The Stand will be on hiatus until Monday, Sept. 13.
► From the Seattle Times — Strong unions benefit all workers (by Larry Brown) — I want to remind you this Labor Day that, when we finally emerge from this pandemic, working people in Washington state are uniquely positioned for their lives and livelihoods to recover. That’s because this is one of the best states to work in the nation. Oxfam America, a global organization working to end the injustice of poverty, just released its latest rankings of the Best and Worst States to Work in America, and Washington once again ranks among the very best. Let’s also remember that Washington didn’t become such a great place to work through the benevolence of our employers or elected officials. It happened because working people demanded it.
It’s no coincidence that a state with strong labor standards also has a strong union movement. With nearly 600,000 rank-and-file members representing 18.6% of the workforce, Washington ranks fifth highest in union density, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. When Washington’s unions advocate for better wages and working conditions, they do it not only by demanding strong contracts for their members, but also by advocating for public policies that benefit all workers.
► From the Spokesman-Review — The ‘union difference’ is especially important amid this pandemic (by April Sims) — As a Black labor leader in Washington, I know firsthand the union difference. That collective power of working people has been especially important for Black, Brown and Indigenous working folks. Black folks in the U.S. are unionized at a higher rate than any other ethnic group; Latinx folks aren’t far behind. Unions offer job security, a voice on the job and access to resources that BIPOC workers often are denied. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted BIPOC, particularly Black people, in severity, mortality and economics. For many of us, our union jobs and the protections they provide have been the difference throughout this pandemic.
► From the Seattle Times — Union announces tentative deal with Inslee over vaccine mandate for Washington state workers — The deal announced by the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) doesn’t change the substance of the requirement ordered by Inslee last month: State workers must be completely vaccinated by Oct. 18 or they will lose their job. But if workers ratify the deal this coming week, there will be a little wiggle room as they seek religious or medical exemptions. For instance, if a state worker’s exemption request is denied, the worker can use up to 45 days of paid or unpaid leave to get fully vaccinated, according to an outline of the deal.