child care workers

Flo Jonic / RIPR

State-subsidized, home-based child care providers have voted overwhelmingly to join a union.

The crowd cheered at the state Labor Relations Board when the results of the child care vote were announced. 390 voted to join the Service Employees International Union. 19 voted against it.

Today we celebrate the glorious history of the American labor movement. While unions have a storied past RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what the future holds.

Labor Day in Rhode Island has long been more than a summer’s end holiday. For decades, union leaders and their members have celebrated a movement that assimilated immigrants, fought vigorously for better pay and working conditions and was a fulcrum in the creation of a strong middle class.

House Speaker Gordon Fox says he does not favor a General Assembly override of Governor Lincoln Chafee’s veto of legislation that would create an anti-abortion `Choose Life’ Rhode Island license plate that would serve as a fund-raising vehicle for an evangelical Christian anti-abortion group.

Fox’s comments came during an interview with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Political Roundtable panelists Scott MacKay, Flo Jonic and Maureen Moakley. Fox noted that he a long-time supporter of abortion rights who did not vote for the `Choose Life' plate when it was approved  in the House.

Organized labor has been beset in recent years with declining membership in the private sector and a corresponding drop in clout at the Rhode Island Statehouse.  Unions have taken their lumps recently, but there were signs of a rebound during the recently adjourned General Assembly session.

Labor did not get nearly everything it wanted; building  trades union  leaders are unhappy that lawmakers did not approve requiring construction firms bidding on state projects worth $1 million or more to have a union apprenticeship program.