The Stand

Confluence contract | NLRB outrage | Railroad strike ahead

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Thursday, August 4, 2022

 


ELECTION

 

► From KUOW — Despite early attacks by Republicans, incumbent Democrats fared better than expected in WA legislative races — For Republicans, the early primary results served as a buzzkill to what they thought was their best chance in years at fundamentally altering the political makeup of the Washington Legislature.

The Stand Pro-worker candidates fare well in primary (election results UPDATED this morning)

► From the Seattle Times — Latest ballot drop brings races for WA secretary of state, Legislature into sharper focus — In the race to challenge Democratic incumbent Steve Hobbs — who took a huge lead Tuesday night — for secretary of state this November, two Republicans, Bob Hagglund and Keith Wagoner, continue to narrowly trail Julie Anderson, who is running as a nonpartisan.

► From the Seattle Times — Newhouse, Herrera Beutler maintain leads over Trump-backed challengers in new vote counts

► From the NY Times — ‘Your bedroom is on the ballot’: How Democrats see abortion politics after Kansas — A decisive vote to defend abortion rights in deeply conservative Kansas reverberated across the midterm campaign landscape on Wednesday, galvanizing Democrats and underscoring for Republicans the risks of overreaching on one of the most emotionally charged matters in American politics.

 


LOCAL

 

► From the Wenatchee World — Central Washington Hospital ratifies new contract with union — The local nurses’ union (WSNA) at Central Washington Hospital voted to ratify a new, three-year contract, addressing some of the issues intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. This latest contract includes a 16% wage increase over three years and a new, flexible and equitable vacation process that should ensure more nurses get time off. The hospital is also trying out a new system which should allow nurses to go on break without shifting their work onto other staff while they step off the floor, said Sara Bergenholtz, Confluence Health nurse and chair of the local union chapter.

EDITOR’S NOTE — How do wages and benefits like that sound to you? 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!

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► From the Seattle Times — WA tenants need to work 72 hours a week at minimum wage to afford rent — Significant increases to Washington’s minimum wage have not been enough to offset rising rent prices for scores of workers across the state. A minimum-wage worker in Washington would need to work 72 hours each week to afford a typical one-bedroom apartment. In King and Snohomish counties, that stretches past 90 hours a week.

► From Crosscut — New report tracks which WA counties send the most people to prison — If you live in a poor neighborhood in Washington state, your chances of ending up behind bars increase dramatically. But it’s not just the big cities in Washington contributing to mass incarceration. In fact, some of the state’s least populated counties send people to prison at the highest rates, a new report has found.

 


SOUTH OF THE BORDER

 

► From the NW Labor Press — Paper giant improves its offer after nine-day strike — About 140 workers at a North Portland paper packaging factory struck on July 17—and stayed out until July 26. With the help of a federal mediator, AWPPW Local 78 reached a tentative contract agreement July 28 with Graphic Packaging International. Members will vote on it any day.

► From the NW Labor Press — UPS hires union buster… at unit of five employees — UPS hired anti-union law firm Ogletree Deakins and signed a contract with Government Resources Consultants of America, run by David Rittof, to persuade five workers against unionizing.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Get more great labor news from Oregon and Southwest Washington — and support independent labor press — by subscribing to the Northwest Labor Press or contact them about advertising opportunities in their excellent publication.

 


AEROSPACE

 

► From the St. louis Post-Dispatch — St. Louis Boeing workers accept new contract offer. Company avoids local strike. — The workers’ retirement benefits have been one of the main sticking points in negotiations. The second contract offer withdrew some of the changes to the retirement plan from the previous draft, and added an $8,000 lump-sum payment, which employees can choose to defer into their 401(k) plans.

TODAY at The Stand Machinists at Boeing St. Louis ratify improved contract

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From The Hill — Inflation Reduction Act drops most of Biden’s proposals to tax the rich — The deal struck last week by Sens. Schumer and Manchin leaves out most of the president’s proposals to pull in greater government revenues from rich taxpayers. Increases in individual income tax rates for high earners, increases in the estate tax, increased taxes on capital gains like stock and property holdings, and a tax on billionaires are plans that have been scrapped from the Inflation Reduction Act.

