Friday, June 24, 2022
ABORTION RIGHTS ARE WORKERS’ RIGHTS
► From the AP — Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; states can ban abortion — The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years in a decision by its conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade. Friday’s outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. The decision, unthinkable just a few years ago, was the culmination of decades of efforts by abortion opponents, made possible by an emboldened right side of the court that has been fortified by three appointees of former President Donald Trump.
TODAY at The Stand — WSLC decries the repeal of Roe v. Wade — President Larry Brown and Secretary Treasurer April Sims of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO:
Abortion rights are workers’ rights. The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO forcefully opposes attacks on the bodily autonomy and rights of working people and threats to the safety of our families and communities. We will not be silent in the face of attempts to curtail the freedoms of people who can become pregnant, and to undermine the basic principle of equal treatment under the law that underpins our democracy and our movement.
► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO affirms the right of everyone to make their own health care decisions — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler:
“The current conservative majority of the Supreme Court is bent on limiting bodily autonomy, freedom and self-determination to a select few, and that is fundamentally undemocratic. America’s unions remain committed to the fight for gender justice and economic equity for all people.”
► From the Seattle Times — What the Supreme Court abortion decision means for Washington — Washington was the first state in the country to legalize abortion. That law will remain in effect. Still, political winds can change, and lawmakers or voters could conceivably pass a new state law restricting abortion. That’s why Gov. Jay Inslee and abortion-rights activists have called for a state constitutional amendment protecting abortion access in the absence of Roe. That’s a big lift, requiring a two-thirds majority in the state House and Senate and a popular vote… One research organization estimates Washington could see a 385 percent increase in abortion patients coming from Idaho and other states banning or severely restricting abortion.
► From KIRO — Workers striking at first unionized Starbucks in Seattle — On Friday, the first unionized Starbucks workers in Seattle from the Broadway and Denny store on Capitol Hill are striking to protest the treatment of their co-workers at three locations. A news release from Seattle Starbucks Workers United reads:
“With less than a week’s notice, the workers at First and University, First and Pike, and the first store at Pike Place Market, were expected to make time to interview for their own jobs, a task that is both insulting and impractical. More than 20 workers so far have been informed that they did not qualify for the jobs they have been doing, in some cases, for years.”
?BROADWAY ABD DENNY IS ON STRIKE!! ?
STARBUCKS WILL NOT GET AWAY WITH DISPLACING SO MANY OF OUR COWORKERS
— Rachel Ybarra (@goblin_barista) June 24, 2022
EDITOR’S NOTE — Ready for a voice at work? 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 NY Times — Jan. 6 panel outlines Trump’s bid to coerce Justice Dept. officials — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol painted a vivid picture on Thursday of how former President Donald Trump directed a wide-ranging bid to strong-arm the Justice Department into overturning the 2020 election, the most brazen attempt by a sitting president since Watergate to manipulate the nation’s law enforcement apparatus to keep himself in power.
► From the Washington Post — Jan. 6 panel names five Republicans who allegedly sought Trump pardons — Videotaped testimony named Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (Tex.) and Scott Perry (Pa.), as lawmakers who sought preemptive pardons after or, in at least one case, before the Capitol breach.
► From the American Prospect — President Biden’s best agency is starved for cash — Workers have momentum right now, but the challenges they face are stiff indeed. Chronic underfunding at the National Labor Relations Board, which is tasked with taking on anti-labor retaliation, and the probable impending Democratic midterm wipeout, might make American labor law virtually a dead letter. Democrats must pass a large increase in the agency’s funding in upcoming budget negotiations to protect the rights of American workers.
► From the Washington Post — Senate passes bipartisan gun violence bill, marking breakthrough — The bill is poised to pass the House today and be signed by President Biden. It includes the most significant new gun restrictions since the mid-1990s.
► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO on Bipartisan Safer Communities Act — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler:
“The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a critical step in the right direction toward curbing the gun violence epidemic happening here in America.
“Gun violence is a pressing issue of workplace safety. No one should have to go to school, clock in for a shift or go out to buy groceries and fear they might not make it home. This bill will enhance background checks for buyers under 21, disarm domestic abusers, make important investments in school and community mental health services, and more. It is a good first step in enacting policies that a majority of Americans support.
“Congress must get this much-needed bill over the finish line, because when it does, it will save lives.”
► From the Guardian — ‘We didn’t sign up to die’: U.S. transit workers sound alarm over rising violence — Transit workers and labor unions across America are sounding the alarm over the trend of violence, assaults, and abuse that workers in the transportation industry in the U.S. have faced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis they say will continue to worsen without federal action and implementation of safety protections and rules.
► From LA Daily News — Nurses at Kaiser hospital in Los Angeles stage one-day strike — Hundreds of nurses at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center staged a one-day strike Thursday, June 23, claiming they are understaffed, overworked and lacking in supplies needed to adequately do their job. Nearly 700 of the facility’s 1,200 nurses were on hand, wielding picket signs reading, “On Strike for Safe Patient Care.” The nurses, represented by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU), say their ranks are thinning at an alarming rate.
► From Patch — Nurse strike at Newark hospital ends with new contract, wage hike — After 31 days, the nurse/tech strike at Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark is over. Here’s what they won – and why they were striking.
► From WLRN — Inside the marathon Zoom call where Amazon seeks to overturn historic union victory — It’s had all the hallmarks of a Zoom meeting gone awry… It was a typical day in the marathon NLRB hearing that’s considering Amazon’s objections to the historic union election win at a Staten Island warehouse. The NLRB will ultimately rule on whether a do-over election is warranted.
► From Labor Notes — ‘Progressive’ food company Amy’s Kitchen faces multiple Unfair Labor Practice charges — UNITE HERE Local 19, representing the workers of Amy’s Kitchen in San Jose, alleges that the company subjected workers to mandatory anti-union meetings, surveillance, threats, and interrogations, and terminated two employees for their organizing.
► From HuffPost — COVID vaccines saved nearly 20 million lives in 1st year, scientists say — Researchers from Imperial College London estimated the shots prevented 1.9 million deaths in the United States during the first year they became available.
► From Reuters — Ryanair cabin staff strike cancels dozens of flights in Europe — Some cabin crew at Ryanair went on strike in Belgium, Spain and Portugal on Friday in a dispute over pay and working conditions, the latest in a wave of walkouts staged by workers across different sectors in Europe.
► Singer-songwriter-activist Ani DiFranco:
“Reproductive freedom must be understood and protected as a civil (or even human) right, without which women cannot be free or achieve equality within society. Religious leaders can try to convince women that they should not have abortions but they cannot force all women to subscribe to their patriarchal religious creed. It is not the job of government to enforce religious creeds, but it is the job of government to protect the civil rights of its citizens. Any court worth its salt should find these new abortion bans unconstitutional.”
Here’s Ani and her daughter Petah singing, “I’ve earned my right to choose. You don’t get to play God, man, I do.” Enjoy.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.