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Contract wins ● Larsen’s letter ● Trump goes low ● Remember Obamacare?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018




► From Teamsters 117 — Another win as Teamsters at Sysco overwhelmingly ratify new contract — This weekend Teamsters 117 members at Sysco voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new 3-year contract. The agreement provides annual wage increases, retirement security, and affordable health care for over 200 Local 117 members and their families. “Our negotiations committee worked incredibly hard to achieve this agreement,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117 and the lead negotiator for the union. “Together with last year’s contract at US Foods, this agreement sets the standard for food service contracts across the country.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — How do wage increases, retirement security, and affordable health care sound to you? Find out by joining together with your co-workers and negotiating a fair return for your work! Contact a union organizer today.

► From KING 5 — Sea-Tac airport workers rally for more affordable health care


ALSO at The Stand — Sea-Tac airport workers call for health care




► From SEIU 775 — SEIU 775 caregivers vote yes on 2019-2021 home care contract — SEIU 775 caregivers overwhelmingly ratified their 2019-2021 home care contract with the State of Washington on Tuesday. The contract will improve conditions for not only state-paid home care providers but also caregivers at private home care agencies that contract with Medicaid, meaning over 45,000 Washington caregivers will be impacted. The new contract includes wage increases of at least 8 percent for all state paid caregivers over the two years of the contract; by June 2021, minimum hourly wages will be $16.75, and the top hourly wage with advanced training will be over $20 an hour; and more!

EDITOR’S NOTE — THAT’S the power of joining together in a union. Harness that power for you and your co-workers. Contact a union organizer today.

► From AP — Nurse loses ear lobe in attack at psychiatric ward — A patient at the state’s largest psychiatric hospital vaulted over a nurse’s station last weekend, knocked a nurse to the floor, choked her and bit part of her ear off. The assault Sunday night was the latest in a series of attacks on health care workers at Western State Hospital. A nursing supervisor said it was the patient’s sixth assault on hospital staff since he was moved to the ward six months ago. The hospital has been plagued by problems for years and was repeatedly cited for health and safety violations.

► In today’s Seattle Times — After rape allegation against state Sen. Joe Fain, questions linger over who should investigate — A woman who publicly accused the Republican state senator of raping her in Washington D.C. in 2007 has said she won’t pursue a criminal or civil investigation, but would cooperate with one. That has left Washington state officials struggling with what they call an “unprecedented” situation.

► In the Skagit Valley Herald — State board denies appeal of Andeavor Anacortes refinery permit — The state Shoreline Hearings Board dismissed an appeal this week of a permit and environmental analysis for an Andeavor Anacortes Refinery project.

► In today’s Columbian — Vancouver-based Colf Construction fined $126K for safety violations — L&I has fined Colf Construction $126,400 for violations the agency said could have led to potentially deadly trench cave-ins at the 10th Avenue Bridge project near Salmon Creek.




► In the Charleston Post and Courier — Lawmakers from both coasts battling over Boeing’s North Charleston union vote — The politically charged union vote at Boeing Co.’s North Charleston campus is pitting federal legislators against each other, with South Carolina representatives accusing their Washington counterparts of trying to sabotage the Palmetto State’s “warm business environment.” A group of 177 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter Friday to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg calling on the aerospace giant to abandon its attempts to overturn a vote to join the International Association of Machinists by flight-line workers at the 787 Dreamliner plant. The letter was written by Rick Larsen, a Democrat who represents the Puget Sound area where Boeing builds most of its commercial planes and operates a second Dreamliner assembly plant. The letter is signed by most of the Evergreen State delegation.




► From Q13 News — Starting Nov. 1, Amazon will raise its minimum wage to $15 for all U.S. employees — “It still doesn’t take the place of employees being able to negotiate for their fair share though. Especially, it isn’t only about wages. It’s also about whether you have funding for healthcare, retirement. It’s also about what your working conditions are like,” said Lynne Dodson, Secretary Treasurer for Washington State Labor Council.


► From The Guardian — ‘They want us to be robots’: Whole Foods workers fear Amazon’s changes — Whole Foods staff are worried that Amazon, the grocery chain’s new owner, is trying to turn them into “robots” and are seeking to set up a union to protect their jobs. Workers at “America’s healthiest grocery store” say management is trying to cut jobs and reduce wages as they reshape the 38-year-old grocery chain in Amazon’s image.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Whole Foods employees: You shouldn’t have to wait for your company to be publicly or politically shamed into paying you a decent wage and benefits. You can join together and negotiate a better deal for yourselves. Contact a union organizer today!

► From The Onion — Paper towels on Amazon surge to $2,000 a roll after crippling cost increase of paying workers a living wage




► In today’s Washington Post — Trump mocks Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford — President Trump mocked the account of a woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of assault and told a Mississippi crowd that the #MeToo movement was unfairly hurting men. “ ‘I don’t know. I don’t know.’ ‘Upstairs? Downstairs? Where was it?’ ‘I don’t know. But I had one beer. That’s the only thing I remember,’ ” Trump said of Ford, as he impersonated her on stage.

