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Common Ground VOLUME 1, NUMBER 2

Bring Home Someone Special for Valentine’s Day.

See Page 6 & 13 FEBRUARY 2010

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hendricken student is pro prospect

WARWICK – William J. Walker IV is among an elite group of Bishop Hendricken High School athletes: he is one of only a handful of baseball players to start on the varsity team as a freshman.

William “Billy” J. Walker IV of Bishop Hendricken High School stands on second base after hitting one of his three doubles in a game against Cranston West High School last year.

“He’s an exceptional talent in baseball,” said Hendricken Principal Jay Brennan of Walker, explaining not even Major Leaguer Rocco Baldelli started varsity while a freshman at Hendricken. Walker is the son of William J. Walker III and his wife Jane. They live in Smithfield and William III is a union card carrying employee of the community’s Department of Public Works. William IV hopes he becomes a member of

a union, too, the Major League Baseball Players Association. If he continues playing like he did his freshman year, there is a distinct possibility the dream will turn into a reality. The 16-year-old Walker was one of Hendricken’s starting catchers and designated hitters. He batted a whopping .415, hit a home run and drove in 19 runs during his first year on the team – a squad that went 27-1 and captured the Division 1 state title. That was the school’s second consecutive state baseball crown, and Walker is hoping the team can make it a three-peat in 2010. Colleges that have already shown an interest in Walker include Florida State, Vanderbilt University, University of Miami and San Diego State. Florida is his first choice at the moment because of the atmosphere and gorgeous facilities there. In addition, scouts from the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners have watched him play and practice, leaving behind their business cards and telling the standout to call them with any questions. The young Walker “just wants to keep on getting better, and hopefully more teams will be interested” in him. To improve, Walker works out at the Rhode Island Baseball Institute in Warwick for 20 hours per week Monday through Saturday, and then hits Extra Innings, another training facility in Warwick, on Sundays. That dedication will likely

lead to more invitations such as the one extended by Florida State’s head baseball coach to participate in a super skills clinic there or from tournament organizers to play on summer select teams with fellow standouts. In addition, the training gives Walker the endurance to make it through a spring and summer full of games. In 2008, he caught 105 games, many of which were for the Rhode Island Tides of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). Besides playing for Hendricken and select teams, he catches for the Hoxsie Cleaners American Legion Baseball team. In his last season in the Smithfield Little League, Walker said he hit 22 home runs in an 18-game season. As a 14-yearold, Walker was named to the AAU All-American Team and in 2009, he was a Preseason

William “Billy” J. Walker IV of Bishop Hendricken High School runs to second base after hitting one of his three doubles against Cranston West High School last year.

baseball guy,” Walker III said. “I see how hard he works,” he continued. “He puts in a tremendous amount of time. He has the goods to play at a Division 1 college and to play professional baseball.” Ed Hollloway, Hendricken’s varsity baseball coach, agrees Walker has the potential to be

“He is a very humble, hardworking, concerned young man who treats everyone nicely.” - Hendricken Principal Jay Brennan

Under Armour All-American pick, which involved a series of tryouts in Heights Town, N.J. Walker has the complete support of his parents, who frequently travel with their son. His father does everything possible not to miss any games. “My vacation time is based around his baseball, and that’s fine with me because I am a

a Division 1 player. The coach said Walker has a lot of the intangibles and the instincts it takes to excel. They include knowing how games should be pitched and “how to get rid of the ball” when attempting to throw out or pick off base runners. “He played more like a junior or senior,” Holloway said.

“He has the mental ability far beyond a freshman player. … He loves to play and practice the game. … He has a nice future.” The younger Walker’s dedication goes beyond the baseball diamond. He has a 3.0 grade point average, and knows he needs a Plan B. He will study sports medicine and pursue a career in that field when it is necessary. Walker does not worry about his intentions being derailed because he says life is too short to live with fears. When life throws you a curveball, “you have to pick up the pieces and run with them,” he said. You can bet that he will run with a good amount of determination while treating people with dignity and respect. “He is so well-adjusted,” said Brennan, Hendricken’s principal. “He is a very humble, hardworking, concerned young man who treats everyone nicely.”

Unions collaborate to confront issues The UFCW, Local 328, has partnered with labor unions from the public and private sectors in the City of East Providence to form Working EP. The concept of Working EP is to bring all issues of concern to organized labor emanating within the public and private arenas of the city to the table for discussion and action. Solidarity and support at rallies, picketing and attending

city council and school committee meetings as well as monitoring elected officials and endorsing political candidates that will best support working families are all part of the Working EP mission. The committee meets once a month and works together, making a difference in the lives of workers. The committee’s motto is: An injury to one is an injury to all. The UFCW,

“After a remarkable meal of beautifully executed dishes including a creative antipasto, exceptional rack of lamb, inspired brioche chocolate and toffee bread pudding and perfect service, I wondered why I waited so long.”

Local 328, is proud to be a part of this unified goal. Working EP is based on the successful statewide model of Working Rhode Island, which was conceived in January 2004 that brought together for the first time ever all unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO, and those that are not affiliated with the AFL-CIO. In total, more than 100,000 active and retired union members are part of the coalition.

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Common Ground


Kagan carries hot torch The old saying, “It must be in the genes,” certainly rings true with one look at Jaritt Kagan. Jaritt is a fifth year apprentice at Local 51 Plumbers and Pipe Fitters and was the 2009 representative for District 1 of the United Association’s apprentice competitions held in Ann Arbor, Mich. Jaritt became initiated as an apprentice in Local 51 in February 2006. A pipe fitter apprentice undergoes a fair amount of training in the welding booth, learning the skills necessary to become a certified welder for the United Association. That proved to be an easy task for Jaritt. Being a third generation pipe fitter and welder, Jaritt excelled in learning the basic welding procedures. With some extra time and effort, he soon began to achieve some of the most difficult welding certifications that any apprentice, or journeyman can obtain. Jaritt obtained his first welding certification, the UA-28, on April 2, 2007, and never looked back until he had compiled 11 certifications as an apprentice. Through practice and hard work and his ability to obtain such a great number of welding certifications, he was chosen to be in the District 1 apprentice competition against other participants from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Jaritt’s skills proved to be too much for the other competitors, and he proceeded on to the national competition. That contest pitted him against the very best apprentices from across the United States as well as the best from Canada. Although he did not win this competition, he certainly preformed well enough to make his family and his union proud. To say Jaritt has a promising career ahead of him would be an understatement. With such a shortage of quality welders in the construction industry, the sky is the limit for a welder of Jaritt’s ability. By combining his ability with a can-do attitude and a willingness to learn in the pipe fitting trade, union members can certainly expect great things from Brother Kagan. It may not all be “in the genes,” but it surely can’t hurt.

Jaritt Kagan, second from left, proudly displays the ring he earned for doing so well at the United Association’s

apprentice competition for pipe fitters. With him are, from left, Tom Handfield, business manager for Local 51;

Phil Martin, a member of the United Association; and Dave Marland, training coordinator.

On Jan. 13, Phil Martin of the United Association as well as his Buisness Manager Tom Handfield and Training Coordinator Dave Marland presented Jaritt with a one of a kind ring from the UA in recognition of Jaritt’s accomplishments at the apprentice competition.

New alliance addresses concerns of retirees By John A. Pernorio In the year 2002, the national AFL-CIO created a new organization called the Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), an outgrowth of the National Council of Senior Citizens. Now there is a new group, the Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans. The Rhode Island AFL-CIO is reaching out to all labor organizations along with community based organizations to participate in the unique organization to promote the well-being of all Rhode Island seniors. The mission of the Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans (RIARA) is to ensure social and economic justice and full civil rights for all citizens so that they may enjoy lives of dignity, personal and family fulfillment and security. The Alliance believes that all older and retired persons have a responsibility

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to strive to create a society that incorporates those goals and rights and that retirement provides them with opportunities to pursue new and expanded activities with their unions, civic organizations and communities. A primary objective of the Rhode Island Alliance is to enroll and mobilize retired union members and other senior and community activists into a nationwide grassroots movement advocating a progressive political and social agenda -- one that respects work and strengthens families. The long-term goal of the Alliance is to become the voice for all older Americans. By engaging in important political battles to protect and preserve programs vital to the health and economic security of older Americans, the Alliance will gain recognition as the country’s leading progressive grassroots senior organization. In pursuit of those values, the Alliance will: • Build a strong organization of seniors with a viable structure, ample resources and clear objectives — a structure compatible with that of the labor movement and community-based groups at local, state and national levels. • Create programs and membership organizations designed to promote a commitment by retired workers and older persons to the concept of lifelong participation in their unions and in their community, political and civic organizations. Encourage all segments of the senior population to act with unity on legislative, political and policy issues

of importance to retirees and their families in order to maximize their influence on federal, state and local governments and on private organizations that affect their interests. Since 2001, the goal of the RIARA HealthLink Wellness Program is to initiate a process of prevention and early detection that will become a model for expansion into other community settings. Our mission is to create a community health culture that revolves around three principles: • Education: Setting up comprehensive approaches to retiree health wellness education and giving members the knowledge they need to stay healthy through regular health screenings and the HealthLink Wellness Newsletter. • Health Programs: Engage a large proportion of retirees in health wellness promotion activities such as walking clubs, healthy cooking and exercise programs to reduce health risks. • Partnerships: Develop an extensive network of partnerships that engage retirees in the fabric of the community, which should lead to networking with existing senior citizen centers, labor and community based organizations throughout Rhode Island. For more information on the RIARA HealthLink Wellness program, go to John A. Pernorio is president of the Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans. He can be reached at (401) 275-0726.

