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Common Ground VOLUME 1, NUMBER 11

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Governor-elect Chafee seeks to bring Rhode Island together After a hard-fought and sometimes contentious election, Governor-elect Lincoln Chafee seeks to unite Rhode Islanders. With record unemployment and an even greater sense of disillusionment, Mr. Chafee is ready to take the challenges head on. With all that is before him, he took the time to answer questions posed to him by Common Ground. 1. This was one of the most divisive elections in recent history. What will you do to unite all Rhode Islanders behind you? Part of our problem in Rhode Island is that there’s too much fighting. We’re not working well together. The Governor has fought with the General Assembly. He’s fought with the unions. He’s fought with the Latino community. There’s too much division. I’ll be an approachable and accessible Governor, and I’ll work to earn the trust of every Rhode Islander. I’ve pledged to listen to all points of view and work with everyone. We’ve got to start bringing people together in this state. 2. As you know, many of the unions were split on their endorsement in the Governor’s race. What will you do to work with all unions to come together to improve our state? Again, I’ll listen to everyone and work to earn everyone’s trust.

3. As the first independent Governor of Rhode Island, how will your lack of party affiliation enable you to work with the Democratic controlled General Assembly? I have a history of working with people of all political backgrounds. As Mayor of Warwick, I was a Republican with a heavily Democratic city council, but I built trust and good relationships, and ultimately we delivered for the people of Warwick. In the Senate, I crossed party lines to vote against the Iraq War and tax cuts that favored the wealthy. Meanwhile, I kept good relationships with everyone. If anything, being an independent Governor makes it easier for me to work with both Republicans and Democrats in the General Assembly, while still not being beholden to special interests. 4. What policies will you work to enact to put people back to work? During the campaign, I released a detailed jobs plan for my first 100 days in office, which can be accessed at My plan puts people back to work by making our assets work for us, establishing an honest budget policy, and ending cronyism and corruption in state government. 5. This is your opportunity to speak directly, unfiltered by the media, to everyday Rhode Islanders. What do you want to say to them? It might be trite to say, but I truly believe Rhode Island’s best days are ahead. We’re right on the cusp of greatness in this state, and I’m going to work hard every day to make sure we get there.

Your message heard even louder Common Ground expanding its reach in print, the internet and radio to deliver its message as far and wide as possible using every method available. We must seize every opportunity to ensure that we aren’t drowned out by the anti-union, anti-worker sentiment often found in the main stream media. Actively and aggressively telling our story to the public, to decision makers, and to union members is extremely critical to success. This is why Common Ground has embarked on an ambitious program to disseminate the positive union message in newspapers, on the Internet, and on the radio. The Common Ground newspaper already reaches across state lines at locations in Attleboro and Seekonk, and our R

In today’s new media environment, it’s more important than ever for the labor community Primary

content has been equally received by workers in Massachusetts. In Common Ground’s July edition, the story of recovery high schools in Massachusetts and the role of Lieutenant William J. Ostiguy of the Boston Fire Department in bringing them to fruition was covered. This front-page story even prompted a reader whose child was suffering from addiction to call Publisher John J. Tassoni, Jr. to see if Rhode Island had such a school. While Rhode Island does not have recovery schools, Mr. Tassoni was able to help a concerned mother enroll her child into a Massachusetts recovery high school. At the same time, in his role as a state See Radio Continued on Page 2

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Common Ground

Radio Continued from Page 1 senator (D-22, Smithfield, North Smithfield), Mr. Tassoni is working with the Rhode Island Department of Education and Legislative leaders to explore the possibility of developing recovery high schools in Rhode Island. Since Rhode Island and Massachusetts face many of the similar issues, the decision was made to extend the newspaper further

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important issues in Rhode Island. On the Common Ground Radio Show, labor leaders, elected officials, and everyday union members who are making an impact in the community will be interviewed. We will also feature stories that affect our state, and we will interview everyday Rhode Islanders who are making a difference each day. All unions and our supporters will have the opportunity to be heard, and there will be advertising and sponsorships opportunities available. Due to your support, we are able to continue these endeavors. As you browse through the pages of this newspaper, you will notice the ads placed by unions and their many allies. These ads have made our Common Ground, Rhode Island into the successful communication vehicle that it is today. We encourage you to support our advertisers who have made it possible to bring our message to you. For more information about Common Ground’s Massachusetts edition, new website or radio show, please contact John Tassoni, Jr. at (401) 451-1305 or email john@

