Connect with us


Not out of the woods yet | Boeing inspectors recalled | Working women need PRO Act

Tuesday, May 18, 2021




► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, May 18 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 423,382 infections (7-day average of new infections per day: 1,166) and 5,640 deaths. Vaccination: 47.21% of Washington residents have received their first dose; 37.54% are fully vaccinated.

► From CNN — Nurses’ union president criticizes new CDC mask guidance — The president of the country’s largest nurses’ union has spoken out against updated federal guidance which says that — with a few exceptions — people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 don’t need to wear face masks in indoor or outdoor settings. National Nurses United President Jean Ross said the guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention creates confusion among the public and endangers nurses and health care workers. “We’re not out of the woods in this yet,” said Ross, noting that hundreds of people are still dying daily of COVID-19. Variants are also rising, she said.




► From the SWWACLC — A Historic Legislative Session for Working People (Working to Live in SW Washington podcast with with Rep. Sharon Wylie, Sen. Karen Keiser and Rep. Monica Stonier) — These legislative leaders take Shannon and Harold through some of the high points including protecting essential workers, providing infrastructure like broadband and child care, making sure agricultural workers get overtime, reforming Washington’s upside-down tax code, and more.

► From the Seattle Times — Inslee signs climate bills, but vetoes parts that tie them to passage of a transportation package — Kicking up cheers and protests, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Monday signed into law a carbon-cap program and a bill on clean-fuels standards but vetoed parts of those bills that require a new statewide transportation-funding package for the ambitious climate legislation to take effect. Inslee’s move — capping a big win on climate legislation while once again testing the bounds of his executive powers — essentially scrapped the “grand bargain” that was struck in the Senate to make sure those two bills passed the Legislature last month.

► From the AP — Inslee signs ambitious environmental protection laws

► From the Seattle Times — Arrest reveals new details in Washington state’s $650 million unemployment fraud — A Nigerian man suspected in Washington state’s $650 million unemployment fraud was arrested Friday at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport by federal agents as he allegedly attempted to leave the country.

► From the Seattle Times — Voting-rights battle in Washington state raises allegations of diluting Latino votes — As new and proposed voting rules across the U.S. bring charges of disenfranchisement, a Washington county dominated by white conservatives and agricultural interests faces a lawsuit over an election system that allegedly disadvantages the Hispanic majority.




► From the IAM — IAM District 751 sees critical inspections reinstated at Boeing — IAM District 751 Verification Optimization (V.O.) Representatives have been pushing Boeing to reintroduce critical inspections ever since the company eliminated them with their Verification Optimization plan in 2018. Their efforts are now starting to come to fruition as Boeing is reinstating important inspections on specific packages throughout the airplane production process, which resulted in the recall of many of our laid-off inspectors.

► From the PSBJ — Trainer jet offers clues how Boeing may build its next-generation passenger plane — If you’re wondering how Boeing would make its next-generation midsize passenger airplane faster and cheaper to compete with rival Airbus, then watch how company is building it new T-7A Red Hawk trainer jet for the U.S. Air Force.




► From the Tri-City Herald — Drunk driver tested 3+ times legal limit after killing Tri-Cities highway worker — The 21-year-old driver who hit and killed a construction site flagger early Saturday had a blood-alcohol level nearly 3 1/2 times the legal limit. Bonnie M. Stewart, 51, a Pasco mother of two adult sons, had worked on the highway construction crew for a couple years.




► From The Hill — IRS to start monthly payments of child tax credit July 15 — The Biden administration on Monday announced it will start to make monthly payments of the expanded child tax credit on July 15. Households that account for about 65 million children, or 88 percent of children in the United States, will receive the payments without needing to take any additional action.

► From Roll Call — Democrats push tax hikes on wealthy over infrastructure ‘user fees’ — Top Democrats argue voters would prefer tax increases on a small group of wealthy individuals and corporations to pay for infrastructure spending over broad-based “user fees” that would take a bigger chunk out of lower-income voters’ wallets.

