Thursday, August 1, 2019
— ufcw 21 (@UFCW21) July 31, 2019
► In today’s News Tribune — Grocery workers picket over ‘low wages, unpredictable schedules.’ Negotiations ongoing — Contract talks between major grocery chains in the area and their workers, so far, aren’t making much progress. Informational pickets are happening this week at 32 area stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, QFC and Fred Meyer stores in King, Kitsap, Snohomish counties as well as in Tacoma. The next one in Tacoma is scheduled for Thursday at Fred Meyer, 7250 Pacific Ave. The pickets are organized by UFCW 21, UFCW 367 and Teamsters 38 as a way to let customers know what is happening.
ALSO at The Stand — Grocery workers’ info pickets continue on Thursday
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Kelso-Longview grocery union branch continues strike authorization ‘yes trend’ — Although hundreds of Kelso-Longview grocery store workers upheld their union’s “overwhelming ‘yes’ trend” of strike authorization votes with their local ballots this week, union officials said employees don’t have any immediate plans to walk out. UFCW Local 555 union, which represents nearly 18,000 workers in Oregon and Southwest Washington and 600 Kelso-Longview employees, is currently in the middle of contract negotiations with Fred Meyers, Safeway and other regional grocery chains.
► In the Ellensburg Record — Ellensburg teachers protest for better pay — The Ellensburg School District and the Ellensburg Education Association met at Morgan Middle School Tuesday to discuss contracts while a group of demonstrators comprised of teachers and staff from the district stood outside asking for improved pay. “What do we want? Better contracts! When do we want it? Now!” A crowd of approximately 60 red shirt-wearing EEA members chanted.
► In the Renton Reporter — Local nurses cry ‘patients before profit’ — Patient safety concerns, unaffordable employee health care plans, “unfair” wages in light of the high salaries of the corporate executives at Providence, and proposed union contracts that cut leave time, brought healthcare workers to Renton, the headquarters of Providence. On Friday, July 26, hundreds of workers from all over Washington, and one union from Oregon cheered, honked, chanted and demanded “Patients before profits,” across the street from the Providence headquarters.
ALSO at The Stand — Washington’s unions to Providence: Put patients before profits!
► In today’s Seattle Times — Several hundred Pyramid Alehouse workers win suit over unpaid wages — The popular Pyramid Alehouse in Sodo must pay $450,000 to about 300 current and former workers who sued over unpaid wages, a King County Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Judge sides with Hanford fire captains. They will get double back overtime pay. — The ruling means that 13 captains are owed double back wages for hours at Hanford in excess of 40 hours a week, including hours spent sleeping and eating.
► In the Wenatchee World — Report: Wenatchee is No. 12 in the nation for job growth
► From The Stranger — Powerful, unprecedented, and pregnant — The mayor of Seattle, the police chief, and the county sheriff are all women, and so are the two most powerful members of the Seattle City Council, Lorena González and Teresa Mosqueda. They are the only legislators at City Hall elected to represent the entire city, as opposed to individual districts, and they both also happen to be pregnant.
► From Crosscut — Crosscut’s newsroom votes unanimously to form a union — Driven by skyrocketing living costs and what they say are unsatisfying wages as well as a desire for a stronger hand in shaping their workplace, journalists at Crosscut/KCTS 9 on Wednesday joined a growing list of media workers seeking collective bargaining rights with a unanimous vote to form a union. At least 19 newsroom employees at Crosscut and KCTS 9, Seattle’s PBS affiliate, will now begin negotiating a contract with Cascade Public Media, the nonprofit operating both public-interest news operations. While concerns about pay sparked the unionization effort, workers said the driving factor was their desire to have more say on workplace issues ranging from stronger health care benefits to transportation.
► In today’s Seattle Times — State Senate election north of Seattle draws attention among Democrats — As she campaigns in Washington’s left-leaning 40th Legislative District, newly-appointed state Sen. Liz Lovelett (D-Anacortes) is facing a potentially strong challenge in the Aug. 6 primary. After a year in which large Democratic majorities in Olympia pushed through key environmental and labor proposals, Lovelett has snagged coveted endorsements from the Washington State Labor Council, the Washington Education Association’s political action committee and Washington Conservation Voters.