into the Greater Boston area. Beginning in January, 2011, Common Ground Massachusetts will distribute 30,000 papers in and around Greater Boston. Eventually, our goal will be to distribute Common Ground across the entire Commonwealth with several editions covering different regions. Stories and features will be centered around Massachusetts’ labor news, but content will be shared between different editions, so readers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts will know about the issues their fellow workers face. To complement the newspapers, Common Ground is launching two companion websites, and, which will debut in January. Both websites will collect and deliver the latest and most current labor news, both locally and nationally. Not only will daily labor news be available in one place, but we will enable any partnering union to display our headlines on their website. Unions and other advertisers will be able to display interactive ads on these new dynamic websites, which have the potential to reach active union members and supporters who are looking for current labor related news. We see the Common Ground websites as a powerful launching pad for disseminating labor news electronically onto many different platforms. Broadcasting into Rhode Island and parts of Massachusetts will be The Common Ground Radio Show, which will begin airing on AM 790 starting Monday, November 29th from 3 pm to 5 pm, and then subsequent Monday afternoons. HostedEXTENDED by Common Ground Newspaper 11 PM HOURS: SUN.-THURS. FRI.-SAT. publisher John Tassoni, Jr.,MIDNIGHT the Common Ground Radio&Show will promote all the positive BAR LOUNGE SPECIALS contributions the labor community makes. Like the newspaper, the radio show will feature topics 8-11toSun.-Wed. • 9-12asFri. important the labor movement well&asSat. other

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Giving back the 1033 way!

PROVIDENCE -- The proud public servants of Public Employees’ Local Union 1033 have long recognized their commitment to our communities through their daily labor, their dedication to making their local governmental agencies work and their year-long charitable efforts. The membership’s recent efforts include three separate acts to make our society a little bit better for everyone. On Oct. 24, more than 75 union sisters and brothers joined the 1033 executive board and then-Providence mayoral candidate Angel Taveras at the 2010 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. The walk was conducted in Providence’s Roger Williams Park. Joining forces in what promises to be a long and productive relationship, Team 1033 and Theresa’s Angels, a group named after Taveras’ aunt, raised more than $4,000 for the American Cancer Society (ACS). That money will go a long way toward fighting breast cancer. Local 1033’s team was co-chaired by two

of its bravest members, Deb Wilson and Janice Cranston Public School Construction Career Lanzone, and Theresa’s Angels was chaired by Academy, where they will be used to enhance Theresa Liberato. Prior to kicking off the walk, students’ learning opportunities. The computers Local 1033 business manager Don Iannazzi were purchased through Local 1033’s Training, and Tavares, the union’s endorsed candidate for “It only took one phone call to Local 1033 for all of mayor addressed the this to happen. You should all be proud of what we did combined team, praising together today. I look forward to working with all of you their captains and their fellow participants for their in January. With this enthusiasm and this dedication, the determination in beating people of Providence are greatly served.” - Angel Taveras back a terrible disease. Iannazzi and Taveras also called for a silent prayer in memory of Kerry Brusini, a 1033 member Education and Apprenticeship Fund. who served the Town of North Providence Local 1033 is working on its 12th and whose smile and grace will long live Annual Holiday Food Drive. Each year union within Town Hall. Kerry passed away from members partner with the Providence City complications caused by cancer a week before Council to provide thousands of pounds the walk. of food to community centers throughout Taveras gave the final charge to the starting Providence for distribution to families in every line and stated, “It only took one phone call to neighborhood. The drive shows union members’ Local 1033 for all of this to happen. You should appreciation for all that we have. What better all be proud of what we did way to demonstrate our thanks than by giving together today. I look forward something back to Providence’s neighborhoods? to working with all of you in Local 1033’s 4,000 members are employed January. With this enthusiasm by the state, City of Providence, Town of and this dedication, the North Providence, North Providence School people of Providence are Department, Narragansett Bay Commission, greatly served.” Town of Lincoln, Lincoln Water Commission, A server and 12 Lincoln Public Library, Town of Narragansett, computers formerly in the Town of North Kingstown, City of Cranston, Local’s training lab were City of Warwick, Providence/Cranston job generously donated to the training program and Providence School New England Laborers/ Department.



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Common Ground


AFL-CIO lays out legislation to strengthen America’s economy The national office of the AFL-CIO has come up with several proposals union members can present to their state legislators in an effort to prevent corporations from transferring jobs overseas. The tools are in the form of model legislation contained in the 2011 Working Families State Legislative Agenda, according to Christine SilviaDeGennaro, state legislative issues coordinator in the Government Affairs Department of the AFL-CIO office in Washington, D.C. The agenda includes bills to: • Ensure that state tax dollars are used to create state jobs and stabilize the state tax base by prohibiting states from contracting with or providing economic development assistance to companies that ship work offshore. Companies that violate the offshore ban during the course of a contract or development assistance period would have to repay the state for the percentage of work that was performed with workers outside the United States. Also, violators would be unable to receive contracts or development assistance for five years. • Help shine a light on companies that receive taxpayer dollars through state contracts or economic development assistance. Companies that ship jobs offshore would be revealed, and officials would analyze the impact of outsourcing on the state’s economy. • Ensure that state tax dollars are used to procure goods made in the United States. New legislation would supplement any existing or future preferences for locally produced goods. • Ensures that citizens and the state legislators they elect have access to information on the impact of international trade policy on the state economy. The role of the state legislature in setting trade policy would be clearly established, and help for workers and businesses impacted by trade would be specified. In addition, consent of the legislature would be required to bind the state to international trade agreements; an Office of Trade Enforcement would be established, and a Citizens’ Commission on Globalization would be appointed by the governor and legislature to assess the legal and economic impacts of trade agreements. • Hold government subsidy recipients accountable for the way they spend taxpayer dollars and make sure that companies that receive subsidies raise the standard of living for working

