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Boeing’s future | The power of organizing | Number three?!

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Friday, May 13, 2022

 


COVID

 

► From Q13 — Washington doctors concerned over rise in COVID hospitalizations — Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington, Dr. John Lynch, says this surge is due to two things; a highly infectious variant and the fact so many of us have let our guard down as the mask mandate has ended.

EDITOR’S NOTE — When you’re in indoor spaces interacting with public-facing workers, wear a mask! 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 this highly contagious strain of COVID-19. It doesn’t matter whether masks is required or not — wear one. It’s an easy and important way to show respect to these frontline workers.​

► From the union-busting Columbian — Clark County COVID-19 activity rate, hospitalizations increase; deaths surpass 800 — Clark County’s reported COVID-19 activity rate increased this week as disease activity reaches levels not seen since early March.

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► From KOMO — Washington State Ferries continue to struggle amid staffing shortage — On Friday, two routes are running on alternate schedules to provide more reliability, WSF said. Citing a rising number of COVID cases, WSF tweeted that reliability may temporarily decrease in the weeks ahead due to rising relief requests among crews. The pandemic created serious crewing issues for state ferries, from illnesses, retirements and the inability to hire and train people amid strict social distancing guidelines.

► From KIRO — Eastside firefighters threaten vaccine mandate lawsuit — Several firefighters spoke at the Eastside Fire & Rescue board of directors meeting Thursday night in hopes of being reinstated with the department. Six unvaccinated firefighters there were terminated last month for not complying with the state vaccine mandate.

The Stand (Oct. 18, 2021) — WSLC position on vaccine mandates

► From Crosscut — Offshore wind farming gains momentum on the West Coast — East Coast states are poised to generate significant amounts of electricity from offshore wind in the coming years, as long-awaited projects come online. But in the states bordering the Pacific Ocean, plans have been slow to develop. That’s because the steep Pacific shoreline does not allow for the fixed turbines that make up most of the projects in shallower Atlantic waters. But as new technology for floating wind turbines emerges, Washington, Oregon and California have seen a recent surge in momentum for offshore wind development.

► A related story from Grist — Wind power, built by union workers — North America’s Building Trades Unions, or NABTU, and the Danish wind company Ørsted have reached a historic agreement to build offshore wind power with an all-union workforce. The National Offshore Wind Agreement, which was announced at a ceremony last week, is expected to create tens of thousands of middle-class jobs while advancing a “just transition” away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner sources of energy.

 


AEROSPACE

 

► MUST-READ from the Seattle Times — In the other Washington, Boeing’s future is far from clear (by Jon Talton) — Boeing’s problems are neglect of the engineering culture that built the company and the desperate need to rebuild trust, with employees and the traveling public. Instead, for perhaps 25 years the culture has been captured by financial engineering. Isolating themselves from Commercial Airplanes (by moving the HQ to Chicago, and now suburban Washington, D.C.) has allowed the brass to focus on the stock price. They no longer lived in the same community as their workers. But it set the table for disaster, first with the long-delayed 787 Dreamliner and later with the 737 MAX. The Dreamliner was saved by union machinists. Their reward: Assembly of the airliner was moved to nonunion North Charleston, South Carolina. Manufacturing problems there, and elsewhere, contributed to financial losses.

► From the PS Business Journal — Boeing 737 MAX production rate slowed by supply chain trouble — It’s a reflection of the ongoing supply chain turmoil that a single component hindered efforts by The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) to reach full production of the 737 MAX in April, the jet maker’s chief financial officer said Wednesday.

► From the PS Business Journal — Aerospace employers call DEI efforts ‘imperative’ in battle for talent — With competition at a fever pitch for skilled manufacturing talent, aerospace employers are more focused than ever on diversity, equity and inclusion as they seek to attract and retain workers.

 


LOCAL

 

► From the Walla Walla U-B — USPS food drive in Walla Walla and elsewhere Saturday — The National Association of Letter Carriers 30th annual “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive has become the nation’s largest, one-day campaign to collect food for distribution to needy families. Postal customers can leave non-perishable food donations in a bag near their mailbox on Saturday before their letter carrier arrives.

The Stand (April 29) — NALC’s food drive will be Saturday, May 14

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO calls for student loan forgiveness — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on the federation’s commitment to ending the student loan crisis:

“We call on the Biden administration to do its part to assist borrowers hampered by crippling debt. Organized labor was built on the foundation of creating a pathway to the middle class for everyone, but skyrocketing student loan debt has become an insurmountable obstacle to achieving this goal. The Biden administration’s decision to continue to pause student debt has made a tremendous difference in the lives of so many borrowers, but these borrowers still live with the uncertainty of not knowing when they will need to drastically alter their finances in order to begin repaying their loans. After all that we have endured in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot ask working people to make further sacrifices. Now is the time to cancel, not collect, student debt.”

