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Inslee intervenes in Swedish talks ● Snapback clawback ● Richland’s solar farm

Thursday, February 27, 2020




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Inslee gets involved in contract talks between Swedish, SEIU — Gov. Jay Inslee and a professor from MIT’s Sloan School of Management are part of the latest effort to broker a deal between Swedish Medical Center and the union representing 7,800 of its employees. Negotiators from Swedish and SEIU Healthcare 1199NW will meet separately Friday with industrial relations professor Thomas Kochan, federal mediator Beth Schindler and Inslee’s staff ahead of face-to-face sessions next week, the governor’s office announced Wednesday. The health care provider and union have exchanged proposals once since a three-day strike in late January… Sit-down talks between the health care provider and union are set to start March 5 in SeaTac. The governor wants a deal within four days.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Gov. Jay Inslee steps into Swedish union negotiations, restarts talks — “I thank the leaders on both sides who have embraced the need to hit reset on negotiations,” Inslee said in a statement. “We have strong commitments to use this opportunity to settle a set of new contracts.”

► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — McKinley mill in Port Angeles making paper now — McKinley Paper Company is producing paper at a mill that had been dormant for three years. McKinley, which uses 100 percent recycled material for its products, reportedly has filled about 120 job openings.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Despite hit to grain exports, Port of Longview makes $7.3M in profit in 2019 — Despite a down year for exports, the Port Longview netted $7.3 million profit last year — nearly double what officials projected when the port adopted its 2019 budget.

► From KUOW — Bothell High School closed over COVID-19 concerns — Action taken “out of an abundance of caution” after a staff member’s international travel.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Russell Wilson tweets against proposed NFL collective bargaining agreement: ‘I VOTE NO’




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — This Boeing deal could have ‘clawbacks’ in the ‘snap-back’ (by Jerry Cornfield) — Aerospace workers and a handful of Democratic lawmakers said the state gave Boeing too good a deal (with its 2013 tax incentives) by not prohibiting the company from shifting hundreds of jobs to other states without penalty. Some of those jobs, unions pointed out, went to Missouri, which offered Boeing tax breaks as long as the firm created 2,000 new jobs. Labor advocates have sought to rewrite the terms to let Washington “claw back” some of the generous incentives in the event aerospace companies fail to create and retain union jobs. It’s been futile — though maybe not for much longer.

YESTERDAY at The Stand — Labor: No ‘snapback’ without accountability — Union leaders tell legislators that Boeing tax breaks should not be automatically reinstated without strong, specific accountability language to boost aerospace jobs in Washington state.

► From Crosscut — 5 things Boeing’s tax break money could buy instead — To prevent a tariff war, Washington lawmakers may take back some of the company’s record-setting tax break — and free up $100 million per year in the state budget.

► From KNKX — Northwest organizations that work with immigrants say the ‘public charge rule’ is causing fear — Pacific Northwest organizations that work with immigrants are trying to reassure their clients who are worried they may not be able to get permanent residency because the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule has now gone into effect. Critics say the rule amounts to a wealth test intended to bar low-income immigrants from receiving green cards.




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — This $6.5 million Richland solar farm will bring 100s of workers to train — Construction has begun on a 20-acre solar project that will be paired with batteries to power 600 Richland homes as soon as this summer. Energy Northwest expects the project to draw national attention as utilities watch to see how a megawatt-scale project integrates with battery storage for renewable energy sources. Hundreds of workers from throughout the country are expected to train on solar and battery technology at the project annually… The project is being built on land owned by IBEW Local 77 that is leased to the Regional Education and Training Center, a nonprofit organization to train new and current workers. State Commerce Director Lisa Brown said the project will contribute to the transformation to a clean energy economy, while providing skilled, family-wage jobs.




► From CNN — Here’s how a new labor rule could make things tougher for millions of employees — A new NLRB rule could limit the responsibility of franchise operators, such as McDonald’s, for the millions of employees who work for their franchisees. The rule involves what is known as joint-employer status for that group of employees. The final rule issued Tuesday by the three Republican members of the NLRB substantially narrows the instances where an employee could be found to have two employers rather than just one. There are currently no Democratic members of the labor board. “Businesses will make decisions based on the rules that are out there,” said Maneesh Sharma, associate general counsel with AFL-CIO. “Even if this doesn’t remove collective bargaining rights from workers who have it, it’s another contributing factor to the growing wage inequality.”

► From The Guardian — ‘Together we fight’: Ocasio-Cortez, Roma star Yalitza Aparicio team up for domestic workers’ rights — Both women have been fierce advocates for domestic workers. In July 2019, Ocasio-Cortez co-sponsored the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which would amend federal labor laws to include domestic workers. In announcing the bill, the US lawmaker from New York explained that her mother was a domestic worker during her childhood. Aparicio earned an Oscar nomination for her depiction of a domestic worker in the Mexican film Roma. Since the film’s release, she has used her platform to challenge the stigma around domestic work both in the U.S. and Mexico.

► From Politico — Coronavirus gets a Trumpian response — He cracked wise, told a story with a stand-up comedian’s patter, waved around colorful graphs and listed facts he had just learned.

► From HuffPost — Trump ripped for putting ‘science denier’ Mike Pence in charge of coronavirus




► From Medium — We’re workers at Indivisible. Here’s why we’re unionizing. — Today, a supermajority of staff here at Indivisible came together to make an announcement: we’re requesting voluntary recognition of our union, represented by the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, Local 32035 of The News Guild-Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO… Staff at Indivisible, as stewards of a progressive mission and vision for the future, believe we have an obligation to fight for the same values that have guided the Indivisible movement for years. Efforts to push for change should center the needs and experiences of those most impacted by what’s broken, and when enough people come together to raise their voices, they can make a difference that’s greater than the sum of their parts.

EDITOR’S NOTE — You, too, can come together and raise your voices! 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!

► From NBC News — Judge blocks Instacart from misclassifying its California workers — A county judge in San Diego has granted a preliminary injunction finding that Instacart has probably misclassified the overwhelming majority of its California workforce. And in doing so, Instacart “avoids paying its ‘shoppers’ a lawful wage,” San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said late Monday.

► From the USA Today — Amazon Go Grocery: What it means for consumers and possibly employees — “The brutal truth is that Amazon is focused on one thing – eliminating as many jobs as possible,” says Marc Perrone, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents grocery workers. He added that the union looks to make Amazon’s grocery plans an election issue for 2020. “Every voter – and every candidate running for office – will be made aware that they have a choice to make: support good jobs or support Amazon’s destruction of jobs.”

► In the Boston Globe — Union study finds Black Starbucks baristas in airports paid less than whites — Black baristas at airport Starbucks make a median wage of $11.15 an hour, $1.85 less than white baristas, according to a report released Tuesday by the hospitality workers’ union UNITE HERE. The union examined 2019 employment data of more than 2,000 unionized workers — 85 percent of whom were people of color, and 35 percent Black women — at 142 stores operated by HMSHost in 27 airports around the country.


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!