families. The state would be allowed to recapture subsidies if firms fail to meet minimum requirements such as maintaining 90 percent of their employment in the state. According to Silvia-DeGennaro, the final model bill is aimed at creating jobs by establishing a state revolving loan fund that would give businesses access to the capital they need to create good, family-sustaining green jobs. She said Working America and the AFL-CIO recently released a report on outsourcing that is being shared with the National Labor Caucus of State Legislators. The report, “Outsourced: Sending Jobs Overseas – The Cost to America’s Economy and Working Families,” is a companion piece to Working America’s Job Tracker, a zip code-searchable database that maps out jobs exported, mass layoffs and violations of labor law and regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program. For more information and nonstop news about working families, visit The Job Tracker Web site is jobtracker.

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Miners need more than cheers By James Celenza

We all watched as the first trapped miner in Chile emerged out of the rescue shaft with trepidation that all the miners would make it. When the last miner emerged safe and sound, the world seemed to celebrate. We should not let what happened in Chile pass without forgetting that last April, 29 miners were not rescued but died in the Massey Upper Big Branch Mine in Comfort, West. Virginia. In 2006, 72 American miners lost their lives. The majority of those fatalities occurred in Kentucky and West Virginia, including the Sago mine disaster. Every year, thousands of workers die in mines and many more lose limbs and their ability to make a living. The best way to celebrate the safe return of the Chilean miners would be for Congress to pass H.R. 5663, filed by Rep. George Miller (D-CA.), and the Senate companion legislation -- The Robert C. Byrd Mine and Workplace Safety and Health Act of 2010, introduced by Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Carte Goodwin, Democrats from West Virginia. The act would add safeguards for our

nation’s miners, especially underground coal miners who face potentially deadly work conditions on a daily basis. The bill would give the Mine Safety and Health Administration

(MSHA) authority to revoke an employer’s mining engineering plan if it is inaccurate and creates a serious safety hazard; to assess monetary penalties for a pattern of serious violations; to extend criminal liability to mining officials who knowingly violate federal safety regulations; and to protect miners from loss of pay when their mine is shut down to correct serious safety problems. The bills also address important safeguards for workers in other industries and sectors by strengthening whistleblower protections; increasing criminal penalties, especially when workers are killed due to safety violations; updating civil penalties that have not been revised since 1990; preventing delay in the correction of hazards; and providing greater rights for victims and their families. The legislation will provide the additional tools agencies need to ensure safe and healthy workplaces for all Americans. James Celenza is the director of the Rhode Island Committee on Occupational Safety & Health. Contact him at (401) 751-2015 or

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Common Ground


Back to basics: What is actually happening to my child’s brain on drugs? By Betty Blackburn Families are always the last to know when it comes to a loved one’s level of abuse. Addicts are typically so accustomed to distorting the truth that it is often years before the whole story surfaces. In some cases, that never happens. That said, the most crucial tool for families is information, and while they may not know what exactly the addict is doing, they can be aware of how the addict’s brain is reacting to the drugs being abused. Essentially, drugs are chemicals that tap into the brain’s communication system and disrupt the way nerve cells normally send, receive and process information. There are at least two ways that drugs are able to do this: by imitating the brain’s natural chemical messengers; and/or by over-stimulating the “reward circuit” of the brain. Drugs such as marijuana and heroin have a similar structure to chemical messengers called neurotransmitters, which are naturally produced by the brain. Because of that similarity, those drugs are able to fool the brain’s receptors and activate nerve cells to send abnormal messages. Other drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamines, can cause the nerve cells to release abnormally large amounts of neurotransmitters or prevent the normal recycling of those brain chemicals, which is needed to shut off the signal between neurons. That disruption produces a greatly amplified message that ultimately disrupts normal communication patterns. Nearly all drugs directly or indirectly target

the brain’s reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that control movement, emotion, motivation and feelings of pleasure. The over-stimulation of that system, which normally responds to natural behaviors that are linked to survival, produces euphoric effects in response to the drugs. That reaction sets in motion a pattern that teaches people to repeat the behavior of abusing drugs. As a person continues to abuse drugs, the brain adapts to the overwhelming surges in dopamine either by producing less dopamine or by reducing the number of dopamine receptors in the reward circuit. As a result, dopamine’s impact on the reward circuit is lessened, reducing the abuser’s ability to enjoy the drugs and the things that previously brought pleasure. That decrease compels the addict to keep

abusing drugs in order to bring their dopamine function back to normal. Then they may require larger amounts of the drug to achieve the dopamine high -- an effect known as tolerance. Long-term abuse causes changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that influences the reward circuit and the ability to learn. When the optimal concentration of glutamate is altered by drug abuse, the brain attempts to compensate, which can impair cognitive function. Drugs of abuse facilitate non-conscious (conditioned) learning, which leads users to experience uncontrollable cravings when they see a place or person they associate with the drug experience, even when the drug itself is not available. Brain imaging studies of drug-addicted individuals show changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision-making, learning, memory and behavior control. Together, those changes drive an abuser to seek out and take drugs compulsively, despite the consequences. It is important for all those involved with the addiction process to understand the science behind the behavior. Not only does it help you better understand the chaos, but the realization that an addict’s behavior isn’t personal often helps the family sleep a little better at night. Betty Blackburn is New England regional director for Treatment Solutions Network. Contact her at (954) 707-1663 or She responds promptly to e-mails and phone calls.


