providence Business news (11/23/2018)


World Peace Prize Comes to Rhode Island George Nee, President, Rhode Island AFL-CIO


PROVIDENCE RI. Thursday, November 15, 2018—The World Peace Prize has come to the smallest State in America.

Presently, the World Peace Prize— founded in 1989 and headquartered in Seoul, South Korea—is focusing on the huge contribution the Labor Movement has made to equality, justice and peace, not only nationally but globally.

And on Thursday, November 15, the World Peace Prize," Roving Ambassador for Peace," was presented to George Nee, noted Labor Leader, and President of Rhode Island AFL-CIO.

The presentation ceremony was chaired by Barbara Flaherty, Judge and Corporate Manager, World Peace Prize and Executive Vice President of the Capitol Hill-base Irish National Caucus. She welcomed the large turn-out in the Rhode Island Convention Center and introduced both Fr. Sean McManus, Chief Judge, World Peace Prize, and President of the Irish National Caucus.

In his remarks, Fr. Mc Manus said:" As new Judges based in the Nation's Capital, we wanted to make a signature innovation to the World Peace Prize: to squarely place the American Labor Movement in the category of those who work for peace. Labor leaders who spend their entire lives working in solidarity for justice for working men and women are indeed working for peace—not only nationally but also globally. Hence, Labor leaders are eminently qualified to be candidates for the World Peace Prize of "Roving Ambassador for Peace. Of course, a memorable quote by Pope John Paul II, from one of his great Encyclicals helped us to make the case. Reflecting on the maxim "peace is the fruit of justice," the pope declared: “Today, one could say, with the same exactness and the same power of biblical inspiration peace is the fruit of solidarity.” (“Solicitude for social concerns”). 39. 1988.

President Nee expressed deep appreciation for receiving the Prize, and great humility, stating he was accepting it on behalf of all members of the AFL-CIO in Rhode Island. He also paid homage to his "patron Saint," the late famed Cesar Chavez, for whom he worked in earlier days. According to Fr. McManus, "George Nee is the quintessential, totally authentic Labor leader. He is a most impressive man. Cesar Chavez would be proud of him, and so should the entire Labor Movement in America."

As is now, the practice of the Irish National Caucus at the end of these events, the Irish American Peace Prize is also presented to a worthy recipient—one who has shown steadfastness in standing up for equality, justice and peace in Ireland. This time the recipient was George McLaughlin of Providence. Mr. Mc Laughlin is a longtime campaigner for justice in The North/Northern Ireland. He is most recently known for his good work in arranging to erect a tombstone in Philadelphia for Robert Cranston and Thomas Darragh, two of the Fenian heroes to escaped from the Australian penal colony on the good ship Catalpa in 1876.

RI Labor leader to receive world peace prize

George Nee, President, Rhode Island AFL-CIO

 CAPITOL HILL. August 28, 2018—For the first time  a Rhode Island  Labor leader will be honored with the World Peace Prize.

The  World Peace Prize Awarding Council (WPPAC) has announced that George  Nee president of the Rhode Island  AFL-CIO,  will receive the  prestigious prize of "Roving Ambassador for Peace."

The  presentation ceremony will take place on Thursday, November 15, 2018,  2:30-4:30 PM, Rhode Island Convention Center, 1 Sabin  Street. Providence, RI 02903.

World Leader  and Master Planner, Rev. Dr. Han Min Su, founded the World Peace  Prize in Seoul, South Korea, in 1989. Dr. Han is a Presbyterian  Minister.

Dr. Han said: “Our Washington office,  headed by Fr. Sean Mc Manus and Barbara Flaherty of the Irish National  Caucus, nominated the Honorable George Nee. Our 14-member Board of  International and Interfaith judges unanimously selected Mr.Nee. Our  Board is comprised of representatives of the world’s nine major  religions: Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism,  Catholicism, Protestantism, Russian Orthodox, and Zoroastrianism. We  congratulate Mr. Nee while also knowing that his acceptance honors our  noble idea and mission of world peace.”

Fr.  Sean Mc Manus — President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National  Caucus and Chief Judge of the World Peace Prize Awarding Council  (WPPAC)— said: “I have the honor of being the Chief Judge of the World  Peace Prize Awarding Council (headquartered in Seoul, South Korea).

We  were pleased  to be able to propose George Nee because of the intrinsic  link between justice and peace: peace is, indeed, the fruit of justice.  Labor Leaders who spend their entire lives working in solidarity  for justice for working men and women are, indeed , working for  peace—not only nationally but also globally. Hence, Labor leaders — and  George Nee in particular—are eminently qualified to be candidates for  the World Peace Prize of Roving Ambassador for Peace. Furthermore,  our Peace Prizes encourage members of the Labor Movement to positively  think of themselves as not just  fighters for justice but as peace  builders as well. I believe this gives an important dimension to Labor's  self-understanding, self-image, and self-identity. And, I urge all  members of the Labor Movement to embrace it —as I know  George Nee  does. So, too, does the national president of the AFL-CIO, the great  Richard L. Trumka."

Mr. Nee  said: “I am deeply  honored and humbled to receive this prestigious prize. The recognition  by the World Peace Prize Awarding Council that there is an inextricable  link between the work of the Labor movement in its historic struggle for  economic justice for all workers and peace will encourage increased  activities for a more peaceful and just world.”




Supreme Court decision hurts Rhode Island families


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States today issued a ruling in a case that abandons decades of common sense precedent. 

The case, Janus v. American Federation of County, State Municipal Employees, Council 31, overturns sound jurisprudence that was established more than 40 years ago in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. The unanimous ruling in Abood had allowed states and localities the freedom to choose whether all public employees should pay their fair share for the employment representation they receive.