► From Vox — Seriously, just tax the rich (by Emily Stewart) — The haggling and hemming and hawing over what to do about the debt overshadow a point that many Americans find obvious: It’s simply a good, fair idea to tax the wealthy. They have disproportionately reaped the benefits of economic growth and the stock market in recent years, contributing to increasing inequality in the United States. The divide has become even more obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which billionaires have managed to add heaps of dollars to their wealth even as millions of people were knocked on their heels. Some ultra-rich people in the U.S. keep getting richer no matter how much of their money they give away. They literally cannot stop adding to their coffers.

► From the Washington Post — Democrats confront reality on voting rights: Congress probably isn’t coming to the rescue — A Senate committee last Tuesday reached a partisan deadlock over Democrats’ sprawling overhaul of federal election, ethics and campaign finance law — the For the People Act, also known as H.R. 1 or S.B. 1 — and there is no clear path to breaking it. A Thursday lunch meeting of Democratic senators to discuss a way forward did not produce any breakthroughs, and lawmakers, aides and activists said they have little more than blind hope that one will materialize.

► From The Hill — Republicans eye new House majority through redistricting — Republican state legislators see this year’s decennial redistricting process as a prime opportunity to gain House seats in next year’s midterms — with some believing those gains alone can help the GOP take back the majority.





► From CNN — ‘This is a huge step for law enforcement.’ Police unions shift stance on protecting bad officers — In response to the police killing George Floyd, 15 unions that represent law enforcement officers across the U.S. have endorsed a blueprint for policing that includes an unprecedented shift in the way unions protect bad police officers, according to a copy of the plan obtained by CNN ahead of its release this week… A committee convened by the AFL-CIO, Teamsters and SEIU approved the plan that calls on more than 250,000 law enforcement members and more than 100,000 members in police-adjacent professions to intervene when another union member is doing something wrong. Unions still have a responsibility to represent members they believe are wrongfully accused, but the framework challenges local unions to look at the merits of an officer’s actions when considering whether to defend them.

TODAY at The Stand AFL-CIO: Public Safety Blueprint for Change

► From the Texas Tribune — Unemployed Texans will stop getting additional $300-per-week benefit next month after Gov. Greg Abbott opts out of federal programThe extra $300 federal benefit will end June 26 for jobless Texans. Abbott also cut off another federal benefit that extended aid to gig workers, self-employed people and others who aren’t traditionally covered by unemployment insurance.

► From Jacobin — Conservatives love coal miners — until they go on strike (by Jacob Morrison) — The Right has worked hard in recent years to portray itself as defenders of beleaguered coal miners. But over a thousand miners are currently on strike in Alabama and we haven’t heard a peep about it from conservative talking heads. Weird.

EDITOR’S NOTE — These workers at Warrior Met Coal have been on an Unfair Labor Practice strike since April 1. They could use your support so they can stay out “one day longer” and ultimately force Warrior Met to agree to a fair and equitable contract. Donate to the UMWA 2021 Strike Fund here.

► From the Seattle Times — It’s more than past time we talk about the invisible labor of women (by Naomi Ishisaka) — Like so many things the past year, the pandemic yanked back the curtain on what has long been true in our society: Women do the vast majority of the unpaid, unrecognized work in families and in workplaces… To create a broader cultural and paradigm shift, the invisible labor that falls on women needs to be called what it is: labor.

► From Vox — The battle for the future of “gig” work — Ride-sharing companies are pushing to make a third category of “independent” worker the law of the land. Drivers say the notion of independence is little more than a mirage.




► From The Nation — Working women need the PRO Act — If someone is making money off your labor, they are your boss. The PRO Act attempts to right some of misclassification’s wrongs, along with making it easier for workers to form unions — and harder for bosses to get in the way. But as always, when it comes to labor protections in America, there has been a backlash—in this case oriented around gender. Op-eds and social media meltdowns have proliferated about the repercussions of the PRO Act for a certain subset of “non-traditional” freelance, gig, and contract workers. These fears are unwarranted, as generally less well-off freelancers have pointed out: All the PRO Act does is give additional rights, not take any away, and the vast majority of independent contractors need a leg up.

The Stand (March 25) — No, the PRO Act doesn’t threaten freelancers and contractors


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!