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Common Ground


Adopting a dog is a commitment that can lead to many rewards By Dennis Tabella

Adopting a dog can be a rewarding experience. Dogs

can give you unconditional loyalty and acceptance, provide constant companionship and even help relieve stress after a hard day’s work. However, your commitment could be for more than 15 years.

Defenders of Animals Inc. has always encouraged

families to adopt from their local animal shelter or from local organizations that handle the adoptions of dogs. Unfortunately, more than 3,000 cats and dogs are destroyed each year in Rhode Island, but that number could decrease if more people adopted a pet from a shelter or an animal that may end up at a shelter.

Before adopting a dog, families have to answer

questions such as: Do we have time for a dog? Can we afford one? Are we prepared to deal with any special problems that may occur? Are the children old enough and responsible enough to handle a dog properly? Will the dog be boarded at a reputable kennel when the family travels? Are you willing to have a qualified person do obedience training if necessary?

Pet ownership is a family commitment, so please

don’t make the dog the responsibility of a child, and be prepared to care for the animal for its entire lifetime. Having a pet spayed or neutered is a must. Obeying community leash and licensing laws and keeping identification on your pet are all part of being a responsible owner. Defenders of Animals strongly recommends having a microchip implanted in your dog to help locate and identify it if it is lost.

Please consider the training essentials. Like children,

dogs depend on adults to teach them good behavior. Dogs need order, and they like routine. They are pack animals, and they need to know that someone is the leader of the pack. If the human doesn’t act as the “alpha,” the dog will be confused and may try to take charge. Teach your dog from the start that you are the leader of the pack, the one on whom it can depend for guidance and protection (not the other way around). Don’t be harsh and never hit a dog. Instead, teach your dog using consistent, positive reinforcement.

As most dog trainers will tell you, the keys to success

are consistency and commitment. Be committed to helping your dog adjust and integrating it into the family. Realize that the dog is counting on you, that nobody is perfect, and that adjustment and training take time. Once a dog has bonded with you, you will have a friend and companion for life. Please feel free to contact Defenders of Animals at (401) 461-1922 for information regarding the adoption of a pet or go online to

Dennis Tabella is director of Defenders of Animals Inc.

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Common Ground

Page 9

Five tips to help reduce your 2010 tax bill By William J. Hawkins III Staying on top of your finances in the final months of the year can be the difference between owing thousands of dollars in federal taxes and receiving a sizeable check from the government in the spring. Here are some suggestions you might want to act on to reduce this year’s tax liability. • Take advantage of the capital gains tax rate. If you file a joint tax return and your taxable income, including long-term capital gains, is less than $68,000, or if you file as a single taxpayer and your income is less than $34,000, you fall in the 10 or 15 percent ordinary income tax bracket, which means you will be able to realize some tax-free long-term capital gains. If long term capital gains push you over your threshold, some of the gains will be taxed at the 15 percent long-term capital gains rate. For example, a married couple filing jointly with an expected 2010 net taxable income of $75,000 made up of $55,000 in ordinary income and $20,000 in net long-term capital gains from the sale of securities will exceed the 15 percent bracket threshold by $7,000, which is difference between $75,000 and $68,000. Their tax picture would break down as follows: $55,000 in ordinary income; $13,000 in long-term capital gains that is tax-free; and $7,000 in long-term capital gains taxed at 15 percent. • Abide by the “wash sale rule” when harvesting losses. The wash sale rule is tricky. In a nutshell, it disallows a tax loss if you buy the same or a substantially identical security within 30 calendar days before or after the trade date. Many investors take advantage of a strategy called “doubling up.” That means before selling a loss position, you purchase additional shares of the security you want to own. You then wait until 31 calendar days after the purchase trade date to sell the original position, creating the loss while maintaining a position. The last day to purchase additional shares in a security if you want to double up and subsequently sell the shares you own is Nov. 30. If you buy additional shares on that day, the only date you can sell your original shares for a 2010 tax loss without creating a wash sale is Dec. 31. Before you sell an investment to establish a loss, keep in mind that capital gains tax rates are scheduled to increase next year, and that you may be better off postponing the sale of securities at a loss. • Watch the calendar when selling securities. When selling securities you own, remember that it’s generally the trade