► In today’s Washington Post — Flake, Collins criticize Trump for mocking Kavanaugh accuser — Flake: “It’s kind of appalling.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Ya think?

► From Reuters — Some witnesses say they called FBI in vain as end of Kavanaugh probe looms — Dr. Ford’s lawyers said on Tuesday she had offered her full cooperation with the FBI in its investigation but had received no reply.

► In the Bangor News, one of Maine’s largest newspapers sends a message to Sen. Susan Collins — Kavanaugh is unfit for Supreme Court (editorial) — Despite assurances from Trump, there are signs that the already cursory FBI review will be far from thorough as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledges a full Senate vote on Kavanaugh this week. Further review is not necessary to conclude that Kavanaugh is unfit for the Supreme Court. His performance before the Judiciary Committee last week confirmed that. Generally, we, like Collins, believe presidents have broad leeway in their appointments and initially we felt that Kavanaugh met this broad standard. No more.

► In today’s Washington Post — Kavanaugh’s anger may be backfiring — The judge may still win confirmation, but it is clear that he damaged himself with an angry appearance in front of senators.




► A special report in today’s NY Times — Trump engaged in suspect tax schemes as he reaped riches from his father — The president has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire, but a Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s.

► In today’s NY Times — Donald Trump and the self-made sham (editorial) — With this glimpse into the inner workings of the Trump family finances, some of the grimier, ethically suspect aspects of Mr. Trump’s mythmaking begin to emerge — and with them, many questions about all that we still do not know about the man and his business empire. Seeing as how that empire and his role in building it are so central to who Mr. Trump claims to be — the defining feature of his heroic narrative — the American public has a right to some answers. For starters, now would be an excellent time for Mr. Trump to hand over those tax returns on which he has thus far kept a death grip.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s USMCA delivers big wins to drugmakers, oil companies and tech firms — A handful of major industries scored big wins in President Trump’s North American trade agreement — at times at the expense of ordinary consumers in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The winners include oil companies, technology firms and retailers, but chief among them are pharmaceutical companies, which gained guarantees against competition from cheaper generic drugs.

ALSO at The Stand — NAFTA 2018: Devil’s in the unknown details (by Lynne Dodson)

► From CrossCut — Fearing Trump, local immigrants decline health care benefits (by Dr. Asqual Getaneh) — The Trump administration’s proposed changes directly impact the patients my health clinic serves… We have already seen the chilling effects of this proposal. Out of fear that they might be rejected out of this country, some patients with critical needs have come to us, asking to be dis-enrolled from benefits to which they are legally entitled.




► From the AFL-CIO — One job should be enough — Weeks after more than 8,300 UNITE HERE members at Marriott hotels across the country voted to authorize strikes, management has still failed to resolve key contract issues, including workplace safety, job protections and a living wage. Ready to fight for their fundamental economic rights, workers are prepared to walk out without notice in San Francisco, San Diego, Oakland and San Jose, California; Oahu and Maui, Hawaii; Boston; Seattle and Detroit.

ALSO at The Stand — Seattle Westin (Marriott) hotel workers vote to authorize strike

► In today’s Boston Glovbe — Workers at Marriott hotels in Boston go on strike — Hotel workers walked off the job at seven Marriott hotels in Boston Wednesday morning, launching the first hotel strike in the city’s history following months of fruitless contract negotiations.
The job action involves more than 1,500 Marriott International employees, from housekeepers to bartenders to bellmen at the Aloft Boston Seaport District, Element Boston Seaport District, Ritz-Carlton Boston, Sheraton Boston, W Hotel Boston, Westin Boston Waterfront, and Westin Copley Place.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Remember Obamacare? Suddenly, GOP would rather you didn’t (by Danny Westneat) — Remember Obamacare? The hated health-care reform that Republicans blasted for seven years as a job-killing nightmare that had to be slain before it ate the U.S. economy? Of course you do. But strangely, they don’t. Most not only pretends their seven-year crusade never happened, it’s as if the topic of health care itself is no longer up for public discussion… What’s surreal is that this GOP blackout on health comes at a time when voter interest is at a high. Recent polls show that what to do about health costs and coverage is either the biggest or second-biggest issue in the election.

Check out the poll just finished on the 8th District, from the Eastside suburbs to Wenatchee. It found voters roughly split on Obamacare. But it turns out the district, which has only ever elected Republicans, also favors a national insurance program by 11 percentage points, 52 to 41 percent. That goes beyond what most Democrats are proposing.

Seems like the GOP, after demagoguing the issue for years, is hoping everybody will just kind of forget.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!