Tuesday, October 18, 2022
► From the Seattle Times — Tacoma Art Museum workers push to unionize — Workers at the Tacoma Art Museum are moving to join the Washington Federation of State Employees and become the state’s first museum with unionized workers across departments. About a dozen workers announced the effort Monday, gathering outdoors across the street from the museum in an event also attended by local and state labor leaders. If they obtain union representation, TAM’s workers would bargain for increased wages and benefits, more transparency from higher ups and more say in institutional decisions that affect them, according to the three-worker committee elected by the workers to organize for them.
TODAY at The Stand — Tacoma Art Museum workers are unionizing
TAKE A STAND — Here are three ways you can show your solidarity with Tacoma Art Museum workers:
● Sign the community support letter
● Attend the Solidarity Rally on Saturday, Oct. 29 on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. at Tollefson Plaza, 1548 Commerce St. in Tacoma.
● Follow their Union on Instagram and Twitter
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 Seattle Times — Alaska Airlines pilots approve new agreement on wages, schedules — Pilots at Alaska Airlines voted to approve an agreement with the company Monday after almost three years of negotiations over working conditions and wages. The vote comes after Alaska Airlines management and the leadership of its pilot union, the Air Line Pilots Association, agreed to a tentative deal in September, which included pay raises and new work rules that would increase schedule flexibility and decrease the number of days pilots are away from home. The union said the agreement would also increase job security because Alaska Airlines agreed not to outsource flying to regional carriers without a specific exemption from the union.
Workers at the Sehome Starbucks store in Bellingham, WA are organizing a union! pic.twitter.com/gNpbmGH3s2
— SBWorkersUnited (@SBWorkersUnited) October 17, 2022
► From the union-busting Columbian — Nakia Creek Fire forces evacuation of Larch Corrections Center near Yacolt — Rapid growth of the Nakia Creek Fire forced an evacuation of both staff and incarcerated individuals at Larch Corrections Center near Yacolt.
► From the Kitsap Sun — Citing low staffing from the pandemic, Bremerton’s city court closes doors to the public
► From the LA Times — Think food inflation is bad now? Wait till Kroger and Albertsons merge (by Michael Hiltzik) — Mergers reduce competition — and it’s competition that drives down prices and encourages more efficiency and innovation. Sarah Miller, executive director of the American Economic Liberties Project:
“There is no reason to allow two of the biggest supermarket chains in the country to merge — especially with food prices already soaring. With 60% of grocery sales concentrated among just five national chains, a Kroger-Albertsons deal would squeeze consumers already struggling to afford food, crush workers fighting for fair wages, and destroy independent, community stores. This merger is a cut-and-dry case of monopoly power, and enforcers should block it.”
The Stand (Oct. 14) — Grocery unions decry proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger — Unions say proposed merger would be ‘devastating for workers and consumers,’ call on anti-trust regulators to block it
► From the Seattle Times — Grocery chain merger would affect majority of Seattle-area households — Add up the figures of the households most frequently shopping at these four stores owned by Kroger or Albertsons and it totals around 851,000 households, or 53%. With so many Seattle-area households dependent on Fred Meyer, Safeway, QFC or Albertsons, the merger could have a far-reaching impact for local shoppers. In order to win federal approval, the two chains would have to sell hundreds of locations in areas with a lot of market overlap.
► From the Seattle Times — This Seattle woman is fighting Amazon to help domestic violence survivors — When Leslie Tullis asked to take time off from Amazon, she knew she would get less done. But she would need the time, space and flexibility to get herself and her two children out of an increasingly abusive household. And, based on a decade-old Washington state law meant to help victims of domestic violence break from abusers, she also knew her employer should protect her job. Amazon did not.
► From the union-busting Columbian — Paid family leave program needs attention (editorial) — Washington’s program reflects our state’s values of collectively improving conditions for workers and, in turn, boosting the economy by making it easier for businesses to attract and retain workers. But problems with the program also are evident. Last week, an actuarial analysis by consulting firm Milliman estimated that Washington’s paid family leave system will have a deficit of $8.7 million by the end of this year.
► From the Seattle Times — Carbon auctions will bring WA more money than predicted. Transportation could benefit — Washington state is likely to collect more than twice as much money from a new carbon credit system over the next three years as originally estimated, possibly setting the Legislature up to spend more on carbon reductions in its transportation and building sectors next session.
► From the Washington Post — Applying for Biden’s student loan forgiveness? Here’s what to know. — After weeks of waiting, student loan borrowers can now apply for President Biden’s program to receive up to $20,000 in debt cancellation. Biden officially launched the application Monday after the Education Department opened the form over the weekend, hoping to find and remedy any glitches on the site. Eight million people have applied to date, the president said.
► From Roll Call — Staffers in Rep. Andy Levin’s office sign first union contract — The Michigan Democrat and his aides agreed to a tentative contract that raises the average wage for his junior staff to $76,000 and provides all members of the bargaining unit with a $10,000 salary increase.
► From HuffPost — Starbucks workers sue company for defamation over ‘kidnapping’ allegation — A group of Starbucks workers in South Carolina have sued the company for defamation after a store manager accused them of assault and kidnapping during a workplace protest.
The newsroom workers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, represented by the Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh, voted on Monday to authorize an unfair labor practice strike against the company.
— Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh ? (@PGHGuild) October 18, 2022
► From the Washington Post — California made prison phone calls free. Others should follow. (editorial) — Imagine having to go into debt to stay in touch with a loved one — all while fearing for their safety and well-being. That is the grim reality facing 1 in 3 families of incarcerated people in the United States, thanks to the sky-high costs of phone calls from prison. So it is welcome news that California has moved against this cruel situation.
► From the NY Times — New crack in Apple’s armor as dozens strike at its stores in Australia — Dozens of Apple workers in Australia walked off the job on Tuesday after negotiations over pay and working conditions stalled, the latest crack in the armor of the tech giant as it contends with a burgeoning unionization movement in the United States and Europe.
► From Reuters — Trains, schools affected as French unions call strike amid soaring inflation — Regional train traffic in France was cut by about half on Tuesday as several unions called a nationwide strike, seeking to capitalize on anger with decades-high inflation to expand a weeks-long industrial action at oil refineries to other sectors.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.