date, not the settlement date, that determines the year of the sale and recognition of any gain or loss. The last date to sell a stock or listed option and create a 2010 reportable transaction is Dec. 31. Your first opportunity to recognize a gain or loss in a stock or listed option for 2011 is with a sale on Jan. 3. When considering the tax year in which you wish to have your long-term capital gains taxed, it is important to determine if you expect to be in a higher capital gains tax rate in the future. • Start repaying the 2008 first-time homebuyer credit. When the first-time homebuyer credit was made available, the credit was limited to $7,500 and there was a 15-year repayment period starting in 2010. If you received the credit and are subject to repayment, plan to include the first installment on your 2010 tax return as an additional amount due. Paying the additional amount may require beginning or increasing estimated tax payments. • Think before exercising company granted stock options. If you sell shares from an incentive stock option (ISO) exercise, the taxable spread (the difference between the stock price on the exercise date and your option cost) is a preference item for alternative minimum tax (AMT) purposes in the year in which the exercise occurs. Work with your tax professional to determine if you must sell some or all of those shares by year’s end to limit your AMT exposure. Due to potential increases in capital gains tax rates in 2011 and beyond, it may be in your best interest to sell ISO shares that have aged past the required holding period. To help you determine which strategies are most beneficial for your financial and overall tax situation, talk with your financial adviser and tax professional. William J. Hawkins III is a chartered retirement planning counsellor with Wells Fargo Advisors, which wrote the above article. He can be reached at (401) 459-6824.

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Common Ground


America’s income disparity grows to widest margin By John A. Pernorio According to the program “Democracy Now!,” a disturbing U.S. Census report that came out last month shows that the U.S. has the greatest income disparity among Western industrialized nations. The data shows that the income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its widest amount on record. The top earning 20 percent of Americans received more than 49 percent of all income generated in 2009. The income gap has nearly doubled since 1968. With the success of Social Security, poverty for older Americans is now at 9 percent, compared to a 21 percent poverty rate for children. Much of the income gap spike was driven by the share of total income accrued by the richest 1 percent of households. Between 1980 and 2008, that share rose from 10 percent to 21 percent. According to the Joint Economic Committee, high levels of income inequality can precipitate economic crises. Peaks in income inequality preceded both the Great Depression and this decade’s great recession.

Social Security more crucial than ever as pension reductions are proposed A “Washington Post” story describes how public employees nationwide are being targeted for massive pension and benefit cuts. In California, Gov. Schwarzenegger has proposed a two-tiered system for pensions in which new state workers receive reduced benefits; Illinois just raised the retirement age for new employees; and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says that public employee pension reform is one of the most essential factors for the state’s fiscal health. Social Security is more important now than ever. We cannot allow fanatics to slash Social Security when pensions are in danger of being cut and the retirement income gap is growing exponentially. John A. Pernorio is president of the Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans.

Samaritans of Rhode Island issue call for volunteers

During these trying economic times, the holidays will be difficult for many Rhode Islanders. You can help by joining The Samaritans of Rhode Island.

The volunteers are trained to be non-judgmental listeners. In 33 years

male volunteers, Spanish speaking volunteers, college interns and retirees,

in Rhode Island, more than 1,370 volunteers have answered more than a

according to Panichas.

half million calls and helped countless others through The Samaritans’ free

programs and services, according to executive director Dennis Panichas.

name in suicide prevention, according to Panichas. For more information

and a complete list of training dates, visit; call

Volunteers and interns must be at least 18 years old, out of high school

and able to pass a criminal background check. There is a shortage of

Established in 1977, The Samaritans remain the state’s most trusted

(401) 272-4243; or e-mail

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


Common Ground

Page 11

Common Ground Radio Show

Hosted by John J. Tassoni, Jr. Monday Afternoons 3pm – 5pm on AM 790

For more information on advertising and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Executive Producer Jen Almeida at 401.831.6123 or email


is a very talkative, large cat, who loves

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Do you own a vehicle with a model year of 2006 to the present? • Was the vehicle involved in an accident caused by someone else?

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Executive Board Bob Davis • Bob Doyle • Paul Harrington • Jim Murphy Frank Plutzner • Peter Ritchie • Vincent Rowan

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Page 12

Common Ground


Walkers raise $900,000 to aid battle against breast cancer PROVIDENCE – On Oct. 24, 14,000 people gathered at Roger Williams Park to participate in the 15th Annual American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, raising $900,000 to help fight the disease. Walkers followed the 3.2-mile route around Roger Williams to proudly honor breast cancer survivors and fondly remember those who have lost their lives to the disease. Making Strides is the nation’s oldest and largest one-day breast cancer fundraiser, and is the American Cancer Society’s signature event during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Rhode Island’s walk was one of more than 22 Making Strides events in New England. “As the official sponsor of birthdays, the American Cancer Society (ACS) wants women to see the real tangible benefits to taking care of themselves” said Debborah Smith, senior operations vice president of health initiatives at the ACS. “Women can take charge of their breast health, fight breast cancer and save lives. More than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors will celebrate a birthday this year thanks to early detection and improved treatment. That means more special times to spend and celebrate with family, friends and loved ones,” she said. According to ACS statistics, every three minutes a woman in the United States learns that she has breast cancer. In addition: • Breast cancer accounts for nearly one out of three cancer diagnoses among women in the U.S.

