Tuesday, October 4, 2022
► From Marine Insight — Britain’s most hated boss, Peter Hebblethwaite drops off Seattle ferry panel after union pressure — Britain’s most hated boss, P&O Ferries CEO Peter Hebblethwaite has dropped off the panel of an industry event following public pressure from the international labour movement and U.S. government representatives. The disgraced CEO was scheduled to appear at the 46th Interferry Conference in Seattle on Monday, however Interferry CEO Mike Corrigan confirmed that, “Mr. Hebblethwaite is not able to participate at our conference.”
The Stand (Sept. 30) — ‘Most hated man in Britain’ will no longer attend Seattle event
► From KUOW — Starbucks workers have unionized at record speed; many fear retaliation now — Starbucks workers are busy this fall, and not just with making pumpkin spice lattes. This month, workers from hundreds of unionized Starbucks stores are expected to sit down for collective bargaining for the first time, while others will vote in still more union elections to come.
TODAY at The Stand — Jayapal joins lawmakers urging Starbucks against union-busting — Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash., 7th) joined more than 30 members of Congress on Monday in signing a letter to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz requesting a fair bargaining process for all Starbucks employees and expressing “great concern” about National Labor Relations Board charges that Starbucks is withholding pay and benefit increases from workers actively unionizing across its U.S. stores.
► An update from More Perfect Union…
BREAKING: Starbucks workers in Santa Maria, California, have voted to unionize.
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) October 3, 2022
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 More Perfect Union — Apple ramps up union-busting ahead of latest Apple store union election — Workers at an Apple store in Oklahoma City will vote in a union election on Oct. 13 and 14 in a bid to become the second unionized Apple store in the country and the first to unionize with the CWA. Oklahoma City workers say they’ve faced a series of escalating anti-union tactics from management, including regular one-on-one “walk and talk” conversations between managers and workers, roundtable discussions about unionization, and, most recently, an influx of additional managers in the store.
► From Vice — Amazon’s $3,200-per-day union busters say this is the best spot for steak and caviar in Albany — Images show a whiteboard in a conference room used by the consultants, who wear brightly-colored warehouse vests to try to blend in with employees. On the whiteboard is what appears to be a list of recommended restaurant options in Albany for the consultants who fly into town to prevent unionization before traveling to a different warehouse in another part of the country to do the same. Recommendations on the list include casual dining restaurants like Ted’s Fish Fry, but also more expensive options like Delmonico’s (“for steak,” according to the whiteboard) or 677 Prime, which according to its website is “upstate New York’s premiere steakhouse” and offers a $179 A5 Japanese Wagyu filet, $40 per ounce “Snow Aged” Japanese Wagyu, and caviar for $165 on its menu.
► From Reuters — Exclusive: Boeing doesn’t expect MAX 10 to gain FAA approval before summer 2023 — Boeing does not anticipate winning approval for the 737 MAX 10 before next summer, according to a FAA letter sent on Monday that intensifies concerns about the company’s timeline for deliveries. Boeing faces a December deadline to win regulatory approval for the MAX 10, which is slightly larger than current 737 MAXs in service, as well as for a smaller variant, the MAX 7. Unless it gains an extension from Congress, Boeing must meet new modern cockpit-alerting requirements that could significantly delay the planes’ entry into service.
► From KING — Washington state’s minimum wage to increase $1.25 in 2023 — The minimum wage in Washington state will jump up to $15.74 in January, an $1.25 increase from its current level. State law ties Washington’s minimum wage to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index. The state Department of Labor and Industries calculates the minimum wage by comparing the Consumer Price Index for August, year over year.
The Stand (Sept. 30, 2022) — State minimum wage adjustment protects workers, communities — WSLC President Larry Brown:
“The voter-approved cost-of-living adjustment to our minimum wage ensures that workers and families don’t fall further behind when inflation is eating away at paychecks. This adjustment will help them keep up with the higher costs of food, housing, transportation, and other basic necessities. It will also boost the economies of our local communities where these wages are spent. Washington voters approved these automatic adjustments to take the politics out of minimum wage policy, and it is working just as the people of Washington intended.”
► From the Seattle Times — Job openings in WA grew rapidly this summer. That’s not good news — The rise in job openings, coupled with record low unemployment, indicates that employers are likely struggling to staff up or retain workers. While that’s good news for workers looking to switch jobs, it means businesses may continue to raise prices to afford the higher pay their employees can command in such a tight labor market.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Higher wages is good news. Any company with a business model that relies on low-wage workers who get few benefits should be rethinking that model.
► From Politico — Key GOP donor backs Dem after House Republican ousted over Trump impeachment — Democratic congressional candidate Marie Gluesenkamp Perez’s campaign team confirmed David Nierenberg has raised over $100,000 for her campaign from his network of moderate Republican donors since the August primary. But the money is only part of the story in a district that has been center stage in the fight for moderate Republican voters — and for the future of the GOP. The southwestern Washington district, which Trump narrowly carried in 2020, has become a battle over party extremism.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Marie Gluesenkamp Perez has been endorsed by the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
► From Crosscut — New poll illustrates the depth of Washington’s political divide (by H. Stuart Elway) — One striking finding is that Republican and Democratic voters do not seem to be participating in the same election. For Republicans, this is a referendum on Democrats’ rule (Biden/Pelosi/AOC), which is typical for a midterm election. For Democrats, the election is a choice between Donald Trump (and Trumpism) and not Trump. For Republicans, the election in Washington is about the economy and crime. For Democrats it is about abortion, climate and protecting democracy. For both sides, it’s us vs. them. And keeping “them” out of power.
► From the Wall Street Journal — U.N. calls on Fed, other central banks to halt interest-rate increases — The Federal Reserve and other central banks risk pushing the global economy into recession followed by prolonged stagnation if they keep raising interest rates, a United Nations agency said Monday. The warning comes amid growing unease about the haste with which the Fed and its counterparts are raising borrowing costs to contain surging inflation.
► From NPR — The landmark Voting Rights Act faces further dismantling at the Supreme Court — Since 2013, the Supreme Court has twice struck down or neutered major portions of the act. Now, once again, the law is on the chopping block — this time on the question of how state legislatures may draw congressional district lines when the state’s voters are racially polarized.
► From Reuters — Biden to set new U.S. guidelines on reproductive rights, 100 days after Roe v Wade — U.S. President Joe Biden will announce new guidelines and grants to protect reproductive rights on Tuesday, and describe how abortion rights have been curtailed since the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to terminating pregnancies.
► From The Hill — VA wades into abortion battle with contentious new rule — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is wading into tense territory with a new rule essentially making the agency an abortion provider, facing the wrath of GOP lawmakers and likely legal challenges.
► From Forbes — Striketober is back as workers fight to close the wage gap — Workers across the country are joining picket lines to secure higher wages, affordable healthcare and better working conditions at a rate that might outpace last year’s explosion of strike activity. In 2021, the wave of workers who walked off the job during October inspired the term “Striketober,” and since then strike activity has grown. Since the start of 2022, there have been more than 280 strikes—up from 158 during the same period last year, according to Cornell University’s Labor Action Tracker.
► From the Spokesman-Review — Farmworkers face deadly risks getting to and from the fields (by Richard Longo) — Transportation incidents are the leading cause of work-related death for farm workers. It is imperative that we stop this trend. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is committed to improving compliance, so we are sure that the produce and other farm products we enjoy have not been picked by a farmworker who was injured or killed simply by trying to get to and from the fields.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.