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Homegrown workers file | Starbucks is vicious | $1.3M Union Difference

Wednesday, October 12, 2022




► From The Stranger — Hey, Homegrown bosses, we’re filing to unionize (an Open Letter to CEO Brad Gillis from the Homegrown Union Committee) — Exactly 129 days ago we presented you with a majority petition requesting a fair process to decide whether to form a union. Since then, we’ve listened to our managers parrot that they “respect us,” and that they “hear us.” But words without actions ring hollow. We still do NOT feel heard, nor do we feel respected. The concerns that brought us together to form a union have not been addressed. You have yet to show your face to us or meaningfully respond to our demand that these jobs become sustainable. We have waited over four months for you to do the right thing, but we are now done waiting.

► From the Nisqually Valley News — Weyerhaeuser employees remain on strike as negotiations continueFour Five weeks into the union-wide Weyerhaeuser strike, employees on strike in Rainier didn’t sound hopeful that a deal would be reached in a timely manner. The strike began on Sept. 12 after the union employees were presented contracts by the company that fell short of their requests. Steve Miller, an operations supervisor at Weyerhaeuser (and member of IAMAW W130), said the contract presented by the company fell short of employees’ expectations:

“With the increases in cost of living, we just can’t keep up with that. It’s especially tough when you’re having to co-pay your insurance and health care, which was unaffordable in the first place.”

The Stand (Oct. 7) — Striking Weyco workers reject company offer

TAKE A STAND — The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO and the Oregon AFL-CIO are urging all union members and other supporters of the strikers to step up and show Weyerhaeuser that the community has these workers’ backs. Here’s how you — and your union — can show solidarity with the IAMAW strikers:

1) Contribute to this GoFundMe fundraiser to support families of striking Weyerhaeuser workers.

2) Please sign this petition to tell Weyerhaeuser: Timber workers and their families deserve living wages, good health care, and a secure retirement!

3) Join picket lines at Weyerhaeuser facilities and donating food/supplies at the these locations.

► From the Kitsap Sun — Faced with an overwhelmed ER, a St. Michael Medical Center nurse called 911 for help — St. Michael Medical Center’s beleaguered emergency room became so overwhelmed on Saturday night that a nurse at the facility made an unusual, desperate plea for help. It came in the form of a call to 911. Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue Chief Jay Christian described the call:

“The charge nurse expressed two times that they feel like they’re drowning because they had over 45 patients in the waiting room and only five nurses. She said, ‘We’re in dire straits, we need the fire department help, can somebody come up here and help us?’”

Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue sent a crew to the hospital, and two firefighters worked in the emergency room for about an hour and a half, Christian said. They cleaned rooms and beds, moved patients and took vital signs.




► MUST-READ from Bloomberg — Starbucks ex-manager testifies he was told to punish pro-union workers — A former Starbucks store manager in New York said he was instructed to single out and discipline pro-union employees for unrelated reasons, such as wearing purple pants. David Almond, who managed a series of Buffalo-area cafes, testified under oath to a NLRB judge in August that Starbucks higher-ups listed names of employees the company had determined supported the union, and told him to punish them. The transcript of Almond’s testimony was obtained by Bloomberg through a Freedom of Information Act request. In one case, a district manager asked him whether a particular person on the list had committed any past infractions. When Almond responded that this person was a great employee, his superior told him to come up with something:

“She said go through her files. She’s a long-term partner. I’m sure there’s something in there we can use against her.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Your daily reminder that this is AGAINST THE LAW. Starbucks continues to knowingly break the law on the advice of union-busting consultants who’ve instructed them that the penalties are weak and can be delayed for years with legal appeals (while the consultants continue to rack up millions in fees). It’s cruel, despicable and ILLEGAL.

► From Jacobin — Starbucks’s Howard Schultz isn’t a caring liberal boss. He’s a vicious union buster. (by John Logan) — Reading the Washington Post’s recent profile of Howard Schultz, you might be convinced of the Starbucks CEO’s benevolent, liberal image. But his unrelenting drive to smash the Starbucks union shows he’s no different from any other greedy corporate leader.