• • • • •

An estimated 207,090 U.S. women will develop breast cancer this year, and 40,230 will die from it. In Rhode Island, 790 women will develop breast cancer this year, and sadly 130 will die from it. Progress in both early detection and treatment of breast cancer has resulted in decreasing mortality rates since 1990. There is a 98 percent five-year relative survival rate among patients in whom breast cancer is caught before it has spread; 61 percent of breast cancers are found at that early stage. Funds raised through Making Strides are critical in meeting the needs of breast cancer patients in the community through: Stay Well: A service that provides answers to questions day and night. People can call (800) 227-2345 or go online to Breast cancer is the number-one reason people call. Get Well: Because breast cancer patients, survivors and their families need emotional and physical support, ACS offers Reach to Recovery, a one- on-one program that pairs patients with trained survivors for support and advice.

more than $388 million in breast cancer-related grants since 1971, more than any other voluntary health organization. As a result, more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors will celebrate a birthday this year. • Fighting Back: American Cancer Society advocacy efforts have played a role in keeping the Rhode Island Women’s Cancer Screening Program a top political issue. Media partners for the 2010 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event included WCTK Cat Country 98.1 FM, WPRI Fox TV in Providence and Gladworks. Additionally, hundreds of teams from businesses, schools and community groups participated. For more information or to find a Making Strides event near you, call the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345 or visit

Our Look Good…Feel Better workshops teach ways to help with appearance- related side effects from chemotherapy or radiation treatments. • Finding Cures: The ACS has distributed

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Page 13

Eye On Rhode Island OPINION

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

There’s good and bad news about Obama’s transportation infrastructure proposal By Barry Schiller The good news is that the Obama administration has sensibly proposed to repair the nation’s lagging transportation infrastructure that our economy needs, which would help put folks back to work, especially in the depressed construction industry, where unemployment is about 17 percent. The proposal was appropriately announced on Labor Day. President Obama called for a $50 billion program, paid for in part by reducing subsidies to fossil fuel industries. While that is a modest start on a problem estimated by the American Society of Civil Engineers to be about $2.2 trillion in infrastructure needs, it is a start. It is especially important for Rhode Island, as it reportedly has the worst roads and bridges and an already weak transit system faced with cuts and a long wish list of improvements, including better bus shelters and commuter rail extensions to South County and the Blackstone Valley. The president’s proposal is also important to Rhode Island because it is on Amtrak’s main Northeast corridor line, which also has capital improvement needs to make up for the decades of neglect. It is good news indeed for us that the president would “invest in a long overdue overhaul of Amtrak’s fleet,” and that in the last fiscal year just ended, Amtrak ridership grew to a record 28.7 million passengers. It is also good news that the Obama administration sees the need for transportation investments to help cut emissions and foster livable communities, where folks can walk or bike, and which can benefit from private reinvestment once transportation improvements are made. That is particularly helpful to Rhode Island with its core cities, traditional town centers, sense of history and strong “smart growth” movement. It is also a good time to invest in transportation because due to the recession, costs are reportedly below estimates by about 18 percent. So what is the bad news? It is that traditional bipartisan support for transportation investment has broken down. Congress has not acted on the president’s proposal, which Republicans have opposed, apparently thinking that blocking an Obama accomplishment would be good politics. Deficits have spooked folks into thinking now is not the time to borrow, even though interest rates are low. Tea Party activists rail against government spending and, with their talk radio allies, they have convinced much of the public that it is overtaxed, public works are wasteful and they shouldn’t have to pay for maintenance and Introductory Fixed Rate Thereafter, remaining improvements. for First 12 Billing Cycles term will automatically Actually, the federal gas tax has not been raised since 1993, and convert to a variable rate of interest as low as “USA Today” reports the gas tax burden is the lowest in inflation prime minus 0.50% adjusted dollars that it has ever been. While running against taxes APR* that pay for infrastructure maintenance and improvement may be good politics, such a strategy puts our transportation system and APR* economy at risk. Fortunately, there are diverse leaders in business, labor and the environmental movement who see the need for public investment No Title Fee • No Application Fee • No Closing Costs in infrastructure to grow the economy in a more sustainable way. Economic Development Corporation Director Keith Stokes Only your imagination stands in your way now. This special introductory has written that “infrastructure is key to reviving Rhode Island’s rate on a Home Equity Line of Credit won’t last long. Come in today and take advantage of this extraordinary low rate. And Journey on. economy.” Providence Mayor David Cicilline has made completing Call 401.233.4700, or visit transit improvements to help revive the capital city a major issue.



