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Hospitals strained | Save the ELC | Pass BBB | We ♥ Joan

Thursday, December 9, 2021




► LIVE from the NY Times — U.S. hospitals feel strained as virus cases surge again — As Delta continues to drive hospitalizations, health care workers said their situations had been worsened by staff shortages, illnesses and resistance to vaccine mandates.

The Stand (Oct. 20) — Healthcare unions: WA hospitals must mitigate staffing crisis — WSNA, SEIU 1199NW and UFCW 21: Short-sighted and costly stopgap measures are only a Band-Aid; hospitals have the tools and resources to alleviate burnout nightmare.

► From the Washington Post — More than 200 million people in the U.S. are now fully vaccinated, though deaths and cases are still rising

► From the Washington Post — Early studies suggest Omicron is formidable — but not unstoppableThe variant erodes a key line of defense from vaccines, but boosters can help restore protection.

► From Politico — Senate issues rebuke of Biden’s workplace vaccine mandate — The Senate issued a high-profile rebuke of President Biden’s vaccine mandate on large businesses Wednesday night, in a largely symbolic vote to get rid of a key component of the administration’s COVID-19 response. Democrats Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Jon Tester (Mont.) joined all the Republicans present in the 52-48 vote after critics assailed the mandate as an example of federal overreach.




The Stand (Dec. 8) — AFL-CIO’s Fred Redmond visits Teamsters picket — Show your strike solidarity: Donations, including wood, appreciated.

► From Teamsters 117 — Teamsters at Animal Supply celebrate newly-ratified contract — After a long, tough fight, Teamsters at Animal Supply have won. The group of 63 warehousers and drivers voted overwhelmingly on Saturday to ratify a new, three-year contract. The agreement contains significant wage increases – $2 to $3/hr in the first year – achieving the number one priority for the workers. The contract also caps mandatory overtime and improves safety, another one of the union’s top goals.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Ready for better wages and benefits? Get 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 the Yakima H-R — H-2A workers’ importance to Yakima Valley growers discussed at tree fruit convention

EDITOR’S NOTE — After reading the story, the headline should have been: “H-2A contractors complain about overtime pay, other laws protecting farm workers from exploitation.”

► From the Seattle Times — Sawant narrows gap in Day 2 of ballot counting; recall effort narrowly leads




► From WFSE — Save Everett Community College’s Early Learning Center — The ELC provides excellent early childhood education to our community’s kids, many of whom are low-income and whose parents are breaking cycles of poverty and beginning new careers. From violence prevention education to mentorship for parents, the center truly changes lives. With an outpouring of support from parents, employees, legislators, city council members, students, unions and community, it is clear: We cannot back down till Everett Community College leadership completely scraps the plan to replace the ELC with a limited-service day care. Click here to send a letter to EvCC President Daria Willis and the college’s Board of Trustees—and make sure your neighbors, coworkers, and fellow parents join you.

The Stand (Nov. 29) — EvCC Board: Don’t outsource college’s Early Learning Center

► From the AP — Former Washington state legislator George Fleming dies at 83 — Groundbreaking Seattle legislator and college football star George Fleming has died at age 83, family members said. Fleming was elected to the state House in 1968 and two years later was elected to the state Senate, becoming its second African American member. He was chair of the Senate Democratic caucus between 1980 and 1988.




► From KING 5 — How child care provisions in ‘Build Back Better’ bill could greatly help Washington families — Parents, preschool providers and lawmakers alike said the child care provisions laid out in a federal spending plan proposal could significantly help families in need of child care services. Senate Democrats are still negotiating the bill, known as “Build Back Better,” that, if passed, would expand Medicare, climate change initiatives, and reduce health care and child care costs.

The Stand (Dec. 7) — Urge Murray, Cantwell to finish the job, pass Build Back Better

► From the Washington Post — Democrats face race against the clock to extend soon-expiring child tax credit paymentsParty lawmakers fear a disruption to one of their signature aid programs as they continue to haggle with Manchin over their roughly $2 trillion package.

► From NPR — House OKs a bill barring imports of goods produced by forced labor of Uyghurs in China — The House of Representatives has approved legislation imposing economic sanctions on China for goods sold to Americans from the forced labor of Muslim Uyghurs. The Wednesday vote was overwhelming, 428-1.

EDITOR’S NOTE — It was Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) Who knows why.

► From Politico — U.S. jobless claims drop 52-year low amid seasonal volatility — Unemployment claims dropped by 43,000 to 184,000 last week, the lowest since September 1969, the Labor Department said.




► From the Guardian — Columbia University threatens graduate workers with replacement if they continue strike — Around 3,000 graduate workers at Columbia University in New York City, who have been on strike since Nov. 3, recently received an email from the university human resources department threatening the workers with replacement if they continue striking. The strike is currently the largest active strike in the U.S.

► From the NY Times — Tensions rise at Columbia as strikers fear retaliation from university — After administrators sent an email saying that students who remained on strike after Friday were not guaranteed jobs next term, union members turned up the heat.

► From the Daily Nexus — Student researchers union votes to authorize strike, union members optimistic for negotiations —  Ten thousand student researchers across the University of California voted with a 97.5% majorityto authorize a strike if the UC continues their refusal to acknowledge their union between Student Researchers United-United Auto Workers.

► From the SRU-UAW…

EDITOR’S NOTE — When we fight, we win. Are you ready to stand up and demand respect at work? Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers for a voice on the job and negotiate a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

► From Reuters — Starbucks union drive spurred by barista burnout from mobile orders — Starbucks baristas waging a union campaign in Buffalo, New York, say they are organizing in part to have more of a say in the workload created by the company’s mobile app, which has left them struggling to keep up with surges in orders for $6 Frappuccinos and other custom coffee drinks.

► From Bloomberg — Amazon ads deceive consumers, unions say in complaint to FTC — Amazon is deceiving consumers by failing to clearly delineate between paid advertisements and organic search results on its online marketplace, according to a coalition of unions, the latest barb in a long-running feud between the world’s biggest online retailer and organized labor.

► From the Washington Post — Amtrak worker shortage slows railroad’s pandemic recovery, expansion plansAmid a financial boost from infrastructure bill, Amtrak is struggling to hire and retain workers during national labor shortage.

► From the Washington Post — A CEO laid off 900 workers over Zoom. A Fox News host praised him: ‘I loved this, actually’ — “I loved this, actually. I loved this so much,” said co-host Emily Compagno, an attorney. She then bid the workers “good riddance.”

► From the AP — EU plan to boost gig economy workers is latest blow to apps — The European Union unveiled plans to improve conditions for the growing number of gig economy workers that could reclassify some as employees entitled to benefits, the latest setback for digital platforms that rely on independent contractors to deliver food and offer rides.




► Happy birthday to one of the most original, brilliant, prolific and under-appreciated singer/songwriter/musicians of our time, Joan Armatrading. If you haven’t heard of her, she’s the gift that keeps on giving, with 20 albums spanning the past 50 years. It was tough to choose just one to share today, so feel free to explore on your own.


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!