Monday, July 11, 2022
► From the Spokesman-Review — We might be done with the virus, but it isn’t done with us (by Shawn Vestal) — Case numbers in Spokane County and around the state are up – nothing like the winter surge, but very much going in the wrong direction. Our hospitalization rates resemble February, when the massive winter surge was waning but still high. Last week, the CDC named Spokane County as one of 15 Washington counties with “high” case numbers, recommending that people wear masks to bring down the spread. In addition to us, Clallam, Grays Harbor, Pacific, Lewis, Thurston, Pierce, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Ferry, Lincoln, Walla Walla, Columbia and Asotin counties all have high case rates, the CDC said.
► From the Washington Post — As the BA.5 variant spreads, the risk of coronavirus reinfection grows — The latest omicron offshoot, BA.5, has quickly become dominant in the United States, and thanks to its elusiveness when encountering the human immune system, is driving a wave of cases across the country.
► From KUOW — Rep. Kim Schrier focuses on supply chain issues amid 8th District race — Democratic Congresswoman Kim Schrier is asking President Biden to lower certain tariffs on items that keep supply chains moving smoothly. She says the cuts would help tackle inflation. Schrier hopes to see lower taxes on logistical items, like the frames that secure shipping containers to trucks. There’s currently a shortage of these truck chassis. Said Schrier:
“The goal here is to make life a little easier for the people we represent. To help you fill up your tank and feed your family. To help farmers spend less on inputs without lowering crop yields. As the only member on the House Agriculture Committee from the Northwest, I will continue to do all I can to support farmers and lower costs for families.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington State Labor Council delegates representing unions from across Washington state have voted to endorse Dr. Kim Schrier’s campaign to be re-elected to Congress in the 8th District.
► From the Seattle Times — How Biden’s rail expansion could impact WA train service — As President Biden’s ambitious passenger rail expansion plan faces an early test on the Gulf Coast, Washington train advocates have expressed concern about how it could affect the Pacific Northwest. Sen. Marko Liias (D-Everett) thinks Washington and Oregon would maintain a cooperative relationship with BNSF, the company that owns most of the track used by the Amtrak Cascades route that runs from British Columbia to Portland.
► From the Washington Post — Democrats are racing to pass their scaled-back economic and health package — Momentum — and optimism — has picked up in recent weeks, as party leaders attempt to broker a compromise with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on a package that could be brought to the floor before August recess. Several key health issues remain unresolved, though Senate Democrats recently secured agreements on efforts to lower seniors’ prescription-drug prices and improve Medicare’s financial health.
► From the AP — Biden says he’s mulling health emergency for abortion access — President Joe Biden said Sunday he is considering declaring a public health emergency to free up federal resources to promote abortion access even though the White House has said it doesn’t seem like “a great option.”
PREVIOUSLY at The Stand:
WSLC decries overturning of Roe v. Wade (June 24)
Amid attacks on abortion rights, unions must fight back (by Shaunie Wheeler James and Cherika Carter, June 27)
► From the IAM — IAM District 837 kicks off critical negotiations with Boeing Defense in St. Louis — Approximately 2,500 members of IAM District 837 opened contract negotiations on July 6, with Boeing Defense. IAM members are spread throughout Boeing facilities in St. Charles, MO, St. Louis, and Mascoutah, IL. These highly skilled members fabricate, assemble and build some of the world’s most advanced military and passenger aircraft and missiles.
► From Bloomberg — ‘Under Siege’: Facing school shootings and book bans, U.S. teachers have had it — American teachers are the most stressed they’ve been in years as they deal with the fear of increased shootings at schools, along with burdens of curriculum restrictions and being overworked. More than three quarters of the 2,400 teachers surveyed by the American Federation of Teachers said they are dissatisfied with their current job conditions. One in three K-12 teachers said their workplace conditions had worsened in the past five years, citing stagnant wages and limitations on topics that they can teach.
TODAY at The Stand — Job dissatisfaction skyrockets for U.S. teachers
► From AFSCME — Legendary former AFSCME President Jerry McEntee dies — AFSCME President Lee Saunders: “AFSCME, the labor movement and the nation have lost a legend with ‘the heart of a lion,’ as President Bill Clinton described him. (AFSCME President Emeritus) Jerry McEntee was a visionary leader and one of the most fearless, ferocious advocates working people have ever had. Standing up for people who strengthen their communities through public service was his passion and his life’s work. From the moment he became an AFSCME member 66 years ago, he has never let up in the fight.”
► From the People’s World — Contract talks continue after ILWU’s West Coast pact expires — With encouragement from Biden administration Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, talks between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union–the independent union which represents almost 23,000 West Coast dockworkers–and West Court port executives are continuing, even after ILWU’s current contract expired June 30.
► From Hawaii News Now — Union: Tentative agreement between Hilton, workers reached — A tentative agreement has been reached between Hilton and the union representing hundreds of hotel workers, Unite Here Local 5, union leaders said. The new two-year agreement reportedly includes improved wages, benefits and reinstatement of daily room cleaning and other services, according to the union.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Ready for better wages and benefits? 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 — Airline pilots seek big raises, and broader changes — Each of the nation’s largest carriers is in the process of trying to strike a deal with pilots. In some cases, airlines appear ready to pay substantially higher wages, with two major airlines recently offering to raise pay more than 14 percent in the next year and a half. But money alone may not be enough. Pilot unions are also demanding changes that they say would improve operations and their members’ quality of life, particularly as flight disruptions throughout the recovery have left pilots feeling frustrated and overworked.
► From ABC News — Group behind first-ever U.S. Amazon union backs campaigns at 2 warehouses — Amazon Labor Union, the worker-led union behind the victory at an Amazon warehouse in New York City in April, reached agreements to provide organizing and financial assistance for workers trying to unionize warehouses in Albany, NY. and Campbellsville, KY., who will affiliate as formal chapters of the union, ALU President Chris Smalls told ABC News.
► From WVVA — Union steelworkers nearing second month of lockout with Collins Aerospace — More than 240 steelworkers in Monroe County remained locked out of their jobs with Collins Aerospace on Friday, as the union workers neared the two-month mark of failed contract negotiations.
► From WQAD — UAW solidarity: John Deere union members join CNH Industrial workers at picket line — More than 1,000 members of the United Auto Workers union at Case New Holland Industrial plants in Burlington and Wisconsin have been on strike since May 2.
► From The Hill — Hundreds of Virginia state employees resign amid new policy to bring them back to the office — Some employees said they are concerned with losing the flexibility that comes with telework. Others also raised concerns about the increasing cost of travel and trouble arranging childcare.
► From Politico — ‘We’re just f—ing illegal’: Leaked documents show Uber thwarted police and secretly courted politicians — The ride-share service is under investigation after texts, emails, memos and other documents reveal how executives engaged in questionable practices during its global expansion.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.