and leader of the church’s opposition to the Nazis, Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out –

because I was not a communist;


Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out –

because I was not a trade unionist;


Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –

because I was not a Jew;


Then they came for me –

and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Rhode Island CLUW Participates in Providence Women’s March

Providence, RI- On Saturday, January 21st dozens of members and supporters of the Rhode Island Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) gathered at the Rhode Island AFL-CIO Headquarters  before marching to the Rhode Island State House to join in with the Rhode Island Women’s March.

The Rhode Island Women’s March was organized to coincide with the Women’s March on Washington and was one of hundreds of sister marches across the world. Nearly 5 million people participated in marches, over 7,000 in Providence alone.

The Women’s March was part of a worldwide protest in support of women’s rights and other causes including immigration reform, health care reform, protection of the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial justice, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights. The rallies were aimed at Donald Trump, the recently inaugurated President of the United States, and especially at his statements and positions some regarded as anti-women or in other ways reprehensible. It is the largest one-day protest in U.S. history.

IBEW 2323 Stand Out Sunday 5/22

Join our IBEW 2323 brothers and sisters who are on strike against Verizon. For almost a month 800 Rhode Islanders have been out of work and taking a stand against corporate greed. Verizon workers from Massachusetts to Virginia are on strike because management refuses to back off its demands that would destroy good jobs. Verizon is a stunningly profitable and greedy corporation that cares nothing about consumers and workers. Their only objective is to line the pockets of executives and drive up their Wall Street share price. The company’s proposals would gut job security protections, contract out more of our work, shutter call  centers and offshore the jobs to Mexico and the Philippines, and freeze our pensions at 30 years of service.
When:  Sunday, May 22nd @ 10:30am
Where: Verizon Wireless – 399 Bald Hill Road,  Warwick

 

Steven Murphy: 450 Providence jobs are at risk

Imagine if news broke that a major corporation was going to send 450 good-paying Rhode Island jobs overseas. This corporation also happens to be one of the most profitable in the United States.   

Our politicians would point fingers. Citizens would shake their heads about the outsourcing of America. More working people would be scrambling to find ways to support their loved ones.   

That’s a scenario we’ve seen too often in Rhode Island, but it’s just what Verizon executives want to do. It’s a big reason why the members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2323, which I proudly represent, are on strike against Verizon, along with nearly 39,000 other IBEW and Communications Workers of America members up and down the East Coast.   

Verizon currently employs 450 of our members at its call center in Providence. They’re good jobs. Our members work hard and earn enough to raise a family and give their children and others counting on them a better life.   They are the first voice the customer hears if he or she has a concern or question. It’s a highly technical job where employees often must diagnose and fix complex problems during the course of a call.   

But Verizon is pushing us to accept a proposal that encourages the outsourcing of these jobs to one of its many overseas call centers in the Philippines, Costa Rica, Mexico, India and the Dominican Republic.   

We also represent 400 wireline installation, repair technicians and clerical workers who are facing similar challenges. Verizon is proposing to send technicians hours away from their homes for work, where they could be assigned for up to two months or more.   There are three things to keep in mind when it comes to Verizon’s spin.   

First, we’ve already shown a willingness to compromise. We’ve agreed to millions of dollars of givebacks during current negotiations when it comes to health insurance, yet Verizon wants to add up to $300 per month in health-care costs for 80,000 retirees living on a fixed income.   

Second, Verizon is wildly successful. It ranks 15th on the Fortune 500. It makes nearly $1.8 billion in profit per month. You read that right. That isn’t revenue, it’s profit. Adding insult to injury, CEO Lowell McAdam earns $18.6 million dollars per year. For perspective, that is $8,600 per hour.   

Third, Verizon gets enormous breaks in our complicated tax system. Research by Citizens for Tax Justice found that Verizon’s average federal tax rate during the last 15 years is 12.4 percent. It paid no federal taxes during five of those years, tax revenue that could be invested here in Rhode Island.   

Instead of taking its enormous profits and partnering with the communities it serves, Verizon is trying to reward its executives and stockholders on the backs of its employees.   

Unlike Verizon, we are part of the community. We are your neighbors, and our children attend the same schools and events. Our wish is to keep our jobs in the community in which we live.   

So please, tell Verizon to sit down and negotiate in good faith. Let your elected officials know you’re disgusted with Verizon’s actions.   

It not only will help our members, but all of Rhode Island’s working families. It’s time to stand up to corporate greed.   We’re thankful for your support. We look forward to getting back to work and serving you.  

 —Steven Murphy is the business manager of IBEW Local 2323.