Issuu on Google+

OCTOBER 2013

presented by ... Phoenix Houses of New England.

AM790 - Mondays 3-4pm

New initiative aims to boost manufacturing By Common Ground staff

The biggest challenge facing manufacturing in Rhode Island isn’t global—it’s local, according to business owners. During the recession, Rhode Island manufacturing was among those economic sectors that took the deepest hits. From the end of 2006 to the middle of this year, Rhode Island manufacturers lost 11,400 jobs, according to state employment data. But David Chenevert, the owner of Swissline Precision Manufacturing in Cumberland, says the tide is reversing: while there has been plenty of “off-shoring” in recent years, the Ocean State is now seeing some “reshoring” as new opportunities in the manufacturing industry open up in the area. In other words, reports of manufacturing’s death in Rhode Island are premature. “It’s alive and well in Rhode Island,” Chenevert said. Now, Chenevert says, one of the biggest issues facing local manufacturers is workforce-related. His peers in the industry want to expand, but can’t because of

Phoenix House New England

the shortage of skilled labor, Chenevert said. As their existing workforce ages, it is not being replaced. Part of the problem is the difficulty in finding qualified people to replace them, according to Chenevert. The other issue: many in the younger generation do not see manufacturing as a preferred career path. Local manufacturers are now stepping up to address the problem. About a year ago, a group of nearly a dozen small to mid-sized businesses formed a coalition known as the Manufacturing Skills Initiative for Rhode Island. Besides Swissline, other founding members include Arkright, Groov-Pin, RI Carbide Tool, and the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association. Changing the image of manufacturing “Our job is change the image of what manufacturing is,” Chenevert said. The image of years back, he said, is that manufacturing was a dirty grungy job. But in the manufacturing shop of today a worker might be operating state-of-the-art equipment worth hundreds

United Nurses & Allied Professionals

Providing the full range of substance abuse treatment services in Rhode Island for more than 45 years 1 800 DRUG HELP www.phoenixhouse.org

Working to improve the lives of our members... and our patients.

Visit Us Join Rhode Island’s largest union of health care professionals. Call 831-3674 or email: jjose@unap.org. For more info, go to www.unap.org.

of thousands of dollars, in a job that requires math and English skills and can pay more than the $45,000 to $65,000 that many college graduates are earning, according to Chenevert. He said members of the initiative will be reaching out to students, teachers, parents, and guidance counselors, encouraging them to see manufacturing as a viable option and, potentially, a better financial alternative than college. “We need to engage them to understand that not every child is required to go to See Manufacturing cont. on page 3


Page 2

Common Ground

Common Ground

, Inc.

John J. Tassoni, Jr. - Publisher Common Ground, Inc.

265 GeorgeWashington Highway Smithfield, Rhode Island02917 401.451.1305 john@ricommongroundnews.com www.ricommongroundnews.com

TM

OCTOBER 2013

With Chafee out of the race, labor faces a clear choice By Common Ground staff With Lincoln Chafee now out of the race for Governor, the choices couldn’t be clearer for labor voters, who are likely to face two starkly different candidates for governor in next year’s Democratic primary—progressive-friendly Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and the more business-minded state Treasurer Gina Raimondo. In the wake of the Chafee decision, announced early last month, the labor vote is widely expected to coalesce around Taveras, according to veteran pollster Victor Profughi. “I don’t think it’s any more complicated than that,” Profughi said in an interview with Common Ground. In a Democratic primary, where turnout is usually low, labor voters are among the few highly motivated constituencies that come out. “One thing that can’t be sneezed at the unions is they’re exceedingly well organized to turn out their vote,” Profughi said. “Their impact in primaries is going to be more potent than in general elections.” Besides labor, candidates must woo two other key groups in a Democratic primary: party activists and organized minorities, according to Profughi. Historically, the most faithful voters are the activists, he said, but labor could eclipse their influence if they are sufficiently motived, according to Profughi. A candidate perceived as anti-union might provide just enough incentive for union members to turn out in larger-than-usual numbers, making them an even greater force to be reckoned with, Profughi said. Taveras certainly does not have a spotless track record when it comes to labor issues. This is a mayor who did, after all, once seize national headlines for his jawdropping decision to fire all the teachers in the Providence school district. But his teacher-firing days have been eclipsed by a kinder, gentler approach that was on full display earlier this year when the Taveras administration backed down from unilateral reforms passed by the city council and instead negotiated a settlement on pension reform with retirees. Union voters are not necessarily flocking to Taveras,

but, in running away from Raimondo, they may find they have nowhere else to go. “It would be very difficult for me to go before my membership and ask them to support Gina Raimondo without getting killed,” said one local labor official, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity. It’s not just pension reform alone—although cutting retirement benefits for active retirees and other sweeping changes by themself would have been enough to permanently antagonize labor. It’s also Raimondo’s perceived coziness with the world of Wall Street—a perception reinforced by her venture capitalist background and her hedge fund-friendly investment strategy, which has only rubbed salt into the already-sore wounds of pension reform. These offenses have been aggravated by Raimondo’s lack of transparency in her continued refusal to, as of this writing, disclose how much money had been paid to hedge fund managers, who typically pocket 20 percent performance fees in addition to the usual 2 percent management fees. Even so, Taveras may not have a lock on labor. Another local union leader, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, said it is possible that some in the labor movement may throw their support behind the treasurer. “If she gets any support … it will come from private sector unions,” the official said. So far, the conventional wisdom on Democratic primary voter loyalties appears to be validated in a recent poll a Taveras campaign consultant released showing the Providence mayor with a solid double-digit leader over Raimondo. The survey pegged Taveras at 49 percent support, with Raimondo at 30 percent and 21 percent undecided. In financial terms, however, Raimondo has the lead, with more than $2 million currently in her campaign war chest, against nearly $700,000 for Taveras. Just how much help Raimondo’s cash advantage will be in a primary packed with voters whose loathing for her is no secret will be one of the big questions of the 2014 election.

www.ricommongroundnews.com


Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

Page 3

Manufacturing cont. from page 1 college to better themselves,” Chenevert said. A career in manufacturing offers opportunities to young people who either don’t want to go to college or can’t afford it, he said, noting that college debt can be as high as $200,000 to $250,000 for a recent graduate. As part of that effort, the initiative will soon be launching its own Web site, with video commentaries from individual employees in the manufacturing industry, describing their experience and the benefits of their position. Improving skills of the workforce Manufacturers also will be working with local and statewide educators to create new programs that will prepare students for these jobs. Chenevert proposes the creation of a manufacturing certificate program at the high school

level, which would segue into an associate degree in advanced manufacturing at the college level. Contrary to perception, an applicant for a manufacturing job must be skilled in English and math and must also have good communication skills. In addition, there is a need for “soft skills” such as an ability to listen, a willingness to learn, and the discipline to show up on time and give timely notice of departure, Chenevert said. Chenevert is also taking his message to the Statehouse. As of mid-September, he had meetings set with the top leaders of both the Rhode Island House and Senate. Impact of the recession Of course, none of this is to say that the recession didn’t take its toll. “The recession hurt everybody,”

High quality.

Great value.

Easy decision. Choosing a health plan can be a daunting task, but Tufts Health Plan makes it simple. Tufts Health Plan has an extensive range of affordable plans, a wide network of doctors and hospitals, and great discounts that help keep members healthy. Visit us at www.tuftshealthplan.com or contact your broker today.

Chenevert said. But there was an upside to it all: “The recession was a good thing from the perspective that it made the companies that survived stronger,” he said. Those companies, he added, are also more focused on how they operate. That includes addressing what Chenevert says has been a longstanding prob-

lem that existed long before this recession. He noted that one of his colleagues has a newspaper article from the 1970s on his office wall, quoting manufacturers who are complaining about the lack of a skilled workforce. “That was 40 years ago,” Chenevert said. “We have got to end this.”


