March 2020 Principal Officer Report

Local Finances – Annual LM-2 reports were completed and filed for 2019. Click Here for 2019 Financial. Financials for February were strong once again, with money transferred to investments. Our strong financial position of the last few years will help in dealing with the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Please contact me directly if you have questions about Local finances.

Frito Lay – We are in regular contact about health concerns and safety processes. Snack distribution is very busy, but also very risky for employees. Additional pay was implemented during this time as well.

Mondelez – There was a manager change at the location, so we look forward to a fresh start from the issues we’ve had. Non-perishable food distribution is very busy, and risky for employees. Additional safety and health processes have been implemented, along with additional pay, during this time.

Praxair – Additional safety & health processes are in place for employees, especially for drivers. Industrial gases have significantly reduced, but medical gases are very busy, so hopefully the group will stay busy for a while.

Entemanns – The thrift store in East Providence announced a two week temporary closing. Employees are being paid with full benefits.

Bradford Soap – The company donated over 70,000 bars of soap to underserved communities. The Local transported 16 pallets of soap with our truck, driven by Brian Palmer and Bob Sayer, to the RI Community Food Bank. UPS freed up a package car with two drivers, Jack Warren and Cory Levesque, to deliver 5,000 bars to Family Services of RI. That good deed aside, we are monitoring safety & health concerns at the plant and addressing concerns as necessary.

Political – There were hearings on our legislation for Sunday & Holiday Overtime Exemption requirements for employers this month. This was strongly supported by the labor movement, with opposition from business groups. Providence Journal provoked this fight, and we’re not afraid to take it to all businesses to send the right message.
With the COVID-19 public health crisis being the main issue currently, we are working on state and municipal level enforcement of the federal stimulus legislation, to keep members employed where it applies.

East Providence STA – We face a challenge to finalize a contract here, as schools are not operating. We are working with the State of RI on school bus companies and employees we represent.

Rogers Corp – We proceeded with the unit clarification hearing for the Quality Assurance department, and expect a decision soon. We had to cancel scheduled negotiations in the last week of March due to the COVID-19 crisis. We maintain regular communication with the Company on issues and will be discussing how we’ll proceed with negotiations.

DHL – In the middle of this public health crisis, the last thing we need is a deadbeat employer trying to get out of its obligations. DHLNH, LLC ended its relationship with DHL Express on March 27th. We have them in federal court over ignoring the arbitration process on grievances, failure to bargain the effects of closing, among other issues. There is an NLRB charge as well on similar issues. The new company to assume the operations, Northeast Transportation, hired all the employees who wanted to work in seniority order. And we bargained to make some tweaks to the collective bargaining agreement, reaching a tentative agreement. We worked collaboratively to improve the healthcare benefits. The tentative agreement is set for ratification, and we hope for a more positive relationship with a more responsible employer.

HSIP – Our Health Services office had to alter operations due to public health concerns and guidance. Please call, fax, email or mail any correspondence. Regular office hours apply.

Local offices – Our Driving School is closed for the time being due to pandemic concerns. We need to protect our retiree instructors and there is no testing for CDL licenses at the moment either. The Local offices are operating normal hours. But please contact us by phone, email, fax or mail with concerns. Staff are working from home as much as possible so the fewest people are at the Union Hall as possible at any one time, and in general.

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