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Union power: 31% raises | Amazon loses | Ready? Not.

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Friday, September 2, 2022

 


LOCAL

 

► From the Seattle Times — Seattle Children’s nurses new contract brings ‘unprecedented’ raises — Seattle Children’s nurses on Thursday night voted to approve a new three-year contract that includes significant raises over the next year, particularly for newly graduated nurses. The new Children’s contract is a result of 12 bargaining sessions, an informational picket and hundreds of hours of negotiation, as hospital nurses fought for higher wages, more generous leaves of absence and clearer language around meal and rest breaks. The vote to approve passed “overwhelmingly,” said Washington State Nurses Association spokesperson Bobbi Nodell. Under the new contract, all nurses will receive a $6 per hour raise over the first year, an additional $4 per hour increase in the second year and 3% raise in the third year. By the end of the third year, the final year of the new contract, the base rate for nurses will have increased 31%, from a current rate of $36.21 per hour to $47.60.

EDITOR’S NOTE — How do raises like that sound to you? Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate for better wages and working conditions. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today.

► From the (Everett) Herald — Support Herald newsroom workers’ efforts to unionize (letter) — About 95 percent of newsroom employees signed union cards. But when they requested recognition from their employer, Sound Publishing declined. Now they’re moving forward with a union election monitored by the National Labor Relations Board. Sound Publishing must not interfere. And we as readers should fully support Herald journalists’ efforts to unionize.

 


EDUCATION

 

► From the Kent Reporter — Day 7 of Kent teachers’ strike: No school on Friday, Sept. 2 — The union representing the striking teachers accused the Kent School District of “playing shell games” during negotiations to reach a new contract agreement.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Kent Education Association members will be attending a community support picnic TODAY (Friday) between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at Service Club Ballfields and Park, 14608 SE 288th St. in Kent. Picket lines are up as always this morning, but will close in time for strikers to make their way to the park.

► From the Peninsula Daily News — Port Angeles educators to strike Tuesday if no pact reached — Students, educators, staff and administrators arrived Thursday for the first day of school, but it might end up being a very short return if the Port Angeles Education Association and the Port Angeles School District cannot come to a tentative agreement about a new contract in the next few days.

► From the union-busting Columbian — Washougal teachers contract in limbo; union says COLA is sticking pointWashougal Association of Educators members began the 2022-23 school year without a contract after failing to reach an agreement with the Washougal School District by Tuesday’s first day of school.

► From KING — Seattle, Highline school districts struggle to hire enough bus drivers — Highline Public Schools is accepting applications for drivers. On the district’s website, it says new hires can make about $30 an hour.

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► From the Seattle Times — Job No. 1: Ensure every Washington worker goes home safe at the end of the day (by L&I Director Joel Sacks) — As we approach the Labor Day weekend, remember the risks that workers face across the state, including the pandemic, high heat, wildfire smoke, construction falls, hazardous workloads in warehouses and other dangers. As new industries grow, new hazards grow with them. And from those early days on remote logging work sites through today’s pandemic, L&I has responded in real time to the threats workers face.

► From the Yakima H-R — L&I stakeholders give feedback on proposed year-round heat protection rules — The Department of Labor and Industries received plenty of feedback during its final presentation of its proposed heat rules for outdoor workers. The new, year-around rules would replace permanent rules from 2008 that only apply from May to September.

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From the Washington Post — Biden warns U.S. faces powerful threat from anti-democratic forces — President Biden, in a prime-time address, says Trump and “MAGA Republicans” are mounting a dangerous attack on the country’s values, and Americans must fight back.

► From the AFL-CIO — Extremist efforts to erode democracy are a wake-up call for America — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler:

“Tonight, President Biden issued a wake-up call to America. The ongoing extremist threats to erode democracy and voting rights are a grave danger to all the gains working people have fought for and won over generations. They jeopardize our ability to stand together to fight for an equitable future for our families.”

TODAY at The Stand AFL-CIO launches ‘largest organizing drive in history’ to mobilize workers for elections

► From the Spokesman-Review — Stuck in the two-step, McMorris Rodgers props up false election doubts (by Shawn Vestal) — At a town hall in Spokane, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was asked about the fever that infects her party: the idea that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. This was mere days after the former president again demanded, insanely, that he be declared the winner of the last election, or that he be given a mulligan to try again. Step one: “I don’t believe ‘the Big Lie,’ as such,” McMorris Rodgers said, after a member of the audience asked her about it. Step two: “But there were significant irregularities in the election.” Chef’s kiss.

► From the Washington Post — Labor market added 315,000 jobs in August, a bright spot in the economy — A stellar 20 consecutive months of sustained job growth more than recovered the millions of jobs lost during the pandemic.

► From The Guardian — The U.S. has a ruling class – and Americans must stand up to it (by Sen. Bernie Sanders) — Let’s be clear. The most important economic and political issues facing this country are the extraordinary levels of income and wealth inequality, the rapidly growing concentration of ownership, the long-term decline of the American middle class and the evolution of this country into oligarchy… Let us have the courage to stand together and fight back against corporate greed. Let us fight back against massive income and wealth inequality. Let us fight back against a corrupt political system. Let us stand together and finally create an economy and a government that works for all, not just the 1%.