Page 4

Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

Walsh poised for win in preliminary election By Common Ground staff With polls showing him on the heels of the nextleading contender and monthly cash hauls of nearly $400,000, former union head Marty Walsh was wellpositioned to emerge from the preliminary election last month as a finalist in the race for the next Boston mayor. “It’s clear that people are excited. We’re raising more and more money as we’re out there talking to people. It’s a groundswell. Our message is resonating. And we continue to add volunteers, building the largest get-out-the vote effort Boston has ever seen,” said campaign spokeswoman Joyce Linehan. Labor support pivotal in race Much of the support for Walsh, a state rep and the former business manager for the Boston Building Trades, is from a labor community enthusiastic about the prospects of having one of its own in the mayoral seat. By the end of the summer, more than a dozen labor groups had thrown their support behind his campaign. They included the Boston Firefighters Local 718, the Massachusetts Organization of State Engineers and Scientists, Boston’s Local 26, and Laborers Local 223, of which Walsh remains a member. Campaign finance records show that labor is putting financial muscle behind those endorsements. In August, the Walsh campaign pulled in $383,000 in donations—the most of any candidate in any month of the campaign so far, according to the Boston Globe. Union contributions accounted for about a third of that total, the Globe reported. In just the first half of September, the campaign was on track for another record haul, with $209,432 in donations received, with more than half of the 1,027 contributions at $100 or less. “The support we’ve received from every neighborhood in Boston goes beyond these donations,” Walsh said. “We have the strongest and most enthusiastic grassroots organization out there. I’m grateful every single day for the thousands of supporters and volunteers

contributing to this campaign not just through their dollar donations, but as they give of their time also.” Meanwhile, in the polls, Walsh stood at 11 percent—a dead heat with rival contender John R. Connolly, a former city councilman, as of the end of August. Another poll, released days before the Sept. 24 preliminary election put Connolly at 15 percent and Walsh at 12 percent, with about 20 percent of voters still undecided. “In the next three weeks, we will continue to build on this momentum, which will make us victorious in the preliminary, and carry us right into the Mayor’s office,” Linehan told Common Ground early last month. Walsh: ‘Battle for justice and equality far from won’ Walsh’s union support was on full display at the annual Greater Boston Labor Council‘s Labor Day Breakfast on Sept. 2. As one Boston Herald columnist put it, “The city’s annual Labor Day breakfast—which for years has drawn senators and congressmen to address the union workers who helped put them in office—doubled today as a campaign rally for mayoral candidate Martin J. Walsh, a self-proclaimed “son of labor” who headlined the event and drew standing ovations from the crowd.” “On this day and every day, I am proud [to] be a part of the labor movement—which has been among the most powerful forces for positive change, equality, and progress for over a hundred years,” Walsh said in his speech at the breakfast, noting that, just the week before the country had marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. “The men and women of labor back then answered the call from Dr. King and the other extraordinary leaders of that era to join their fight for racial justice and economic advancement.” “But we know these battles remain far from won. So today labor continues to fight for equal rights, fair treatment for immigrants, and jobs with dignity and good pay for all Americans,” Walsh added. Walsh also touched upon some of the key themes

of his campaign in Boston—job growth, education reform, improving school facilities, and neighborhood crime reduction. “Change means a vision to lead on jobs and education. Being in the Building Trades, you realize that if labor and business don’t work well together, jobs are not created. And success in the schools depends on collaboration between teachers and administrators,” Walsh said. “Change is a belief in a bright future for all of Boston’s neighborhoods. Being a Laborer, you know the meaning of hard work and how even the biggest obstacle can be overcome if you take it one step at a time,” he said. Agenda: Rebuilding schools, moving City Hall Walsh spent much of the month rolling out major policy proposals. On Sept. 15, Walsh unveiled a plan to sell City Hall Plaza to a private developer and relocate city offices elsewhere in the city. The move is expected to generate a one-time revenue boost of $125 million to $150 million to city coffers, which Walsh said could be used to provide universal early childhood education, invest in parks, and boost the city’s rainy day fund. Four days later, his campaign released a sweeping $1 billion education plan for building and renovating schools, making the city’s preschool program universal, and funding arts programs in every school. The plan also calls for a number of changes to school curricula and student support systems. “The foundation of Boston’s future success and economic viability is our schools,” Walsh said. “We need to build on the current strengths of our school system, but we face some tough changes. As mayor, I will create a broad, long-term collaborative effort to ensure the highest quality public education system for every single child in every neighborhood of Boston.”


Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

Page 5

COIA & LEPORE, LTD. COUNSELORS AT LAW

A Tradition of Client Satisfaction for 40 Years The Law Firm of Coia & Lepore, Ltd. is proud of its tradition of providing outstanding Legal Services to satisfied individuals ARTHUR A. COIA ALBERT J. LEPORE (1941-2010)

and families. In addition, Coia & Lepore, Ltd. represents more than twenty union entities including, but not limited to, Laborers, Teamsters and Public Service Employees throughout Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts.

GEORGE L. SANTOPIETRO

We invite you to browse our new website at www.coialepore.com

ARMAND E. SABITONI JAMES J. LEPORE ALBERT J. LEPORE JR. ALFREDO T. CONTE SHERI M. LEPORE JOHN F. CASCIONE PETER J. COMERFORD MARK SALES LESLIE N. TUCHAPSKY

OUR AREAS OF PRACTICE: • Workers’ Compensation • Automobile Accidents • Slip and Fall • Civil Litigation • Divorce / Child Custody

• • • • • •

Real Estate Tax and Financial Planning Wills, Trusts and Probate Immigration Traffic Violations Mediation

• • • •

Consumer Transactions Criminal Litigation Bankruptcy Medical Malpractice

• Social Security Disability

DADRIANA LEPORE

CONTINUING OUR LONGSTANDING PRACTICE, WE DO NOT CHARGE A FEE FOR INITIAL CONSULTATIONS

EMMA L. PETERSON

401.751.5522

Phoenix House hires Heidi Young, John Tassoni for outreach efforts

RHODE ISLAND—Heidi L. Young has been appointed Director of Business Development and John J. Tassoni, Jr., has been retained as a consultant by Phoenix House New England to expand outreach throughout the region. The appointments were recently announced by Fred A. Trapassi, Jr., Vice President, Senior Program Director, Director of Marketing Initiatives, Phoenix House New England. “As the Affordable Care Act nears its first phase of implementation, Phoenix House is committed to ensuring that all Rhode Islanders have access to the full range of compassionate substance abuse treatment and services for which we are so well known—

from medical detoxification to residential and outpatient services to recovery housing,” explained Trapassi. “We want Rhode Islanders to know that Phoenix House has strong, highly professional and affordable facilities in place to help individuals reclaim their lives from substance abuse. Both Heidi Young and John Tassoni know and understand the critical need throughout the region for comprehensive substance abuse services.” With more than 13 years of experience in medical business development and marketing, Young most recently served as the Director of Business Development at Alimed, Inc., based in Dedham, Mass. A graduate of Rhode Island College, she resides with her family in Attleboro. John J. Tassoni, Jr., a retired state Senator, is the president of The Sentinel Group, a public relations and marketing firm, publisher of Common Ground, host of Recovery Radio on AM790, a senior business agent, and former local union president. During his 12 years in the Rhode Island Senate, Tassoni was deeply committed to expanding care for all Rhode Islanders suffering from substance abuse and a proponent of establishing recovery schools for adolescents during and following treatment. He resides with his family in Smithfield.

About Phoenix House New England Phoenix House New England provides a broad array of substance abuse prevention and treatment services, safeguarding children, strengthening families and communities, and enabling men, women, and adolescents to overcome drug dependence and to start and maintain new, drug-free lives. Phoenix House New England operates more than 45 programs in five states, serving more than 3,500 individuals annually in residential treatment centers for adolescents and adults, comprehensive rehabilitation centers for adults, treatment programs for criminal justice offenders in prison and community settings, comprehensive outpatient programs, special programs for the dually diagnosed, and education programs for adolescents. Phoenix House offers detoxification, residential treatment, outpatient services, education, prevention, and temporary transitional living for homeless women and children in Boston supported by state contracts and grants from private foundations, corporations, and individual donors. Since 1999, Phoenix House New England has been affiliated with Phoenix House Foundation, the nation’s leading provider of substance abuse treatment services, serving more than 5,700 individuals each day in Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, California, Florida, Maryland, New York, Texas, Virginia and the District of Columbia.


