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Swedish strike prep ● The truth matters ● Meat before pudding

Friday, January 24, 2020




► In the Edmonds Beacon — Swedish nurses, caregivers plan strike — Nurses and technical and service caregivers of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW at Swedish Medical Center announced they intend to strike Jan. 28-31 due to what they say are unfair labor practices and patient safety issues caused by company management. The strike, involving more than 8,000 employees, includes those at Swedish Edmonds on 76th Avenue West.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Here’s how you can support Swedish strikers

► ICYMI from The Stranger — To prep for strike, Swedish hires scabs and ‘tactical security’ with body cameras — Though caregivers say they don’t want to strike, bosses at Swedish, which was recently acquired by Providence, are telling staff they don’t plan to return to the bargaining table before the union’s January 28 deadline. Since the union gave its ten-day notice last week, caregivers say the hospital has been playing hardball. Swedish has dropped $11 million on 5-day contracts with scabs that will effectively lock out striking caregivers from two days of work. The hospital has also hired, some caregivers hear, as many as 200 “tactical security” guards with body cameras.

► From Twitter…




► In today’s Wenatchee World — Wenatchee school bus drivers rally to raise awareness of contract negotiations — Wenatchee School District bus drivers, whose contract expired Sept. 1, are hosting a sign-waving rally Friday at the corner of Orondo and Chelan avenues to bring attention to negotiations. “We provide professional service and are dedicated to every student that rides on our bus. That has been, and always will be, our first priority,” said Andrew King, a school bus driver and president of SEIU Local 1948. “It is also important that the bus drivers who do so much for our students, receive a fair contract that preserves the integrity of the professional work that we do each and every day.”

► In today’s News Tribune — Layoffs for Comcast employees as company cuts Puyallup tech division — Comcast is cutting its ranks in the South Sound with layoffs in its technical division in Puyallup. The state’s Employment Security Department on Wednesday announced the layoffs via a WARN announcement, which listed 52 workers affected, with the layoffs starting April 3.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Report: Leader of neo-Nazi terrorist group owns land in Ferry County — The leader of the Base – an international neo-Nazi terrorist organization that has been subject to FBI investigations for plotting to start a race war – has taken many steps to conceal his identity, using the aliases “Roman Spear” and “Norman Wolf.” According to an investigation published Thursday by the Guardian, the leader’s real name is Rinaldo Nazzaro, a 46-year-old who was born in the United States – and who owns 30 acres of land in rural northeast Washington.

► ICYMI in the NY Times — A new face of white supremacy: Plots expose danger of the ‘Base’ — The plans were as sweeping as they were chilling: “Derail some trains, kill some people, and poison some water supplies.” It was the blunt, bloody prescription for sparking a race war by a member of the Base, a white supremacist group that has come under intense scrutiny amid a series of stunning recent arrests… Experts who have studied the Base describe it as an “accelerationist” organization, seeking to speed the collapse of the country and give rise to a state of its own in the Pacific Northwest by killing minorities, particularly African-Americans and Jews.




► From The Guardian — Overhaul U.S. labor laws to boost workers’ power, new report urges — More than 70 scholars, union leaders, economists and activists called on Thursday for a far-reaching overhaul of American labor laws to vastly increase workers’ power on the job and in politics, recommending new laws to make unionizing easier and to elect worker representatives to corporate boards. The report argues strengthening labor unions and worker power represents the most effective strategy to combat America’s economic inequality and corporations’ sway over the economy and politics.

► From The Hill — Trump says he will ‘save’ Social Security after signaling openness to entitlement cuts — Trump on Thursday sought to assure his followers on Twitter that he would protect Social Security benefits after Democrats seized on an interview in which he indicated he would be open to cutting entitlement programs Social Security and Medicare down the road.

► From The Hill — AFT sues DeVos over repeal of for-profit regulations — The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Education Department and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for her repeal of Obama-era regulations covering for-profit colleges and universities.

► From Politico — Postal workers use video for “U.S. Mail Not For Sale” campaign — The spots, an AFL-CIO-sponsored petition now on its website, and a mass rally on Jan. 6 at U.S. Postal Service headquarters in D.C. are all part of www.USMailNotForSale, the union-designed campaign crafted to forestall the GOP Trump administration’s right-wing scheme to privatize the Postal Service. Other unions have joined the anti-privatization push.




“If the truth doesn’t matter… we’re lost.”




► From Business Insider — American Airlines flight attendant union calls on U.S. airlines to step up precautions for the deadly Wuhan coronavirus — The head of American Airlines’ flight attendants union released on Thursday urged U.S. airlines to buckle down and take “immediate emergency measures” to protect flight crews from the deadly coronavirus outbreak. “The health of our crew members and passengers is a top priority for us and we refuse to compromise their health or safety in any way,” said Lori Bassani, the president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.

► From Out There Colorado — Colorado releases new minimum wage and overtime rules — The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment released the state’s new rules on pay standards and working conditions Wednesday, including huge leaps in the pay threshold to be put on salary.




► On this date 40 years ago, a billboard was erected on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood that was a blank wall. Each day thereafter, a brick was removed to slowly reveal the inside spread and title of a new album, Pink Floyd’s The Wall. For the 40 years since then, we’ve all pondered the timeless question: “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”


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