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Why UW docs will walk ● Trump’s ‘favor’ ● Google contractors unionize

Wednesday, September 25, 2019




► From Crosscut — 80-hour weeks, bad pay, exhaustion: Here’s why UW medical residents are walking out (by Drs. Kisha Clune and Brandon Peplinski) — We are the 1,300 resident physicians and dentists at UW. We are the people caring for you in the emergency room and at clinics across Seattle. We are performing your surgeries, reading your X-rays, curing your maladies. We love what we do, but we pay a price for this job. Many of us work 80-hour weeks and 28-hour shifts for what amounts to minimum wage. We carry an average debt burden of over $190,000. And because of years of harsh working environments, we suffer not only from high rates of incredibly prevalent burnout syndrome, but also depression and suicide. The medical training process locks us into these residency positions with virtually no freedom to leave or change jobs. Our working conditions compromise our health and ability to care for our patients.

ALSO at The Stand — UW’s Resident, Fellow physicians need fair pay, will walk out Sept. 25

► From Health Care Dive — Kaiser strike a go as final union ‘yes’ votes flood in — An overwhelming majority of Kaiser Permanente workers voted to authorize a strike in October over the not-for-profit integrated health system’s labor practices. The final unions voted over the weekend, bringing the total of U.S. Kaiser employees in support of the strike to almost 51,000 (97% of all Kaiser coalition union members)… Support for the strike has continued to mount over the past few months, with labor interests across the country skewering the Oakland, California-based nonprofit provider for soaring profits and what they see as unfair labor practices. Along with sitting on more than $37 billion in reserves, Kaiser took in more than $5.2 billion in income in the first half of the year alone, heightening scrutiny of the system.

► ICYMI from KNKX — Kaiser Permanente workers in Puget Sound area won’t be part of upcoming strike action — A one-week strike planned by 80,000 Kaiser Permanente workers for October does not include Puget Sound-area employees. That’s because the union contract between SEIU Healthcare 1199NW and Kaiser Permanente in Seattle, Tacoma and elsewhere in the region isn’t up until the end of the year. But union workers at clinics in Southwest Washington will be part of any strike.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Dairy and bottling plant fined nearly $2M over worker injuries, amputations — After multiple violations that left workers with broken bones and amputated limbs, the Battle Ground-based dairy Andersen Dairy and bottling plant Andersen Plastics was slapped with a nearly $2 million fine by the Department of Labor and Industries… In the last five years, the companies had more than 100 workers’ compensation claims totaling $527,292.




► From Bloomberg — Boeing revamps safety oversight after review of 737 Max crashes — Boeing aims to sharpen its focus on safety after the 737 Max’s grounding ends, forming a new oversight panel and recommending changes to the planemaker’s structure and design practices.

► In the Columbia Basin Herald — Boeing looking at 18-month horizon for 737 MAX storageEverett-based Chicago-based aerospace giant Boeing is preparing for the possibility that its expanding fleet of 737 MAX aircraft will sit at the Grant County International Airport until late fall of 2020.




► Today from the LA Times — Transcript shows that Trump asked Ukraine’s leader for a ‘favor’ — A newly-released account of Trump’s July conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump asking the foreign leader for a “favor” and noting that the U.S. has been “very, very good” to Ukraine. The White House released today what it called a “non-verbatim transcript” of a phone call showing that he not only asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, he also urged the foreign leader to look into CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm that did work for the Democrats in the 2016 election.

► In today’s Washington Post — Pelosi announces impeachment inquiry, says Trump’s courting of foreign political help is a ‘betrayal of national security’ — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took the extraordinary step Tuesday of initiating impeachment proceedings against President Trump, accusing him of violating the Constitution in seeking help from a foreign leader to damage a political opponent.

► In today’s Washington Post — Giuliani pursued shadow Ukraine agenda as key foreign policy officials were sidelined — Trump’s attempt to pressure the leader of Ukraine followed a months-long fight inside the administration that sidelined national security officials and empowered political loyalists — including the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani — to exploit the U.S. relationship with Kiev, current and former U.S. officials said.

► In today’s NY Times — Congress steps up, Trump blinks (editorial) — Democrats are not content to receive a transcript provided by the administration. Nor should they be. The allegations at hand are complicated and serious and call for the whistle-blower complaint in its entirety to be handed over to Congress. (The complaint is said to be about multiple concerning acts.)

► In today’s Seattle Times — Trump team must disclose full whistleblower complaint (editorial) — Just releasing a transcript of the call and a redacted version of the complaint, which the White House agreed to do Tuesday, is not enough.