Page 6

Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

Silica: A deadly dust By James Celenza When workers inhale crystalline silica particles, they are at increased risk for a lung disease called silicosis along with lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and kidney disease. The recent dramatic increase in hydraulic fracking operations in the oil and gas industry has been accompanied by a parallel increase in significant worker exposure to silica dust. Crystalline silica is found in soil, granite, and concrete. Worker exposure occurs when these media are drilled, crushed, impacted, or abraded. The creation of silica dust is also common in brick, concrete, and pottery manufacturing and with the use of industrial sand products in foundries, sand blasting, and oil and gas fracking. Each year, nearly 300 workers die as the result of exposure to silica dust and in the United States, hundreds more are disabled. Every year another 3,000 to 7,000 new cases occur. The construction industry produces the most premature mortality—years of potential lives lost— from silicosis.

Silicosis played an ignominious role in one of the worst workplace disasters in United States history in the 1930s when an estimated 475 workers died from acute silicosis within weeks and months of working in the Gauley Bridge tunnel in West Virginia. An additional 1,500 workers contracted chronic silicosis. The silica worker exposure limit the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) currently enforces in general industry, construction, and in shipyards is 40 years old. This limit is outdated and does not adequately protect worker health. The creation of a stronger rule on silica exposures has been a priority for occupational health and safety advocates, physicians, and unions for years. OSHA has finally proposed a new rule to better protect workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica. The Office of Management and Budget in the White House must allow the proposal of any new workplace rules and has often held them in limbo for years. But OMB has finally relented and allowed OSHA to

propose a new silica rule. In announcing the new silica rule OSHA’s director Dr. David Michael stated, “Exposure to silica can be deadly, and limiting that exposure is essential. Every year, many exposed workers not only lose their ability to work, but also to breathe. This proposal is expected to prevent thousands of deaths from silicosis— an incurable and progressive disease—as well as lung cancer, other respiratory diseases, and kidney disease. Workers affected by silica are fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers lost to entirely preventable illnesses. We’re looking forward to public comment on the proposal.” In addition to lowering silica exposure limits, OSHA is proposing ancillary provisions to protect workers including the preferred methods for controlling exposure, respiratory protection, medical surveillance, hazard communication, and recordkeeping. The new OSHA rule also proposes separate regulations for general industry and maritime operations covering brick, concrete, and pottery manufacturing, and others for the

construction industry. Better control of silica exposure is a cornerstone of the Green During Construction project developed by Rhode Island Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (RICOSH), with the support of the Lung Association of Rhode Island, OSHA’s Providence office, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 99. The Green During Construction project is a best practices approach designed to reduce particulate matter, dust, and crystalline silica, as well as diesel and carbon monoxide to protect worker health and to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The City of Providence has an ordinance incorporating this approach. The Rhode Island Department of Education also includes the Green During Construction best practices approach for new construction or major renovations of school facilities. James Celenza is the Director of the RI Committee on Occupational Safety and Health.

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.


Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

Page 7

Residual chemotherapy drugs ‘disastrous’ public health risk By Jim Mullowney, Pharma-Cycle, Inc. In its second edition of Safe Management of Wastes from Healthcare Activities, released in August of this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) singled out contact with residual amounts of chemotherapy drugs as a significant risk requiring collection, containment, and proper disposal in order to avoid exposure “through contact with body fluids and secretions [urine, feces, and vomit] of patients undergoing chemotherapy.” Genotoxic/cytotoxic compounds, most commonly found in chemotherapy drugs, work by either mutating or killing cells. Unlike poisons, which can be safe when exposure is limited to very small amounts, genotoxins/cytotoxins act more like “chemical germs” where even minimal exposure can cause a devastating chain reaction. The risk from contact to an otherwise healthy person is especially heightened where there is a significant amount of cell development happening— for example among children and women of childbearing age. According to the WHO report, any waste produced by these patients within 48 hours of drug administra-

tion, and in some cases for up to a week, should be has done a great public service by stepping up and considered genotoxic. publicly declaring what many of us in the field have Despite the otherwise well-regulated and welllong known—this is a serious risk.” managed handling of dangerous medical waste, che WHO core principles “require that everyone assomotherapy patients treated with any of more than two ciated with financing and supporting health-care activdozen different chemotherapy drugs who return home ities should provide for the costs of managing healthafter outpatient treatment can inadvertently but eascare waste. This is the duty of care. Manufacturers also ily expose others to genotoxic contamination through share a responsibility to take waste management into seemingly benign occurrences such as urine splashed account in the development and sale of their products on a bathroom floor, clean-up after an episode of vomand services.” iting, or the handling of bed sheets or a bedpan for a The WHO goes on to identify those who have a patient unable to use a bathroom. special responsibility to ensure safe collection, con The WHO declarations address what many in the tainment, and disposal of these waste, placing much field of chemotherapy-based treatment have long acof that responsibility with the chief pharmacist. “The knowledged as a dangerous “blind spot.” “The human chief pharmacist also has the special responsibility of body can only destroy a portion of these genotoxic ensuring that genotoxic products are used safely, and drugs. The rest passes out of the patient in urine, feces, that genotoxic waste is managed safely,” according to vomit, or even sweat,” points out drug developer Thethe report. resa O’Keefe, Ph.D. “The waste will still have enough seeofthe full reportsince and1854 for more information, go to Serving theTo City Providence dangerous drug to kill developing cells and/or cause the Latest News Section at www.pharma-cycle.com. mutations in vulnerable members of our population, especially fetuses and babies.” She adds, “The PROVIDENCE WHO FIRE FIGHTERS LOCAL 799

Providence’s Bravest INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE FIGHTERS

Paul A. Doughty, President Philip F. Fiore, Vice President Scott G. Mello, Secretary John F. Woodard, Treasurer Executive Board Representatives Christopher J. Jannitto Joseph P. Moreino Hans Ramsden Wayne C. Oliveira Zachariah Kenyon Anthony Toro 92 Printery Street Providence, RI 02904 401-272-7999 (O) 401-274-7999 (F)

Paul A. Doughty 401-569-4444 local799.com


Page 8

Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

free Hearing aid RI employees may be eligible for a

1.800.766.4327

www.oceanstatehearing.com Bring this coupon or mention “Common Ground” at the time of your visit.


Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

Page 9

State of the Unions: The american labor movement in transition By John A. Furia The head of the AFL-CIO, President Richard Trumka, was interviewed recently in assessing the state of the union movement: “Calling the labor movement in crisis, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka [said] … he will push farreaching changes at the federation’s convention …, including forging closer partnerships and even accepting as members such outside groups as the Sierra Club and the NAACP.” Range of Challenges: The range of challenges facing the American labor movement reflect many of the workplace trends testing the economic vitality of the nation as a whole, as America deals with the challenges of a global economy and increased competitiveness in an ever-changing world marketplace. In the 21st century economy, greater skills and knowledge, increased flexibility in the workplace, and growing computerization and mechanization of business are happening at an ever-increasing rate. It should be no surprise that America’s labor community and businesses, as well, are assessing ways to deal with these emerging challenges. For both business and labor, the global economy continues to be a force for both change and challenge in today’s international marketplace. Institutional Voice: As unions adapt to the challenges of a global economy, there appears to be a loss of historical memory in recalling the efforts of unions as an institutional force for economic and social change— for elevating the economic well-being of working

Brett LaPlante Organizer/Agent

America. A retrospective look at the trail blazed by the union movement should help gauge its lasting work—from standard work schedules to overtime and holiday pay to sick and personal leave to the guarantee of retirement benefits (defined-benefit pensions) to comprehensive health care. The list of achievements is seemingly endless—but the importance of this legacy to working America appears to have been overlooked, if not forgotten entirely. That legacy of accomplishment resonates as the income of working America stagnates, restrained by the weight of the Great Recession—a modern-day equivalent to a Second Great Depression. In a challenging fiscal environment, the critical voice of the union movement cannot be overemphasized in speaking to societal concerns on the tepid pace of the nation’s economic recovery. Inequality and the Promise of America: Currently, income disparities are at some of the highest levels in decades and have sparked a national debate over income-inequality—symbolized by the national discussion over high wage-earners, known as the ‘top one percent.’ President Obama recently spoke to this issue, in a speech in Galesburg, Illinois, when he remarked that, “The income of the top one percent nearly quadrupled from 1979 to 2007, but the typical family’s incomes barely budged.” The promise of America has been the ability of the