► From Roll Call — Changes mulled to sweeping budget package as debate nears — Democrats may need to make some changes to the tax portion of their budget reconciliation package to earn the support of Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, including possible removal of a tax increase on investment fund managers and softening a new minimum tax on the biggest corporations.

► From Fast Company — Anti-union bills bubble up in Congress, despite growing voter support for organized labor — There are legislative efforts in the works with goals of blunting unionization’s momentum — and if there’s a majority flip in Congress this year, and a change at the White House in two years, some of the efforts could become serious threats to the progress that unions and workers have made over the past couple of years.

► From the Washington Post — Sen. Johnson suggests ending Medicare, Social Security as mandatory spending programs — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has suggested that Social Security and Medicare be eliminated as federal entitlement earned-benefit programs, and that they should instead become programs approved by Congress on an annual basis as discretionary spending. Johnson’s comments prompted criticism from the White House and from Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who said Democrats would fight any attempt by Republicans to “pull the rug out from under our seniors.”

 


NLRB

 

► From the UMWA — NLRB demand for UMWA to pay Warrior Met Coal strike costs “outrageous,” threatens American workers’ right to strike — The United Mine Workers of America made it clear on Wednesday that it will vigorously challenge an outrageous assessment of damages made by the NLRB Region 10 regarding the UMWA’s 16-month strike against Warrior Met Coal in Alabama. UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said:

“This is a slap in the face not just to the workers who are fighting for better jobs at Warrior Met Coal, but to every worker who stands up to their boss anywhere in America. There are charges for security, cameras, capital expenditures, buses for transporting scabs across picket lines, and the cost of lost production. What is the purpose of a strike if not to impact the operations of the employer, including production? Is it now the policy of the federal government that unions be required to pay a company’s losses as a consequence of their members exercising their rights as working people? This is outrageous and effectively negates workers’ right to strike. It cannot stand.”

MEANWHILE, a related story today from Yahoo Finance — Warrior Met Coal reports record-setting 2nd quarter 2022 results — Warrior Met Coal reported net income for the second quarter of 2022 of $297 million, or $5.74 per diluted share, the company’s third consecutive quarter of record quarterly net income and earnings per share, in over three years.

 


NATIONAL

 

 

► From More Perfect Union — U.S. rail workers could strike and shut down the economy — Hugely profitable railroad companies are putting the entire American economy in jeopardy. The railroads are refusing to negotiate a fair contract with workers who are on call 24/7 and haven’t gotten a raise in 3 years. 115,000 railroad workers could be forced to strike in September. We spoke to the AFL-CIO President of the Transportation Trades Department Greg Ryan and locomotive engineers about their fight to secure a fair contract.

TAKE A STAND — The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO is urging the labor movement to rally behind these workers who transport the supplies we need to live and work. If you support fairness for rail workers, please sign this petition of support.

The Stand (Aug. 2) — Sign petition of support for freight rail workers

► From Bloomberg — Reuters U.S. staff plan to strike for first time in decades — The journalists are preparing to launch a daylong strike Thursday, the first walkout in decades among the media company’s long-unionized staff. The CWA NewsGuild says Reuters is offering a three-year contract with guaranteed annual pay increases of just 1% against a backdrop of 9% inflation

► From the USA Today — ‘Permanent shock’ to nursing homes? Facilities fail to replace workers who quit after COVID outbreaks — Nursing home staffs shrunk in the weeks and months after severe COVID-19 outbreaks, according to a new study, and federal data shows most facilities lost more than half their nurses and aides in the past year. The study found facilities have struggled to refill openings, particularly among certified nursing assistants, who provide most bedside care – findings that both complicate and underscore the need for President Joe Biden’s push to establish nationwide staffing-level requirements.

► From the UFW — Farm workers kick off 24-day, 335-mile sacrificial march urging Newsom to sign farm worker voting rights bill — With the fight to preserve voting rights against voter suppression underway nationwide, California farm workers are staging a sacrificial 24-day, 335-mile peregrinacion (pilgrimage or march) from Delano to Sacramento during the heat of summer to convince Governor Gavin Newsom to sign their bill giving farm workers protection from intimidation in elections to choose a union.

 


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

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