Tuesday, July 26, 2022
► From the Seattle Times — Washington heat wave could hit 113 degrees in one city (headline clickbait spoiler: it’s Kennewick) — Heat alerts blanket the Pacific Northwest, including much of Oregon and Washington state, with temperatures set to spike to 110 degrees in the days ahead. Daily high temperatures about 10 to 20 degrees above average will persist through at least the end of the workweek, with elevated highs sticking around into the weekend. Several records will be set. Heat index values could reach dangerous levels.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Workers should familiarize themselves with Washington’s new heat protections for outdoor workers. Among other things, under current extreme heat conditions, employers must:
- Provide enough sufficiently cool water for each employee to drink at least a quart an hour;
- Provide sufficient shade that is large enough for and close enough to workers;
- Encourage and allow workers to take paid preventative cool-down breaks as needed; and,
- Require a 10-minute, paid cool-down break every two hours.
► From the Spokesman-Review — How to stay safe in this week’s heat wave
► From Vox — We’ve all got COVID-19 fatigue, but BA.5 shows it’s not over — The BA.5 Covid-19 subvariant is now the most dominant strain in the country; the highly infectious variant has caused an uptick in cases and hospitalizations both in hotspots like New York City and the nation overall, but public health action and messaging is less aggressive than with previous outbreaks.
► From UFCW 555 — New Seasons Workers have secured a union election — Workers at the Orenco Station New Seasons in Hillsboro, Oregon, have secured dates for their union election. Workers will be mailed ballots on Aug. 11 and will have until Sept. 1 for their votes to be received by the NLRB. “New Seasons workers are an unrelenting force and UFCW 555 is proud to be their union home,” Dan Clay, UFCW Local 555 Union President. “The workers are united, we have the support of the community, and we are standing strong in the face of management’s union busting attempts. These workers are leading the way to a better future.”
► From the Spokesman-Review — Spokane City Council pushes to bar city employees from assisting abortion investigations — Abortion rights supporters and opponents filled the Spokane City Council chambers Monday night as lawmakers passed a resolution aimed at barring Spokane city employees, including police officers, from assisting in investigations or the prosecution of abortion patients or providers.
► From the (Everett) Herald — If a tree falls in a forest, can it build a school? (editorial) — The Supreme Court decision protecting one source of revenue for school construction and Reykdal’s proposal to more fairly allocate that funding will help address some of the inequity, but — as recent bond and capital levy failures in Snohomish County have shown — state lawmakers are facing a new school funding crisis that timber sales alone won’t solve.
► From the Washington Post — Biden poised for big wins in Congress — The first major prescription drug legislation in nearly 20 years. More than $50 billion to subsidize computer chip manufacturing and research. A bill that would enshrine protection for same-sex marriage. After a turbulent stretch in which much of President Biden’s legislative agenda seemed to be foundering, the president and his party may be on the cusp of significant wins in Congress.
► From NBC News — GOP lawmaker attended gay son’s wedding 3 days after voting against same-sex marriage — The gay son of Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) got married on Friday. A few days earlier, his father voted against the Respect for Marriage Act.
UPDATE: Railroad unions & rail companies submitted their first contract proposals to emergency mediators yesterday.
Workers have gone 3 years without a contract. If they don’t reach a deal, 115,000 rail workers could go on strike in September.
Here’s what’s in their proposals:
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) July 25, 2022
The Stand (June 15) — Mediation fails in railroad talks; Biden likely to intervene
► From the Tribune News Network — Trucker blockade ends at Oakland Port — Fruit, nuts and wine are again flowing through the Port of Oakland after truckers quietly ended a multi-day blockade over the weekend amid a crackdown on protesters by port authorities. But on Monday the truckers, who are not backed by a union, largely returned to work as they now face the possibility of arrest for blockading the port and hope to recoup days of lost income.
► From HuffPost — Trader Joe’s urges workers to vote against union ahead of election — Trader Joe’s managers have been encouraging workers to vote against forming a union in a potentially landmark election scheduled at the chain’s Hadley, Massachusetts, store later this week. Employees have been pulled off the floor for group meetings in which supervisors asked them to reject the new independent union Trader Joe’s United.
► From Cal Matters — Will California Legislature allow its workers to unionize? — The Legislature has sidetracked several attempts to allow its employees to form a union, pushed mostly by former Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, who recently became the California Labor Federation’s top official. But the issue seems to be gaining ground this year.
► From Patch — Hotel workers OK contract with Hilton San Diego Bayfront after strike — The contract comes after hundreds of hotel workers began striking outside the hotel ahead of San Diego Comic-Con.
► From the Tucson Sentinel — AZ marijuana dispensary workers unionizing, Big Cannabis throws up roadblocks — The move to unionize commercial cannabis operations is part of the UFCW’s efforts, known as the Cannabis Workers Rising.
► From The Onion — CEOs discuss how unions have affected their companies — Amazon CEO Andy Jassy: “It introduces a slow bureaucratic process where one is not needed. If you are having a problem in one of our warehouses, I encourage you to go to your manager so they can fire you directly.” Kellogg’s CEO Steve Cahillane: “We had to spend a lot on anti-union ads and consultants, but at least that money didn’t go to the well-being or safety of employees.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — But seriously folks, are you 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 Reuters — Analysis: Workers seize their moment to shift the balance of power — COVID-19 exacerbated economic inequalities, with a World Bank study last year showing incomes were worst-hit among the poorest fifth of people globally. Workers in transport, retail and healthcare – while lauded by governments for their bravery – did low-paid jobs in often unsafe conditions as millions of white-collar workers worked from home. Compounding the impact of a decade of weak wage growth in rich countries after the 2008/09 recession, inflation now edging into double-digits is worsening the plight of the working poor.
► From Reuters — Lufthansa cancels over 1,000 flights due to ground staff walkout
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.