John McMullen Business Agent

disadvantaged and working poor to climb the ladder of economic advancement. While opportunities for economic improvement and upward mobility can occur in many other countries, it happens most often in the United States—and the American labor movement has served as a catalyst for the advancement of that promise. In providing some perspective, historians have observed that the labor movement uplifted the lives of working Americans and helped change the face of America. Employee Protests: A reaction to a stagnant economy and a lack of employment opportunity has led to the rise of employee protests over low wages, lack of benefits, and poor working conditions. From Occupy Wall Street to more recent activity, employees have protested in fast-food establishments like McDonald’s and major retailers such as Walmart and have organized national days of protest in major cities across the country. There has also been a continuing campaign to advance the concept of a “living wage”—pay scales that keep employees above poverty levels. Currently, $7.25 per hour has been the federal minimum wage since 2009 and, adjusted for inflation—it would now be about $11 per hour—as projected by the National Employment Law Project. Accordingly, a minimum wage has been described as making “minimum sense”—words that should resonate throughout the nation. Labor Leadership: In the current economic climate, See Unions cont. on page 19

Paul Alvarez Business Agent


Page 10

Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

Spotlight on residential treatment: Adolescents By Julie VanderSchel Phoenix House has a mission, and a tradition spanning more than forty years, of leading individuals, families, and communities from disrupted to productive lives. With 150 programs in 11 states and the District of Columbia, we serve more than 7,000 men, women, and adolescents each day, safeguarding youth, strengthening families, and enabling those trapped in dependency to confront addiction and to achieve and sustain recovery. In New England, our 45 programs bring residential and outpatient treatment, education, and prevention to more than 3,500 individuals each year. Phoenix House Academies and outpatient programs serve troubled teens. Adult services include detoxification, residential, and outpatient treatment, and transitional and sober living environments—all dedicated to sustainable recovery. Phoenix House New England operates four Phoenix House Academies, which provide residential substance abuse treatment and academic tutoring to adolescents aged 14 to 18. The Academies are located in Pascoag, Rhode Island; Springfield, Massachusetts; Dublin, New Hampshire; and Augusta, Maine. All of our academies are accredited by CARF, a nationally recognized standard of excellence. Phoenix House Academies provide intensive substance abuse and mental health services, combined with individualized tutoring to help teens make up educational opportunities lost to drugs and alcohol. Each young client comes to treatment with a unique set of abilities, strengths, and issues. Academy programs are specifically designed to meet the needs of both the adolescent substance abusers and their families. Our programs combine counseling, mental health services,

Member ATU Local 618

(401)

education, and recreation in order to challenge clients to understand the nature of their substance use and to commit to living without alcohol or drugs. While continuing their education at the academy, they learn responsibility and respect for themselves and others, along with anger management, communication and life skills, drug education, and healthy new leisure skills. On admission, each adolescent is first given a complete assessment to determine his/her needs, strengths, preferences, and abilities. A comprehensive individualized treatment plan is then developed in collaboration with the adolescent. Specific evidenced-based group counseling, recreational activities, educational, mental health, and family objectives are tailored towards meeting the unique needs of the individual. Coordination with outside providers is ongoing while a youth is in treatment. Phoenix House Academies treat the whole person by examining the interactions of their substance abuse with their biological, emotional, and physical attributes. Our programs are specially designed to treat cooccurring mental health issues by providing individualized mental health services for those in need of them. Education is an integral part of building a productive and positive lifestyle. Clients work closely with state-certified teachers who deliver customized instruction for each youngster. We coordinate with each youth’s school district to ensure a seamless transition to and from their sending schools. Obtaining a GED (General Equivalency Diploma) can replace traditional education if a student has dropped out of school. For those who have already graduated, help in researching higher education opportunities is available. Phoenix House Academies also recognize the part environment plays in the continued success of each cli-

ent. Individualized family therapy and family group meetings help parents learn new skills to support their youngsters in treatment and when they return to the community. A very important part of the recovery process is replacing the substance-using lifestyle with positive, healthy leisure pursuits. Clients try new activities and can then decide which ones are the best fit for their unique situations. Some of the activities Phoenix House offers include basketball, swimming, canoeing, volleyball, fishing, hiking, bicycling, attending sports outings, and cultural events, and participating in the annual whitewater rafting trip. A complete aftercare plan is developed and implemented before each resident leaves treatment to ensure they have all the support needed to continue with a successful recovery. This includes aftercare counseling, coordination with outside providers, support groups, and mental health counseling, goals for the future, and tools for dealing with cravings and relapse triggers. Time and again former clients return to tell us— even years later, “Phoenix House saved my life.”

497-5820

AFSCME Local 2881 Representing RIDEM and CRMC 525 McClellan Highway East Boston, MA 02128

suffolkdowns.com 617-567-3900

www.local2881.org


Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

Page 11

Rhode Island Alliance for retired americans—Summer 2013 review By John A. Pernorio, President It’s been a very busy summer for the RI ARA. A lot has been happening in Washington for us to keep a sharp eye on for our members—Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Chained CPI, and the sequester. All of these issues directly impact senior citizens, the disabled, and veterans. On July 2, we held a Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans “Some Cuts Never Heal” event against the Chained CPI at the Salvatore Mancini Recourse and Activity Center in North Providence to thank Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline for keeping their promise to stand with and support Rhode Island seniors, the disabled, and veterans against cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. There were 100 seniors that attended and 60 of them wore T-shirts that were made up and distributed for that event. Rhode Island was one of 35 ARA organizations that participated in the national Chained CPI events throughout the United States. We were the only state to have all of its Congressional delegation members take part in the event.

On August 16, we celebrated Social Security’s 78th birthday with a cake and Whitehouse at the East Providence Senior Center with over 100 of their members. Whitehouse commented that he, along with the other Rhode Island Congressional members, stand with and will continue to support Rhode Island seniors against any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or the proposed Chained CPI COLA change. On August 30, the RI ARA presented the 2013 Social Security and Medicare Hero Award to Langevin at the Johnston Senior Center with a cake and certificate. Langevin told the 100 Johnston Senior Center attendees that he will continue his opposition to any cuts to Social Security and Medicare, including efforts to privatize Social Security and implement the Chained CPI to calculate the yearly COLA, Medicare vouchers, means testing for Medicare, and increasing the retirement age. There are many decisions that will have to be made in the coming months that will affect seniors. Decisions like the debt ceiling and a menu of options

including Medicare vouchers, meanstesting Medicare, the Chained CPI, raising the retirement age as a condition for raising the debt ceiling, and the Affordable Care Act implementation. Make no mistake, we, the most vulnerable, are under siege by special interests that want to balance the budget on our backs. We Social Security Beneficiaries do not have off-shore accounts that hide income nor do we have tax shelters to protect our income. Social Security is a promise that must not be broken. Social Security belongs to the people who have worked hard all their lives and contributed to it. If you pay in, then you earn the right to benefits for yourself, your spouse, and your dependent children when you retire, experience a severe disability, or die. We need to strengthen Social Security, not cut it. Like the old saying, “Our fight has just begun” the Alliance for Retired Americans along with the RI ARA will continue in our determination to fight for our members to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. And we also will continue to fight against privatizing Social Security, the Chained

Robert A. Dumais MBA

Allegiance Benefit Advisors Inc.

