Connect with us


More Boeing turbulence ● A NAFTA that works ● Don’t say ‘living wage’

Monday, June 17, 2019




► From Crosscut — While airlines rake it in, catering staff at Sea-Tac airport threaten to strike — Other workers at Sea-Tac Airport saw their pay go up when the City of SeaTac upped its minimum wage. The people who make food for the flights did not… Last week, the vast majority of workers at the two catering companies the guild represents — LSG Sky Chefs and Gate Gourmet — voted to authorize a strike, the first step toward a potential walkout. More than 10,000 other catering workers at airlines in 20 airports across the country potentially could join them.

ALSO at The Stand — Airline food workers vote by 99.7% to strike




► In today’s Seattle Times — First flight of Boeing’s new 777X delayed at least until the fall — Boeing’s big new 777X jet, the first of which rolled out of the Everett assembly plant in early March, cannot fly until at least the fall because of a problem with the new GE9X engine. The long delay is a blow to Boeing, already struggling to cope with the crisis in its single-aisle 737 MAX jet program. And it clearly threatens to postpone the plane’s entry into service, planned for the middle of next year.

► In the NY Times — Boeing CEO acknowledges ‘mistake’ over 737 Max warning light — When Boeing began delivering the Max to airlines in 2017, the company believed that the light was operational on all the jets. But after the Max began flying that year, engineers at the company learned that the warning light would work only if a carrier had purchased a separate cockpit indicator. Most Max customers, including Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines, did not buy the separate indicator. That left many airlines without a functional warning light.

► From the AP — Boeing says ‘sorry’ for 737 Max crashes, seeks renewed trust — Boeing executives apologized Monday to airlines and families of victims of 737 Max crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, as the U.S. plane maker struggles to regain the trust of regulators, pilots and the global traveling public.

► From Reuters — Boeing to supply parts for Airbus A320 jets for British Airways — Boeing said on Monday it would supply parts for A320 jetliners made by its competitor Airbus to supply British Airways, the first such agreement by the U.S. planemaker to support an Airbus aircraft. The deal reflects a push by Boeing into the higher-margin services business that includes aircraft parts and analytics.




► From The Times — A NAFTA that works for workers (by Richard Trumka and Rick Bloomingdale) — The North American Free Trade Agreement has been a disaster for working Pennsylvanians. But, the way it came about was no accident. Those in power decided that greed, not justice or fairness, would be the rule of our economy… Trump won Pennsylvania in large part by calling out this rigged system. But, his proposed new NAFTA doesn’t live up to the massive structural problems facing our country. Something needs to change, but working people can’t afford to settle for rebrands or soft-footed reform. We won’t accept tweaks around the edges. NAFTA needs to be ripped out by the roots and replaced with something dramatically different.

ALSO at The Stand — Making sense of NAFTA and its replacement (by Stan Sorscher)

► In today’s Washington Post — Companies in furious bid to prevent new China tariffs as summit looms — Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on virtually all products from China is running into a wall of opposition from the business community, amid fears that what began as a temporary negotiating tool is becoming a permanent feature of trans-Pacific trade.

► From CBS News — The federal minimum wage sets a record — for not rising — On Sunday, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour set a record for the longest stretch without Congress raising it. The last time the national minimum wage got a boost was July 24, 2009 — almost 10 years ago. Since then, the cost of living has jumped 18%, eroding the buying power of that $7.25 an hour to $6.

► From Labor 411 — Trump NLRB overturns ‘public spaces’ ruling that allowed non-employee union reps on employer premises — The decision issued by the Republican majority of the labor board overturns a near 38-year old precedent that allowed nonemployee union representatives to use public areas of an employer’s workplace, like public cafes, to solicit for or promote their union membership so long as their actions weren’t disruptive.

► In today’s Washington Post — After assuring that the Supreme Court is apolitical, chief justice faces major test — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will play a pivotal role in two of the most politically consequential decisions in years: whether to include a citizenship question in the 2020 Census and whether to outlaw the partisan gerrymandering techniques that were essential to Republican dominance at the state and congressional level over the past decade.

► From BuzzFeed — Trump administration admits it’s denying housing loans to DACA recipients — The Trump administration has admitted for the first time that young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children are being turned down for federally backed housing loans, after Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson denied it in congressional testimony earlier this year.




► From Rolling Stone — Meet America’s most powerful cannabis union — Across the country, the cannabis industry is weighing whether to join forces with the UFCW, now the most influential union in cannabis, which reps more than 10,000 marijuana workers in 14 states. It has negotiated contracts with major operators like MedMen, helped legitimize the movement for cautious politicians, and hammered out pro-worker provisions in multiple state legislatures. But, as the UFCW’s influence grows, so does its list of critics, who say the union sometimes works against the goals of the larger cannabis movement.

► From HuffPost — West Virginia’s Senate goes to war with teachers, again — West Virginia teachers went on strike in February to protest a bill that would open up the state to charter schools and help students pay for alternatives the public education system. They won that strike, and went back to work, when the House of Delegates’ rejected the legislation. Just four months later, history is repeating itself.

► In today’s Washington Post — As price of insulin soars, Americans drive to Canada for lifesaving medicine — One group says making the trip across the border is safer than rationing the drug, which can be purchased without a prescription in Canada for a fraction of the cost in the United States.

► From the Times Free Press — Union loses again at Volkswagen as Chattanooga workers vote down UAW bid — The UAW on Friday lost another vote of blue-collar workers at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant as anti-union employees fought off a fierce bid to organize the factory. The vote, 833 (51.8%) against the union to 776 (48.2%) for the UAW, was closer than the 2014 effort but still fell short.




► From Gizmodo — The ruthless reality of Amazon’s one-day shipping — “Jeff Bezos wants Amazon to be the core infrastructure on which everyone depends, and then use this power to exclude competitors and privilege his own businesses,” said Matthew Stoller, a fellow at the anti-monopoly non-profit Open Markets Institute, on Amazon’s business model. “He doesn’t seek to run a business, but to govern all commerce.”

► At YouTube — Amazon’s union-busting training video — Warning signs of union organizing: Use of words like “living wage”… Some signs are less obvious but can still indicate associate disengagement. Examples include, associates who are normally not connected to each other suddenly hanging out together… groups of associates scatter when approached by management… unusual interest in policies and benefits.


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

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

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!