The Stand

Dangerous concrete scabs | Fresh union | ‘Gen U’ organizes

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Monday, March 7, 2022

 


COVID

 

► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, March 7 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 1,430,235 infections (14-day average of cases per day: 2,398) and 12,025 deaths.

► From the Olympian — Anti-mandates rally on WA state Capitol Campus falls short of attendance expectations — Hundreds of people attended an anti-mandates rally on the state Capitol Campus on Saturday, a total that fell well short of expectations.

► From HuffPost — Coronavirus death toll surpasses 6 million as pandemic enters its 3rd year — The death toll from COVID-19 eclipsed 6 million Monday — underscoring that the pandemic, now in its third year, is far from finished. The milestone is the latest tragic reminder of the unrelenting nature of the pandemic even as people are shedding masks, travel is resuming and businesses are reopening around the globe.

 


LOCAL

 

► From the PS Business Journal — Concrete flows at some job sites as bitter strike drags on — There has been no movement toward resolving the strike by concrete-mixer truck drivers, but there has been related action, including deliveries of concrete to some construction sites. “More and more untrained and inexperienced third-party mixer trucks and drivers have moved into our communities,” Teamsters Local 174 wrote in an email, which came with a report describing how King County concrete companies are putting the public at risk. Included in the report is a photo of a Jan. 27 four-vehicle crash in Sumner, which resulted in a concrete-mixer truck rolling over.

TAKE A STAND — Here’s how you can support these striking workers and help them hold the line “one day longer.” Make a contribution to the Teamsters Local 174 Merlino Heavy Highway and Sand & Gravel / Cement Industries Striking Workers Assistance Fund. Checks made out to “Teamsters 174 Worker Assistance Fund” can be mailed to: Teamsters Local 174, 14675 Interurban Ave. S. Suite 303, Tukwila, WA, 98168.

You can also visit a picket line from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. — donations of firewood for burn barrels, food, drinks are greatly appreciated — at the following locations: Calportand Seattle – 5900 West Marginal Way SW, Kenmore – 6425 NE 175th St, Snoqualmie – 5601 396th Dr SE; Cadman Seattle – 5225 E Marginal Way S, Redmond – 18816 NE 80th St; Lehigh Cement Seattle – 5225 E Marginal Way S; Stoneway Seattle – 3803 E Marginal Way S; and Merlino South Park – 9125 10th Ave S.

Learn more at Teamsters174.net.

► From the Seattle Times — A new kind of union is forming at Amazon Fresh stores in Seattle — Instead of an organizing campaign that culminates in a formal vote to determine whether the facility will unionize, this group has declared it already is a union. Workers at an Amazon Fresh grocery store at 23rd Avenue South and South Jackson Street in Seattle’s Central District have been organizing for months to form an independent union, Amazon Workers United. It’s demanding higher pay and better working conditions, and is spreading its message to other Amazon Fresh stores in Seattle.

► From the Spokesman-Review — Harassment-by-document is latest stage in school board disruptions (by Shawn Vestal) — Some are tied to public records requests, some are frivolous “legal” demands for “administrative remedy,” and others are based on efforts to use the surety bonds that elected officials post to threaten them with personal liability over pandemic rules. One expert says the addition of crackpot lawyering to the harassment of school board members reflects another step in the radicalization in the anti-vaxxer, anti-mask movement and the marriage of pandemic conspiracy with pre-existing anti-government movements.

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► From the Peninsula Daily News — Nurse ratio bill halted in state Senate — A statewide nurse-to-patient staffing mandate that passed the House was blocked last week by a Senate committee, likely dooming the legislation.

► From WSNA — The Senate failed us, but we’re not done (by WSNA Executive Director David Keepnews) — I won’t sugarcoat this. The Senate Ways & Means Committee did not pass our safe staffing bill out of committee by the deadline, meaning HB 1868 is very unlikely to pass this legislative cycle. We are deeply disappointed, but this is a delay, not defeat. We’re regrouping with our coalition partners at SEIU 1199NW and UFCW 21 to plan our next steps.

► From the Seattle Times — Legislature enters final stretch with budget, policing and transportation proposals in play — With a sharp increase in projected tax collections from a recovering economy, lawmakers are negotiating a state supplemental budget with a 16-year transportation-funding package. Both are boosted by billions of newly projected tax dollars.

The Stand (March 5) — Urge state senators to incentivize data centers in Washington

► From the Seattle Times — Push state transportation package across finish line (editorial) — A broad cross-section of leading businesses, including Amazon and Microsoft, as well as labor unions have ardently supported the transportation package from early on. Infrastructure projects offer bankable return on investment, from family-wage construction jobs to better mobility, which produces employment and commercial opportunities. After too many years of punting good ideas in search of policy perfection. Long-term infrastructure improvement should wait no longer.

The Stand (Feb. 9) — Coalition backs ‘Move Ahead Washington’ package

► From the Seattle Times — All job postings in Washington will likely soon include salary information — Washington employers will soon have to disclose the starting salary for open positions to job applicants — at the beginning of the recruiting process — if a bill that recently passed both chambers of the state Legislature becomes law.

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From the AP — Public transit gets $3.7B to woo riders, adopt green fleets — With mask restrictions fading and workers beginning to return to offices, the Biden administration said Monday it was awarding $2.2 billion in coronavirus relief funding to 35 financially strapped transit agencies in 18 states. The money would be used to prop up day-to-day operations, including staffing and payroll as well as cleaning and sanitization to limit the spread of illness in public transportation.

► From the AP — Harris in Selma: ‘We will not let setbacks stop us’ — Vice President Kamala Harris promised to push ahead with the Biden administration’s voting rights agenda despite recent setbacks during her remarks in Selma, Ala. on Sunday commemorating the 57th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday.” “In a moment of great uncertainty, those marchers pressed forward and they crossed,” Harris said on Sunday of the civil rights activists who in 1965 crossed Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma and were beaten and tear gassed. “We must do the same. We must lock our arms and march forward,” she added. “We will not let setbacks stop us.”

 


NATIONAL

 

► From the Washington Post — More Starbucks stores want to unionize. These women and nonbinary workers are leading the push. — Starbucks baristas are serving up union cards across the country: More than 100 locations have filed for union recognition in over 20 states since the campaign started in Buffalo last fall. It isn’t just the momentum that’s notable, experts say. Many leaders of the movement are in their early 20s; they’re leaning into the nickname “Generation U,” for union. Approval of unions is the highest it has been since 1965, with a 68 percent approval rating — which rises to 77 percent among Americans ages 18 to 34 — according to a recent Gallup poll. Many of the Starbucks organizers are women and nonbinary people, according to Starbucks Workers United. In large part, this is because Starbucks’s workforce is more than 70 percent female. Labor experts say it’s also because women are playing an important leadership role in the kinds of social movements that often feed into labor drives, including fights for racial justice and climate change activism.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Ready to join Gen U? Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate for better working conditions and a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

► From the NY Times — MLB and players union resume talks but remain far apart on competitive balance tax — The union’s negotiating team presented a written response to MLB’s previous proposal, codifying items that the sides had previously only discussed and putting long-standing positions in print. The offer contained few changes from the one the union pitched before the sides broke up in a relative huff Tuesday, and MLB’s negotiating team was left frustrated by that.

The Stand (March 4) — Players launch $1 million fund for workers affected by MLB lockout

► From the NY Times — Car industry woes show how global conflicts will reshape trade — The conflict has underlined the risks of doing business in authoritarian countries — not just Russia, but also China — raising questions about the growing dependence of the automobile industry on the Chinese market.

 


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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