495 Purchase Street, Swansea, MA 02777 Cell: (774) 991-3369 Office/Fax: (774) 565-2002 AllegianceBenefitAdvisors@gmail.com

CPI, Medicare vouchers, means-testing for Medicare, and raising the retirement age. As President of the Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans, I would like to thank all those that helped with these summer events—Jennifer Kenny, ARA New England Field Organizer; Bill Finelli, Roger Boudreau, Michael Connelly, Karen Testa, Salvatore Mancini Senior Center; Rob Rock, East Providence Senior Center; Tony Zompa, Johnston Senior Center; our RI Congressional delegation staff members; and Common Ground for running our articles each month. This summer we also launched our weekly RI ARA E-Newsletter to keep members abreast of national and local matters that concern them. The RI ARA E-Newsletters can be viewed at www.ri-ara.org click on the RI ARA News tab, and then click on the date. If anyone would like to receive the ENewsletter, e-mail me your e-mail address at: riarajap@hotmail.com


Page 12

Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

Kennedy, White House official headline recovery rally

PROVIDENCE窶認ormer Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy and David Mineta, Deputy Director of Demand Reduction at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, were among the guest speakers at the Rally4Recovery on Saturday, September 21, which took place at Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence. The Rhode Island Rally was the National Hub Event for recovery celebrations taking place across the country. An estimated 10,000 people attended the event, which brought together individuals in recovery from addiction and mental illness, their families, friends,

and advocates to celebrate recovery. The purpose of the rally was to raise awareness about available treatment and support services and to let all Rhode Islanders know that recovery is possible. National data indicates that rates of addiction and mental illness are higher in Rhode Island than across the nation. Two thirds of American families are touched by addiction in some way. One hundred service providers set up informational tables with educational materials about treatment and support services. Volunteers for the Preventing Overdose and Naloxone Intervention (PONI) program, administered by Miriam Hospital, distributed educa-

tional kits about Naloxone (also known as Narcan), a safe drug that can be administered by anyone and that saves lives. Speakers at the event also included Governor Lincoln Chafee, Congressman David Cicilline, Congressman James Langevin, Pamela Hyde, Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and individuals in long-term recovery who shared their stories. Entertainment was provided by Dumpstaphunk featuring Ivan Neville, The Senders, and the Recovery All Stars.


Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

Page 13

About the Rhode Island Rally4Recovery Entering its 11th year, Rally4Recovery has grown from a gathering of a few hundred people to a day-long celebration of recovery attracting over 6,000 people in 2012. A memorial luminaria procession closes out the event as part of the citywide WaterFire celebration. The event helps build an attractive culture of recovery in Rhode Island, with the belief that everyone has a right to, and is capable of, recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol and mental illness. A statewide coalition, led by people in recovery, plans each year’s rally and includes public- and private-sector treatment providers in addition to the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals. For more information, visit http://rally4recovery.com.

About Faces & Voices of Recovery Faces & Voices of Recovery is the national organization of individuals and organizations joining together with a united voice to advocate for public action to deliver the power, possibility, and proof of recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Since 2007 Faces & Voices has helped organized walks, rallies, picnics, and other events at hundreds of locations across the nation and around the world under the umbrella “Rally for Recovery”! to support long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. For more information, visit www.facesandvoicesofrecovery.org

About Recovery Month National Recovery Month is an annual observance during the month of September that is sponsored by the National Planning Partners in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

Proudly located at

Everyone should have a plan. 401(k) / Pension Rollovers • Retirement Planning Education Funding • Mutual Funds • Life Insurance Long-Term Care Insurance • Wealth Management

Presented by

401.233.4337 ncufinancial.com

Monday Afternoons 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Hosted by John J. Tassoni, Jr.

Steve Lavergne, Financial Advisor Maria Doukas, Coordinator Jeff Gagnon, Financial Advisor

Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/ SIPC , a registered broker/ dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution.


Page 14

1537 NEWPORT AVE., PAWTUCKET 726-4449 www.SpumonisRestaurant.com

Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

Find us on

Facebook

WORKERS’ COMP Injured at Work?

The Perfect Wedding

starts when you give us a Ring.

Learn the 3 Major Tricks played on Injured Workers!

You’re getting married. Now it’s time to think about where to have your wedding reception. We offer you traditonal menu favorites as well as gourmet specialties, and a beautiful setting and service befitting a five star restaurant. Parties up to 300 and plenty of parking

EXTRA SAVINGS

January, February, March, 2013& 2014

WINTER DISCOUNTS Save up to $1200 Call or visit our website for details

445 DOUGLAS PIKE, SMITHFIELD, RI

(From 1-295 North or South, Exit 8-A) www.twelveacresbanquet.com 401-231-7799

Call for Your FREE Book on R.I. Comp.

Michael W. Grossi 875 Centerville Road, Building One Warwick, RI 02886

Attorney at Law

STEPHEN J. DENNIS

Office (401) 828-2090 Fax (401) 828-1548 Cell (401) 487-9220 Toll Free (800) 229-9889

OFFICE

453-1355

michael. grossi@maffefingrp.com www.maffefinancialgroup.com

HOME

245-0676

CELL

595-4571

Homeowners Welcome! 360 Farnum Pike Smithfield, RI 02917

BEE GREEN!! 24 Hour Service!!

DISCOUNT OIL BROKERS

Now Is The Time To Fill Your Tank!!

Lic.# 343

Wesco Oil Company

RI 401-231-3681

MA 508-883-9100

www.beewarm.com

FULL TIME SERVICE DEPARTMENT • Service Contracts Available! • Competitive Pricing • Budgets • Assistance Programs

A Discount Oil Seller

$$ SAVE $$ Best Prices Available • Licensed & Experienced. Lic. #419

We’re pumping the exact same oil as the other guys...

Why Pay More?

349-4485 • 349-4358 •866-737-9662


Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

Page 15

Fall campus visits—Tips for the road Bairos running for re-election By Common Ground staff

By Shelley Honeycutt Fall is a great time for high school students to visit college campuses. College touring can give them a genuine idea of what it would be like to attend college there. Knowing what to do or see while on campus is key to getting the most out of your time touring. 1. Develop a list of your top colleges that are closest to your home. From that list select three to four colleges that are interesting but different from each other. For example, a large-sized college in a city setting and a medium-sized college in a rural setting. These first visits can help you determine what you like and do not like in a college setting. 2. Be sure not to over-schedule! Limit your visits to one or two campus tours per day. The student can register for an official college tour on the college’s admissions Web page usually. 3. Take notes during your visits and snap pictures of what you like and do not like about the campuses. This will help keep the facts straight as you do more and more touring. Once you have refined what you like, need, and want in a campus you can search for colleges

with these characteristics. 4. Start with a list of 15-20 and narrow down by researching what they offer academically, socially, and financially. Your final list should be 8 to 10 colleges and include at least one in-state college you are likely to gain admissions into. 5. Selecting the right college is a lot of work! This hard work will pay off when you get to campus and find you feel at home and have all to resources to excel for the next four years. To learn more about getting the most form your campus visits, go to www.crushcollegedebt.com, click on the “get started” tab and sign up for our free college planning membership. Watch videos on making the most of your campus tours, get a list of college tour questions, and much more! Take advantage of your free 20-minute consultation by calling 401-821-0080 and asking for Gayle or Shelley. E-mail gayle@collegeadvisorsgroup.com for more information and your free consultation. Free scholarship information is also available on www.crushcollegedebt.com and www.collegeadvisorsgroup.com

Joe Bairos, the head of Teamsters Local 251, has decided to run for re-election this fall, with a slate of candidates comprised of all the senior officers and business agents, the Secretary-Treasurer told Common Ground. Nominations are due Sept. 29. Ballots, which are being done by mail, are due by Oct. 30. The slate of candidates running with Bairos includes the following officers: Kevin Reddy, President and Business Agent; Steven Capobianco, Vice President; Michael Nunes, Recording Secretary; David Munroe, Trustee; Sue Folan, Trustee; Anthony Scivola, Trustee. The slate also includes the following business agents: Steven Labrie, Business Agent; Daniel Manocchio, Business Agent; Doug Teoli, Business Agent. Elections are held every three years. Currently over 5,000 members of Local 251 are eligible to vote in this election—a diverse membership that encompasses everyone from workers at Twin River to health care professionals at Rhode Island Hospital, as well as a number of public sectors workers. Bairos told Common Ground union officials are hoping for at least a 50 percent participation in the election. “This election is about the future of the local,” Bairos said, noting that there is an opposite slate running against him that he accused of lacking experience and making “empty promises.” “We have experience. We have a record to run on. They have no experience whatsoever as far as the day-to-day operation or basically any of the issues in the union,” Bairos said, declining to name who the opposition candidates are. That track record includes steering the local through the economic turbulence of the past few years, Bairos noted. “We’ve endured the toughest economic times in the history of our local since 2008,” he said. Through it all, the union has been able to maintain wage levels, pensions, health benefits, and working conditions, Bairos noted. Beyond protecting what they have, Bairos’ top economic priority for the future is straightforward: “Jobs,” he said. “Simple as that.”

