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ENews – 03/08/2018

Join Us In Honoring Labor Leader Scott Molloy

Dear Sisters, Brothers, and Friends of Labor,

This Saturday, noted labor activist and historian of Rhode Island,Irish- American,& labor history, Scott Molloy, will be honored for his life time of service to Rhode Island’s working class by serving as the Grand Marshal for the 2018 Providence St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The Rhode Island Labor History Society, along with many Rhode Island labor unions, will be marching in the parade. We welcome all members and supporters to join in the fun on this special day.

If you would like to march with us in the parade, please assemble at the Rhode Island AFL-CIO headquarters, 194 Smith Street, Providence, between 10:30 and 11:00 AM, this Saturday, March 10th. The parade kicks off at 12:00 PM sharp.

Thank you, and hope to see you this Saturday!

In solidarity,

Pat Crowley
Vice President
Rhode Island Labor History Society

Equal Times: US public employees mobilize as Supreme Court weighs union rights

An impending US Supreme Court decision threatens the right of public employees to union representation and collective bargaining, and it is a decision that will “hit every public-sector worker across this country,” says Corey Upchurch, a school bus driver for special needs children in Washington DC.

“Just imagine if money is taken off your table, or you’re not able to send your child to college or you not able to retire because you don’t have a pension,” says Upchurch, a father of three children, ages 16, seven and five. “That’s what this case is trying to do.” -READ MORE

New York Times: West Virginia Raises Teachers’ Pay to End Statewide Strike

The statewide teachers’ strike that shuttered West Virginia schools for almost two weeks appeared all but over on Tuesday when Gov. James C. Justice signed a bill to give teachers and other state employees a 5 percent pay raise.

A crowd of teachers wearing the red T-shirts that have come to symbolize their strike cheered as Mr. Justice, a Republican, signed the pay raise bill in a theater on the Capitol grounds. The bill had been passed unanimously earlier in the day by both houses of the Republican-controlled Legislature. -READ MORE

Teamsters: Workers at DHL Overwhelmingly Approve New National Contract

Workers at DHL Express have overwhelmingly voted to approve a new national Master Agreement that provides historic wage and standard of living protections through significant annual wage increases, benefit contribution increases, and a strong cost-of-living adjustment clause.

The Teamsters negotiated wage increases totaling $5 per hour over five years with full retroactivity to April 1, 2017. These are record annual hourly increases for full-time DHL Teamsters. In addition, the agreement provides contribution increases totaling up to $6 per hour to maintain and protect current healthcare and pension benefits. Workers also ratified more than 28 riders. -READ MORE

New York Times: Bricklayers Think They’re Safe From Robots. Decide for Yourself

The bricklayers work with ruthless efficiency, scraping and slathering mortar brick after brick, tamping each down to ensure everything is level. By the end of a single hour, with thousands of spectators watching, they have built a stretch of wall that would be a day’s work for a mason building at a normal pace.

“I’m on the edge of crazy when I’m laying brick,” said Matt Cash of Charlotte, N.C., a defending champion of the Spec Mix Bricklayer 500, the world’s largest competition of bricklayers. -READ MORE


March is Women’s History Month. The American Labor Studies Center’s website includes excellent resources for you to read and pass along to members. WEBSITE

MSNBC: West Virginia teachers strike: State lawmakers reach deal on pay raise

Lawmakers reached a tentative deal to give striking teachers a 5-percent pay raise. It will end the state-wide strike that kept students out of class for nine days. NBC’s Ron Allen speaks with protesters at the state capitol in Charleston, West Virginia. -WATCH VIDEO


64,000: That’s how many good-paying jobs in America’s steel industry have been lost since 2000 because of predatory steel practices by our nation’s trading partners, which also has resulted in the loss of nearly one-quarter of America’s steel-making capacity.


Providence St. Patrick’s Day Parade

When: Saturday, March 10
Where: Parade steps off promptly at 12:00 p.m. from the corner of Smith St. and Wyndham Ave. in Providence, RI
Details: Our friend, great union leader and labor educator and organizer, Scott Molloy, will be the Grand Marshall. Please join us in honoring Scott and the Rhode Island labor movement by marching in the parade with your organization’s banner. To get assigned a spot in the parade with your group, or to volunteer to march with the RI AFL-CIO banner or the Working Rhode Island banner, contact Secretary-Treasurer Maureen Martin at MMartin@riaflcio.org. Complete the form that needs to be returned by March 1. DOWNLOAD FORM


Fourth Annual Solidarity Ride

Hosted by IBEW Local 99 and Local 2323

When: Sunday, May 20th; Registration starts at 9 a.m.; Ride starts at 11:00 a.m.
Where: 22 Amflex Drive, Cranston
Details: 100% net proceeds will go directly to Veterans Honor Flight, RI Military Organization, and RI Chapter American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Plenty of family events for non-riders: Cookout, Snacks, Live Band, Face Painting, etc. MORE INFORMATION


1908 – Thousands of New York needle trades workers demonstrate for higher wages, shorter workday, and end to child labor. The demonstration became the basis for International Women’s Day.

1968 – United Farm Workers leader César Chávez breaks a 24-day fast, by doctor’s order, at a mass in Delano, California’s public park. Several thousand supporters are at his side, including Sen. Robert Kennedy. Chavez called it “a fast for non-violence and a call to sacrifice.”



An informational picket at the United Methodist Home in East Providence by SEIU 1199NE is the site of the first segment of tonight’s program, as many local members of the labor and political communities came out to show their support for the workers who have been abused, threatened and retaliated against for quite some time now. RI AFL-CIO President, George Nee spoke on behalf of workers and local President, Patrick Quinn gave an impassioned speech to all present; and local labor leaders like the Teamsters Paul Santos and EPEA’s Val Lawson offered words of encouragement from both the public and private sectors. However, the most moving comments came from Kheanna Hart, a delegate and former employee, who was fired for retaliation after finding out the nursing home had been cheating members on their paychecks for quite some time.
And in the second half of the program, Rachel Flum of the Economic Progress Institute and Shannon Carroll of the Genesis Center return to expand on the importance of childcare assistance when trying to train and develop an urban workforce for the 21st Century. The necessity of having qualified childcare assistants to care for children while parents learn a new language or the skills needed to compete, and why employers and all stakeholders should be more interested in paying more and retaining for their specialized services, instead of having them leave for higher-paying jobs in retail or food service industries where few skills are needed.