TEAMSTERS@WORK: LOCAL 251’S RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL

More than 60 Local 251 Teamsters receive and guide the supplies that fuel Providence’s Rhode Island Hospital.

In the warehouse and the shipping and receiving department, stock clerks, receiving clerks, inventory specialists, drivers manage a complicated distribution supply chain that ensures that every worker from the doctors to the janitors can do their jobs. They receive, inventory and distribute thousands of necessary items from gauze to laundry detergent, from medicine to nuts and bolts. Without them the facility would grind to a halt.

“There are plenty of television shows about hospitals, but nobody focusses on the people behind the scenes making the whole operation tick,” said Paul Santos, Local 251 President and 27-year veteran of Rhode Island Hospital. “A hospital is an intricate operation that takes hundreds of skilled people to make it run 24/7.”

Located just south of downtown Providence, Rhode Island Hospital’s main campus occupies more than five blocks. Additionally, the Teamsters represent workers at the hospital’s numerous satellite buildings throughout the state of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. More than 2,500 Local 251 Teamsters work wall-to-wall in the facilities.

“We’re proud of the Local 251 Teamsters who keep the hospital running and our community healthy,” said Matt Taibi, Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer.

This photo feature on Rhode Island Hospital’s Warehouse and Shipping and Receiving workers is the first in a series profiling Rhode Island Hospital Teamsters.

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