INDEX Page 1

Hendricken student is pro prospect Unions collaborate to confront issues

Page 9

Employees suggest methods to prevent medical mistakes

Page 2

Kagan carries hot torch

Page 10

Addiction solutions need coverage

New alliance addresses concerns of retirees

Page 11

Archambault steps up for BC/BS subscribers

Page 3

Sheahan Printing continues to get it right

Page 14

Tax planning with life insurance

Page 4

You can make a difference

Page 5

Union, city unite to feed the needy

Page 15

Autoworkers’ job action in 1930s changed course of labor relations

Page 6

Bill aims to protect dogs from brutal cold

Page 16

Cleaner building protocols touted

Page 17

Local 51 is proud

Page 7

Partnerships’ power will make knowledge economy explode

Page 8

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Common Ground

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Sheahan Printing continues to get it right R.I.’s largest union shop demonstrates commitment to excellence satisfaction with the overall quality of was during that time the company made and printed by letterpress. “When you print for a presidential product, responsive customer service, its presence known throughout Rhode As the printing industry experienced campaign, you better get it right and hiring dedicated and experienced Island and Massachusetts as a reliable a change in technology from letterpress deliver on time,� said Kevin Sheahan, employees and investing in the latest resource for companies, winning many to lithography, so did the company. vice president of Sheahan Printing. technology. awards for its superior print quality. In 1941, the company bought its In June 2008, the Obama Campaign More than $500,000 has been Since 2002, Sheahan Printing has been first offset press, becoming the first in approached Sheahan to supply print invested in a new printing press and a owned and operated by brothers David Northern Rhode Island to do so and marketing to Rhode Island voters. direct-to-plate imaging system resulting and Kevin, who took over their father hired experienced union employees “They expect outstanding quality, tight in better quality, faster production and and uncle retired. “We are proud to to operate the equipment. Sheahan deliveries, and reliable service. We lower costs. Recent orders from the follow in our father’s and grandfather’s Printing is the largest fully unionized worked long days and weekends to meet Barack Obama presidential their demands. It’s just campaign made good use what you have to do in of that equipment, printing this business,� Sheahan 100,000 brochures within a said. 36-hour time period. Sheahan Printing Sheahan Printing is also has been getting it right doing its part to help the for decades. Sheahan environment and reduce Printing is a thirdits carbon footprint by generation family-owned printing with soy ink company specializing and becoming Forestry in printing four-color Stewardship Council (FSC) marketing material. Its certified. Soy ink is better clients are not only those for the environment than seeking political office, conventional inks and FSC but graphic designers, certification tracks the chain advertising agencies, of custody of the paper used colleges and universities, in production. The FSC nonprofit organizations, is the leading nonprofit and corporations in organization that supports diverse industries. “Our environmentally appropriate, objective is to consistently socially beneficial and deliver the very best economically viable quality printing at an management of the world’s affordable price on time, forests. every time,� Sheahan said. Sheahan Printing The Sheahan Printing provided superior quality Corp. initiated its family printing and outstanding tradition in 1923, when customer service to President Rodolph T. Sheahan Obama and is confident Sr., the current owners’ David Sheahan, left, and his brother Kevin, proudly hold a press sheet autographed by Barack Obama. The brothers’ company, the Sheahan Printing Corp. in Woonsocket, produced material for Obama’s victorious presidential campaign. it can deliver the same grandfather, began his to you. To find out how career in the printing Sheahan Printing can assist you with footsteps and keep the family tradition printing facility in Rhode Island. industry shortly after graduating from your printing needs, contact Kevin alive,� David said. The company’s For over more than 40 years the Woonsocket High School. The company Sheahan at (401) 769-9200 or www. decades of success are attributed to a company was operated by the second primarily sold its services to the growing commitment to customers’ complete generation, Paul and Rudy Sheahan. It mill industry in the Woonsocket area

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Common Ground


You can make a difference By George Nee Wal-Marts from opening up, hurting Rhode Island small businesses and eliminating union jobs); speeding up the permitting process for construction projects; ensuring that prevailing wage laws are utilized and enforced; and forcing responsible discussions regarding consolidation and regionalization. We have to make sure our voice is heard loud and clear to ensure union jobs are protected. This is your chance to join with your brothers and sisters from different unions who live in your community to help build a bigger, better and stronger labor movement. We need to build a large active group of union members in every city and town and it begins with every union member who is concerned about the well-being of their home town.

the “tools” to deal with labor issues and mandates. Make no mistake about it, the real intent of those ‘tools’ is to weaken the labor movement by attacking our collective bargaining rights and trying to unfairly strip us of the benefits and working conditions we have gained over many years. Anti-labor forces have been aggressively working to undermine the labor movement in cities and towns across Rhode Island. Considering that a large percentage of Rhode Island labor union members work for our cities and towns, including teachers, school support personnel, firefighters, police officers, recreation workers, public works employees, clerical staff and many others – it’s time to increase our efforts. It’s time to fight back. There are many issues at the municipal level in which our members can make a difference such as protecting collective bargaining rights; influencing zoning issues (For example, preventing

There is an exciting new development in the Rhode Island labor movement that is taking shape all over the state. From Westerly to East Providence, labor union members are getting together to form local Working Rhode Island chapters. Heeding the old axiom that “all politics is local,” those union members are organizing to monitor the local political scene and stand up for the concerns of union members in their communities. While policy decisions are debated and made at the Statehouse, it is at the local level where those directives are most often put into place and that is why the local Working Rhode Island chapters have formed. It is vital to the future of the labor movement that we are a strong and active presence in every city and town in Rhode Island. Increasingly, the political rhetoric at the state level has been about giving mayors, school committees and city and town councils

If you are interested in getting involved in a local Working Rhode Island group, please contact Working Rhode Island at

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Common Ground

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Union, city unite to feed the needy PR0VIDENCE -- Public Employees’ Local Union 1033 (LIUNA) and the Providence City Council turned their slogan of a Renewed Spirit in Labor-Management Cooperation into action that netted more than 6 tons of nonperishable food to help the needy during the holiday season. Local 1033 and the City Council conducted their 11th Annual Holiday Food Drive among municipal and state employees and Mayor David Cicilline and his staff. However, the fire chief refused to participate, insisting that employees use vacation time to facilitate the endeavor. Besides City of Providence and

state workers, participants included employees’ of the state, Town of North Providence, North Providence School Department, Narragansett Bay Commission, Town of Lincoln, Lincoln Water Commission, Lincoln Public Library, Town of Narragansett, Town of North Kingstown, City of Cranston, City of Warwick, Providence/ Cranston Job Partnership Training Act and Providence School Department. Local Union 1033 has a membership of 3,900. The food drive was organized 11 years ago following discussions between Donald Iannazzi, the local’s business manager and John

Participants of a successful holiday food drive conducted by Public Employees’ Local Union 1033 and the Providence City Council stand proud after conducting such a successful event. The effort, which was fueled by a renewed cooperative labor-management spirit, yielded tons of nonperishable food. The other photos show drive participants working hard to collect and distribute the items.

Lombardi, City Council president at the time. Iannazzi informed Lombardi that the membership wanted to show its appreciation for all that it had to be thankful for by giving something back to Providence’s neighborhoods. The City Council immediately volunteered to partner in the endeavor. Local President Vicki Virgilio coordinated the food drive with LIUNA’s stewards from around the state. Iannazzi and Virgilio met with each member of the City Council and Mayor Cicilline to designate which community organizations should donations. Organizations that received donations and the person that designated the group were: Fox Point Boys and Girls Club, Councilman Seth Yurdin; Jewish Community Center, Councilman Cliff Wood; Camp Street

Ministries, Councilman Kevin Jackson; DaVinci Center, Councilman Nick Narducci; Wanskuck Boys Club, Council President Peter Mancini; Mary’s House, Councilman Mike Solomon; St. Teresa’s Church, Councilman Joseph DeLuca; and Silver Lake Community Center, Councilman John Igliozzi. Also, Rhode Island Legal Services/Genesis Center, Councilman Leon

F. Tejada; Nickerson House, Councilwoman Josephine DiRuzzo; Juan Pablo Duarte Club, Councilman Miguel Luna; St. Michael’s Church, Councilman Luis Aponte; Davey Lopes Recreation Center, Councilwoman Balbina Young; Federal Hill House, Councilman John Lombardi; Mary’s House; Majority Leader Terrence Hassett; and Providence Community Action Program, Mayor Cicilline.

