Thursday, June 28, 2018
LOCAL JANUS REACTION
► From The Stand — “A clarion call to organize like never before” — In response to the Supreme Court’s Janus decision, hundreds of union members rally in cities across the state and vow to build even stronger, more powerful unions.
► From KOMO TV — Hundreds rally in Seattle against court ruling on union fees
► From KING-TV — Court union ruling especially significant for Washington
► From KIRO-TV — Supreme Court deals big setback to labor unions
► From McClatchy — Court decision on public unions has big implications in state — “We’ve anticipated it for a number of years. We’ve been really demonstrating I think value and relevance to our members,” said Greg Devereux, executive director of the Washington Federation of State Employees, AFSCME Council 28. “We don’t think it’s going to have a major impact.”
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Public employee unions assess damage of Supreme Court ruling — “In some ways the Janus decision has been a clarion call for ‘Let’s organize’,” said Jeff Johnson, president of the Washington State Labor Council. Anti-labor forces “thought the court decision was going to silence us. It’s doing just the opposite. We’re going to grow.”
► From KUOW — After losing Supreme Court battle, Seattle union supporters gear up for ‘war’ — “(Corporate groups) have been very clear that they want to dismantle unions and the labor movement, that’s been the goal,” said the WSLC’s Lynne Dodson, who maintained that they will not succeed. “This case is not going to do that.”
► In today’s Columbian — Clark County union leaders: Supreme Court ruling a huge blow — In Vancouver and around the state, union members rallied to protest the decision. Dozens of people gathered at the intersection of East Mill Plain and Fort Vancouver Way around lunchtime, waving signs reading “Union Strong” and waving at motorists who honked their horns in support. The word of the day from union members? Education. Multiple representatives said their next steps in the months to come will be to inform their fellow employees of the rights and benefits their union representation guarantees them.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Battle lines sharpen in Washington state as top court says government can’t force workers to pay union fees — It’s unclear exactly how the ruling will impact Washington — which has one of the highest union membership rates in the nation — but it could diminish labor’s influence and reduce payments to unions that have become major donors to Democratic candidates and causes.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — ‘This is a union town’: Locals rally against high court labor ruling — “I think it’s important for us to emphasize that we are a union town,” Shawn Nyman, president of the Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Labor Council, said in an interview. “We were before this decision and we will be after this decision.”
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane union leaders criticize Supreme Court decision, but say their groups will move forward — “I feel like we do a good job of providing a service to our members,” said Randy Marler, president of Spokane Firefighters Union Local 29. While he personally disagrees with the decision, he said it probably won’t have much effect on his organization. The union has no firefighters who are “fair share” or agency fee members who have opted out of a portion of their dues, Marler said, and under the ruling “everybody that’s already in is still in.”
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Court decision a major blow to Yakima Valley unions — “It’s just another step in (the anti-union groups’) agenda to try to limit the voice of working people,” said Leonard Crouch, secretary/treasurer for Teamsters Local Union 760. Locally, it appears the court’s decision will have minimal financial impact on several area unions.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Uh. Then what’s with the headline?
NATIONAL JANUS REACTION
► From NPR — AFL-CIO president ‘not shocked’ but ‘really disgusted’ by Supreme Court union ruling — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: “More and more Americans are joining unions and want to take collective action. And it’s all over the country. We’re organizing nurses, we’re organizing grad assistants, we’re organizing airline workers.”
ALSO at The Stand — Trumka: Janus decision ‘further empowers corporate elites’
► From the AP — Supreme Court’s Janus ruling strikes at labor’s membership, coffers, clout — “We are not defeated – we are emboldened,” said Lee Saunders, AFSCME president. “What we are doing internally is continuing to communicate and grow stronger by talking with members and non-members alike, seeking their input on issues that concern them, their families and their communities.”
► From HuffPost — Supreme Court conservatives crush workers, again (by Leo Gerard) — The radical conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court have twice now in two months ganged up on working Americans, denying them their right to band together to achieve mutual goals.
► From CNN — Supreme Court won’t have the last word on worker rights (by Craig Becker) — Consequences unintended by the court may soon follow: new legislation to curb the use of arbitration and greater constitutional protection of labor protest.
