Tuesday, March 1, 2022
EDITOR’S NOTE — The Entire Staff of The Stand has been gone for a week. What’d we miss? Apparently, a lot. Please bear with us as we try to catch up.
► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, March 1 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 1,423,990 infections (14-day average of cases per day: 2,782) and 11,866 deaths.
► From the Seattle Times — Inslee will lift Washington’s COVID-19 mask requirements on March 12 after change to federal guidelines — Gov. Jay Inslee has pushed up the timeline for lifting Washington’s COVID-19 mask requirements for schools and businesses to Saturday, March 12, after federal officials last week loosened public health guidelines on face coverings. Made in conjunction with the governors of Oregon and California, Monday’s announcement comes as the number of cases and hospitalizations due to the new coronavirus in Washington continues to decline.
► From KING 5 — Washington state lifting its mask mandate two years after first COVID-19 death — In February of 2020, the first COVID-related death in the U.S. was reported in Washington state.
► From the Seattle Times — Should you still wear a mask after mandates lift?
EDITOR’S NOTE — We’ll answer that one… when you’re interacting with public-facing workers: YES! You may only spend 10 minutes in a grocery store or other public space, but the people working there spend the entire day interacting with hundreds of people who are potentially spreading COVID-19. Show these frontline workers respect by staying masked up!
► From Teamsters 174 — Companies reject Teamsters’ restructured proposals to bring striking workers back to work immediately — Members of Teamsters Local 174 met with federal mediators and Employer representatives Feb. 24 in an attempt to navigate a path out of the 3-month labor dispute that has shut down the booming Seattle-area construction business. 330 Teamsters at six different concrete, cement, and construction companies have been on strike for nearly 100 days, leading to the layoff of thousands of Building Trades workers and a massive backlog of unpoured concrete that will take months to unwind. The Teamsters took the opportunity to make a completely new proposal that would put workers back in trucks immediately while negotiations continue on a full-term contract. The Employers balked.
► From the Seattle Times — No end in sight for Seattle-area concrete strike. Here’s the sticking point — Local concrete companies and the union representing striking mixer drivers met for a 12-hour mediation session this week and once again failed to reach a deal to end the three-month work stoppage that has slowed construction projects in and around Seattle. In terse statements Thursday and Friday, the two sides revealed more details of their competing offers than they have so far. Wage increases remain the primary sticking point, and the two sides appear far apart.
► From SEIU 1199NW — Healthcare workers at Country Doctor Community Health Centers form first-ever union — United in their determination to better advocate for themselves and their patients, healthcare workers and staff at Country Doctor Community Health Centers, which includes Country Doctor Community Health Clinic and Carolyn Downs Family Medical Center, voted 75 to 23 to join SEIU Healthcare 1199NW.
► From the WSNA — Anne Tan Piazza to take on new role as Executive Director of Oregon Nurses Association — The Washington State Nurses Association announced that WSNA Labor & Operations Executive Officer Anne Tan Piazza has accepted the position of Executive Director at the Oregon Nurses Association and will be departing WSNA effective April 1, 2022. “I feel so fortunate to have spent nearly 25 years of my career working with colleagues I respect, members I care about, and a mission that I believe in,” Piazza said. “The opportunity to serve as the Executive Director at ONA allows me to apply my passion for the labor movement and social justice with my experiences at WSNA and make a bigger impact.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Piazza has also served for several years as Vice President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
► From the Seattle Times — Inslee says ‘Washington stands with Ukraine,’ orders state to cut connections with Russia — Washington state agencies have been directed to identify and cancel commercial or other connections with Russian entities, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday during a press conference. “Simply put, the people of Washington stand with the people of Ukraine,” said Inslee. “We stand with the people of Russia who are protesting this vicious, malicious, totally unjustified act of violence.”
► From Bloomberg — Boeing closes office in Ukraine, halts training pilots in Russia — The Boeing Co. has closed its office in Kyiv, Ukraine, and “paused” operations at its Moscow training campus, a spokeswoman for the Chicago-based planemaker said in an email. The company declines to discuss the status of engineering work at its Moscow design center. Boeing’s response: “We are adhering to all U.S. and global laws and regulations.”
