Tuesday, September 27, 2022
► From the Missoula Current — Weyerhaeuser union worker strike enters 11th day with no end in sight — Timber giant Weyerhaeuser has found itself in hot water with unionized employees for the first time in 36 years, as over 1,100 union workers have walked off the job in 14 locations across Washington state and Oregon over low wage increases, increased health premiums and cut vacation time. Friday marked the 11th day of the strike and Weyerhaeuser — once described as a local, family-focused company — may be waiting its workers out… In a January press release, Weyerhaeuser reported “record net earning of $2.6 billion, or $3.47 per diluted share, on net sales of $10.2 billion” — roughly a 226% increase from its “net earnings of $797 million on net sales of $7.5 billion for the full year of 2020.”
TODAY at The Stand — Rally in Seattle on 9/29 with Weyco strikers — Solidarity rally Thursday to demand Weyerhaeuser agree to a fair contract. More than 1,100 Weyerhaeuser employees represented by IAMAW District W24 have been on strike for two weeks now.
► From the AP — Starbucks says it wants union bargaining to begin — Starbucks said Monday that it wants to start contract negotiations next month at hundreds of U.S. stores that have voted to unionize. The Seattle coffee giant said it sent letters to 234 stores offering a three-week window in October to start negotiations. A Workers United spokesperson said unionized stores have reached out to Starbucks to begin negotiations since May, but have received no reply.
Over the next two weeks, we will be unveiling a set of CORE non-economic proposals after a process by which thousands of union Starbucks workers brainstormed, drafted, and revised the proposals.
The first one we are unveiling is… the Right to Organize! pic.twitter.com/qfk18UtftX
— SBWorkersUnited (@SBWorkersUnited) September 26, 2022
► From the Spokesman-Review — Shortage of corrections officers could force closure of Geiger — A staffing shorting may force Spokane County to close the Geiger Corrections Center in Airway Heights, Detention Services Director Mike Sparber told Spokane County commissioners last week.
NEW: This is the most important under-the-radar congressional race in 2022.
Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, a working class auto shop owner, is taking on a white-nationalist sympathizer in rural Washington.
An unconventional approach has her on the verge of a stunning upset. pic.twitter.com/hBKesMd4pw
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) September 26, 2022
EDITOR’S NOTE — The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO has endorsed Marie Gluesenkamp Perez in the 3rd Congressional District.
► From Crosscut — WA schools ask for more time to spend $2.6B in COVID relief — Programs to address students’ social-emotional needs rely on continued access to the funds, superintendents say.
► From the NY Times — Lawmakers propose measure to avert government shutdown this week — Top lawmakers proposed a stopgap funding package on Monday night that would avert a government shutdown at the end of the week and set aside a major new round of emergency aid to Ukraine to defend itself against Russia.
► From HuffPost — Hill staffers form first union inside Congress — The new Congressional Workers Union says Rep. Andy Levin’s office voted unanimously in favor of unionizing.
► From SF Gate — 1,000 SFO restaurant workers go on strike — Restaurant workers at San Francisco International Airport declared a general strike early Monday morning after more than nine months of negotiations with their employers.
► From Philly Voice — Philly art museum workers resume strike in effort to secure better wages, benefits in first union contract — Union has been in contract negotiations since October 2020, but claims management has “failed to take meaningful action” on important issues.
Corn Nuts workers are on day 43 of their strike.
They walked out to demand better health insurance after Hormel slashed their benefits.
Workers say they’ve been skipping doctors appts—even cancer treatments—because they can’t afford it. pic.twitter.com/y0vVvOmQf1
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) September 27, 2022
► From Politico — Minimum wage increases on tap for 2023 — Eleven states (plus D.C.) will be bumping up their minimum wages due at least partially to inflation. For example, Colorado this month announced its statewide rate will surge nearly 8.7% from $12.56 to $13.65.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington is expected to announce its state minimum wage adjustment for 2023 on Friday.
The Stand (Sept. 26) — EPI: Raise the minimum wage to protect low-wage workers
► From The Hill — CDC no longer recommends universal masking in health facilities — The CDC no longer recommends universal masking in health care settings, unless the facilities are in areas of high COVID-19 transmission. The agency quietly issued the updates as part of an overhaul to its infection control guidance for health workers published late Friday afternoon. It marks a major departure from the agency’s previous recommendation for universal masking.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Masking in healthcare facilities is still required, for now, in Washington state.
► From Politico — Appeals court blocks California ban on for-profit prisons — California Attorney General Rob Bonta had asked the larger appellate panel to reconsider a ruling.
► From the Washington Post — Staffing shortages continue to plague schools, data shows — More than half of public school principals participating in a national survey reported being understaffed as classes started in August, according to federal data released Tuesday that come as another sign of persistent employee vacancies in schools.
► From the Atlantic — Teachers, nurses, and child-care workers have had enough — Nowhere is this burnout crisis worse than in the caring professions. An untold number of nurses, teachers, and child-care workers are asking themselves Is this worth it? and deciding that it is not. Nurses are walking off their jobs and quitting in droves, while those still at the bedside are experiencing high rates of depression. Shortages of teachers are prompting some school districts to institute four-day weeks and hire educators without a college degree, and more than half of educators report wanting to quit. The child-care workforce is shrinking, spurring parents to camp out overnight to win coveted day-care spots and pushing mothers out of the workforce… As workers across the caring professions have left, conditions for those remaining on the job have gotten worse—a kind of flywheel immiserating many of our economy’s most essential workers.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.