RI unions

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island organized labor leaders are asking the General Assembly to override Gov. Gina Raimondo’s veto of legislation that would have kept public employee and teacher collective bargaining contracts in effect while a new contract is under negotiation.

The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives / CC BY-ND 2.0 Via Flickr

It’s Labor Day, the holiday celebrating working people. That got RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay thinking about unions, and the decline of organized labor in the private economy.  

The death of Rhode Island labor leader Frank Montanaro Sr. reminded former Gov. Lincoln Almond of Montanaro’s crucial role in helping to get the Fidelity Investments building in Smithfield done in the 1990s without a labor-management dust-up that could have killed the project.

RIPR FILE PHOTO

This summer, there was good news and bad news for public employees.  RI Gov. Gina Raimondo vetoed legislation that would have kept their labor contracts in effect while a new contract is under negotiation.  But the governor allowed a measure to make it easier for police and firefighters to get tax-free disability pensions. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says Raimondo may have gotten her priorities wrong on these bills.  


Rappaport Center / Wikimedia Commons

Charlie Baker, a Republican in Democratic Massachusetts, is a popular governor.  Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat in a Democratic state, has just middling approval ratings.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay contrasts the political fortunes of these two New England governors. 


Will Hart / Creative Commons License

Labor Day marks the end of summer. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay reminds us that this holiday that honors workers once meant much more in Rhode Island.

With all the attention given by R.I. media to economic inequality, one wonders why serious discussion of   solutions has gone AWOL.

Just about everybody agrees that inequality has grown for the past three decades. With Rhode Island’s anemic recovery from the Great Recession, the problem is deeper in our small corner of southeastern New England.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment rate has inched down to 8.7 percent in March, an improvement, but evidence that the state trails the region and most of the nation in economic activity.

The state Department of Labor and Training reports that new data shows the seasonally adjusted rate declined from 9 percent in February and is now at the lowest rate since September, 2008.

The number of Rhode Islanders who were working increased to 506,000 in March, a hike of 2,700 from February  statistics.

RIPR FILE

In the famous words of Yogi Berra, `it ain’t over till its over.’ RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why that’s the case with the latest twist in Rhode Island’s public employee pension settlement.

In many a long legal  battle, a settlement reached out of court marks the end of a contentious lawsuit. The opposing parties shake hands and sometimes share an odd drop. Then they put the dispute behind them.