Rhode Island Judicial, Professional and Technical Employees’

LOCAL UNION 808 Frank A. Ciccone Business Manager

Pasquale Zompa Norma M. Sousa President Vice President

Claudia Porrazzo Recording Secretary

David Garzone Executive Board Member

Dominick J. Ruggerio Secretary-Treasurer

Gina M. Sabitoni-Arakelian Executive Board Member

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Common Ground


Bill aims to protect dogs from brutal cold By Dennis Tabella In January 2009, the news media reported that a dog froze to death in Warwick. Unfortunately, there have been many dogs throughout the state that met similar fates. Many dogs do not have adequate shelter food, or water and suffer day after day. Many of those dogs don’t reach their natural life expectancy and/or suffer every time the temperature goes below freezing. You don’t see those dogs on TV; they suffer alone in silence and misery. Needless to say, animal control officers have heard all sorts of excuses as to why a dog is left outside 24/7. There is no excuse for that practice because pet owners have options. If the dog has a behavior problem, there

are a number of certified trainers and behaviorist in Rhode Island that can help correct numerous problems with dogs. In addition, there are a number of veterinarians willing to offer medical solutions to dog problems. Only two cities -- East Providence and Warwick -have ordinances that protect dogs from such neglect. Those two cities have ordinances that were based on the original state-wide bill introduced by Sen. John J. Tassoni Jr. Included in Sen. Tassoni’s bill and the Warwick and East Providence ordinances is the Tufts University Animal Care and Condition Weather Safety Scale, which was scientifically formulated regarding specific breeds, sizes

and condition of dogs. Certainly, pet owners should understand that dogs are companion animals and need and deserve the pleasure and decency of being protected and not kept outdoors during inclement weather conditions. We know that many large dogs in particular will suffer from hip dysplasia, which results in osteoarthritis. That condition, of course, will worsen in cold, damp weather. Additionally, studies and law enforcement statistics have shown that male dogs that are not neutered and tied outside cause more dog bites than other dogs. It’s a mystery as to why some people adopt a dog and then tie the dog outside day and night. There have

been countless dogs that have saved humans from death and injuries, provided love and comfort and protected property while just expecting proper shelter, food, water, proper medical care and, yes, our attention and love. Fortunately, the cries and moans of those defenseless companion animals that are left out in freezing weather are being heard by Sen. Tassoni, who has reintroduced Senate Bill S-2022, which sets guidelines and penalties for dogs left outside without proper shelter, food or water. The bill has the support of numerous animal organizations throughout Rhode Island, including Defenders of Animals, VSA, the Humane Association of

Northwestern Rhode Island and the West Warwick Angels. If you care about all the dogs throughout our state that suffer outside in the winter, you can help end the nightmare by calling your state senator and your state representative and asking them to support S-2022, which is cosponsored by Sens. John F. McBurney III and James E. Doyle II. Please contact Defenders of Animals at (401) 461-1922 if you would like to help us to pass this crucial legislation.

Dennis Tabella is director of Defenders of Animals in Providence. His e-mail is

Bring Home Someone Special for Valentine’s Day.

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Partnerships’ power will make knowledge economy explode Ideas can generate many jobs in R.I. We sponsor low-cost spaying/ neutering clinics, provide pet adoption services, legal Assistance, investigate neglect and abuse cases, and advocate for the protection of animals.

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This is such a fragile moment in time for all of us who care so deeply about our great state -- and, in particular, a fragile moment in time for the more than 75,000 of our friends, neighbors and loved ones whose lives have been devastated by this massive Laurie White economic disruption. The pain has been felt more acutely here in Rhode Island than in other places. The faces of the people tell the story. As such, the Greater Providence of Commerce and our colleagues in the labor community share an incredible sense of urgency to make it better -- fast. The business and work force communities are equal partners in accelerating the transition to the knowledge economy where there are quality jobs for everyone -and at all points along the economic spectrum. We all have rallied behind a common economic roadmap on which nothing short of economic survival is the focus. We all know the history of Rhode Island’s economy but for the sake of context, let me summarize the key turning points. Centuries ago, Rhode Islanders derived their livelihood from the sea -- our maritime economy. Later, Rhode Islanders prospered from farming the land – our agricultural economy. Then, in the early 1900s, Rhode Islanders actually launched America’s industrial era -- our industrial economy. Manufacturing, art and design carried us for a long time, making us one of the most prosperous places in the country. In the 1980s and 1990s, America’s information/high tech economy was fueled locally by gains in software, defense systems and the like. Today, the information economy is getting “kicked up a notch.” It has given way to the knowledge economy. It’s the natural progression of things here and across the world. But the sobering point for us is that we have yet to fully make the transition. That’s why the pain in Rhode Island is most profound today. So, what is the knowledge economy? Simply put it is the power of ideas. It’s the “know how, know what, know whom.” It’s the power of turning those ideas into new jobs, new companies and new market opportunities. It’s dreaming up “the next big thing” and being able to generate capital to sustain a work force, to sustain a family and to grow a tax base. Think about it. All the great inventions of our time started out as merely an idea: the light bulb, the pacemaker, the iPod, Teflon, penicillin, the sandwich (no PhD required). Today, it’s all about lifesaving drugs and medical treatments, it’s new ways to save our planet

through energy efficient products and technologies. It’s about helping people live better, smarter and longer. Census data shows that new companies are the job engines. Of the overall 12 million new jobs added in this country in 2007, young firms were responsible for the creation of nearly 8 million of those jobs. Given this information, it is clear that new and young companies and the entrepreneurs that create them are the engines of job creation and eventual economic recovery. Believing in the power of the knowledge economy has great promise for the overall region as well. Check out the recent report done by the New England Council ( The report takes great pains to emphasize that manufacturing is not dead in Rhode Island. In fact, the advanced manufacturing subsectors that are highly networked with the region’s engineering, science, finance and other talent clusters, present economic opportunities for generations to come. The most attractive advanced manufacturing subsectors include: • Signal processing/optics/measurement tools. • Aerospace and defense. • Medical devices. • Semiconductors and related high-end electrical components. • Material sciences that involve plastics, nanotechnology and plasma tools for example. And here’s the best news of all. A very real opportunity exists over the next several years to add between 7,500 and 8,500 advanced manufacturing jobs annually, with total compensation approaching $80,000 on average. Rhode Island is well-positioned in many of those subsectors. That’s the power of the knowledge economy! And, by the way, this kind of discussion has and is happening all across the country. Detroit is reeling, but through a similar exercise leaders there are working to make the transition from reliance on automobile manufacturing to transportation logistics, engineering and energy -- fueled by entrepreneurship and university college and hospital partnerships. Also take a look at Pittsburgh. A survivor of wrenching economic change and now strategically transformed, the city is “a model for turning the page to a 21st-century economy.” Pittsburgh continues to create new industries born of research, innovation and entrepreneurship. Sound familiar? We can do the same thing here in Rhode Island. Our partnerships will make the difference. Laurie White is president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.


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Common Ground

STOP Diabetes! Since its inception in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has been the nation’s leading voluntary health organization supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy. In 2009, the ADA made great advances in advocacy, research and programming. The past year yielded great successes; a lift on stem cell research and expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program to include 7 million more children of families that cannot afford health care. Furthermore, the ADA dedicated more than $33.5 million to support vital research to discover better treatments and - one day soon - a cure for this deadly disease. Also in 2009, the ADA unleashed its Stop Diabetes! campaign. Stop Diabetes! is the most ambitious public outreach and awareness effort ever undertaken by the ADA, encouraging millions of people to take action to help stop the diabetes epidemic. Our new stopdiabetes. com Web site and a more user-friendly deliver life-changing and life-saving information and share real life stories of inspiration and hope each day. In 2007 the ADA estimated the total cost of diabetes in America to be more than $174 billion. There are over 24 million Americans, or 7 percent of the population, living with diabetes, and that number continues to grow on a daily basis. It is estimated that 1 in 20 people born in America today will develop diabetes in their lifetime. Even more frightening is that 1 out of every 3 children born after the year 2000 will be forced to live with diabetes in their lifetime. Fortunately, with adequate research, education and advocacy, the ADA believes prevention and a cure are more than possible. However, to continue realizing success stories in research, advocacy and information, the ADA needs your continuing support. There are two ADA signature fundraising events scheduled to be held in Rhode Island this year. Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes will be held Oct. 17 (See related story.) from the Roger Williams Park Carousel. In 2009, the event attracted 500 walkers and raised nearly $60,000. The second ADA signature Rhode Island event is the Ocean State Tour de Cure (See related story). The Tour de Cure is a Infusion Therapy Respiratory Services

family cycling fundraiser slated for June 6 at the Narragansett High School. In 2009, the Ocean State Tour de Cure put more than 250 riders on the roads of South County and raised more than $105,000. One of the ADA’s most important programs is Camp Carefree. Throughout the country, 55 of the summer camps are held for children who live with diabetes. The camp is a place where children learn to self-manage their disease and realize that they can continue being a kid while doing so. Former campers return as counselors and create a community experience that is never forgotten. Other ADA programs include but are not limited to the Family Link and Youth Program, Por tu Familia (a Latino program) and Project Power (an African-American Program). Those programs are vital to the success of the ADA mission and without them the epidemic is destined to continue. Diabetes is a disease that can be fought through education and information. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in America and is the leading cause of heart disease, blindness, amputations, kidney disease and many other dangerous health complications and conditions. There are 1.6 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed in America each year. The ADA in Rhode Island is seeking companies, groups, families and friends to become a part of those amazing events. Getting involved is easy and rewarding. Consider filling one of our vacant committee seats listed in the related story here. It is through our partnerships with such companies as Gold’s Gym in East Greenwich and Pawtucket, ABC6 and Whole Foods that we spread the word about our events, programs and message of healthy living and having fun while doing so. Creating a corporate team for an event is a great way to promote camaraderie and teamwork in the workplace. It also comes with such benefits as having the ADA provide information, education and resources to employees. If you are interested in having the ADA come into your business, contact Salome Tomar at (401) 351-0498, extension 3500. For more information on anything ADA related, go to or call (800) DIABETES.