“The history of the AFL-CIO demonstrates that we have fought through far more adversity than one Supreme Court decision. The AFL-CIO is an organization of unions and by its very nature we depend on cooperation and collective action. This court decision presents a challenge in the short term, but in the long term we will draw on our successful history of labor organizing to grow even stronger,” said Rhode Island AFL-CIO President George Nee. As stated eloquently by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, “we have never depended on any politician or judge to decide our fate and we sure aren’t about to start now.” 



The Woonsocket Little League Scores with a State-of-the-Art Concession Stand and Press Box Built by the Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council, its Union Partners including Gilbane Construction and the Pawtucket Red Sox.  

It was an extra special Opening Day at Napolean “Nap” Lajoie Field for the Woonsocket Little League this April.  Not only was the weather picture perfect, so was the ballpark with its brand new addition - a 600-square-foot concession stand and press box worth an estimated $300,000. The official unveiling of the facility took place during a ribbon cutting ceremony following the little league’s player parade and ceremonial first pitch.

“On behalf of the City of Woonsocket, we are grateful for the hard work, commitment, and in-kind services and contributions from the Rhode Island Building Trades, the Pawtucket Red Sox, Gilbane Construction and many other union friends who have made the vision for a concession stand a reality,” expressed Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt. “We could not have done it without the altruism of Building Baseball. This facility will allow us to host tournaments so that players, parents, coaches, family and friends from all over the region can enjoy the game of baseball right here in our beautiful city.”  

Building Baseball is a charitable partnership between the Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council (RIB&CTC) and the Pawtucket Red Sox to further advance the revitalization of Little League fields and Babe Ruth ballparks in urban and underserved communities. This was Building Baseball’s first community project, with the concession stand dedicated in honor of the late, great Ben Mondor – the legendary Pawtucket Red Sox owner. The baseball icon was raised, schooled and began his career in Woonsocket’s Mills before turning the Pawsox from a bankrupt minor league baseball team into one of the most successful in baseball’s Triple-A International League. 

“We know the positive impact the game of baseball has on youth and the life lessons it teaches,” stated Michael F. Sabitoni, President of the RIB&CTC and Business Manager of the Rhode Island Laborers’ District Council. “This is one of the reasons we formed Building Baseball with the Pawtucket Red Sox - a vital, philanthropic institution in our state. Our highly skilled union tradesmen and women are proud to give back to the communities where we work and raise our families – a most basic tenet in the labor movement.”


Signatory Contractor Gilbane Construction was instrumental in building the concession stand with Ryan Brennan serving as its project manager. During the ribbon cutting, a plaque was also presented to the Mayor recognizing the many union contractors, companies and organizations who donated resources, materials and/or in-kind services for the project. The Building Baseball group broke ground for the concession stand in the fall and had it completed in record time for opening day.

Sabitoni added, “It has been a great experience working with Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt who is deeply passionate about her city and the youth in her community. We congratulate Woonsocket and hope all who play or come to watch a game here will enjoy the facility for many, many years to come.”


The Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council Generates Record Funds for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State at its Eighth Annual Providence Bruins Hockey Night. 


     Enjoying a Providence Bruins Game with fellow union members and their families has become an annual and most important tradition for the Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council and the RI AFL-CIO. Not only is it a great night out, but it’s also an essential way for local tradesmen and women to help support the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State. (BBBSOS) 


    For the eighth year in a row, the Rhode Island Building Trades, along with its signatory contractors and partners, including the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, has hosted its annual Providence Bruins-RI Building Trades Hockey Night in support of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State. Sunday’s game against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms raised a record $2,350.00!   More than 1,200 tickets were sold, with $2 from every ticket going directly to the BBBSOS. More than a hundred BBBSOS mentors and their ‘littles’ also enjoyed the exciting hockey game, with great lower level seats and a free P-Bruins hat.  


     A special check presentation took place on the ice during the game’s first intermission, paying tribute to the hardworking men and women of the Rhode Island Building Trades, the RI AFL-CIO and their support of BBBSOS. Together they have raised more than $100-thousand dollars through various fundraising events.


      “Our philanthropic union craftsmen and women care deeply about the charities they help support and the children and families who are served by these vital organizations,” stated Michael F. Sabitoni, RIBTC President. “They are our neighbors - our friends - our children’s friends - where we work and raise our own families. Collectively we know we can make a significant impact in helping to secure necessary funds BBBSOS depends upon every year in order to operate. That’s why this annual P-Bruins game has become an ever-growing tradition among the building trades and the RI AFL-CIO that we all look forward to.”  


     “We can’t thank the Rhode Island Building Trades and the entire labor community enough for their generous support hosting this successful fundraising event year after year,” emphasized Katje Alfonseca, BBBSOS Executive Director.  



Providence, RI – On Monday, April 9, 2018, the Executive Board of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO unanimously voted to endorse U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman David N. Cicilline, Congressional District 1, and Congressman James R. Langevin, Congressional District 2 for re-election to their respective seats in the United States Congress.

Following the vote by the Executive Board, Rhode Island AFL-CIO president George H. Nee, stated, “The Rhode Island AFL-CIO’s 80,000 members and retirees proudly stand behind Senator Whitehouse, Congressman Cicilline and Congressman Langevin’s 2018 re-election bid for United States Congress.. For many years, these three members of our federal delegation have proven themselves with their tireless commitment to workers rights, as well as social and economic justice for all.”

Build RI Media Release

Press release from Build Rhode Island challenging Republican National  Committeeman Steve Frias and his erroneous financial depiction of the City of Pawtucket's Ballpark at Slater Mill.  (March 1, 2018)

Pawtucket Red Sox Survey

Build RI, a local labor/management construction trade organization released a survey they conducted to determine the support for a new ballpark for the Pawtucket Red Sox. (February 26, 2018)