► In today’s NY Times — After Janus, unions must save themselves (editorial) — Unions will not disappear without a fight. Public-sector unions have already been organizing members and nonmembers to limit their losses. Such efforts will be buoyed by the growing dissatisfaction among workers, who are frustrated with stagnant wages, long hours and poor working conditions despite a growing economy and, in many places, generous government incentives for corporations and rich taxpayers. The recent teacher strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona demonstrate a groundswell of dissatisfaction even in conservative states where lawmakers have systematically weakened unions in recent years. …
There are no easy or quick responses to the challenges this persistent right-wing attack has posed for unions and their supporters. It will take the right political strategy and perseverance to defend hard-won gains. But workers have been in a far worse position in the past. It never hurts to remember that it took decades of bloody struggle to win the right to unionize in the first place.
EDITOR’S NOTE — And… this.
Corporate interests have been rigging the system against workers for decades – and the Supreme Court just handed those interests a huge victory in #Janus v. AFSCME. But I’ve got news for the billionaires behind this case: we’re not going anywhere. #Union pic.twitter.com/LAxpB1k3iY
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 27, 2018
► From MyNorthwest — Hotel workers
to rally outside Seattle Westin — “Many hotel workers can’t afford to live here, many hotel workers have to have two or three jobs,” said Erik Van Rossum with UNITE HERE Local 8. “And I think that is a shame for the richest hotel company on the planet … Marriott is the richest hotel company on the planet, and their workers don’t need two or more jobs just to survive in the city or the region where they work.”
— MLK Labor (@MLKLabor) June 27, 2018
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Mental health competency delays are costing state millions — The state is paying millions of dollars a year in sanctions because it’s unable to evaluate the mental health competency of jailed defendants in a timely manner. Soon, some of those languishing lengthy periods behind bars might need to be released and charges against them dismissed.
► In today’s NY Times — House rejects immigration overhaul despite Trump’s late plea — The House resoundingly rejected a far-reaching immigration overhaul on Wednesday, despite a last-minute plea from President Trump, as internal divisions in the Republican ranks continued to hobble legislative efforts to protect the young unauthorized immigrants known as Dreamers.
► In today’s NY Times — Kennedy’s retirement injects an inflammatory new issue into midterms — Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement on Wednesday that he would retire this summer immediately thrust the high court to the center of the battle for control of the Senate, with Republicans daring red-state Democrats to oppose the nominee to replace Justice Kennedy, and Democrats warning that a rush to seat a new justice before the election would further galvanize moderate and liberal voters.
► From The Hill — Kennedy exit gives Trump chance to reshape court for decades
► From Politico — GOP plans to steamroll Dems on Supreme Court pick — Senate Republicans plan to confirm a new Supreme Court justice to replace retiring Anthony Kennedy before the midterm elections, according to interviews with nearly a dozen Republican senators.
EDITOR’S NOTE — What happened to “give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy“?
► From Politico — Poll: Support for Republican tax cuts erodes — Public support for the recent tax overhaul plunged in the past two months. Just 37 percent of registered voters said they supported the tax-cut laden law, down from 44 percent in an April poll. Even among Republicans, support for the law dropped to 70 percent, from 80 percent in April. Only 25 percent of voters said they had noticed an increase in their paychecks as a result of the law, while 52 percent said they hadn’t.
► In today’s Texas Observer — In 2017, Texas union membership rose at the highest rate in over three decades — Even as union membership flatlined nationally in 2017, something surprising happened in the Lone Star State. Texas had its biggest surge in union membership since 1983, the first year that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began collecting state union data.
PREVIOUSLY at The Stand — Washington state posts big gains in union membership — An estimated 584,000 Washington state residents belonged to labor unions in 2017, a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows, an increase of 45,000 from the previous year and 84,000 since 2015. With its 18.8 percent union membership rate, Washington rises to the 3rd most unionized state in the nation.
LEARN MORE ABOUT FORMING A UNION — If you don’t have a union at your job, learn more about how to organize one. Today’s economy is so out of balance — with all the economic gains going to the top — forming a union is how workers can stand together and demand better wages, working conditions, and a voice on the job. You can make it happen at your workplace! Click here to get started.
► In the Wall Street Journal — The Boeing workers were right to unionize (letter from Robert Martinez Jr., subscription required) — Regarding your editorial “A Machinist Break-in at Boeing” (June 4): You imply that the National Labor Relations Board election among highly skilled and licensed employees at Boeing’s facility in South Carolina was improper. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.