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The latest on COVID-19 ● Aviation industry staggers ● Labor’s new faces

Tuesday, March 3, 2020




Also, outside its paywall, The Seattle Times has posted these resources:

How to prepare — Coronavirus FAQ — Key terms and phrases — Tips for transit riders

► In today’s Seattle Times — Businesses roll out strategies to cope with coronavirus — but not all employees can work from home — With the coronavirus death toll now at six deaths in King County and estimates that as many as 570 area residents have contracted the disease, area employers are scrambling to address exposure among their workers or launching programs to help them avoid it.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Schools in Washington state are closing, cleaning and waiting — Sixteen K-12 schools and one college in Washington closed Monday. A few more, including Kentwood High and Covington Elementary in Kent, also planned to close Tuesday.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Some Kirkland firefighters who responded to early cases of novel coronavirus have flu-like symptoms, city says — Fire Chief Joseph Sanford: “Please note that we are not accepting donations from the public of any kind at this time. The best way for the community to help is to implement advice from public health and get yourself and your family prepared.”

► In the Seattle Times — COVID exposure closes immigration office in Tukwila

► In the Tri-City Herald — Wildhorse casino closes after employee tests positive

► In today’s Olympian — Inslee: Consider skipping large events

► From KIRO — Student petition to close UW Seattle campus due to coronavirus draws thousands of signatures

► In today’s Washington Post — Our lack of paid sick leave will make the coronavirus worse — The United States is one of the few wealthy democracies in the world that does not mandate paid sick leave. As a result, roughly 25 percent of American workers have none, leaving many with little choice but to go into work while ill, transmitting infections to co-workers, customers and anyone they might meet on the street or in a crowded subway car… A paper by Stefan Pichler and Nicolas Robert Ziebarth examines what happened in cities that implemented mandatory paid sick leave in the 2000s. San Francisco was the first to do this, in 2007, followed by Washington, Seattle and New York… Their main findings are shown in the chart below.

The Stand (Jan. 2, 2018) — Washington state gets raise, paid sick leave — Under the paid sick leave law, employees will earn at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. The law also requires employers to carry over up to 40 hours of an employee’s unused sick leave from one year to the next… Employees can file a complaint with L&I if they believe their employer is not complying with the new law. Businesses can face fines and have to provide back pay.

► From The Oregonian — Oregon state law requires employers give workers sick time

► BREAKING from the Washington Post — Fed makes largest emergency cut to interest rates since the financial crisis — The U.S. central bank has not made an emergency move like this since late 2008, and Fed leaders said it was done to protect the U.S. economy and financial markets as the coronavirus spreads.

► From The Hill — Congress scrambles to finalize coronavirus funding

► From The Hill — WHO chief warns that coronavirus is ‘unchartered territory’




► In today’s Seattle Times — Coronavirus effect staggers the aviation industry as air travel shrivels — The suddenly spiking U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 threatens to have swift and dire effects in the aviation industry, affecting both airlines and jetmaker Boeing… Rob Morris, global head of consultancy for Flight Ascend by Cirium, warned of a “period of great uncertainty” and the likelihood of “significant airline failures” in 2020. He declared the industry’s 10-year growth cycle over.  For airlines, he said, the fact that Boeing’s 737 MAX is grounded “is a virtue right now” because the world’s airplane fleet capacity has to shrink in the months ahead.

► From Bloomberg — Boeing goes on hiring spree in high-stakes gamble on 737 MAX — In the weeks before Boeing halted 737 Max production in January, company executives took a hard look at all the personnel who’d be left with little to do when the last jets rolled out of their Seattle-area factory. The conclusion they came to, though, was surprising: The problem wasn’t that there’d be too many mechanics idly milling around for months on end, but rather too few of them.




► From KING 5 — Washington stops sending injured workers to unaccredited online school — Following a KING 5 investigation, Department of Labor and Industries officials said they will no longer approve requests to send injured workers to Office Careers.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee’s low-carbon fuel standard faces tough road ahead in Washington state — Gov. Jay Inslee’s campaign to clamp down on greenhouse gas emissions from the state’s transportation fuels, a high-profile goal throughout his two terms in office, faces a difficult road as the Washington state Legislature heads into the final two weeks of its session.