► In today’s Seattle Times — ‘Donald Trump is the smoking gun’: Washington state’s Rep. Pramila Jayapal says no inquiry needed to impeach him

► MUST-READ in today’s Spokesman-Review — Be the hero the republic – and Republicans – truly need, Representative (by Shawn Vestal) — Do the right thing, pay the price and secure a place in the history books: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, stand up and become the first Republican of the Trump era to break ranks on principle and support, if not yet articles of impeachment, the need for an impeachment inquiry into the president’s actions… Before long, after all, this will be over. One way or another, this disaster of a mob-family administration will end, and we will all look back – even you, congresswoman, and the rest of the cult of silence and support – wondering what in the hell happened to our country, and why those who enabled the president kept selling off their honor for political chits, peddling a little every day, day after day, until none was left. Preserve some honor, Congresswoman. Support the impeachment inquiry.

► From The Hill — Senate GOP vows to quash impeachment articles — Senate Republicans are vowing to quickly quash any articles of impeachment that pass the House and warn that Democrats will feel a political backlash if they go forward and impeach Trump.

► From Politico — Trump legal team steps into a battle like none before — The House’s new impeachment inquiry will test Trump’s army of lawyers — and the president’s rhetoric that this is actually good for him and Republicans come 2020.

► Robert Reich explains what will happen…




► Fro Vox — 1.3 million winners and 2.8 million losers from Trump’s new overtime rule — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called the new rule “disgraceful… [This] is part of a growing list of policies from the Trump administration aimed at undermining the economic stability of America’s working people,” he tweeted in March when the Trump administration revealed its scaled-back version of the rule. The White House’s decision to approve the change is the Trump administration’s latest victory in its quest to undo Obama-era regulations meant to benefit workers.

ALSO at The Stand — State’s overtime pay comment period ends; final rule coming in Dec.

► From NBC — Senate panel approves Trump’s pick to run Labor Department — A Republican-led Senate committee voted along party lines Tuesday to advance the nomination of Trump’s pick to lead the Labor Department. The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved attorney Eugene Scalia’s nomination, 12-11, clearing the way for the full Senate to vote. The AFL-CIO had opposed the pick, calling Scalia a union-busting lawyer who has eroded labor rights and consumer protections.

► From NBC — Federal employees union says Trump administration stripping away workers’ rights — The largest union of federal government employees said it is under attack by the Trump administration. Hundreds gathered to rally in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, saying their right to a fair and safe workplace is at risk, and that federal workers across the country could suffer. “The Trump administration is assaulting our collective bargaining rights,” said AFGE President J. David Cox.

► From the AP — Judge plans to dismiss case on wages of immigrant detainees — A U.S. judge who previously ruled that Washington state could pursue its claim that immigration detainees must be paid minimum wage for work at a privately run, for-profit immigration jail said Tuesday he intends to reverse himself at the urging of the Trump administration.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1865, says: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Many immigration detainees have not been convicted of anything, yet the private company running is allowed to pay them just $1 a day. That’s modern-day slavery. Period.




► From The Guardian — Google contract workers in Pittsburgh vote to form union — A group of Google contract workers in Pittsburgh voted to unionize on Tuesday, a historic development within the labor movement and a remarkable return to the city’s industrial roots. About 90 tech workers who are employed by the Indian outsourcing firm HCL America, but work on Google projects at Google’s offices, will form a union with the United Steelworkers (USW), a labor union born in Pittsburgh. Contractors have complained of low pay, stingy time off, a lack of responsiveness from management, and a constant sense of precariousness. “There’s no guarantee that from one Monday to the next we will have a job. It feels like being on the edge of a cliff all the time,” said Josh Borden, who has worked for HCL for three and a half years.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Tired of precarious employment? Get a union! Find out more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

► In the Detroit News — GM-UAW negotiations appear to be intensifying: Why it’s taking so long — Wednesday is the 10th day of the UAW’s strike against General Motors, with costs mounting and thousands of workers at suppliers and Canadian plants laid off, and no tentative agreement yet. Negotiators met until late evening Tuesday and resumed Wednesday morning with subcommittees talking at all levels.

ALSO at The Stand — Sign open letter of support for UAW strikers

► From Splinter News — Chipotle workers walk out over labor complaints — Workers at Chipotle Mexican Grille in New York City went on strike Tuesday over complaints about labor violations. SEIU 32BJ said that more than 20 Chipotle restaurants in the city are facing complaints about last-minute scheduling.




► From Politico — UN report warns of accelerating sea level rise in a warming world — Sea levels are currently rising ‘more than twice as fast’ than in the 20th century and faster than previously estimated, according to the report.


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!