ALSO at The Stand:
► In today’s Seattle Times — House Democrats select Laurie Jinkins to succeed Speaker Frank Chopp — When she’s formally voted in at the start of the new legislative session in January, Jinkins, 54, will be the first woman to ever hold that position in Olympia. She’s currently one of only three openly LGBTQ lawmakers in the nation serving as the leader of a state legislative chamber. The selection of Jinkins provides a bookend to the two-decade-long reign of Chopp (D-Seattle) and the longest-serving speaker in Washington history. The change comes amid a broader shift in the House Democratic caucus, as it has become younger and more diverse. A woman had been widely expected to win the speakership.
► In today’s News Tribune — In a first, woman will serve as speaker of Washington state House. She’s from Tacoma.
► In today’s Columbian — Stonier ‘proud’ to see Jinkins selected as House speaker
► In the (Aberdeen) Daily World — Loss of state funding leads to layoffs at Grays Harbor College — A drop in enrollment at Grays Harbor College has led to a loss of state funding, resulting in a round of layoffs as the college tries to right itself financially.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — In-home child care providers to close Thursday to raise awareness about new rules — Some child care providers in Eastern Washington are planning demonstrations in front of local Department of Children, Youth and Family offices to ask that enforcement of new rules bringing them in line with child care centers be postponed.
► In today’s Washington Post — FAA officials face scrutiny over Boeing oversight — Ali Bahrami, the FAA’s associate administrator for aviation safety, sought to blunt criticisms during a Senate hearing that the agency had given Boeing too much power to oversee the safety of the planes it builds. He called the FAA’s system giving companies far-reaching oversight of their own technical work “sound.” But he also conceded that the FAA had misjudged the risk of a second disaster coming so quickly.
► From The Hill — Senate barrels toward tight budget vote — While leadership has been confident they will be able to wrangle together a bipartisan coalition to send the agreement to Trump’s desk, Thursday’s vote could be close, with Republicans indicating as late as Wednesday that they were still working to build support within their caucus.
► From Market Watch — Thousands of scammed student-loan borrowers filed claims for debt relief — the feds haven’t approved any in over a year — Over the past year, the Department of Education has received tens of thousands of applications of student-debt relief from borrowers who say they’ve been scammed by their schools. The agency hasn’t approved any. That’s according to data obtained from the Department and released Wednesday by the office of Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pension committee, which oversees the department. Murray derided the department’s inaction on the claims as “shameful,” adding:
“There’s nothing stopping Secretary DeVos from approving claims immediately except her apparent disregard for borrowers, and I’m going to keep pushing her to provide students who were cheated or defrauded by predatory for-profit colleges the relief they are entitled to.”
► In the NY Times — No more family separations, except these 900 — In the year since President Trump officially ended family separations at the southern border, immigration authorities have removed more than 900 migrant children from their families, sometimes for reasons as minor as a parent not changing a baby’s diaper or having a traffic citation for driving without a license, according to new documents filed Tuesday in federal court.
► From The Guardian — Americans positive on economy but views deeply split by politics and wealth — With unemployment at a 50-year low and stock markets still hitting new highs, the overall percentage of Americans with a positive view of the economy is the among the highest it has been in the 15 years Pew has conducted this survey. But those positive opinions are overwhelmingly held by Republican and Republican-leaning independents and by those earning over $75,000 a year, a wage far higher than the median family income of $59,039. But for Democrats, just 33% rate the economy as excellent or good and only 6% describe it as excellent.
► From The Hill — Study finds higher rates of voter roll purging in states with histories of racial discrimination — Between 2016 and 2018, counties that were previously subject to “preclearance” under the Voting Rights Act purged voter rolls at a rate 40 percent higher than counties that were not.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.