All Union members receive a FREE month of membership into our new subscription site.

www.crushcollegedebt.com

To Get Your Free Month go to: www.crushcollegedebt.com get started pick your program enter promo code: LABOR at checkout Get what you need to succeed!

Tired of staying up at night wondering about how you or your children will afford the high cost of college, wondering how you will find the college that will give your student the most money? Can’t afford the high prices of a personal college coach? Get all the tools, resources and information you need to succeed! All the information the private college coaches share with their students at your fingertips! Get started now and get your first month FREE! Learn how to: • Reduce Massive College Debt • Make A College Education A Reality For All • Beat The High Cost Of College Down So That It is Affordable • How To Choose Colleges That Will Give You Money • How To Be The First In Line For College Money • Find Scholarships • Secrets to Writing College Essays • And much more! college advisors group, llc Gayle M. Jendzejec • (401) 821-0080 ext 12 • gayle@collegeadvisorsgroup.com 875 Centerville Road, Building 1B, Warwick, RI • www.crushcollegedebt.com


Page 16

Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

Rhode Island celebrates Labor Day

By Common Ground staff

They may have had the day off, but members of the labor movement in Rhode Island had a busy Labor Day celebration last month. In East Providence, labor advocates held their second annual Labor Day Parade.

Congressman David Cicilline, who participated in the parade, said Rhode

Island had a long history of labor advocacy and was the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. In 1824, over 100 women workers staged the first walkout in American history in protest of working conditions, according to a news release from Cicilline’s office. “And, in the years since then, Rhode Islanders have continued the fight to ensure access to decent workplace conditions and the right to organize for all working families,” Cicilline said. “I am proud to continue this fight by standing with advocates both here in Rhode Island and across this great nation to support the issues and causes important to working men and women today—especially access to affordable health care, retirement security, comprehensive immigration reform, fair standards in in-

ternational trade, and education and workforce training programs.” “I salute the American worker and thank all advocates in the labor movement for their continued work in this struggle,” Cicilline concluded. Workers protest in Providence In Providence, Jobs with Justice, an activist group, organized a Labor Day march and rally to protest what it called the “second class status” of workers from the local to global levels. At the local level, marchers decried the working conditions at the Renaissance Hotel and urged the city to end the tax breaks granted to the Procaccianti Group, which owns the hotel. “Excruciating workloads, unaffordable health insurance, regular disrespect from the hotel management, and job

security so meager that employees have been terminated immediately after giving birth make the Renaissance Hotel essentially an American sweatshop,” said organizer Courtney Smith. “We are demanding a change from the pressure and the mistreatment that we face at work everyday,” added hotel worker Julian Bello. “When I think about my fight, I am inspired by the hundreds of fast food workers across the country who stood up to their employers last week and like us are fighting for a better future for ourselves and our families.” Calls for reform, from Bangladesh to the U.S. Border Almost one hundred workers, activists, students, and members of local faith communities, participated in the See Labor Day cont. on page 21


Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS

Page 17

Steve Murphy Business Manager Dan Musard President Ray Silvestri Vice President Mike Sullo Recording Secretary Chris Buffery Business agent

LOCAL UNION 2323

Eddie blackburn Business Agent

22 Amflex Drive Cranston, RI 02921 (401)-946-2323 Email: IBEW2323@Verizon.net

Preserve Your Money. Add the Preserve Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity Product from Guggenheim Life and Annuity Company to your financial strategy.

3.20%

* For 7 Year Surrender Charge / Guarantee Period

Interest Rate for Initial Premium Over $250,000, 3.10%* for Initial Premium Under $250,000

• Guarantee/Surrender Charge Periods of 3–10 Years Available • Tax Deferral Tax-deferred growth allows your money to grow faster because you earn interest in dollars that would otherwise be immediately taxable.

• Lifetime Income Annuity contracts give you the ability to have an income that you cannot outlive. • Nursing Home Care & Terminal Illness Riders • Death Benefit For current rates and additional information call:

Gayle M Jendzejec CLU,CFS,CEP Life Time Advisors Group (401) 821-0080

The

Preserve

Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity Product from Guggenheim Life

*Interest rates shown are as of 1/3/2013, are subject to change and may vary in accord with state regulations. Preserve Annuities are issued by and are obligations of Guggenheim Life and Annuity Company, home office at 401 Pennsylvania Pkwy., Suite 300, Indianapolis, Indiana 46280. Guggenheim Life and Annuity Company is not licensed in New Jersey and New York. The contract is issued on form numbers GLA-MYGA-01 (2011) or variations of such. Please consult your contract or Product Summary document for more details regarding these limitations. The Preserve Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity and/or certain product features may not be available in all states. This advertisment is provided for clarification of the benefits which may be included in the contract when it is issued. It is for informational purposes only. In the event of any ambiguity or conflict of terms between this advertisement and the annuity contract, the terms of the annuity contract shall be controlling. Neither Guggenheim Life nor its representatives provide legal or tax advice to contract holders. For legal or tax advice concerning your specific situation, you are encouraged to consult with your attorney, accountant or tax advisor. NOT A DEPOSIT. NOT FDIC OR NCUA/NCUSIF INSURED. NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY. NOT GUARANTEED BY A BANK/SAVINGS ASSOCIATION OR CREDIT UNION.

011302A R-1/2013

NOW IS THE TIME - DON'T MISS THIS OFFER

Butch & Derek, a father/son UNION family surpassing 30 years of continuious service with Local 799 (Providence Fire Dept). Their mission going forward is to assist and help as many union families as possible obtain valuable housing assist them in staying out of Foreclosure and to help locate and purchase the home they always dreamed of! We are available to you 24/7/365. Give us a call or email us today!

SPECIAL UNION BENEFITS BELOW ✔ Buyers will receive 15% commission rebate upon closing* ✔ Sellers will receive the lowest listing commission rates allowable ✔ Special financing discounts offered through our affiliate lender network

? Have an iPhone? Scan the QR code below to add our mobile coupon No iPhone? Download the Pass Wallet app and then scan * Subject to Lender Approval


Page 18

Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

New health science ed facility great news for RI By Laurie White Rhode Island is one step closer to having one of the most technologically advanced health science education facilities in the Northeast. Brown University, Rhode Island College (RIC), and the University of Rhode Island (URI) have announced plans to move forward with a comprehensive redevelopment project in Providence’s Knowledge District. In collaboration with the state and City of Providence, the three institutions will enter lease negotiations with Commonwealth Venture Properties, a private developer to transform the former “South Street Power Station,” located at 360 Eddy Street into an educational and health sciences growth facility, including a shared RIC/URI nursing center. This is great news for Rhode Island! The Chamber and the state’s building trades have long advocated for the creation of this facility in the Knowledge District. Not only will it provide stateof-the-art classrooms for Rhode Island’s future health care workforce, but it will serve as a hub of collaboration with the

many medical facilities and life science partners already located in the area. This new facility will serve as an important connection point between existing assets, help grow new ideas and industries, and establish Rhode Island as a national center of distinction for state-ofthe-art education of nurses. And it utilizes one of the Knowledge District’s greatest assets. The former Narragansett Electric/National Grid power plant (also known as Dynamo House), that was operational from 1912 through the early 1990s, has been vacant since 1999. The property consists of 1.76 acres that are currently occupied by a 60,000 square-foot multistory shell of a building. It is also good news for the local construction economy. According to a report produced by independent economic analysts at Appleseed, the project is expected to have a positive short- and long-term economic impact on the city and state, creating more than 1,500 constructionrelated jobs, a total of $248 million in economic output, and more than $90 million in employee compensation. Once completed and fully operational, it is in-

tended to offer opportunities for the residents of Providence and Rhode Island, enhance nursing education, and create jobs in a range of sectors from commercial start-ups to retail and service sectors. The total project cost is estimated to be $206 million and is expected to be financed through a combination of previously committed state historic tax credits, new federal historic tax credits, private debt/private equity, and public support for the parking structure.

