Cicilline supporting union drive at Starbucks 

U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, who is running for reelection in the first district, tweeted his support for workers at a Warwick Starbucks that have joined the wave of unionization efforts at the upscale coffee shop chain. 

“Union built the middle class, and they’re going to help us build a more equitable, robust economy,” Cicillne tweeted. “Proud to support Rhode Island’s Pace Boulevard Starbucks in their fight for workers’ rights.”

Employees at Starbucks in several locations nationwide have initiated union drives. Workers at the Starbucks at 25 Pace Boulevard, Warwick are the first in Rhode Island to join that effort.

In a letter to Starbucks’ Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz, the employees complained of short staffing, cut hours, and retaliation for employees who have engaged in the effort to organize across the country.

“Unionization will give our store the tools it needs to provide the service our customers want,” the letter said. The employees said they hope they inspire other employees at Starbucks throughout Rhode Island to also file for unionization.

Starbucks stores are primarily company-owned, while other similar chains, like Dunkin’ Donuts, are largely franchise operations. According to reports Starbucks is spending millions in an effort to defeat the unionization efforts.

Cicilline celebrates Jackson appointment

Cicilline statement: “Today, I was honored to be at the White House to celebrate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s history-making confirmation as our next Supreme Court Justice. Her demonstrated commitment to justice and the Constitution and her varied and extensive experience make her extraordinarily well qualified for this appointment. Her previous experience on the U.S. Sentencing Commission and as a federal public defender are a welcome addition to the Court. Having worked with and for some of the most disadvantaged members of our community, Judge Jackson has valuable and significant insights into our justice system that will provide an important perspective. I look forward to seeing her sworn in.”

Electrifying endorsements

Both second district Congressional candidate Seth Magaziner and Gov. Dan McKee have won the endorsement of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) locals.

McKee’s campaign announced that the governor has been endorsed by EBEW Locals 99 and 2323, while Magaziner, who is current the state’s General Treasurer, announced his endorsement by Local 2323. Magaziner was previously endorsed by Local 99.

“Governor Dan McKee has been a strong ally for our members and all people who work with their hands for a living. Coming into office during one of the most challenging moments in our state’s history, Governor McKee rolled up his sleeves and focused on keeping our economy open and getting people back to work. We’re proud to support him for another term as Governor and will work hard to make sure he’s re-elected,” said Joe Walsh Jr., IBEW Local 99 Business Manager. 

Christopher Buffery, IBEW Local 2323 Business Manager, expressed similar sentiments: “Governor McKee has been put to the test in his first year in office–leading our state through a difficult public health and economic crisis–and has earned re-election. A champion for working people, Governor McKee has made raising incomes and creating jobs top priorities of his administration and IBEW Local 2323 is proud to stand with him in his campaign that’s focused on hardworking families.” 

In endorsing, Magaziner, Buffery said that “over the last seven years, Seth Magaziner has been tremendous for working people, creating jobs and supporting the right to organize, earn good wages and work under safe conditions. We are proud to support his bid for Congress and know he will be a voice for working people in Washington,” said International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2323 Business Manager Chris Buffery.   

Magaziner wins Support from RI Women Leaders

General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, a congressional candidate in the second district, announced the upcoming “Women for Seth” reception to be held on April 27, and hosted by more than 30 Rhode Island women leaders. 

“I am honored to have earned the support of exceptional Rhode Island women who are contributing so much to our state,” Magaziner said “The fight of our generation is happening in Washington, and I am committed to building a better future for Rhode Island by protecting the Affordable Care Act, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, protecting access to reproductive health care, and making early education and childcare more affordable.”

Magaziner listed as hosts for the reception Victoria Almeida, esq.; State Representatives Karen Alzate, Jacquelyn Baginski, Justine Caldwell, Julie A.Casimiro, Grace Diaz, Katherine Kazarian, Patricia Serpa, and Anastasia Williams; state Senators Hanna Gallo, Maryellen Goodwin, Ana Quezada, and Bridget Valvedere; and UNAP President Lynn Blais, Cranston Democratic Committee Chair Maria Bucci, Narragansett Town Councilor Susan Cicilline Buonanno, Charlestown Democratic Committee Chair Catherine Collette, East Greenwich Town Councilor Renu Englehart, Laborers Local 808 Karen Hazard, UniteHere Local 26 Vice President Nancy Iadeluca, UNAP Local 5019 President Cindy Lussier, Maureen Martin, Suzanne Magaziner, Jennifer McDowell, Julia McDowell, Honorable Paula McFarland, Glocester Democratic Committee Chair Linda Nichols, Providence Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan, Anne Sliney, East Greenwich Democratic Committee Chair Christa Thompson, West Warwick Town Councilor Maribeth Williamson, and Warwick Democratic Committee Chair Kim Wineman.

Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. Prosnitz began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz hosts the Morning Show on WLBQ radio (Westerly), 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and It’s Your Business, also on WBLQ, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Prosnitz has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration, won an investigative reporter’s award from the New England Press Association, and newswriting award from the Rhode Island Press Association.