.75 2.75

And though he ignored its recommendations, Gov. Carcieri’s Blue Ribbon Commission, comprised primarily of business leaders, called for more investment in roads, bridges and the state’s transit system. It is up to us to help the president and our new governor invest in our transportation infrastructure and economy. Barry Schiller is a member of the Rhode Island Planning Council’s Transportation Advisory Committee. Contact him at



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Advertised Introductory *Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 1.75% is the lowest available and is fixed for the first 12 months. Offer applicable for applicants with a credit score of 680 or higher. After initial 12 monthly billing cycles, rate automatically reverts to a variable rate of interest as low as Prime minus 0.50% as published in The Wall Street Journal 30 days before the date of any rate adjustment. As of 9/1/2010 Prime Rate was 3.25%. Interest rate and line amount determined by individual creditworthiness and subject to loan-to-value ratio of 80%. Offer limited to 1-4 family owner-occupied primary residence properties only. Property insurance (and flood insurance if applicable) required. Offer and rate is subject to change at any time without notice. Other terms and restrictions may apply. APR will not exceed 21% with a minimum rate of 2.75%. If home equity line is paid in full and closed within twelve (12) months from the opening date, a prepayment penalty may apply. RI: up to but not to exceed 2% of the balance due at time of payoff; MA: remaining balance of first year’s interest or amount equal to last 3 months’ interest, whichever is less. Existing NCU home equity lines/loans are not eligible for refinance with this promotion. Other rates and terms available. Inquire for full details.

Page 14

Common Ground





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For more inFormation, please contact the providence Bruins

(P) 401-273-5000

1 LaSalle Square - Providence, RI - 02903

(F) 401-273-5004

UA Local Union 51 Plumbers • Pipefitters • Refrigeration Thomas A. Handfield Business Manager Robert Walker Financial Secretary

Timothy L. Byrne Business Agent

Frederick Foeri Organizer/Agent

William D. Mello Business Agent

Done Once. Done Right Serving Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts

II Hemingway Drive, East Providence, Rhode Island 02915 Telephone: 401-943-3033. Fax: 401-943-8027


Common Ground

Page 15

Looking for some good news for a change? TM

View past issues at Rhode Island's only newspaper for unions, and about unions.

TUESDAY 7:00 - 8:00 P.M. THURSDAY 8:00 - 9:00 P.M. SATURDAY 5:00 - 6:00 P.M. COX CHANNEL 14 VERIZON FIOS CHANNEL 33 Brought to you by: WE MAKE RHODE ISLAND WORK

William J. Hawkins, III, CRPC® Financial Advisor 100 Westminster Street, Ste 1600 Providence, RI 02903 401-459-6824

With Additional Support from: UA 51, National Education Association Rhode Island, RI Federation of Teachers & Health Professionals, IBEW Local 99, RI Building & Construction Trades Council, SEIU State Council, Painters and Allied Trades District Council 11, United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 328, Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) OPEIU LOCAL 25

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Steven Kirby Financial Secretary Gordon Huffman Treasurer Mark Boyajian Recording Secretary




Page 16

Common Ground


Union members hammer home organized labor’s commitment to philanthropy the plans, and the down-sized project received approval from the city’s Building Department. Based on an estimate from the Ron Mailhot, lead volunteer for the project, Higgins eventually purchased the materials needed to finish installing the ramp and Local 94 members went to work. Joining Mailhot, were carpenters Rick Charron, Rick Paul and Ralph Miozza. The project involved removal of brick around the front porch on Higgins’ house, which needed to be done to remove a deck and raise the porch to the level of the first floor. Apprentice instructor Anthony Cota from Bricklayers Local 3 and trainees Justin

PROVIDENCE – People wanting to know how to build strong communities can turn to organized labor for guidance. Led by members of Local 94 of the Carpenters Union, organized labor’s response to city woman Colleen Higgins, who ran out of money to have a handicap ramp installed at her home, demonstrates union members have deep concern for their neighbors. After meeting with Higgins, Tom Savoie, organizer of for Local 94, had volunteers look at the plans for the project and visit the job site. It was determined that the plans were too elaborate, putting the cost of the project out of Higgins’ financial reach. Her architect revised

Young and Cory Gonsalves voluntarily repaired the brick. In addition, Michael Perrotta, fellow members of Laborers Local 271 and students from the New England Laborers/Cranston Public Schools Construction Career Academy removed a section of Higgins’ driveway and then poured a concrete pad necessary for Colleen to get into a motor vehicle and exit her property. The laborers spoke to Teamsters Local 251 members who convinced the Baccala Concrete Corp, which is headquartered in Johnston, to donate the cement. The Teamsters represent the truck drivers for the company.

Providence’s Bravest Providence’s Bravest Providence’s Bravest Serving the City of Serving Providence sinceof1854 the City Providence since 1854

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-OFFICERSDave Mellon …….……….………………..President Bob Miller ………….……………1st Vice President Bob Lantagne ..…………………..2nd Vice President

Paul A. Doughty,Paul President A. Doughty, President

Michael Hogan.……………………..…….Treasurer

Doughty, President Philip F. Paul Fiore,A.Vice President Philip F. Fiore, Vice President

