Skip to main content

Hi -- this is Rhode Island State Rep. David Segal.

The folks at Netroots Nation and RIFuture.org have done a great job of shining the spotlight on a labor dispute we are facing locally in Providence -- the outcome of which will directly decide whether the Netroots Nation conference will bring approximately $2 million in economic activity to our area in 2011.

As a progressive elected official who's worked with the hotel workers and other service employees across the city and state for nearly a decade, I want to do my part to increase pressure on management on behalf of workers.

(And as co-founder of local progressive blogs RIFuture.org and ProvidenceDailyDose.com, I especially look forward to welcoming progressives from around the nation to Providence.)

Today, I'm asking for your help, by signing a petition in support of the workers that I will deliver directly to the hotel management -- and will invite local media to cover. You can sign it here.

First, a summary of the situation faced by workers of the Providence Westin hotel, as described by RIFuture.org:

  • Management imposed a 20 percent wage cut
  • Management unilaterally quadrupled employee health insurance costs
  • Management threatened to replace workers with subcontracted labor like the controversial "Hyatt 100" decision in Boston
  •  Management fired three workers in retaliation for joining a picket line (they were later reinstated four months later - after the NLRB became involved)
  • Management broke off contract talks with the hotel workers.

All of this even though the hotel was built with public money, as part of a publicly-subsidized convention center complex. When taxpayer money is invested in these spaces, we need to insist on the protection of Rhode Island families hired to work there.

The hotel management's actions have compelled a local boycott of the Westin, and progressives have exerted smart leverage in this fight. Nolan Treadway, political director of Netroots Nation, writes about their choice of venue for 2011:

We're ready to commit to Providence, but we will only do so if we know the workers are getting a fair shake - and for us that means working under a collectively bargained contract that the employees vote to accept.

We need even more concerned people from across the country to join us as we push to win a fair deal for Rhode Island workers. That's why I asked Netroots Nation, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and RIFuture.org to join me on this petition to hotel management:

Support Rhode Island Workers

"Westin management's decision to slash salaries, increase health care costs, and undermine unions is wrong. Providence and the Westin could benefit greatly from the Netroots Nation convention, but the workers should be able to share in those benefits. Management has the power to resolve this dispute, and should give providence-area workers a fair deal."

Sign the petition here.

After you sign, you will also be given a phone number to call -- and a sample script.

$2 million is just the immediate pay-off our state would get from the Netroots Nation conference. Providence has a burgeoning tech and online community, and as we look to brand ourselves as a tech-savvy city, it's difficult to think of a bigger opportunity that could have fallen into our lap.

Please support the effort to win this fight for workers -- and the state of Rhode Island -- here.

We'll keep you updated as things develop.

Originally posted to DavidSegal on Thu May 06, 2010 at 06:01 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Sharoney, Louise, Tookish, Seth D, Aexia, davej, Ducktape, Laura Clawson, Bill in Portland Maine, Common Sense Mainer, murphy, skyesNYC, leftcoast, CalifSherry, texaseditor, Adam B, Joan McCarter, tnichlsn, Shockwave, ETinKC, maddercow, shayera, Raven Brooks, route66, theran, RFK Lives, SallyCat, EVale, mataliandy, Creosote, regis, sardonyx, Morgana, conchita, afox, srkp23, highacidity, boadicea, buckeyekarl, Holly J, doctor o, Torta, VA Gal, librarianman, ctsteve, navajo, vheidi, sidnora, wader, Oke, hhex65, hangingchad, danthrax, jsmagid, epcraig, PaulVA, mcfly, Catte Nappe, awkward007, Will Rockafellow, lulu57, matthewRI, lonespark, tomjones, d to the f, lyvwyr101, Jen Hayden, boran2, howardpark, madaprn, historys mysteries, sterno, pattyp, LarisaW, vinylgirl, Independent Musings, PBen, KnotIookin, BCO gal, dansk47, Frank Palmer, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, Cory Bantic, capt, Nolan, Alan Arizona, begone, bghill, reddbierd, trashablanca, mission419, Nightprowlkitty, vigilant meerkat, Mr Bojangles, Clytemnestra, BlueInARedState, Shanna, AdamGreen, triv33, StrayCat, nilocjin, SadieSue, CTLiberal, boatsie, Randolph06, MBNYC, Tula Connell, Charles Chamberlain, goinsouth, blueoregon, Jay D, markthshark, Damn Frank, AntKat, elblot, DBunn, ALinSF, john07801, donnamarie, leema, yoduuuh do or do not, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, newpioneer, davehouck, bnasley, Canyon Lefty, jedennis, vbdietz, cyncynical, jnhobbs, christianlsv, wmholt, JML9999, midwestblue, sable, Predictor, msblucow, lamzdotes, CDH in Brooklyn, minerva1157, robroser, pamelabrown, bluesheep, MsWings, Seamus D, noddem, Parthenia, wyldraven, Stephanie Taylor, ptolemynm, revelwoodie, papicek, legendmn, maggiejean, Jessivoter, ARS, greengemini, velvet blasphemy, VoteAqui, shopkeeper, aaronsw, DapperDan, just some lurker guy, MKSinSA, CavalierGirl, CityLightsLover, fernan47, vcthree, Varlokkur, Larsstephens, PZinOR, Johnnythebandit, kjoftherock, SeattleTammy, catchlightning, samanthab, outside, DeppityBob, JasperJohns, rfall, sharonsz, Earth Ling, Jason Rosenbaum, alamacTHC, not4morewars, weathertom, not2plato, Onomastic, jsand42, salientwhisper, ems97007, AuroraDawn, Facts Matter, BlueJessamine, Sand Hill Crane, Alice Olson, Ebby, Lorikeet, AgavePup, CaseStreet, theone718, SusanL143, Grandma Susie, buffaloHierophant, jediwashuu, andrewtna, lovespiral, Elana Levin, thejoshuablog, Shaunna Thomas, Georgianna Darcy, PrometheusUnbound, Rejoinder, Unionthug, Blog Workers Industrial Union, wolfie1818, JBossch, CuriousBoston, Hookah, Mike Elk, Bhindmyiis, NancyWilling, IndieGuy, Natasha Patel, AnnieR, Alex Young

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site