► MUST-READ from the NY Times — Can you drown government in an empty bathtub? (by Paul Krugman) — On Monday the water supply to Jackson, Mississippi’s capital and largest city, collapsed. Much of the city has no running water at all; nowhere in the city is the water safe to drink. And it’s not clear when service will be restored… This neglect (of the city’s water system) was essentially a political decision. Imagining that tax cuts will bring prosperity to a poorly educated state that can’t even provide its capital with running water is just delusional. But Republicans, believing that they can win elections by riling up the base with social issues like attacks on wokeness, have doubled down on right-wing economics. Congressional candidates are once again talking about repealing Obamacare and privatizing Social Security. And Republican-run states have gone beyond cutting social programs to eviscerating public services Americans have taken for granted for many generations, services like public education — and drinkable water.

 


STARBUCKS

 

► From Bloomberg — AFL-CIO’s Shuler says Starbucks tactics show labor reform is needed — The head of the largest U.S. trade-union federation said that moves by Starbucks and Amazon against their workers’ attempts to organize show why labor reform is necessary to allow employees to more easily join unions. “The fundamentals of labor law are broken,” Liz Shuler, president of AFL-CIO, said at a Christian Science Monitor event Thursday in Washington. “Labor-law reform is needed.”

► From Jacobin — In response to union-busting, workers at a Chicago Starbucks went on strike — Starbucks has carried out a vicious national union-busting campaign, but Starbucks workers have responded with strikes across the country (including in Seattle and Everett). We spoke to a Chicago barista about why she and her coworkers walked off the job.

► From the Seattle Times — Starbucks announces new CEO to replace Howard Schultz — Longtime consumer products executive Laxman Narasimhan will succeed Howard Schultz as Starbucks CEO, replacing the three-time chief executive this fall.

 


NATIONAL

 

► From NPR — Amazon loses key step in its attempt to reverse its workers’ historic union vote — After workers in Staten Island, N.Y., voted to join the Amazon Labor Union this spring, the company appealed the result. A federal labor official presided over weeks of hearings on the case and is now recommending that Amazon’s objections be rejected in their entirety and that the union should be certified.

► From the Christian Science Monitor — Union rebound? AFL-CIO’s Shuler sees promise, long road ahead — A new poll shows a near-record 71% of Americans approve of labor unions, up from 64% just before the pandemic. Yet that Gallup poll stands in contrast to some raw math: Just 1 in 10 workers on U.S. payrolls are union members, half the level seen four decades ago. AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler wants to bridge that gap – starting by adding a million new people to union ranks over the next 10 years.

► From the Detroit Metro Times — Workers at Michigan’s largest cannabis company voted to form a union — A Lume Cannabis Co. dispensary in Monroe elected to form a union with UFCW.

► From the NY Times — Architects at a New York firm form industry’s only private-sector union — Workers at Bernheimer Architecture said they hoped to prompt changes to industrywide problems like long hours and low pay.

► From The Verge — Another Apple Store union election is brewing — Workers at a store in Oklahoma City have filed to hold a vote

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 the LA Times — Give fast-food workers some say on the job (editorial) — California is on the cusp of experimenting with a new system — a statewide council made up of fast-food workers, franchisees and franchisors that would set minimum standards for wages, hours and working conditions for people who work at restaurants with at least 100 locations nationally. It doesn’t directly form a union for fast-food workers, but sets the stage for that possibility down the line. Lawmakers sent this proposal to Gov. Gavin Newsom. He should sign it into law and give fast-food workers a voice in shaping conditions for their industry across the state.

► From the Washington Post — Bosses want workers back by Labor Day. They’re not going in without a fight.Managers are eager to get back in the driver’s seat. But employees still have plenty of leverage and they’re not afraid to use it to keep working remotely.

 


T.G.I.F.

 

► When the Fugees announced earlier this year that they had cancelled their highly anticipated worldwide tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of their classic (and final) album The Score, they blamed COVID complicating touring conditions. But this week, Eriq Gardner at Puck tells the true story. Pras Michel, the “third Fugee,” is facing significant jail time over his connection to Jho Low, the disgraced Malaysian financier. The feds allege Michel tried to influence U.S. officials on Low’s behalf by, among other things, funneling $865,000 into President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign through straw donors. Michel’s D.C. court trial begins Nov. 4, but under his bail conditions, the Justice Department wouldn’t let him leave the country. So no Fugees tour. He reportedly turned down a plea bargain on lesser charges to serve 16 months in jail, and if convicted, now faces up to 20 years.

The Entire Staff of The Stand had the great pleasure of seeing Lauryn Hill’s intimate 2016 performance at Seattle’s Showbox. We would have loved to see her and the boys back together. But now we might have to wait until 2042. That’s also the year we may finally hear back from the aliens of Super Earth. Until then, at least we have this…

 


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

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