First the Sonics, now this? | We’re Number 3! | Cesar’s grandson

Wednesday, August 24, 2022




► From the PS Business Journal — Starbucks closes unionized Seattle store, transferring operations to QFC — Starbucks is closing a unionized coffee shop at at 9999 Holman Road NW in Seattle, the company told employees Monday. Starbucks Workers United said the closure was another example of how the coffee chain is retaliating against pro-union baristas. Word of the Holman store closure prompted baristas in a unionized Seattle store on University Way Northeast to strike Monday.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Extra credit for the sign: “First the SuperSonics, now this?”

Meanwhile in Mallorca…

► From the (Everett) Herald — CEO of Providence Swedish North Puget Sound steps down — After taking the helm a little over a year ago, Darren Redick, chief executive of Providence Swedish North Puget Sound, has stepped down. Redick has been in the spotlight this year amid a dire staffing shortage at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. In late June, the hospital’s emergency center was so overwhelmed that it opened a command center and funneled staff and resources from other departments to handle an influx of patients. In an earlier incident, the hospital paused admissions to its pediatric unit due to a lack of nurses.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Healthcare workers represented by UFCW 3000 are conducting informational picketing TODAY from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Providence Everett’s Colby and Pacific campus entrances to protest staffing issues across all units.




► From the Seattle Times — How the Inflation Reduction Act could affect WA health care — The act limits the monthly cost of insulin to $35 for seniors; caps out-of-pocket prescription drug costs at $2,000 a year for Medicare enrollees; and gives the government the ability to negotiate prices for the costliest prescription drugs. The law extends subsidies for anyone purchasing health care plans through the Affordable Care Act. The subsidies were scheduled to expire at the end of 2022, meaning plans would jump in price and many enrollees would likely drop their coverage. Washington is one of 14 states to run its own health insurance marketplace.

The Stand (Aug. 12) — Inflation Reduction Act ‘will transform lives’

► From the Seattle Times — Half of WA residents eligible for free or discounted hospital care — Millions of Washingtonians recently became eligible for free or discounted hospital care after an update to a state law went into effect last month, a significant step toward eliminating residents’ costly medical debts.

► From the Seattle Times — Tacoma Narrows Bridge tolls will get cheaper this fall — Drivers will pay 75 cents less to cross the Tacoma Narrows Bridge beginning Oct. 1, when a new subsidy from taxpayers statewide takes effect. The Legislature this year passed Substitute Senate Bill 5488, sponsored by Sen. Emily Randall (D-Bremerton), which moves $130 million over 10 years from the general fund to pay bridge debt and requires cheaper tolls. “We have long raised our voices together about the problems with the way this bridge was financed, and the inequity of leaving toll payers responsible for nearly all of the cost,” Randall said.




► From the Seattle Times — Democracy not dying: WA has 3rd highest voter turnout in nation (by Danny Westneat) — So far, 44 states have held primaries. At 40.4% of all registered voters casting a ballot, Washington ranks ahead of 41 of them, and far ahead of the national median turnout, which is just 26%, according to a national voting advocacy group. Ranking first is Wyoming (controversial U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney) and second is Kansas (abortion referendum). Next is us. The reality is, not that many people vote in primaries. But six out of the top eight states for primary turnout so far — Washington, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Arizona — have been states where most of the voting is done by mail.

The Stand (Aug. 11) — Pro-worker candidates fare well in primary election

► From The Hill — GOP PAC launches $1M in ads tying Kim Schrier and Elaine Luria to Biden — The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), a super PAC aligned with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), is launching ads targeting vulnerable Democratic Reps. Kim Schrier (Wash.) and Elaine Luria (Va.) on Wednesday.




► From More Perfect Union — Railroad workers furious over Biden board’s contract proposal — An emergency board appointed by President Biden issued recommendations for a national railroad contract on Tuesday that fell far short of what rail unions had pushed for, prompting tepid reactions from union leaders and outrage and dismay from many rank-and-file workers. SMART-TD, the railroad union representing a lionshare of rail workers, called the PEB proposal a “vast improvement over the carriers’ previous proposals,” but said “the recommendations do not go far enough to provide our members with the quality of life that they have earned, and that both they and their families deserve.”

► BREAKING from the Washington Post — Biden to cancel up to $10,000 in student debt for most borrowers and $20,000 for Pell recipientsThe president is also set to extend a pause on federal student loan payments through Dec. 31.

► From The Hill — More than $10B in student loans for public workers canceled ahead of broader Biden announcement — The Department of Education has announced that it has provided more than $10 billion in student debt relief to more than 175,000 public workers 10 months into the revised Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF).

The Stand (April 14) — It just got much easier to access Public Service Loan Forgiveness

► From the PS Business Journal — What’s the real impact of higher wages? U.S. lawmakers came to Seattle looking for answers. — At $17.27 per hour, Seattle’s minimum wage is the highest in the country. But how much has that helped the economy? That’s the main question the U.S. House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth hoped to answer in their field hearing earlier this month.




► From CNN — Ohio teachers say they won’t end their strike without improvements to miserable classroom environment — The day before classes are scheduled to start, teachers in Ohio’s largest school system say they won’t end their strike without improvements to what they describe as dilapidated schools where a lack of heating and air conditioning has led to miserable classroom environments. Union members in Columbus hit the picket line for a second day Tuesday, as the stalemate between the Columbus Education Association and the Columbus City Schools Board of Education continued.

► From the Alabama Reporter — Auburn GE workers launch union campaign — GE Auburn Aviation workers submitted union cards (IUE_CWA) to the NLRB’s Birmingham office and announced that GE workers across the country are taking steps to form unions at their factories as well.




► From the LA Times — Cesar Chavez’s grandson wants to introduce his ‘Tata’ to a new generation (by Gustavo Arellano) — Andres Chavez has been in charge of the National Chavez Center since April, but had already made a name for himself in the Central Valley beyond his pedigree. He helped start one of the few political radio shows in California hosted by Latinos and helped with COVID-19 vaccine rollouts throughout Kern County. Right now, he’s coordinating logistics for the final stretch of the United Farm Workers’ march from Delano to Sacramento, scheduled to end this Friday. Friends and family see in Andres the spiritual and spitting image of Cesar, down to the same warm smile and eyes, empathetic countenance and healthy head of hair.


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

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