• • •

• Envisioned project specs: • up to 120,000 square feet of space in the redeveloped South Street Power Station for a RIC/URI shared nursing education center; • 120,000 square feet of space in the former Power Station for Brown University, to be used initially for administrative offices, freeing up College Hill campus space for core academic growth; • a new, 150,000 square-foot apartment-style student residence for approximately 296 graduate, medical, and upper-level nursing students, to

be built on the parking area of Davol Square; 15,000 square feet of ground-floor restaurant and retail space in the new residential building; 20,000 square feet of space for startups and other small technologybased companies; a new parking structure with 600 parking spaces located on a surface parking area on Point Street, south of Davol Square; and improvements to the public space along the Providence River and connection to the new public park to be located in the area made available through the relocation of Interstate 195.

A project of this magnitude and complexity requires the dedication and support of a range of partners, but comes with substantial opportunities for Providence and Rhode Island. The Chamber looks forward to being part of moving this exciting venture forward. Laurie White is the President of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.


Common Ground long seen that when unions are perceived as proactive on a broad range of social and economic issues, it improves the ability of the general population to identify with them and their cause. In speaking of the mission of unions, the legendary Samuel Gompers, the first and longest-serving president of the American Federation of Labor—spoke eloquently of what unions want when he articulated his oftenquoted adage: “What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures, to make manhood more noble, womanhood more beautiful, and childhood more happy and bright.” Words to remember and that still resonate, as the nation reflects on an American Labor Movement in transition. John A. Furia previously served, for over 20 years, as Executive Director of AFSCME District Council 94, New England. He also has served on the Augsburg College faculty. The college is located in the Twin-Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) and ranks among the top higher educational institutions in the Midwest. He now provides consulting services for JDF Communications.

PROVIDENCEBRUINS.COM

1 LASALLE SQUARE, PROVIDENCE, RI 02903 | PHONE: 401-273-5000 | FAX: 401-273-5004

Unions cont. from page 9 many AFL-CIO unions have articulated a message of change. AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) National President, Lee Saunders and former Secretary-Treasurer, Bill Lucy, the first African-Americans to hold those positions, have spoken of the need for diversity and inclusion. General Secretary-Treasurer and New England Regional Manager, Armand E. Sabitoni, of LIUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America), has also spoken about the importance of preparing for new job opportunities for the future and enhancing training and skills needed in a changing economy. Activity to promote change and labor involvement is also occurring at the regional level of the union movement. In New England, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, formed in 1887 as the AFL, has had President Steven A. Tolman speak out on protecting employee rights and fighting on behalf of those in need. The Rhode Island AFL-CIO leadership, headed by President George Nee and Secretary-Treasurer Maureen Martin, has actively supported community involvement of local affiliates. Activism and Sustainability: By encouraging activism and inclusion, the labor movement also enhances the image and sustainability of unions. Well-informed observers have

OCTOBER 2013 P R O V I D E N C E

Page 19

B R U I N S

2013-2014 SEASON SCHEDULE OCTOBER SUN

NOVEMBER

MON

TUE

WED 1

2

THU 3

FRI 6:00

4

7:05

11

STJ 6

7

8

9

10

13

14

15

16

17

SAT

SUN

MON

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

5

6:00

STJ

20

21

22

23

24

7:00 12

7:05 18 7:00 19

MCH

30

31

25

7:05

26

3

4

5

6

7

3:05

10

11

12

13

14

28

29

STJ

MON 1

5:00

2

WED 3

4

THU 5

HER

3:05

17

18

19

20

21

3:05 24

25

26

27

28

15

16

10

11

12

POR

FRI 7:05

6

7:05

13

POR 17

18

19

22

23

24

3:00 29

30

7:00 31

SAT 7:00

7

7:00

14

BRI

SUN

MON

TUE

WED

MCH NOR

FRI 2

25

7

8

9

7:05 10

7:00

14

15

16

7:05 17

7:00 18

7:05 24

7:00 25

27

7:00 28

3:05

19

20

21

22

23

27

28

29

30

WBS SPR

9

10

3:05 26

7:00 31

HFD

STJ

WED

THU

4

6:00

6:00

FRI

SAT 7:00

1

7:00

8

5

6

7

12

13

7:05 14

15

7:05 22

STJ 11

MCH

SUN

MON

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

SAT

3:05 16

17

18

19

20

21

3:00 23

24

25

26

27

7:05 28

BRI

3:05

2

3

4

5

6

7:05

7

4:05

9

10

11

12

13

7:05

14

3:05 16

17

18

19

20

3:05

23

24

25

7:05 26

27

30

31

HFD

WOR

BRI

APRIL TUE 1

WED

THU

2

3

FRI 4

7:05

SAT 7:00

5

WOR HFD 3:05

6

7

8

9

10

3:05

13

14

15

16

17

7:05

11

7:05

18

NOR

POR MCH

5:00 12

ALB

7:00 19

MCH WOR

8

ADK ALB BRI HFD HER MCH NOR

WOR MCH

7:00 15

7:05 21

7:00 22

7:00 28

29

HER

HOME

MON

1

3:00

WOR SPR

ADK WBS

HFD

7:00

SPR ALB

STJ

SPR

SUN

WOR

STJ

WBS

MARCH TUE

STJ 3:05

SYR

SYR

MCH

WOR 3

4

11

6

13

ADK

7:00

5

12

7:00 26

SAT 3

7:05

3:05 3:05

FEBRUARY 2

16

WOR SPR WOR

POR

MCH

MON

7:00

23

7:30 29 7:15 30

THU 1

7:00 21

WOR

SUN

7:05

22

9

WOR

NOR

7:05 20

SPR

SPR

15

BRI

MCH WOR 9

7:05

2

7:00

JANUARY TUE

3:05 8

8

7:00

NOR

SPR

DECEMBER SUN

7:00

HFD HFD POR

SPR 3:05 27

1

MCH MCH

MCH POR SPR

SAT

7:05

WBS AWAY

ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS ALBANY DEVILS BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS HARTFORD WOLF PACK HERSHEY BEARS MANCHESTER MONARCHS NORFOLK ADMIRALS

POR

POR

PINK IN THE RINK POR SPR STJ SYR WBS WOR

PORTLAND PIRATES SPRINGFIELD FALCONS ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS SYRACUSE CRUNCH WB/SCRANTON PENGUINS WORCESTER SHARKS

ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN AND ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.


Page 20

Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

IN PROVIDENCE:

111 Wayland Avenue Providence, Rhode Island 02902 401•331•1300

IN WASHINGTON:

601 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Suite 900, South Building Washington, DC 20004 202•220•3013 A D V O C A C Y H represen tat io n H result s

Full Service Jewelers Full Service Jewelers All Work Done On Premises All Work Done On Premises

Become a fan!

Become a fan!