The Stand (May 8, 2014) — Profits come before democracy as Boeing exports jobs to Russia (by John Burbank) — When Boeing lays off engineers here, it hires them in South Carolina, Alabama… and Moscow. The capital of Russia is the big bear that is threatening the Ukraine and other nations that won their independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union. So now when our government is imposing business sanctions against Russia, where do you think Boeing will stand? Backing up those sanctions and closing down its work in Moscow? Or counseling the administration to “go slow” and in the meantime build up its Russian workforce. Boeing’s history in the last decade has been to put corporate profits and CEO prerogatives ahead of respect for workers, ahead of the communities in which Boeing is situated, and far in front of democracy.
► From the AFL-CIO — Statement from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on the Russian invasion of Ukraine
“The AFL-CIO joins with unions from around the world in standing in solidarity with our union partners in Ukraine. We demand an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops and a commitment to political and diplomatic solutions to the crisis that will cause needless suffering and hardship for people throughout the country.”
► From the NY Times — A top labor official joins Greenpeace USA — The move by Tefere Gebre, the No. 3 official at the AFL-CIO, highlights what many labor and environmental officials say is a need to cooperate.
► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO calls for speedy confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler:
“Judge Jackson has a strong legal track record of fighting on behalf of working people, including during her tenure as an assistant federal public defender in Washington, D.C., and we are confident that she will bring that leadership to the highest court in the land.”
► From The Hill — Labor leaders praise Biden SCOTUS pick as win for workers — Influential labor union leaders cheered President Biden for nominating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, hailing the selection as a win for workers.
► From the AFL-CIO — Historic union victory by Mexican workers made possible by strong labor protections in USMCA — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on the victory of Sindicato Nacional Independiente de Trabajadores de Industrias y Servicios “Movimiento 20/32” (SNITIS) union in the representation election at Tridonex:
“The AFL-CIO filed the first petition under the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) Rapid Response Mechanism that helped make this election possible, and we will continue to support the union’s fight to negotiate a fair contract with the company.”
The Stand (Dec. 10, 2019) — AFL-CIO endorses USMCA after negotiating labor improvements
► From Brookings — The USMCA and the way forward for trade policy (by Liz Shuler) — Despite its significant advances, the USMCA is far from perfect. By itself, it will not end outsourcing, growing economic inequality or climate change. However, it represents a major improvement over NAFTA and points the way toward a more balanced, worker-centered trade model capable of delivering broad-based economic growth that advances workers’ rights.
► From the NY Times — In State of the Union, Biden will focus on economy and global response to Russia — Tonight’s speech was originally going to center primarily on the president’s domestic agenda. But the war in Europe has forced the White House to change gears.
► From Roll Call — Unimpressed with USPS banking trial, backers eye new initiative — As lawmakers work on finishing fiscal 2022 appropriations, they’ll have to decide whether to keep a House spending provision that would allow some post offices to offer more financial services.
► From HuffPost — Republicans filibuster bill that would protect abortion rights if Roe v. Wade falls — The Women’s Health Protection Act would have outlawed hundreds of state-level anti-abortion laws.
► From CNN — Union organizers win another Starbucks vote — Union organizers overwhelmingly won a vote Friday to represent workers at a Starbucks in Mesa, Arizona, giving them their third win in an effort to organize the sector. The vote was 25 in favor of the union and only 3 opposed. There were a total of 43 workers eligible to vote. The union, Starbucks Workers United, had already won the right to represent workers at two stores in Buffalo, New York, but lost the vote at a third store there, although it is challenging that election result. The union has also filed to hold additional elections at more than 100 Starbucks stores across 26 states.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Tired of being disrespected? Get a union! 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!
The Stand (Jan. 20, 2022) — Unions post big gains in Washington state
► From Patch — Firefighters union to represent workers in collective bargaining — For the first time in over 40 years, a union will collectively bargain contracts for public sector employees in Virginia.
► From the AP — MLB pushes labor-deal deadline to Tuesday for March 31 start — Major League Baseball extended its deadline for rescuing opening day and a 162-game season until Tuesday at 5 p.m.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.