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Weyco’s greed | Apprenticeship grants | Geico: Call the cops

Tuesday, September 20, 2022




The Stand (Sept. 19) — Weyerhaeuser strike continues; join action Tuesday in Seattle — More than 1,100 Weyerhaeuser employees represented by IAMAW District W24 continue their strike against the nation’s largest forest products company

► From the Seattle Times — Seattle educators extend contract voting window, will release results Tuesday morning — Six days after suspending a strike against Seattle Public Schools, Seattle teachers met Monday night to vote on a three-year contract. However, the Seattle Education Association said in a news release Monday night that results will not be announced and certified until 9 on Tuesday morning.

EDITOR’S NOTE — And the results are in…

► From the Olympian — Long COVID for WA health systems? ‘Hospitals are struggling and will be for awhile’ — The pandemic’s toll has not ended for many hospitals in Washington state, even with fewer COVID-19 cases to treat. Hospitals are struggling to cope with high patient loads that are not COVID-related. Loss of staff over the course of the pandemic has left its mark. Employees have left from burnout, long-COVID or death, rejection of vaccine mandates or to earn more money as traveling staff, among other reasons. Staffing shortage means fewer beds available for patients.

► From the PSBJ — Ambulance company to lay off 123 workers as it shuts down in Washington — Falck Northwest Corp., an ambulance services company, is set to lay off 123 Puget Sound-area employees as it closes down its Washington operations.




► From L&I — L&I awards more than $1.8 million in first round of grants to support apprenticeships — The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries recently began issuing the grants to apprenticeship programs and non-profit organizations that support them. The funds expand access and improve apprenticeship experiences across the state. It’s the first round of more than $8 million in grants available through the end of this fiscal year. In total, it’s among the largest amounts L&I has distributed for registered apprenticeships.




► From the (Everett) Herald — Shavers in 10th, Cortes in 38th House districts (editorial) — The Herald’s editorial board begins its endorsements with two state House races in newly redrawn districts. Clyde Shavers is an Oak Harbor resident running as a Democrat for 10th Legislative District Pos. 1. As the Legislature looks at potential changes to the state’s package of taxes, Shavers is interested how taxes can be made more fair and less regressive, providing tax relief to lower- and middle-class families… The Herald also endorses Democrat Julio Cortes in the race for 38th Legislative District Pos. 1. Cortes also expressed interest in addressing the state’s package of taxes to address its regressiveness, while assuring more equitable funding for school districts, particularly in rural areas, such as what he experienced attending schools in Wapato, recognized as one of the state’s poorest regions. Cortes should be able to draw on his work within a diverse community that will help serve his district and its communities while broadening its representation.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Both Shavers and Cortes are also endorsed by the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

TODAY at The Stand Volunteer now to help protect our freedoms — Labor Neighbor’s fall schedule announced. Sign up now to participate!




► From The Hill — Swing-state Republicans on defense over Graham’s abortion ban — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced legislation that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy across the country, with few exceptions. His announcement came roughly two months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Public backlash to the decision has grown since then, with numerous polls showing that a majority of Americans disagreed with the high court’s move.

EDITOR’S NOTE — In Washington state, Republican Senate candidate Tiffany Smiley has praised the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade and supports Texas’ near-total ban on abortion. And as registered nurse Ashley Fedan pointed out in a recent News Tribune op-ed

Smiley is far from the only extreme anti-choice candidate running in Washington this fall. U.S. House candidates this cycle include Joe Kent in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, who called abortion an “evil stain on our humanity,” and Matt Larkin in the 8th District, who has said he only supports abortion when a mother’s life is in danger and that he doesn’t believe in making exceptions in cases of rape or incest. State House Rep. Jesse Young, who sponsored a bill to make abortion a felony in Washington, is running for state Senate.

The Stand (June 27, 2022) — Amid attacks on abortion rights, unions must fight back (by Shaunie Wheeler James and Cherika Carter) — We have the tools to transform protests into concrete actions defending bodily autonomy.

► From CNN — These male politicians are pushing for women who receive abortions to be punished with prison time — Under a bill Louisiana Republicans promoted, pregnant people could face murder charges even if they were raped or doctors determined the procedure was needed to save their own life. Only one man and one woman, an Independent and a Democrat, voted against the bill in committee. Seven men on the committee, all Republicans, voted in favor of the bill, moving it one step closer to becoming law.

► From CNN — Arizona judge to rule on law that would ban nearly all abortions in the state

EDITOR’S NOTE — A related tweet…

► From KIMA — Social Security checks might take big jump; still might lag inflation’s impact on retirees — One Social Security and Medicare policy analyst is forecasting an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment for the coming year. That would give recipients an average monthly bump of around $144.

► From the NY Times — ‘Very harmful’ lack of data blunts U.S. response to outbreaks — Decades of underinvestment in public health information systems has crippled efforts to understand the pandemic, stranding crucial data in incompatible data systems so outmoded that information often must be repeatedly typed in by hand. The data failure, a salient lesson of a pandemic that has killed more than one million Americans, will be expensive and time-consuming to fix.

► From the NY Times — Arrests at southwestern border exceed 2 million in a year for the first time — For the first time, the number of arrests of undocumented immigrants along the southwestern border exceeded two million in one year, according to newly released government data, continuing a historic pace of undocumented immigrants coming to the country.

► From the NY Times — Criminal investigation is opened after migrant flights to Martha’s Vineyard — The sheriff of Bexar County, Texas, said it was clear that many of the 48 migrants flown to Massachusetts had been misled and lured away to score political points.




► From Vice — GEICO tells workers they have ‘right to contact police’ if union organizers visit their houseA worker-led GEICO union in Buffalo says the insurance company suggested workers call the cops on union organizers if they are made to feel “uncomfortable” or harassed, has removed union information from its office, and has sent a series of emails discouraging workers from joining the union.

► From the Guardian — ‘We’ve moved backwards’: Librarians face unprecedented attacks amid rightwing book bans — Right-wing extremist parent groups that formed to oppose masks during the pandemic, only to pivot to the fight against “critical race theory,”have now begun to focus on scrutinizing books, often by and about queer and Black people, and lobbying for their removal from library shelves. For many librarians, the stress has become unbearable. Increasing numbers are complaining of sleepless nights, quitting their jobs and setting their social media accounts to private in order to protect themselves from the deluge of harassment and humiliation tactics.


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