► From The Hill — AFL-CIO presses Biden to cancel student debt — The AFL-CIO on Thursday urged President Biden to forgive student loans, putting additional pressure on the White House to cancel at least some of the nation’s $1.6 trillion in student loan debt.

► From Politico — Harder than it sounds: Income-targeted student loan forgiveness invites a ‘train wreck’ — Education Department officials have warned the White House they lack income data for many student loan borrowers.

► From Bloomberg — Senate Democrats propose banning anti-union tax write-offs — Senate Democrats are taking aim at companies that oppose worker organizing efforts, unveiling legislation that would ban tax deductions for anti-union activities. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) was joined by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in introducing a bill known as the No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act. The bill would propose that employer spending on anti-union activities qualifies as political speech under the tax code, barring companies from deducting the costs on their taxes.

► From The Hill — It’s time to end tax deductions for anti-union activity (by David Madland) — Firms are currently allowed to deduct the costs of their anti-union activities as ordinary and necessary business expenses from their corporate taxes. In other words, taxpayers are effectively subsidizing anti-union activities… This reform would not only help give workers a fairer shake, but it would also save taxpayer money. Importantly, Congress can pass this type of tax law change during the budget reconciliation process — a process that allows certain spending and tax bills to clear Congress with a simple majority and avoid the possibility of a filibuster in the Senate.

The Stand (May 12) — LaborLab tracks union-busting, empowers workers to unionize

 


NATIONAL

 

► From the Getting Curious podcast with Jonathan Van Ness — What’s The Power Of Labor Organizing? with Kim Kelly — Kim Kelly joins Jonathan to discuss the power of collective bargaining, worker solidarity, and her new book FIGHT LIKE HELL, an intersectional history of labor movements in the U.S. She has been a regular labor columnist for Teen Vogue since 2018, and her writing on labor, class, politics, and culture has appeared in The New Republic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Baffler, The Nation, and many others. A third-generation union member, she was born in the heart of the South Jersey Pine Barrens, and currently lives in Philadelphia with a hard-workin’ man, a couple of taxidermied bears, and way too many books.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Feel the power! 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 CNBC — United reaches new contract deal with pilots’ union, the first of the major airlines in pandemic — United and its pilots’ labor union have reached an agreement on new contract terms, the first of the major carriers to strike a deal since the start of the COVID pandemic. The crisis roiled the industry and exacerbated a pilot shortage and training backlog. The Air Line Pilots Association and United didn’t disclose the terms of the deal on Friday, but they will likely include higher pay and other improvements.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Take note, Alaska Airlines.

► From KIMA — Nurse found guilty in deadly medical mistake to learn her sentence Friday — A former Tennessee nurse who was found guilty of the death of a patient will face sentencing Friday. A jury found RaDonda Vaught, 37, guilty in March of criminally negligent homicide and gross neglect of an impaired adult. She was found not guilty of reckless homicide.

EDITOR’S NOTE — On April 8, the Washington Styate Nurses Association, SEIU 1199NW and UFCW 3000 released a joint statement on Vaught’s criminal conviction: 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.

► From Q13 — Inflation has eroded 40% of Social Security’s purchasing power since 2000 — Although Social Security benefits have climbed by 64% since 2000 thanks to cost-of-living adjustments, typical senior expenses through March 2022 have actually grown by more than double that rate – 130% – as consumer prices soar.

 


T.G.I.F.

 

► Long before lists of the “top” (insert noun here) became clickbait, Rolling Stone was publishing lists of the top songs by particular artists, or genres, or of all time. These subjective lists are just the opinions of music critics and journalists, who can be snobby about it. They seem intended to engage readers who disagree. Knowing all this, The Entire Staff of The Stand reads them anyway. The latest Rolling Stone list is the all-time Top 50 Fleetwood Mac songs, and naturally, we have a bone to pick. “Silver Springs,” the obvious best Fleetwood Mac song of all time, is only ranked at No. 3. Number three!

It’s a song that defines the turbulent nature of the band and its internal dynamics more than any other. Written by Stevie Nicks about her breakup with bandmate Lindsey Buckingham, this stirring gem — “I’ll follow you down ’til the sound of my voice will haunt you / You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loved you” — was deemed too long(!) and dropped from the Rumours album against her strenuous objections. It was relegated to a B-side and later the band even blocked her from releasing it on one of her solo records. Thankfully, it was resurrected 20 years later in this masterful 1997 performance for the live album The Dance. Better still, Stevie gets to stare down Lindsey while she sings it. The whole thing is brilliant from beginning to end and clearly deserves to be ranked as their best song. Clearly.

 


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

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