ADA slates events to raise funds The American Diabetes Association’s calendar of upcoming events in the area includes: April 10 – Diabetes Awareness Day at the Cathedral of Life Church in Providence. The all-day event will include power over diabetes modules such as diabetes and diet, diabetes and exercise, diabetes and eye care and diabetes and neuropathy. April 28 – ADA Family Fun Night at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Endocrinology Department, starting at 6 p.m. For more information, call Anna Floreen at the ADA at (617) 482-4580, extension 3455. June 6 – Ocean State Tour de Cure at Narragansett High School, which is a fully supported family cycling event with 15- 30-, 60- and 100-mile routes available. Participants get a light a breakfast, a full lunch, massages and entertainment. Also, there are support vehicles, rest stops and mechanics along the routes. Visit to register or for more information. In addition, you can Matthew Netto, event coordinator, at mnetto@diabetes. org or (401) 351-0498, extension 3499. Oct. 17 – Step Out for Diabetes walk, starting at the Roger Williams Park Carousel. Enjoy a wide variety of games and activities for you and your family while supporting a great cause. Registration opens on March 1 at http://main.diabetes. org/stepoutprovidence. Contact Coordinator Nora Marzocchi at nmarzocchi@ or (401) 351-0498, extension 3503. Nov. 6 – ADA EXPO 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. The EXPO is free and includes health screenings, cooking demonstrations, product and service exhibitors as well as leading experts talking about diabetes management and prevention.

Association seeks two union chairs The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has two volunteer executive committee vacancies. The ADA is searching for union team recruitment chairs for the Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes and Ocean State Tour de Cure executive committees. The chair will work with the staffs and chairpersons of both events to develop union team recruitment plans. The recruitment chairs must have: • Access to union leadership and a willingness to use contacts. • Time to schedule and attend union recruitment meetings with Step Out and Tour de Cure campaign staff. • Ability to “mentor” union teams and friends and family teams. • Time to attend committee meetings. • Ability to report to walk chair on the progress of team recruitment. The right candidate must: • Be a middle management union leader. • Have strong communication and organizational skills. • Possess long-range vision to see Step Out and the Tour de Cure to the next levels. Prior participation in the Step Out or Tour de Cure events is ideal. The recruitment chairs must be available to attend two meetings per months, which will take about five hours per month. For the Step Out chair, the most commitment will be required during months of May, July, August, September and October. If you are interested in the Step Out position, contact walk manager Nora Marzocchi at or (401) 351-0498, extension 3503. For the Tour de Cure recruitment chair, the busiest months are February, March, April and June. If you are interested in the Tour de Cure slot, contact event manager Matthew Nettto at or (401) 351-0498, extension 3499.

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Common Ground

Page 9

Affiliated with the INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS 121 BRIGHTRIDGE AVENUE, EAST PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND 02914 EXECUTIVE BOARD BUSINESS AGENTS Joseph J. Bairos Brian Carroll Secretary-Treasurer Principal Executive Officer Steven Labrie Kevin Reddy Kevin Reddy President Joseph Boyajian James Croce Vice President Douglas Teoli David Demuth Recording Secretary Asst. Business Agents Dennis Mello Linda Russolino Trustee Susan Folan Daniel Manocchio Trustee Janet O’Grady Trustee

Employees suggest methods to prevent medical mistakes By Rick Brooks and Linda McDonald The recent news of yet another wrong-site surgery at Rhode Hospital has left us further dismayed but increasingly motivated to find real solutions to the seemingly intractable problem of medical errors. As Rhode Island Hospital spokespeople have been quick to point out, the epidemic of medical errors is not unique to that facility, nor is it a recent phenomenon. Ten years ago, the Institute of Medicine reported that an estimated 98,000 patients die in U.S. hospitals each year due to errors. Yet despite that call to action, a recent study by Consumer Union reported that the number of preventable hospital deaths has not diminished. As representatives of the more than 2,000 exceptionally caring and talented registered nurses and other health professionals at Rhode Island Hospital, our gut reaction is to circle the wagons and defend our hospital for being the outstanding medical facility that it is. But then, we know that defensiveness is part of the problem that has kept hospitals from getting to the root cause of errors. Thus, in order to more thoughtfully contribute to the analysis and prevention of medical errors, our union has undertaken a survey of our members to ask for their thoughts on how to prevent harm to patients. From the hundreds of responses that we have received from our members, several consistent themes have emerged. They include: • Listen to employees: Every patient care area is unique and one-size-fits-all solutions are unlikely to be successful. Employees know the factors in their work area that are most likely to cause harm to patients. By enlisting employees and their union representatives in confidential, non-threatening and respectful discussions, the hospital and its patients will benefit

from the unique insights that front-line caregivers can offer. • Slow down the pace: Too often, hospitals and physicians are driven by the pressures of the bottom line. Monthly financial reports often cause administrative panic and an excessive preoccupation with revenue and “productivity” such as the volume and turnover of patients rather than a singular focus on safety and providing a positive patient experience. • Communicate clear and consistent policies: Employees report that they are deluged with lengthy, confusing and sometimes contradictory policies and procedures. What’s more, each unfortunate event triggers another onslaught of memos and meetings. In order for employees to understand and comply with frequently changing protocols, communication must be clear and consistent and employees must be given adequate time to ask questions, give feedback and practice new approaches before they are implemented. • Provide sufficient staff to ensure manageable workloads: Medical and nursing research has repeatedly documented the obvious: When caregivers are assigned too many patients, bad things are more likely to happen to those patients. Over the years, hospitals throughout the country have continually looked for ways to lower the cost of caring for patients. That has led to higher numbers of patients per nurse, even as hospital patients have become increasingly acute. Safe nurse-to-patient ratios need to be established and adhered to in Rhode Island. The State of California has established such ratios, which offer a reasonable benchmark for Rhode Island. • Change the culture: Hospitals have historically been run in a hierarchical and authoritarian fashion, which causes many front-line caregivers to be reluctant to speak freely about practices that may, or

do, cause harm to patients. In particular, physicians are notorious for their resistance to feedback, not to mention criticism, from registered nurses and other health professionals. Administrators, in turn, have typically taken the “bad apple” approach to medical errors, seeking to root out the individual who was “responsible” for a mishap, rather than focus on “root cause” analysis of systemic factors. While individuals must certainly be held to the highest professional standards, a culture of blame discourages candor and reduces opportunities for continuous improvement and learning. As distressing as wrong-site surgeries and other medical errors are, it is important to note that Rhode Islanders turn to our state’s hospitals on nearly 3 million occasions each year, and all but a tiny fraction of those encounters are handled with the extraordinary compassion, professionalism and technical expertise that we have come to expect. For those rare occasions when something goes wrong, we express our deep regret and pledge to work with our hospital partners to implement the above recommendations, and many others, to make our hospitals even safer. Rick Brooks is director of the United Nurses & Allied Professionals. Linda McDonald is a registered nurse and president of the United Nurses & Allied Professionals.

Page 10

Common Ground


Addiction solutions need coverage Over the years, Treatment Solutions Network has helped thousands of

Q. If my Blue Cross policy covers addiction treatment and allows out-of-

Rhode Island union members overcome their addiction problems and

network care why would my family not be able to use Treatment Solutions Network?

find a new life in recovery. Our track record of success in serving hardworking union folks is something that we’re very proud of, but recent

A. Until about two years ago, Blue Cross – the insurer for most Rhode Island residents – was an invaluable partner in our mission of providing high-quality

unfair payment practices by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island

addiction care. Blue Cross paid the normal cost of detox and other services, and

may limit our ability to help Ocean State families. Jim Bevell, our

we made sure that clients were connected to the highest-quality treatment facilities

president and chief executive officer, uses the following column to explain

available. But in the last two years, Blue Cross has refused to pay the standard rates for treatment — rates that are honored by other insurers.

what is happening.

Q. Why is this important? Can’t Treatment Solutions Network just charge less

Who knows your medical information in an emergency? ER Card is an electronic personal health record (ePHR) service providing individuals, doctors and other caregivers with anytime, anywhere access to personal medical information in a secure and confidential manner. With the ER Card, medical professionals have instant access by web, phone or fax to:

and accept what Blue Cross is willing to pay?

