Unions flex on May Day | Amazon vote count today | How to lose nurses

Monday, May 2, 2022




► From the Seattle Times — Seattle May Day rally and march tout new union strength — Bolstered by a series of successful, high-profile union campaigns across the country, Seattle’s annual May Day march for workers’ and immigrants’ rights experienced a resurgence Sunday, drawing a sizable and buoyant crowd. Organizers frequently pointed to labor wins during the march: a successful strike by farmworkers in Skagit Valley ahead of the popular Tulip Festival; Seattle Starbucks workers voting to unionize; and mobilization efforts at a handful of local workplaces.

MORE Seattle May Day coverage from KING, KIRO, KOMO and Q13.

READY FOR A VOICE AT WORK?  Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate better working conditions and a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

The Stand (Jan. 20) — Unions post big gains in Washington state — With 72,000 more members in 2021, state now ranks 3rd in union membership.

► From the Yakima H-R — OneAmerica, Fair Work Center combine for May Day event in Yakima

► From KXLY — Sen. Murray, others speak on International Workers’ Day

► From KUOW — Workers around the world mark May Day with rallies for better working conditions — Demonstrators across the globe seized May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, as a moment to celebrate working-class contributions as they rallied for better labor rights, immigration overhauls, and other causes around social and economic equality.

► From HuffPost — Europe’s May Day rallies honor workers while protesting governments — Citizens and trade unions in cities around Europe were taking to the streets on Sunday for May Day marches, and to put out protest messages to their governments.




► From the News Tribune — Puget Sound-area grocery workers ratify new three-year contract that targets pay disparities — A major Puget Sound grocery workers union announced ratification of a new three-year contract, raising hourly wages $4-$9 over the life of the agreement. UFCW 3000, now representing the unions formerly known as UFCW 21 and UFCW 1439 after a merger in March, announced that its grocery workers voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new contract.

TODAY at The StandCentral Puget Sound grocery workers ratify new contract

► From the Wall St. Journal — Starbucks union fight intensifies under CEO Howard Schultz — The fight between Starbucks and workers looking to unionize its U.S. cafes is escalating in the month since Chief Executive Howard Schultz retook the coffee giant’s helm. The Starbucks Workers United union of baristas has filed dozens of complaints accusing the company of firing workers seeking to organize and impeding unionization efforts. Since Schultz took over, the company has filed its own complaints, accusing union organizers of bullying and intimidating workers and customers.

EDITOR’S NOTE — So how is the billionaire’s union-busting going?

► From the (Everett) Herald — 13 unvaccinated firefighters are cleared to return to work — Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue is allowing them to return, but they must be tested daily.

► From KING 5 — Issaquah School District proposes cuts to athletics, mental health program amid enrollment decline — The proposal has not been popular with some parents as the cuts include essentially gutting the district’s Positive Behavior and Social Emotional Support department.




► From the AP — Judge clears way for initiative to repeal capital gains tax — Opponents of the state’s new capital gains tax can begin gathering signatures on an initiative seeking to repeal the law after a judge approved final wording for how the measure would be described on the ballot and the initiative petitions. Sponsors of Initiative 1929, which would repeal the law, must collect and turn in signatures of 324,516 registered Washington voters by 5 p.m. July 8 in order to qualify for the November ballot.

The Stand (March 23) — WSLC’s COPE Endorsing Convention will be May 21 — The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO will hold its 2022 Committee on Political Education (COPE) Endorsing Convention on Saturday, May 21 at the Machinists District 751 Hall, 9125 15th Pl. South in Seattle. WSLC-affiliated unions should register now to participate!

► From KIMA — State L&I office broken into, possible data stolen — Thieves broke into an L&I office in Tukwila recently, taking off with hard drives, laptops, cellphones, office supplies, door access key cards, gas cards and more.




► From the PSBJ — Kent Valley aerospace sector gaining jobs but losing employers, report finds — Kent Valley’s aerospace industry has added nearly 5,000 jobs since 2005 even as the number of employers has dwindled, according to a report released last week by the city of Kent’s Economic and Community Development Department.




► From the Washington Post — This is no way to treat pregnant workers (bDina Bakst) — The United States has no federal law providing workers with an affirmative, clear and effective right to reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth and related medical needs. The experience of thousands illustrates the urgent need for such a law — especially when the pandemic has exacerbated the unjust, discriminatory treatment of pregnant workers.




► From the AP — Vote tally begins in 2nd Amazon union election in NYC — A federal labor board on Monday will count ballots cast by warehouse workers in a second Amazon union election on Staten Island. The NLRB is overseeing the election and expects to finish tallying the votes by Monday evening. A separate election held last month gave a nascent group of organizers known as the Amazon Labor Union a surprise victory when workers at a different Staten Island facility voted in favor of unionizing. That was a first for Amazon in the U.S.

► From The Hill — Amazon granted hearing over claims State Island union vote was suppressed — About 55 percent of employees who voted at Amazon’s JFK8 warehouse supported the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), with turnout at 58 percent.

► From the Hartford Courant — Unions win final passage of Connecticut ‘captive audience’ ban — One of organized labor’s two legislative priorities in 2022 — a ban on “captive audience” meetings that unions say are used to thwart organizing — won final passage in the Connecticut House of Representatives.

► From The Hill — Kim Kelly: History of labor movement has been ‘buried’


► From Vox — The Great Resignation is becoming a “great midlife crisis” — Earlier in the pandemic, the trend of quitting jobs was led by younger, less-tenured workers in low-paying industries like retail, food service, and health care. Now, the main growth in quit rates is coming from older, more tenured workers in higher-paid industries like finance, tech, and other knowledge worker fields. These workers say they are searching for less tangible benefits like meaning and flexibility.




► From Vox — A nurse made a fatal error. Why was she charged with a crime? — Diana Campion, a nurse practitioner who lives in Florida, recently contemplated going back to bedside nursing part-time. But after hearing about the highly publicized verdict handed down in the case of RaDonda Vaught, a Nashville nurse whose medication error led to the death of a 75-year-old woman, as well as verdicts in several other recent criminal cases against nurses who made medical errors, Campion decided against it. To her, the verdicts communicated that when nurses make mistakes, their careers can be destroyed. “If there is a fatal error, it’s the nurse that will stand alone,” Campion said. “It’s not worth it.” American health care systems are encouraged to strive for a “culture of safety,” which frames accountability as something to be shared by individuals and institutions. But in reality, both health care facilities and the law sometimes treat medication errors as individual failures rather than systemic ones. When that happens, it’s nurses who often take the blame for institutional problems.

► ICYMI on April 8… from WSNA, SEIU 1199NW and UFCW 3000 — Joint statement on the conviction of RaDonda Vaught — Focusing on blame and punishment solves nothing. It can only discourage reporting and drive errors underground. It not only undermines patient safety; it fosters an environment of fear and lack of respect for health care workers.


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

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