► In today’s Seattle Times — State Rep. Beth Doglio joins crowded race to succeed Denny Heck in Congress — Doglio is the ninth candidate to enter the race, and the fifth Democrat. She joins Democrats Kristine Reeves, a former state representative who resigned from the Legislature to run; Marilyn Strickland, the former mayor of Tacoma; Phil Gardner, a former aide to Heck; and Joshua Collins, a socialist running as a Democrat.

► In the (Aberdeen) Daily World — Proposed state budget could provide some relief for county child care — The House draft supplemental capital budget contains more than $800,000 toward the creation of a new facility that will expand space for an existing child care center in Elma.




► From BoiseDev — Idaho Statesman journalists hope to form union to ‘preserve Idaho news’ — In a letter signed by 16 non-management members of the Statesman’s news staff, the journalists said the intent of the union is to “preserve Idaho news and give our staff a seat at the table.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Want a seat at the table? 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 Federal News Network — AFGE’s top leader resigns amid months-long sexual harassment investigation — J. David Cox, who in October had announced his leave of absence while the union investigated allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct made against him, will step down as AFGE national president.

EDITOR’S NOTE — AFGE released the following statement last Friday:

Today, Feb. 28, J. David Cox Sr. resigned as national president of the American Federation of Government Employees effective at the close of business. In accepting his resignation, AFGE concluded the processing of the November 2019 internal charges, and former President Cox has forfeited his right to hold or run for any AFGE-elected office in perpetuity. This resignation does not affect the investigation being conducted by Working IDEAL, nor does it alter AFGE’s commitment to process the February 2020 or any future charges filed against Cox pursuant to the AFGE Constitution.

Per the AFGE Constitution, National Secretary-Treasurer Dr. Everett B. Kelley will assume the office of AFGE National President.

Under National Secretary-Treasurer Kelley’s leadership as acting president during the past few months, the important work AFGE performs every day on behalf of the 700,000 federal and D.C. government employees we represent has continued uninterrupted. As AFGE members welcome Dr. Kelley as their new National President, they should be certain that their union will continue leading the fight against attacks on their pay, their benefits, their retirement, and their rights on the job.

► From Vice — Bank workers unionize for the first time in 40 years — More than 100 workers at a Tom Steyer-founded bank have won collective bargaining rights in an industry with the lowest unionization rates in the country.

► In today’s NY Times — NFL players split over revenue share, longer season as CBA vote looms — Players are expected to start voting this week on the proposal, which would add a 17th regular-season game and increase minimum salaries. Some stars are pushing for more as owners prepare for a TV windfall.

► From the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO — We’re out. Pennsylvania AFL-CIO moves union convention from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh over labor dispute. — The statewide federation of labor unions cancelled the contract with the Philadelphia 201 Hotel due to a labor dispute between the Hotel and UNITE HERE 274.




► In the New Yorker — The faces of a new labor movement — A wave of young workers have been unionizing in sectors with little or no tradition of unions: art museums, including the Guggenheim and the New Museum, but also tech companies, digital-media brands, political campaigns, even cannabis shops. At Google, around ninety contract workers in Pittsburgh recently formed a union—a significant breakthrough, even if they represent just a tiny fraction of the company’s workforce. More than thirty digital publications, including Vox, Vice, Salon, Slate, and HuffPost, have unionized. (The editorial staff of The New Yorker unionized in 2018.) Last March, Bernie Sanders’s campaign became the first major-party Presidential campaign in history with a unionized workforce; the campaigns of Eric Swalwell, Julián Castro, and Elizabeth Warren unionized soon after. At Grinnell College, in Iowa, students working in the school’s dining hall unionized in 2016, becoming one of the nation’s only undergraduate-student labor unions. Sam Xu, the union’s twenty-one-year-old former president, said, “Mark Zuckerberg was running Facebook out of his dorm room. I’m running a union out of my dorm room.”

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!