John Meehan………………………………Secretary

F. Fiore, President Scott Philip G. Mello, Secretary ScottVice G. Mello, Secretary

Mike McKenna...……….……….Financial Secretary -EXECUTIVE BOARD

Ken Rivard

Manny Leander

Bill Bove

Alan Depalo

John Bray

Jeff Golding

Joe Lopes

David Pezza

Mark Vierra

Letizia Signore

Adam Klaus

Carlos Oviedo

Justin Pelissey

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Scott G.John Mello, Secretary Treasurer John F. Woodard, Treasurer F. Woodard, John F. Woodard, Treasurer Executive Board Executive Representatives Board Representatives ExecutiveJ.Board Representatives Christopher Jannitto Christopher J. Jannitto Joseph P. Moreino P. Moreino ChristopherJoseph J. Jannitto Hans Ramsden Hans Ramsden Joseph P. Moreino Wayne C. Oliveira Wayne C. Oliveira Hans Ramsden Zachariah Kenyon Wayne C.Zachariah Oliveira Kenyon Anthony Toro Anthony Toro Zachariah Kenyon Anthony Toro

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Common Ground

Page 17

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Page 18

Common Ground


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David F. Palmisciano President Thomas J. Savoie Vice President

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Timothy E. Quillen Vice President and Bus. Agent

Gregory E. Olson Treasurer and Bus. Agent

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Common Ground

Page 19

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

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


The Carpenters’ Union represents:

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

First Trade Union Bank 14 Jefferson Park Road Warwick, RI 02888 1-800-242-0272

SEIU 1199 members work at the following locations: • Butler Hospital • Women & Infants Hospital

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

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

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 Common Ground News Subscribe 401.451.1305 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



American Speedy Printing 635 Arnold Road Coventry, RI 02816 Phone: (401) 823-0090 Fax: (401) 823-0092

All public school employees are organized by the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals or the National Education Association of Rhode Island.

B Sign Graphics 27 Libera Street Cranston, RI 02920 Phone: (401) 943-6941 Fax: (401) 943-2287

The following Charter Schools are also unionized: • Laborers Charter School • Textron Charter School • Times 2 Charter School

Checkmate Consulting Group & Printing 461 Main Street East Greenwich, RI 02818 Phone: (401) 885-0666 Fax: (401) 885-0775 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 Printing, Inc. 1395 Atwood Avenue Johnston, RI 02919 Phone: (401) 275-0760 Fax: (401) 464-6002 Screen Works, LLC 62 South Main Street Woonsocket, RI 02895 Phone: (401) 692-0304 Sheahan Printing Corp. 1 Front Street Woonsocket, RI 02895 Phone: (401) 273-7272 Fax: (401) 769-9206 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 RELATIONS Checkmate Consulting Group & Printing 461 Main Street East Greenwich, RI 02818 Phone: (401) 885-0666 Fax: (401) 885-0775 The Sentinel Group, LLC 111 Wayland Avenue Providence, RI 02906 Phone: (401) 451-1308 Fax: (401) 831.6111

RECYCLING AND TRASH REMOVAL SERVICES Waste Management of Rhode Island (800) 972-4545

SUPERMARKETS Supermarket employees at the stores listed below are members of UFCW Local 328 or UFCW Local 791. Super Stop and Shop • Bristol • Coventry • Cumberland • Johnston • Lincoln • Middletown • Narragansett • Newport • North Kingstown • North Providence • North Smithfield • Pawtucket • Providence • Richmond • Smithfield • Warwick • Westerly Shaw’s Supermarket • Barrington • Garden City • Cranston • East Providence • Riverside • Johnston • Middletown • North Providence • Pawtucket • Providence • Wakefield • Warwick • Lakewood • Westerly • Woonsocket Eastside Marketplace • Providence Brigidos IGA • Pascoag • North Scituate

Don’t Miss Grand Union Family Markets • South Yarmouth • Provincetown • Buzzards Bay • South Yarmouth C-Town Supermarket • Pawtucket


An informative, one-hour AT&T Wireless

weekly show highlighting 1 (800) 897-7046

issues and events affecting Union members recieve special discounts on AT&T wireless working families. service plans. For more infomation to to

An informative, TUESDAY 7one-hour P.M. Verizon

weekly show Verizon, whosehighlighting employees THURSDAY 8 P.M.are members of the International

issues and events SATURDAY 5affecting P.M. Brotherhood of Electrical

Workers Local 2323, can working provide for all families. of your home and office internet, telephone 14 and COX cable CHANNEL TV needs through Verizon’s new FiOS (Fiber Optic TUESDAY P.M. VERIZON FIOS 7 CHANNEL 33 Service) network.


Simply call 1-888-Get FiOS or SATURDAY 1-888-591-6076. 5 P.M. Or contact IBEW 2323 at (401) 732-IBEW (4239).


IBEW 2323 VERIZON FIOS CHANNEL 1150 New London Avenue 33 Cranston, RI 02920

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

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

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

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

Page 20

Common Ground

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Representing the Public Servants who make government work! Cranston Crossing Guards Lincoln Highway Department Providence School Department Narragansett Bay Commission City of Providence North Providence Crossing Guards Providence Civic Center Authority Warwick Crossing Guards Lincoln Town Hall

Town of North Kingstown Providence Community Action Program Lincoln Public Library Town of North Providence Narragansett Town Hall Lincoln Water Commission R.I. Department of Transportation North Providence School Department

Business Manager


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

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

Common Ground November  

November issue of Common Ground

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