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Another Homegrown strike | Day 5 in Kent | Unions are winning

Wednesday, August 31, 2022




STRIKE ALERT!  Sandwich makers at Homegrown’s Mercer Island location are ON STRIKE TODAY (Aug. 31) for a cooler workplace. Homegrown sandwich makers work over hot ovens to toast sandwiches. On one day in July, workers measured the ambient temperature on the sandwich line as high as 103 degrees and are calling for better air conditioning. Pickets went up at 7 a.m. and all are encouraged to attend a rally in support of them today at 4:30 p.m. at 3016 78th Ave SE in Mercer Island.

The Stand (Aug. 26) — Homegrown workers strike at Seattle, Redmond locations




► From the Kent Reporter — Day 5 of Kent teachers’ strike: No school on Wednesday, Aug. 31 — It doesn’t appear the Kent School District and striking teachers’ union are any closer to a contract agreement. The district announced Tuesday evening that there would be no school on Wednesday, Aug. 31. It will be the fifth day of the strike that has canceled classes at 42 schools and academies that have about 24,000 students and 2,000 teachers.

TAKE A STAND — Join Kent Education Association educators on the picket line! Picketing schedules have been unified to 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at all schools. Can’t make it? Sign this petition urging the school district to reach a fair and equitable agreement with KEA.

► From the Kent Reporter — Kent School Board to choose new member for vacant position — Public meeting changed to Thursday, Sept. 1; four finalists for seat.

► From the Seattle Times — Seattle Schools education union to vote on a strike authorization — The Seattle Education Association’s board of directors is recommending that its members authorize a strike, a vote that could happen this week. Seattle Public Schools and the union, which has about 6,000 members, have been in negotiations since June, district officials said. SEA is focused on higher pay, as well as changing the special education and multilingual program models.

► From the Peninsula Daily News — PASD late-night bargaining session ends without resolution of possible strike — The Port Angeles School District and Port Angeles Education Association met in a five-hour bargaining session Tuesday night without coming to an agreement about a new contract that would have averted a strike authorized by the teachers union for Thursday. The two sides head back to the negotiating table at 10 a.m. today.

TAKE A STANDSign this petition urging the Port Angeles School District to agree to a Fair Contract Now!

► From the union-busting Columbian — Ridgefield teachers to be present for first day, despite strike authorization vote — Despite authorizing a potential strike Monday night, Ridgefield teachers said they will be in the classroom for the first day of school this morning. Ridgefield Education Association co-president Elizabeth Stamp said that the union will wait until its next scheduled bargaining session on Sept. 7 to decide whether to walk out.

► From KIMA — Wapato School District employees protest for better wages — A large group of public-school employees of the Wapato School District (PSE) protested outside of a school board meeting over their wages yesterday.

► From The Hill — The best-paying states for teachers — Nationally, teacher salaries have declined by about 3% from 2010 to 2021, with pay dropping more than 10 percent in Indiana, Florida, Wyoming, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. Other states, including South Dakota, Vermont and California, actually increased teacher salaries, and in Washington state teacher pay increased more than 23% from 2010 to 2021.

EDITOR’S NOTE — In 2017-18, the Legislature responded to the McCleary court decision with significant increases in teacher pay. Improving K-12 teacher pay was a specific directive of that state Supreme Court decision after decades of allowing teacher pay to erode in this state. Even so, it took a wave of teacher strikes in the fall of 2018 and 2019 to force several school districts to ensure that extra state funding actually went to boost teacher pay.




► From Vice — Republicans have realized that forcing people to give birth is wildly unpopularRepublican candidates, many of whom began their runs for office this year trying to out-extreme each other on their anti-abortion views, are very quickly discovering that those positions aren’t palatable to the overwhelming majority of their constituents. Spooked by polls showing that control of the Senate is effectively a toss-up, as well as the Kansas abortion referendum and House special elections where Democrats are overperforming President Joe Biden’s 2020 showing, Republican candidates are now reportedly gutting their websites of their previously hard-line positions on abortion. 

The Stand (June 27) — Amid attacks on abortion rights, unions must fight back




► From Fast Company — Inside the drive top bring ‘cultural workers’ into the labor movement — The idea of “the labor movement” can feel amorphous, something happening in the background that most workers are disconnected from. But on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, that movement became visceral. “We want the PMA workers to know that they are not alone,” AFSCME President Lee Saunders says into the mic, a sea of green AFSCME T-shirts in front of him. “They are part of a proud union, we call it the Mean Green Machine. They are part of the AFL-CIO family—millions of workers across this country.”

► From Art Forum — Columbus Museum of Art staff push to unionize — The announcement was attended by roughly 100 employees and was followed by the delivery to CMA’s management of a letter seeking recognition of the staff union, formed under the auspices of AFSCME.

► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO Sports Council celebrates MLBPA’s Minor League Players Union campaign launch — Minor League players represent the future of the sport, and for far too long, their labor has been underpaid and undervalued. “It is our pleasure to support and welcome the Minor League players into the labor movement,” said NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. “When we launched our AFL-CIO Sports Council, this is exactly the type of historic advancement of workers organizing we envisioned. Our union will do everything we can to support their efforts.”

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 Vox — How unions are winning again, in 4 charts — A series of recent data suggests that recent union gains are more than just headlines. From election wins to collective actions, 2022 has so far been a great year for unions. In the first half of the year, unions won 641 elections — the most in nearly 20 years, according to data from Bloomberg Law, which analyzes NLRB data.

► From the USA Today — ‘They are working harder than ever’: How much should you tip hotel housekeepers — “Housekeeping is a challenging, messy job that is sometimes invisible,” said UNITE HERE’s Tiffany Ten Eyck. “Housekeepers are the backbone of the ideal hotel experience, where you can relax and know that your room is clean and amenities are restocked. Tips, whether big or small, make an impact on housekeepers financially and provide a thanks for a job well done that workers truly appreciate.”




► From Newsweek — Workers allegedly threatened with jail if they don’t work overtime — Scaffolders at a Canadian oil mine could allegedly be jailed for refusing to work overtime, according to a company memo circulating online… AlumaSafway’s memo starkly detailed the potential consequences of defying this order. Scaffolders who continued to refuse overtime work could face termination, a hiring ban, legal action seeking damages and contempt of court proceedings, resulting in “the possibility of fines and even potentially jail.”


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

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!