► From Crosscut — Why aren’t national Dems bankrolling WA’s 3rd Congressional race? — Marie Gluesenkamp Perez is trailing Trump-backed Republican Joe Kent in fundraising. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee isn’t helping.

► Editorial endorsements from the (Everett) Herald:

U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene a proven bipartisan legislator, leader
John Lovick worthy of full term in state Senate for 44th
Reps. Brandy Donaghy, April Berg effective lawmakers for 44th




► From the SW Washington CLC — What can we do about the high cost of living? (Working to Live podcast with guests Duncan Camacho and John Zingale) — It’s no secret that things are tough out there. The cost of everything seems to be on the rise, and working people are feeling the pinch. Two Southwest Washington union members who are running for the state House of Representatives sit down with Shannon and Harold to talk about what can be done to fix the high cost of living.

► From Working WA — How accurate are employer predictions about the impacts of the minimum wage? — A quick review of the outcomes of such predictions over the years clearly shows that employer speculations about the minimum wage are more akin to dystopian science fiction than to a high-quality economic forecast.




► From the AFL-CIO — Proposed labor rule a victory for working people — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on the Department of Labor’s proposed rule to expand employee classification:

“Today, the Biden administration once again delivered on its promise to put working people first. By restoring commonsense rules to determine who is an employee, and making it harder for employers to intentionally misclassify their employees as independent contractors, the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) announcement will increase protections and expand benefits to so many working people who have been subjected to corporate work-arounds. Too many companies put profits over people, intentionally misclassifying their workers as contractors to avoid providing the pay, overtime, workplace rights and benefits that employees are due under labor and employment laws. This proposed rule will ensure DOL has the tools to protect employees against the current and escalating problem of misclassification.

“While today’s announcement is a major step forward, we know there is still so much more to do to make our economy more fair and equitable. The AFL-CIO and its allies will continue to push for legislation and regulations to give workers the rights they deserve.”

► From Reuters — Legal challenges could hamper U.S. rule to limit independent contracting — Business groups will almost certainly file lawsuits in an attempt to delay or derail a rule proposed by the Biden administration on Tuesday that would limit companies’ use of independent contractors, experts said.

► From Reuters — Biden labor proposal shakes up gig economy that relies on contractors — A U.S. Department of Labor rule proposed Tuesday would make it more difficult for companies to treat workers as independent contractors, a change that is expected to shake up ride-hailing, delivery and other industries that rely on gig workers.




► From Business Insider — Being in a union means you could make $1.3 million more over your lifetime — If you want to make a million more dollars over your lifetime, there’s one solution: Join a union. That’s according to a new paper in Cornell University’s ILR Review. Researchers examined the advantages of being part of a union throughout your entire career. To quantify the impact of unionization on lifetime earnings, they used the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which tracks some Americans every several years. The result was the $1.3 million premium for workers who spent their whole careers in unions, even though those workers were more likely to retire earlier.

The Stand (Jan. 20, 2022) — Unions post big gains in Washington state

EDITOR’S NOTE — Ready to start making your extra million? 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 Jacobin — Alabama miners are holding firm on the longest ongoing strike in the U.S. — Miners in Alabama went on strike in April 2021 after the company hit them with wage and benefit cuts. A year and a half later, with the company continuing to post record profits, the miners and their families are still on strike — and still refusing to back down.

► From the NY Times — Companies hoarding workers could be good news for the economy — Policymakers are hoping that after struggling through the worst labor shortages America has experienced in at least several decades, employers will be hesitant to lay off workers even when the economy cools.

► From Jacobin — For proof Reaganomics was a sham, look to American CEOs’ pay — Nearly forty years on, it’s sometimes said that trickle-down economics didn’t work — a statement that technically rings true if we go by its own official rhetoric. An alternative, and more accurate framing might be that it actually has worked as an effective means for the upward redistribution of wealth, which was more or less the whole point all along. Nowhere is that better illustrated than in the growth of CEO pay, which has jumped nearly 1,500 percent since 1978. It had nothing to do with hard work or greater productivity. Corporate bosses simply grabbed what they could.

The Stand (Oct. 5) — CEO-to-worker pay ratio hits all-time high


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!