A. Unfortunately, Blue Cross is unwilling to pay even enough to cover the expenses we incur when administering treatment – basically, Blue Cross expects our clients to make up the difference (even though they’re already paying extra on their insurance premiums for out-of-network care). We don’t think there should be sky-high co-payments that make treatment unaffordable, so for the past two years we’ve operated at a loss to continue serving as many union members as possible. It’s becoming an issue where we’re not going to be able to provide those services without a greater financial contribution from union members.

Q. ’m a union member and I don’t like the way this sounds. What can I do to make Blue Cross pay the normal, customary costs of substance abuse treatment?

A. There are several things union members can do – remember, you’re an important customer for Blue Cross and it’s in its best interest to keep customers happy. For one, Blue Cross policyholders can contact their union leadership and ask questions about the problem. Another effective way to make your voice heard is to

• current medications

• physical or verbal limitations

write Blue Cross & Blue Shield directly – Mark Bevelander, ancillary contracting

• allergies

• emergency contacts

manager at Blue Cross, is aware of what is going on. We’ll be doing our part too: If

• chronic conditions

• advance directives

this problem isn’t addressed, we’re going to fight it in court.

• primary care physician

• and more

Q. What if I don’t think I’ll need addiction treatment in the future? Shouldn’t 401-822-1181

I be more concerned about whether Blue Cross covers heart transplants or kidney dialysis?

A. When you pay your Blue Cross premium every month, you’re not paying for half a loaf of bread – you’re paying for comprehensive health care coverage. During contract negotiations between unions and insurance companies, the issue of addiction treatment sometimes becomes a redheaded stepchild. But the hundreds of letters I have received from union families that were restored – including some very

keychain accessory

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upper-level union members – is proof of just how valuable that kind of insurance coverage is. It’s not a service you think about needing until you need it. You want that service available.

You can afford Healthy Benefits Healthy Benefits is a single source for a broad spectrum of health care services. Whether you are an employer, self-employed, employee, or independent contractor, Healthy Benefits can deliver discounted health and lifestyle services from the nation’s leading providers. Benefits available are:

Q. What if Blue Cross officials are at first unwilling to change how out-ofnetwork addiction treatment claims are paid?

A. There are times when it pays to be an educated customer – and this is one of them. If Blue Cross representatives tell you or your union leadership that they are unable to change how they pay out addiction treatment claims, remind them that not only do other insurers pay the normal rates, but Blue Cross policies in other states also pay the normal rates. If Blue Cross treats its New Jersey policyholders fairly, why should Rhode Island residents receive any less?

• Dental care

Another reason why union members shouldn’t take no for an answer: You’re

• Vision care

paying extra to have the freedom of a PPO health-care plan, which is supposed to

• Discounted prescriptions & vitamins

allow out-of-network care at a reasonable cost. But by refusing to pay its fair share

• Electronic medical records

and sticking its policyholders with the bill, Blue Cross is charging you for a Cadillac

• LifeLock • TelaDoc • Hearing care • Diabetic supplies • Chiropractic care • Nursing hotline • Family consultation services • Pet care savings program For more information, call 888-311-4120 or 401-257-6131 or go to This is not health insurance.

policy but only giving you a Chevrolet. How would you feel if you needed a heart transplant and you wanted to go to the Cleveland Clinic, but Blue Cross wouldn’t pay for it because it’s out-of-network? It’s a scam, and you shouldn’t put up with it. With our help, you won’t have to.


Common Ground

Page 11

Archambault steps up for BC/BS subscribers

“In these tough economic

Steve Archambault, Democratic candidate for Rhode Island attorney general, has called on state Health Commissioner Christopher Koller to reject Blue Cross’ proposed 10.2 percent increase for direct-pay plans; 11.5 percent increase for small groups; and 14.6 percent increase for large groups. Pointing to a recent study released by Koller’s office that ranks Blue Cross’ administrative expenses higher than the average in New England, Archambault called on Koller to send Blue Cross “back to the drawing board.”

times, we must re-double our efforts to protect all of our residents from fraud and bad business practices. Truth in Advertising needs to be more than just a slogan. As Attorney General, I will work to make it the Rhode Island way.”

“These are difficult economic times. Too many Rhode Island families are already at the breaking point and both small and large businesses are struggling to stay afloat. These proposed rate increases are simply unaffordable. The health commissioner should send Blue Cross back to the drawing board and demand that it cut administrative expenses and seek other efficiencies first before asking for rate hikes,” Archambault said. In a letter to Commissioner Koller, Archambault also called for additional public hearings on the proposed 10.2 percent increase for direct-pay plans – the plan rate increase that is before the commissioner. Direct - pay plans are purchased by Rhode Islanders who do not receive health care from their employer or other group. Archambault noted that the recommendation of an independent consultant retained by the attorney general’s to allow a 9.5 increase in direct pay plans was still too high.

On Our Side

“Rhode Island families are facing the most difficult economic situation in at least a generation. There must be a new emphasis on cost-savings. All Blue Cross expenses, including top executive salaries, should receive strict scrutiny,” he said.

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Common Ground



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Common Ground

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Common Ground


Tax planning with life insurance By John Edes A cash value life insurance policy is a product that helps to secure the financial futures of families upon the death of an individual and has a very favorable tax status. While payments into the policy are generally not tax-deductible (unless the policy is bought within a qualified retirement program), the death proceeds are received by the policy beneficiaries free of income tax. That favorable tax treatment of the policy death benefit reflects the government’s acknowledgement that providing financially for one’s family is an undertaking that should be encouraged. In addition, since the typical cash value life insurance policy is funded with equal payments over the lifetime of the insured, amounts paid in the early years of the policy are allowed to compound without income tax over the life of the policy. Tax-deferred cash value growth allows the policy to be “pre-funded” at reasonable amounts over the life of the policy, rather than requiring an increasing payment as the insured gets older and has a higher probability of dying – which is the way a typical term policy is structured. Tax-deferred growth makes a lifetime death benefit protection program work efficiently and remains in force until the insured eventually dies and proceeds can be paid to the family to meet its ongoing financial obligations. Were the premium to increase each year, eventually the insured might find the cost of the insurance to be too much of a financial burden and discontinue making premium payments, perhaps leading to the lapse of the policy and loss of the needed insurance protection. Another attractive feature of a cash value life insurance policy is the ability to take loans against the value of the policy, which can be done without current income tax. Policy loans and withdrawals reduce the policy’s cash value and death benefit and may result in a taxable event. Also, surrender charges may reduce the

policy’s cash value in early years. Proper policy design from inception is critical to having those intended tax advantages, which is why it is important to work with a knowledgeable life insurance professional. For example, policy loans can be used for a number of purposes over the lifetime of the insured. One typical use of policy loans is to pay for the increasing costs of attending college. The death benefit of the policy also serves as a self-completing feature, were the insured to die prematurely, before the family has the opportunity to accumulate sufficient funds to send the children to college. Life insurance cash values can also serve as a sort of emergency fund, which can be accessed when life throws the family a financial challenge. Finally, policy cash values can be accessed income tax-free in retirement as a source of supplemental retirement income. Who among us could not use an additional source of retirement income? Of course, accessing policy funds during the insured’s lifetime will decrease the total death benefit that will be paid out when the insured eventually passes on. Many families have come to recognize and appreciate the many tax advantages of cash value life insurance. Structured properly, such a policy can offer both living and death benefits that complement other financial strategies. To determine if cash value life insurance is right for you, contact a life insurance professional for a thorough review of your portfolio and financial strategy. You may be surprised to find that you have a number of alternatives that may be able to help you and your family pursue greater financial security in these unsettled times. John Edes is a registered representative of Equity Services Inc. and securities it offers. Equity Services is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Securities Investor Protection Corporation and Maffe Financial Group, 875 Centerville Road,

Building One, Warwick, R.I., (401) 828-2090, extension 305. Maffe Financial is independent of Equity Services. The views and information contained herein has been prepared

independently of the presenting representative. It is presented for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as tax advice. Please consult with a tax professional before acting upon any such information.

