Only July 10th, 2012, over one hundred workers and community members came out from across Rhode Island to speak with politicians inside the Local 217 office in Providence. People spoke up in favor of fair wages, job security, health care, and creating a stable economy for working people. The conversation then turned to the Twin River Casino contract fights, where Twin River management has closed its two restaurants on Sundays, is attempting to take away time and a half on Sundays, and changed health benefits. Additionally, the operators of the fast food outlets in the building are attempting to lower wages by as much as 25%. People shared their personal stories in order to illustrate just how those changes would affect their middle class jobs and damage their families. 15 politicians listened, questioned, and engaged in debate about how they could support these casino workers. Providence Westin hotel workers, Newport school cafeteria workers, and students voiced their support, in hopes of creating a more stable Rhode Island economy for working people. Most of the politicians in attendance signed on to a letter in support of the workers at Twin River Casino. This was Twin River workers first political action as a group, and they are more motivated than ever to continue to fight for a fair contract.
“Hearing the workers personal stories of how a lack of affordable health care and decrease in work hours would affect their lives was a really powerful force in the room. The politicians took these workers very seriously because they stood strong, and they stood together.” – Bryan, 2012 Summer Organizer, Rhode Island
“Going to different youth organizations, work places, and talking to community members was a tiring process and I was nervous that people were not going to be at the action. It was so exciting to finally see all those people in one room supporting each other and speaking passionately about their lives. Afterwards, the Twin River worker said this was the first time she thought that politicians might actually do something for her.” – Nicole, 2012 Summer Organizer, Rhode Island