REPAIRS: REPAIRS:

Chain • Ring Ring Sizing: Sizing:$30 $30&&up up ChainSolder: Solder: $10 $10 & & up up • Diamond Prong Replacement: Replacement:$15 $15&& DiamondSetting: Setting: $10 $10 & & up up • • Prong upup Pearl • Watch Watch Batteries: Batteries:$2 $2installed installed PearlStringing: Stringing:$1 $1 per per inch inch • Engraving: • Watch Watch Sizing: Sizing:$5 $5flat flatfee fee Engraving:$10 $10 flat flat fee fee • acjewelersonline.com acjewelersonline.com Cash for for Gold, Gold, Silver Silver and Cash and Platinum Platinum

A.C. JEWELERS JEWELERS A.C. 180BPleasant Pleasant View View Avenue, 180B Avenue,Smithfield Smithfield Rob Richards 349-4094 Rob Richards 349-4094 • • Lic. Lic.#200803 #200803 Hours: M-F 9am-7pm • SAT: 9am-5pm Hours: M-F 9am-7pm • SAT: 9am-5pm


Common Ground Labor Day cont. from page 16 event, according to a Jobs with Justice news release. The event began at the Providence Place Mall with a “die-in” demonstration to highlight the deadly conditions in Bangladesh garment factories. A dozen members of the Brown Student Labor Alliance lied down on the steps of Old Navy, each representing one hundred Bangladeshi garment workers killed in the Rana Plaza Factory collapse earlier this year, according to the news release. “Students here in the US have a responsibility to pressure brands to change the conditions that cause disasters like the factory collapse at Rana Plaza, and the fire at Tazreen Fashion factory. Two of the four biggest garment industry disasters in history happened in the past year. This shows us the urgency at hand. We need to act now to make change,” said Mariela Martinez, a member of the Student Labor Alliance who recently visited Bangladesh. Marchers also addressed national issues, calling for immigration reform.

OCTOBER 2013

“Too many immigrant workers live in the shadows. Just like the workers in so many union organizing drives, I too was retaliated against. After breaking my nose at work, having my foot broken by a truck that ran it over, after injuring my back, I went to a lawyer to place a worker’s compensation claim. At that point, I was fired,” said Harol Lopez, a member of the Central Falls workers’ center Fuerza Laboral, or Power of Workers. “We need more protections for immigrant workers. We need immigration reform now. We need the POWER Act,” Lopez said. The marchers may not wait until the next Labor Day to make sure their voices heard. At the end of the event, marchers chanted, “We’ll be back. We’ll be back,” as a promise that they will “keep coming back to the Renaissance and other locations until justice is served,” Jobs with Justice said.

PROVIDENCE PROVIDENCE FIRE FIREFIGHTERS FIGHTERSLOCAL LOCAL 799 799

Providence’s Providence’s Bravest Bravest Saving SavingLives Livesand andProperty Property Since Since 1854 Paul A. A. Doughty, President Paul Doughty, President Philip F. Fiore, Vice President Philip F. Fiore, Vice President Derek Silva, Secretary Derek M.M. Silva, Secretary Christopher J. Stoney, Treasurer Christopher J. Stoney, Treasurer Anthony P. Lancellotti, Anthony P. Lancellotti, EAP Chairman EAP Chairman

Executive ExecutiveBoard Board Representatives: Representatives: Christopher ChristopherJ.J.Jannitto Jannitto JosephP.P.Moreino Moreino Joseph HansRamsden Ramsden Hans Wayne C.Oliveira Oliveira Wayne C. ZachariahKenyon Kenyon Zachariah AnthonyToro Toro Anthony

Page 21


Page 22

Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

When was the last time you saw a freight train? By Barry Schiller Since freight trains generally do not pass through Rhode Island, unless you live along the Northeast Corridor or by the Providence and Worcester (P&W) branch lines, Rhode Islanders rarely see freight trains and so may have missed the resurgence of this industry which provides good-paying jobs and can help rebuild our economy and protect the environment. Railroads still carry about 40 percent of freight ton-miles in the United States. The industry employs about 180,000 workers, and, perhaps because it is highly unionized, average pay and benefits ($109,000) are about 60 percent above the national average. Stockholders are doing well too. CSX, the main class 1 railroad delivering to New England, has seen the price of its shares almost triple since the 2008 recession low. There are 140,000 miles of freight tracks in the United States and the in-

dustry is growing. Thanks in part to increased use of intermodal containers, traffic is up, and industry sources say there is a need to hire 11,000 workers this year. Thanks to low-friction steel wheels on tracks and how one car shelters the car behind from wind resistance, rail freight is about four times more energy efficient than trucks, and improvements in locomotives, signaling, and scheduling are making it even more efficient. The Burlington Northern Railroad is even experimenting with clean-burning LNG locomotives, and some advocate electrification along busy rail lines. This is increasingly important in view of transportation’s large role in climate change and air pollution. Rhode Island’s loss of manufacturing has reduced the need for rail freight here, and with the closure of the rail bridge over the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, there is no direct rail freight access

to the west south of Albany, sometimes making circuitous trips necessary. Still, Rhode Island voters approved helping fund the “Freight Rail Improvement Program” and the P&W, with 40 years of independent operation here, provides needed service to our Providence and Quonset ports, and hauls include lumber, cars, scrap, chemicals, propane, ethanol, and those intermodal containers. The P&W also runs excursion trains to view fall foliage, the “polar express” and to the zoo. It cooperates with the MBTA on commuter rail, and with the state in the building of the Blackstone Bikeway alongside their tracks. The Rhode Island DOT and Statewide Planning are developing a State Rail Plan, which may go to public hearing later this fall or winter. Issues being analyzed include how freight service could attract new industry and jobs, solving clearance constraints, lifting weight limits, enhancing safety, and efficient scheduling to accommodate freight, Amtrak, and commuter rail. Other issues related to the rail freight industry include the need for capital investment to maintain infrastructure, as the railroads, unlike competitors, have to finance that privately. Thus some advocate that future federal transportation bills promote freight rail improvements, perhaps including a “steel interstate system” similar to the interstate highways. Yet some in Congress want all such fed-

eral spending to be only for highways. There is also a threat to rail market share from some in the trucking industry seeking permission to use longer and heavier trucks on our roads. However, that faces resistance, not just from the railroads, but also from those concerned with air pollution, road safety, and the damage heavy trucks can do to roads and bridges. The railroad claims big reductions in accident rates, it still must confront serious safety issues, especially as it carries 1.7 million carloads of hazardous materials a year. A recent accident in Lac Megantic, Quebec highlights dangers in the growth of oil shipments by rail and some see a need to upgrade oil tanker cars. “Operation Lifesaver” is an ongoing program to guard against railway crossing accidents. There is also an issue of installing expensive “positive train control” that could automatically stop or slow trains to prevent accidents. Finally, there are still labor issues, including the acceptability of one-person crews in rail yards, which relates to some inter-union rivalry among the dozen or so unions in the industry. I hope Rhode Islanders will share their opinions on any of these issues! Barry Schiller is a member of the State Planning Council’s Transportation Advisory Committee and can be reached at bschiller@localnet.com.

Common Ground Radio Show

Hosted by John J. Tassoni, Jr. Monday Afternoons 4pm – 5pm on AM 790

B

roadcasting into Rhode Island and parts of Massachusetts, the Common Ground Radio Show is an excellent opportunity to have your message heard loud and clear. Like the Common Ground newspaper, this show will highlight


Common Ground

OCTOBER 2013

SCREEN-WORKS

EMBROIDERY-SCREEN PRINTING SIGNS-PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS UNION LOGO WEAR & U NIFORMS

(401) 273-9800 FAX (401) 331-8815 www.rifthp.org

Mark Montecalvo (401) 692 -0304 Mark @Montees.net

AMST ERS TE

M

NF ERE CE N

401.438-5450 www.ifpte400.org

Fund Raising Athletics

MU

O

685 Warren Avenue East Providence, RI 02914

Promote Morale

CO

356 Smith Street Providence, RI 02908-3761 marciarift@aol.com

A progressive labor union representing more than 80,000 men and women in professional, technical, administrative and associated occupations.

GRAPHIC

Marcia B. Reback President

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers

I I

I

A UNION REPRESENTING PROUD UNION PROFESSIONALS SINCE 1918 Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals LOCAL 400

Page 23

NICATIONS

C

5.11 Tactical Organizational

events

LOCAL 12N BUY LO CAL

Made in the USA available


Common Ground

www.mediationservicesofri.com

Executive Board Kevin Cole • Nick DeCristofaro • Brian Farrell • Christopher Lemire Virginia Moffitt • Atthur Olink • Frank Plutzner • Vin Rowan School Bus Divisions Warwick-Jamestown: Dave Kilduff • Brenda Paine • Mary Tarbox Johnston: Kim Castiglioni • Wendy LaCombe Limerock Fire Fighters: Jon Wright

OCTOBER 2013

Page 24


Common Ground October 2013