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Common Ground

Page 15

Autoworkers’ job action in 1930s changed course of labor relations In “The Threepenny Opera,” Bertolt Brecht asks the question, “What is the crime of robbing a bank compared to the crime of owning a bank?” A play about the Great Sit-Down Strike -- Feb. 11 is the 73rd anniversary of its triumphant conclusion — might ask the question, “What is the crime of seizing the plants compared to the crime of owning the plants?” In 1936, 43 percent of the U.S. automobile industry belonged to General Motors. Its profits for that year totaled nearly $284 million. Its assets — including 69 plants in 35 states — were valued at $1.5 billion. The company had 37 percent of the worldwide car and truck market. GM President Alfred P. Sloan


was the highest paid executive in the country. GM would tout its claim that wages were high — $1,500 a year. The United Auto Workers disputed those figures, citing the irregularity of the work. Laid off workers were forced to take out loans from the company, with payments deducted from their wages upon return to work. To avoid layoffs, you might get to work on the boss’ house or, if you were a part-time farmer, bring him some meat or produce. The assembly line was a living hell. The ever-increasing pace of the line - the speedup - gave many workers the appearance of a 50-year-old before turning 30. A sit-down participant described “hands

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so swollen I couldn’t get my fingers between each other.” A sociologist of the time observed “occupational psychosis” from the monotony and overwork. The pain was felt deeply in Flint, Mich., home of GM and a quintessential company town. Of the 146,000 residents, 44,000 worked for GM. There was no company store, but that was the only company thing you didn’t “owe your soul to.” Before GM’s arrival it was a town of 14,000 concentrated around carriage-building. Housing construction didn’t keep up with population growth; many autoworkers lived in tar paper shacks without indoor plumbing and others were forced to rent from GM. No wonder then that the wave of sit-down strikes sweeping the U.S. in 1936 would culminate in a 44-day occupation in Flint. The sit-down strike was not invented in 1936. It was reportedly used in 15th and 18th century France, early 19th century England and even in ancient Egypt by a group of stonemasons. The early part of the 20th century saw occasional sit-downs in the U.S., France, Italy, Yugoslavia, Spain, England, Wales and Poland. In the 1930s, a decade defined by class warfare, 1936 was the pivotal year when the sit-down made the transition from a little-used tool to the key weapon. Akron, according to Jeremy Brecher in his book “Strike!” “was the crucible in which it was forged.” Rubber workers got the idea after two union baseball teams sat down on the field, demanding a nonunion umpire be ejected and a union ump be brought in. On Jan. 29, 1936, workers sat down at Firestone. When the plant went silent, they screamed “We done it!” Two days later they sat down at Goodyear, days later at Goodrich. Another sit-down at Goodyear, and then all of Goodyear was on strike. The strike ended in victory March 18. Sitting down became a more or less weekly affair in Akron. It then swept the nation, with 48 sit-downs recorded in 1936, most of them lasting more than 24 hours. Sit-downs were also spreading through France like wildfire. The June 22, 1936, edition of “Time” magazine reported, “8,000 Paris slaughterhouse employees walked out. Clerks of all Paris’ great department stores continued their ‘stay in strikes.’ The world-famed dressmaking

houses had to close. Guests made their own beds in hostelries as various as the ultra-conservative Grand Hôtel and the swanksters’ Hôtel Georges V. Outside Paris, for every strike settled when the week opened, another was declared.” Meanwhile, 30,000 factory workers at Renault and an equal number at Citroën were returning to work, having won all their demands. That same year, the French government reduced the standard workweek from 48 to 40 hours and made two weeks vacation mandatory. Radicals in the labor movement -members of the Socialist, Communist, and other working class parties -- saw the critical importance of organizing the hundreds of thousands working in the automobile industry. They knew that they had to crack the mighty General Motors and they had to hit key plants where it would hurt the most. One such plant was the Fisher body plant in Cleveland, and on Dec. 28, 1936, a sit-down of 7,000 silenced the noisy presses. Two days later, the strike moved outside, joining strikes already going on in Atlanta and Kansas City. Now it was time to take on Flint. A dress rehearsal had already taken place at the strategic Fisher Body One; a brief sit-down won the rehiring of three fired workers. On Dec. 30, rumor spread that dies, the tools that stamp out body parts, were being shipped out. A lunchtime meeting on the evening shift drew a huge crowd. When the union organizer, Bob Travis, asked what ought to be done, cries rang out: “Shut her down.” Before the shift was over the plant was in the hands of the workers. The smaller Fisher Two was also taken that same night. Thousands of workers created their own community. Perhaps some of their more class-conscious leaders had read about and were inspired by the Paris Commune. Decisions were made democratically at the nightly strike meeting. There were committees for everything from defense to entertainment and education. Many line workers had never felt so alive. Their baptism by fire came on Jan. 11, 1937, when guards at Fisher Two refused to allow food in. Outside pickets brought food in by ladder to the second floor, but the guards then confiscated the ladder. Then the police began to sur-

See FLINT, page 17





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Page 16

Common Ground


Cleaner building protocols touted Groups want green construction to include air quality The fundamental goal of the “Green During Construction” project is to

advocates among building investors, designers, developers and architects. Investors

encourage institutions, developers, designers and professional organizations to adopt

are increasingly requiring designers and builders to meet those certifications. And

a pledge to the benefit of the surrounding community and workers and visitors on

many firms -- banks, design firms -- stipulate that they will only rent space in a

the construction site by reducing both particulate matter, dust and silicate and toxic

“green certified” building.

gases such as carbon monoxide.

While there are obvious benefits to the green building movement, what is left out

Construction can be dirty work, but we have an opportunity to make it cleaner.

of that approach is air quality while structures are being built.

The green building movement focuses on constructing energy efficient buildings

Carbon monoxide, fine and ultrafine particles, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

and using less toxic building materials. Organizations such as the Northeast Energy

(PAHs), sulfur and nitrogen oxides and benzene are emitted in significant amounts

Efficiency Partnerships have developed certifications that are gaining adherents and

by diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles and equipment on construction sites. Gasoline powered vehicles and equipment produce prodigious amounts of carbon monoxide (CO), a lethal gas. Two thousand seven hundred CO emergency poisonings from work sites occur each year. Gasoline emissions have been shown to exceed 1 in 100,000 cancer risk thresholds in Northeast urban areas. Prolonged exposure to diesel exhaust can exacerbate asthma and other lung and cardiovascular diseases and probably increases the risk of lung cancer. During construction, soil, granite, and concrete will be dug, drilled crushed, impacted and abraded. Soil, granite and concrete contain crystalline silica (sand). Occupational exposure to silica produces silicosis, a chronic, disabling lung disease characterized by nodules of scar tissue in the lungs. Each year nearly 300 workers die from silicosis in the U.S. and hundreds more are disabled. Between 3,000 and 7,000 new cases occur each year. In addition, crystalline silica is carcinogenic. Construction, more than any other industry, leads in premature mortality (years of potential life lost) from silicosis. This is an opportunity to directly address the health and environmental impact of stationary equipment and motor vehicles, of dust and silicate exposures, and to integrate worker and community health into a seamless package. In addition, such an approach will achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The Rhode Island Commitee on Occupational Safety and Health in coordination with the American Lung Association of Rhode Island, and with the official support of the Air Resources Unit of the state Department of Environment Management have begun to develop protocols that integrate air pollution issues into the green building approach. The fundamental goal of the project is to encourage institutions, developers, designers and professional organizations to adopt a green during construction pledge and include key parameters of all three metrics in bid and contract specs for construction projects. The metrics are to: • Restrict idling of gasoline and diesel vehicles. • Apply dust suppression controls. • Reduce diesel and gasoline exhaust emissions. That would benefit the surrounding community and workers and visitors on the site by reducing particulate matter, dust and silicates and toxic gases, like. The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority and Brown University have agreed to adopt the protocols. The Rhode Island Department of Education will include them in their Collaborative for High Performance Schools (NECHPS) regulations, which all new school construction must comply with.

A Coalition of 100,000 Rhode Island Union Workers and Retirees Unions have improved the quality of life for all working people. Child Labor Laws • Social Security Overtime Pay • Minimum Wage Health Insurance • Unemployment Insurance Workers’ Compensation Paid Vacations • Pension Plans Learn more about the labor movement Watch LaborVision each week on Cox (Channel 14), Verizon (Channel 33) and Full Channel (Channel 9) every Tuesday @ 7pm, Thursday @ 8pm, and Saturday @ 5pm.

Best of Luck and Continued Success from the Drivers, Maintenance and Supervisory Personnel of ATU Local 618 & 618A in Providence & Newport

Stephen S. Farrell President – Business Agent

Thomas Cute Vice President

Kevin M. Millea Secretary-Treasurer

Executive Board Bob Davis • Bob Doyle • Paul Harrington • Jim Murphy Frank Plutzner • Peter Ritchie • Vincent Rowan School Bus Divisions Warwick-Jamestown Sherri Cirelli • Laurie Paul • Mary Tarbox Johnston Dennis Jarvis • John D’Alo • Wendy LaCombe


