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Category Archives: Organized Labor

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Chambray Shirts — Blue Collars On The Red Carpet

An article in The New York Times illuminates the working class roots of the current fashion must-have, the chambray shirt. Turns out chambray in America has a local provenance. The early history of chambray ­stretches to the French town of Cambrai and a dense linen,

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New Documentary About Councilwoman Carmen Castillo

Beth will not be so psyched that my first post in a couple of months violates our no-Kickstarter rule, but so it goes.  (Hi, Beth!) Did you know that the first hotel housekeeper to hold public office is on the Providence City Council?  A film

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RI Jobs With Justice Award Dinner

(12.13) Apologies: This post originally stated that the dinner was tomorrow, Wednesday, while it’s actually on Thursday. Jobs With Justice is scrappy, but one of the most important and effective activist organizations in Rhode Island.  The campaign they helped lead in support of a living

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Eisenstein’s “Strike”

(5.1) Just in time for May Day, the Providence Community Library is presenting a free screening of Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 classic “Strike” projected with 16mm film. This was Eisenstein’s first full-length feature; he would go on to make “The Battleship Potemkin” later that year. “Strike”

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An Interview With Joey “Quits” DeFrancesco

That’s right, RIFuture knew Joey before he was famous.  (You can check out the viral YouTube video here.) Everybody should go see him and the What Cheer Brigade next Saturday, November 19, 2011 at Firehouse 13 ( 8:00pm.  More details at bottom. DS: From what I’ve seen

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Joey Quits

On the chance that you’re not one of the 500k+ people who’ve seen this on YouTube already, here’s footage of the What Cheer Brigade helping Joey quit his job at the (union-bustin’) Renaissance Hotel:

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Erica’s New Book On The Wisconsin Fight

Many of you know Erica Sagrans from her time in Providence as a student and activist.  This month she’s self-publishing an awesome new book about the labor fight in Wisconsin: In February of 2011, the people of Wisconsin changed the political landscape in America overnight.

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Big Moves For Marriage Equality

We’re gaining momentum — the AFL-CIO and Newport Dems both endorsed today.  As the NEA’s Pat Crowley put it, he’s “prouder than ever to be a union thug.” From WRNI: PROVIDENCE, RI (WRNI) – The push for same-sex marriage legislation has gained two new supporters,

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Victory At The Westin

Just back from the celebration at Trinity:  Congratulations to the workers at the Westin, who have survived a two-year standoff and today ratified their new contract in a 114-4 vote!  Here’s the Projo article: PROVIDENCE — In a move that brings an end to a

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Card Carrying Member Rhode Island AFL-CIO

Don’t they all pretty much look like this? According to the ProJo Pats Blog, The New England Patriots are now members of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, according to George Nee, the state president of the national labor organization. Nee said the players have always been

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Tuesday: RI Jobs With Justice Awards Dinner

Join us Tuesday, when we will recognize those who have fought for workers rights & who have moved our movements forward! Rhode Island Jobs with Justice 14th Anniversary Awards Night Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 6:00 – 9:00pm Providence Firefighters’ Memorial Hall 90 Printery Street, Providence,

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Brown And Library Workers Resolve Dispute

From the Brown Daily Herald: Under the new contract, workers will pay 7 percent of their health insurance premium costs beginning in July 2011, an increase from the current 6 percent. That figure will rise to 9 percent in July 2013 and to 12 percent

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Library Update: Strike Authorized + Rally Tomorrow at 2

From the Brown Student Labor Alliance: The library workers’ contract was extended again, to November 8. The university is refusing to back down from its harmful proposals that would hurt working families. Library workers have voted to authorize a strike. Hundreds of students, faculty, staff,

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Power Move By Hassett, In Support Of Renaissance Workers

This move took some real guts — the folk at sage have proved a spiteful bunch.  Hassett deserves a lot of credit. PROVIDENCE, R.I. — City Councilman Terrence M. Hassett resigned from the community advisory board of the Renaissance Providence Hotel this week, saying that

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Thursday: Support Brown Library Workers

The contract for Brown’s library workers is up in three days, and university is pushing for a 250% increase in health care co-pays and other hard-hitting measures that will hurt the workers.  Please help out by reading on, and coming to rally this Thursday at

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Big Victories for Providence Hotel Workers

Workers are engaged in fierce months-long organizing battles at the Westin and the Providence Renaissance (Masonic Temple) hotels.  The owners have been playing hardball, but the courts are starting to call them out on countless labor law violations, violations of court orders, and generally unscrupulous