Common Ground

Page 17

FLINT continued from page 15 round the plant. Pickets swarmed to the gate. Twenty inside strikers, with homemade clubs, demanded the guards open the gate. When the guards refused, they forced the gate open. The police fired tear gas and vomit-inducing gas (of which GM had its own private stockpiles). The union sound car called on pickets to hold their posts and those inside to grab the fire hoses. The cops were driven away by the force of the hoses and a rain of two-pound hinges. Before they left, they shot and wounded 14, including a striking bus driver picketing with the autoworkers. That episode became known as the Battle of Bulls’ Run, because, as one striker recounted, “I never saw cops run so fast.” Now GM was feigning a willingness to talk things out. By 3 a.m. on Jan. 15, Michigan Gov. Frank Murphy announced “a peace.” The union agreed

to evacuate the plants, which by now included several in Detroit and Indiana, and the company agreed not to resume production. The plants outside of Flint were emptied of strikers and a big celebration was planned. Before the celebration could take place, word of a double-cross was leaked to the union by a sympathetic reporter. GM’s Vice President Knudsen had agreed to meet with the union-busting “Flint Alliance” to discuss “collective bargaining” -- thus removing the union as the sole bargaining agent. The city manager was deputizing Alliance members, creating a vigilante force to compel a back-to-work movement. The evacuations of Fisher One and Fisher Two were called off. The union needed to gain some ground to break the stalemate. It wanted to take Chevrolet Four, a critical plant, but it was heavily guarded. In a gamble

that would prove successful, the union chose to occupy Chevrolet Nine and to leak word of the occupation to draw the guards away from Chevy Four. After being told at a meeting they were needed at Chevy Nine, scores of pickets, half of them from the Women’s Auxiliary and the Women’s Emergency Brigade, converged on the plant. When the cops fired gas into the plant attempting to smother its occupants, the women smashed the windows to allow the gas to escape. Combat with the police left many strikers bloodied and bruised, but the police retreated in the face of such determination. Not long after, a call to the union hall announced that Chevy Four had been taken. Within hours, the Michigan National Guard descended upon Flint. The union held strong and responded to a court injunction to evacuate by declaring “Women’s Day.” Women came from all

over Detroit, Toledo, other parts of Ohio and elsewhere, and their parade became the longest picket line in Flint history. On Feb. 10, GM finally signed an initial agreement to recognize the UAW as the sole bargaining agent for a period of six months at the most important plants. That initial victory would lay the foundation for the many gains that followed. On Feb. 11, 1937, after 44 days, the strikers marched out, leading a two-mile parade that was joined by thousands and thousands. Relations between labor and capital would never be the same.

Articles copyright 1995-2010 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved. Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY, 10011. E-mail: Subscribe Support independent news DONATE.

Local 51 is proud As we enter the second decade of the new millennium, Local 51 Plumbers and Pipefitters is poised to lead our members and our contractors into a new era of labor and labor relations. Being partners in the construction of our cities and towns and in the promotion of programs to assist our fellow brothers and sisters is the sole purpose and goal of our local union as we move forward to a new decade. The construction of green buildings and the utilization of green technology has become a priority with the plumbers and pipefitters. The Local 51 training center now boasts LEED certified instructors for both journeymen and apprentice classes in the plumbing and pipefitting areas of our training. The use of remote computerized welding procedures for work in the growing bio-pharmaceutical industry is standard training for Local 51 members. Providing the highest trained most qualified and productive workers for the installation of medical gas supply lines in our area medical institutions if what we guarantee. As a leader in our community, Local 51 each year adopts a charitable organization to provide help and guidance both financially and with the donation of skilled craftsmen to perform projects. Organizations such as the Saratoga Museum, Hope House, Citizens for Citizens, Toys for Tots and most recently the Boys and Girls Clubs have benefited from the community spirit of our members. Local 51 members working in partnership with Ponnaganset High School have created a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to promote the use of clean alternative fuels for the future. Allowing community groups such as the area fire departments to utilize our training center in order to provide for training such as confined space rescue, solidifies our commitment to our cities and towns. We the members of Local 51 Plumbers and Pipefitters in conjunction with the other building trades unions such as carpenters, laborers, electricians and sheetmetal workers, are the members of the community. Members of other unions such as municipal workers, police and fire, teachers, health care workers and everyone else who believe in a livable wage and decent benefits for them and their family are the members of the community. Many times in this battle of us against them, we forget that we are the taxpayer and we are the community. The members of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 51 are proud to contribute to our community organizations and charities. We will continue to provide good will and help whereever we can in order to help those who are not quite as fortunate as others. And we will continue to remind anyone who will listen that we are proud to be union and will always fight for respect and decency in the workplace. God Bless our country and God bless the Union.

Stimulus Package H Reduce your Deductible H Free Recondition with Every Repair

105 Railroad Avenue, Johnston, Rhode Island 401-232-1660 l 800-427-1660

H Complete Service Check

To See How This Stimulus Package Works Visit

You have the legal right to choose your repair facility in RI, so don’t let the insurance industry direct you to their preferred shop.

LOCAL 400 International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers A progressive labor union representing senting more than 80,000 men and women in professional, technical, administrative and d associated d occupations.



685 Warren Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914 401.438-5450 •

Page 18

Common Ground


DIRECTORY OF UNION SERVICES BARBERS & HAIRDRESSERS Some barbers and hairdressers are organized by UFCW Local 328. For a list of union barber shops and hairdressers, please contact Local 328 at (401) 861-0300 or

BUILDING TRADES For home and business construction, repairs, or additions please contact one of the following unions for a reputable contractor in your area. For general questions or help please call Build RI at (401) 553-2100 or Boilermakers Local No. 29 (617) 328-8400 Bricklayers Local No.1 (401) 946-9940 Carpenters Local No. 94 (401) 467-7070 Elevator Constructors Local No. 39 (401) 423-2293 Glaziers Local No. 1333 (401) 781-4736 Heat and Frost Insulators Local No. 6 (617) 436-4666 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local No. 99 (401) 946-9900 International Union of Operating Engineers Local No. 57 (401) 421-6678 Iron Workers Local Local No. 37 (401) 438-1111 Laborers Local No. 271 (401) 331-9682 Painters & Allied Trades District Council 11 (401) 467-7010 Plaster & Masons Local No. 40 (401) 943-1185 Plumbers & Pipefitters Local No. 51 (401) 943-3033 Rhode Island Building Trades (401) 438-1111 Roofers & Waterproofers Local No. 33 (781) 341-9192 Sheet Metal Workers Local No. 17 (401) 831-7150 Sprinkler Fitters Local No. 676 (860) 666-4447 Teamsters Local No. 251 (401) 434-0454

BUS SERVICES RIPTA Rhode Island Public Transit Authority 265 Melrose Street Providence, RI 02907 (401) 781-9400 Peter Pan Bus Lines Corporate Headquarters P.O. Box 1776 Springfield, MA 01102-1776 1-800-237-8747 ext. 1209

CHILD CARE PROVIDERS To arrange on-site child care coverage for your meetings or conferences, or to locate a DCYF-licensed home-based child care provider in your neighborhood or near your workplace, contact the union of home-based child care providers, District 1199 SEIU, at (401) 457-5099 or www.

DELIVERY SERVICES United Parcel Service The Teamsters Local 251 represent Rhode Island’s UPS workers. For the outlet nearest you, or to schedule a home pick up, please contact UPS at or 1-800-PICK-UPS. United States Postal Service Your local post office is represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers, the American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (a division of the Laborers Union.)

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS Credit union employees are organized by UFCW Local 328. Rhode Island Credit Union Providence Branch 160 Francis Street Providence, RI 02903 (401) 751-7440 Cranston Branch 570 Pontiac Avenue Cranston, RI 02910 (401) 941-8770 Bristol Branch 390 Metacom Avenue Bristol, RI 02809 (401) 253-1313 URI Branch URI Memorial Union Kingston, RI 02881 (401) 789-0253 Dexter Credit Union 1 Village Plaza Way North Scituate, RI 02857 (401) 934-7600 934 Dexter Street Central Falls, RI 02863 (401) 724-6200 Woodlawn Federal Credit Union 744 Main Street Pawtucket, RI 02860 (401) 728-8300 The Carpenters’ Union represents: First Trade Union Bank 14 Jefferson Park Road Warwick, RI 02888 1-800-242-0272

FUNCTION FACILITIES Biltmore Hotel 11 Dorrance Street Providence, RI 02903 (401) 455-3027 Scott Connery, Director of Catering Brown University 45 Prospect St. Providence, RI 02912 (401) 863-1075 Cynthia Schwartz, Director of University Event Bryant University 1150 Douglas Pike Smithfield, RI 02917 (401) 232-6921 Sheila Guay, Director of Events

Community College of Rhode Island Knight Campus, Warwick Flanagan Campus, Lincoln Liston Campus, Providence Newport Campus CCRI Downcity (401) 825-2015 Edna Mattson Dunkin Donuts Center 1 LaSalle Square Providence, RI 02903 (401) 331-0700 ext. 150 Robert Sturm, Event Manager Newport Grand 150 Admiral Kalbfus Road Newport, RI 02840 (401) 849-5000 ext. 157 David Rollin Providence College 549 River Avenue Providence, RI 02918 (401) 865-1000 ext. 2070 Victoria Mocshu Rhode Island College 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue Providence, RI 02908 (401)456-8022 Kathy Sasso RI Convention Center 1 Sabin Street Providence, RI 02903 (401)-458-6002 Antonia Anthony, Director of Event Services Roger Williams Park Casino 1000 Elmwood Avenue Providence, RI 02905 (401) 785-9450 ext. 240 Lisa Gonzales, Casino Event Planner Roger Williams University 1 Old Ferry Road Bristol, RI 02809 (401) 253-1040 ext. 3793 Allison Chase-Padula Twin River 1600 Louisquisset Pike Lincoln, RI 02865 (401) 723-3200 ext. 8497 Alana Barts University of Rhode Island Kingston, Alton Jones Campus Providence Campus (401) 874-2214 Sherry Davis The Westin Providence 1 Exchange Street Providence, RI 02903 (401) 598-8245 Alan Swerdolff, Director of Sales and Marketing

HOSPITALS UNAP members work at the following locations: • Fatima Hospital • Greater RI Visiting Nurse Service • Homestead Group • Kent Hospital • Landmark Medical Center • Memorial Hospital • Rehabilitation Hospital of RI • Rhode Island Hospital • RI Community Living & Support Services • RI Dept of Human Services • RI Veterans’ Home • URI, CCRI, RIC Health Services • Westerly Hospital (Professional & Technical) • Westerly Hospital (Service & Maintenance) • Zambarano Hospital SEIU 1199 members work at the following locations: • Butler Hospital • Women & Infants Hospital

JANITORIAL SERVICES Some janitorial companies are organized by SEIU Local 615. For a list of unionized janitorial services, contact the Local 615 office at (401) 521-6150 or visit their website at

NEWSPAPERS Providence Journal Subscribe (401) 277-7600 Pawtucket Times Subscribe (401) 722-4000 Woonsocket Call Subscribe (401) 767-8522

NURSING HOMES SEIU 1199 members work at the following locations: • Bannister House • Charlesgate Nursing Center • Country Gardens Skilled Nursing • Crawford Skilled Nursing • Greenville Skilled Nursing • Hopkins Manor • Pawtucket Skilled Nursing • Parkview Associates • United Methodist Health Care Center

PRINTERS, BANNERS & SIGNS American Speedy Printing 635 Arnold Road Coventry, RI 02816 Phone: (401) 823-0090 Fax: (401) 823-0092 B Sign Graphics 27 Libera Street Cranston, RI 02920 Phone: (401) 943-6941 Fax: (401) 943-2287 Cogens, Inc. 1 Virginia Avenue Providence, RI 02905 Phone: (401) 421-4436 Fax: (401) 331-9032 Crownmark 109 Fletcher Avenue Cranston, RI 02920 Phone: (401) 943-1112 Fax: (401) 943-1113 Dorrance Engraving 635 Prospect Street Pawtucket, RI 02860 Phone: (401) 725-0504 Fax: (401) 725-0504 East Coast Screen Printing 22 Partridge Street Providence, RI 02908 Phone: (401) 272-1166 Fax: (401) 272-1167 Federal Signs 135 Dean Street Providence, RI 02903 Phone: (401) 421-3400 Fax: (401) 351-2233 Financial Innovations 1 Weingeroff Blvd. Cranston, RI 02919 Phone: (401) 467-3170 Fax: (401) 467-3570 JB Foley Printing 1469 Broad Street Providence, RI 02905 Phone: (401) 467-3616 Fax: (401) 467-8309 Lamar Outdoor Advertising 360 Warren Avenue E. Providence, RI 02914 Phone: (401) 421-4504, Fax: (401) 421-4757 Mandeville Sign Co. 676 George Wash. Hwy. Lincoln, RI 02865 Phone: (401) 334-9100 Fax: (401) 334-7799 Regine Printing Co., Inc. 208 Laurel Hill Avenue Providence, RI 02909 Phone: (401) 943-3404 Fax (401) 944-1228

R.I. Litho Prin 1395 Atwoo Johnston, RI 0 Phone: (401 Fax: (401) 4

Screen Work 62 South Ma Woonsocket, Phone: (401)

Sheahan Prin 1 Front Stree Woonsocket, Phone: (401) Fax: (401) 7

Sign Lite, Inc 6 Corporate N. Haven, C Phone: 1-800 Fax: (203) 2

The Sign Sho P.O. Box 229 Westerly, RI 0 Phone: (401)

Tarvis Graph 21 Sabin Str Pawtucket, RI Phone: (401) Fax: (401) 7


All public sch organized by Federation of Health Profes National Edu of Rhode Isla

The following are also unio • Laborers • Textron C • Times 2



ork at



Nursing es Health







Common Ground


R.I. Litho Printing, Inc. 1395 Atwood Avenue Johnston, RI 02919 Phone: (401) 275-0760 Fax: (401) 464-6002

Waste Management of Rhode Island (800) 972-4545

Screen Works, LLC 62 South Main Street Woonsocket, RI 02895 Phone: (401) 692-0304

SUPERMARKETS Supermarket employees at the stores listed below are members of UFCW Local 328 or UFCW Local 791.

Sheahan Printing Corp. 1 Front Street Woonsocket, RI 02895 Phone: (401) 273-7272 Fax: (401) 769-9206

Super Stop and Shop • Bristol • Coventry • Cumberland • Johnston • Lincoln • Middletown • Narragansett • Newport • North Kingstown • North Providence • North Smithfield • Pawtucket • Providence • Richmond • Smithfield • Warwick • Westerly

Sign Lite, Inc. 6 Corporate Drive N. Haven, CT 06473 Phone: 1-800-544-0854 Fax: (203) 234-8344 The Sign Shoppe P.O. Box 2296 Westerly, RI 02891 Phone: (401) 364-7442 Tarvis Graphics Inc. 21 Sabin Street Pawtucket, RI 02860 Phone: (401) 726-5530 Fax: (401) 723-6420

PUBLIC SCHOOLS All public school employees are organized by the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals or the National Education Association of Rhode Island. The following Charter Schools are also unionized: • Laborers Charter School • Textron Charter School • Times 2 Charter School

Shaw’s Supermarket • Barrington • Garden City • Cranston • East Providence • Riverside • Johnston • Middletown • North Providence • Pawtucket • Providence • Wakefield • Warwick





14 04,





Don’t Miss Don’t Miss

Eastside Marketplace • Providence Brigidos IGA • Pascoag • North Scituate Grand Union Family Markets • South Yarmouth • Provincetown • Buzzards Bay • South Yarmouth

An informative, one-hour weekly show highlighting An informative, issues and eventsone-hour affecting weekly show families. highlighting working

C-Town Supermarket • Pawtucket

issues and events affecting working families. TUESDAY 7 P.M.



AT&T Wireless 1 (800) 897-7046 Union members recieve special discounts on AT&T wireless service plans. For more infomation to to


Verizon Verizon, whose employees are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2323, can provide for all of your home and office internet, telephone and cable TV needs through Verizon’s new FiOS (Fiber Optic Service) network.

P.O. Box 7613 Warwick, RI 02887 (401) 751-7100 P.O. Box 7613 Warwick, RI 02887 (401) 751-7100

Simply call 1-888-Get FiOS or 1-888-591-6076 or contact IBEW 2323 at (401) 946-2323.

Use your hard earned money to support hard working union members!



WILLIAM F. HOLMES Vice President

PAUL ENOS Sargeant-At-Arms




• Lakewood • Westerly • Woonsocket

BUY Union Products. USE Union Services. Use yourUnion hard earned money to support hardUnion working union members! Products. Services. BUY USE



Page 19

Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local Union 1

Plumbers, Pipefitters & Refrigeration Local Union 51

Construction & General Laborers’ Local Union 271

Sprinkler Fitters & Apprentices Local Union 676

Boilermakers Local Union 29

Elevator Constructors Local Union 39

Plasters’ & Cement Masons’ Local Union 40

Bridge, Structural, Ornamental & Reinforcing Iron Workers Local Union 37

Operating Engineers Local Union 57

Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 17

Carpenters Local Union 94

Painters and Allied Trades Local Union 195

Roofers & Waterproofers Local Union 33

Glaziers Local Union 1333

IBEW Local Union 99

Teamsters Local Union 251 Heat, Frost Insulators & Asbestos Local Union 6

410 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903 T: 401.331.9682 F: 401.861.1480

Page 20

Common Ground

PUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ LOCAL UNION 1033 Representing the Public Servants who make government work!


Partnering with Rhode Island’s Municipalities to Provide the Most Effective and Cost-efficient Public Employee Benefits

The Rhode Island Public Employees’ Health Services Fund

The Rhode Island Public Employees’ Legal Services Fund


The Rhode Island Public Employees’ Education, Training and Apprenticeship Fund

Cranston Crossing Guards

Town of North Kingstown Lincoln Highway Department Providence Community Action Program Providence School Department Lincoln Public Library Narragansett Bay Commission Town of North Providence City of Providence Narragansett Town Hall North Providence Crossing Guards Lincoln Water Commission Providence Civic Center Authority R.I. Department of Transportation Warwick Crossing Guards North Providence School Department Lincoln Town Hall


Business Manager

Donald S. Iannazzi, Esq. Chairman


Vicki A. Virgilio Trustee

Pasquale T. D’Amico Trustee

Sharen Gleckman Trustee

Joseph F. Kenney Trustee

Betty Jackson Liaison

Chris Lombardi Coordinator

Rhode Island’s Union Built, Operated and Staffed Facilities Roger Williams Park Casino

accommodating 50 - 300 (401) 941-5640 (401) 785-9450

city center skating rink

accommodating groups from 10 - 400 (401) 331-5544 ext. 5

Common Ground February Newspaper  

Common Ground is a newspaper which addresses the concerns of working people and their families in Rhode Island.

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