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A voice at Ridwell | Railroading workers | 2-for-1 special

Friday, October 28, 2022




► From the PS Business Journal — Workers at Seattle recycling startup Ridwell start union push — Drivers and warehouse workers at Seattle-based recycling startup Ridwell are looking to organize a union. Teamsters Local 117 filed a petition in October with the NLRB saying the union was seeking an election to represent Ridwell warehouse workers and drivers. “All workers, including employees at Ridwell, have the right to a voice at work so they can improve their wages, benefits and working conditions,” John Scearcy, secretary treasurer of Local 117, said in a statement. “Teamsters 117 provides professional representation and a strong voice for its members.”

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 KUOW — Seattle Colleges’ multi-million dollar budgeting blunder draws ire of staff — Typically, a college system would be happy to discover millions of dollars in savings. But the recent revelation that Seattle Colleges was only facing a fraction of its projected budget deficit is causing frustration among staff, who faced the threat of job loss and program cuts.

► From the Wenatchee World — Confluence Health scaling back units in effort to cut expenses — It plans to close the progressive care unit on the first floor of Central Washington Hospital. No employees will be laid off as a result of the change, but the number of traveling nurses, hired on a temporary basis usually at a higher rate than regular staff, will be let go.




► From the AP — Renewed rail strike fears prompts businesses to seek White House intervention — Businesses are increasingly worried about the renewed threat of a railroad strike after two unions rejected their deals, and they want the Biden administration and Congress to be ready to intervene. A coalition of 322 business groups from a variety of industries signed off on a letter to President Joe Biden Thursday urging him to make sure the deals he helped broker last month get approved because a railroad strike would have dire consequences for the economy. All 12 rail unions must approve their agreements to prevent a strike next month.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Given that Class A railroad companies are experiencing record profits, they can and should be offering a contract that responds to their employees concerns about lack of sick leave instead of asking the president to intervene and force them to accept something less.

► From Reuters — Global oil giants rake in massive profits in third quarter — Global oil-and-gas giants including Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Equinor posted huge profits in the third quarter, benefiting from surging energy costs that have boosted inflation around the world and hit consumers hard. Oil companies booked billions of dollars in profits as prices for crude, natural gas and fuels like gasoline hovered near record levels during the quarter.

► From Reuters — Exxon’s record-smashing Q3 profit nearly matches Apple’s

EDITOR’S NOTE — The Republicans solution for greedy corporate price gouging that’s driving inflation: cut their taxes!

► From The Hill — House GOP lawmakers push permanent tax cuts amid soaring inflation — Economists say that cutting taxes and increasing the deficit at a time when persistent inflation needs to be tamed will only add fuel to the fire of price increases. Altogether, the tax cuts in the 2017 law added $1.9 trillion in government debt through 2028.

► From the Washington Post — Obamacare premiums are rising 4 percent but more aid is still available — The Affordable Care Act’s 10th open enrollment season begins next week, and it may be the busiest yet. Sign-ups reached an all-time high last year with roughly 14.5 million Americans buying plans through the health law’s insurance exchanges. Congressional Democrats extended financial aid for making health coverage more affordable for millions of people in their health and climate bill passed this summer, in the hopes of further bringing down the nation’s uninsured rate.

► From the NY Times — On Affirmative Action, what once seemed unthinkable might become real (by Linda Greenhouse) — It is no coincidence that challenges to the constitutionality of both affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act appear on the court’s calendar in a single term. The conjunction reflects the accurate perception that the current court is open to fundamental re-examination of both. Indeed, decisions going back to the 1980s have held that in setting government policy, race cannot be a “predominant” consideration. But whether because the votes haven’t been there or from some institutional humility no longer in evidence, the court always stopped short of proceeding to the next question: whether the Constitution permits the consideration of race at all.

► BREAKING from The Hill — Paul Pelosi assaulted at home by assailant — Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was “violently assaulted” at their residence in San Francisco early Friday morning after an assailant broke in, according to a statement from the Speaker’s office. Nancy Pelosi was not in San Francisco at the time. Paul Pelosi was taken to a hospital and is expected to make a “full recovery.”




► From Vice — Workers at combined Starbucks, Amazon store file for union election — Workers at a combined Starbucks and Amazon store in Times Square filed a petition for union election Friday morning, saying they’re required to do the responsibilities of two jobs for the pay of one. This is the first petition filed at Starbucks-Amazon combination store, which is only the second of its kind—the two companies opened their first joint venture in late 2021 in upper-Midtown Manhattan. Both companies are also separately experiencing unprecedented labor action.

► From NBC 4 — Columbus Museum of Art employees vote to unionize — According to a press release, 97% of employees voted to establish the Columbus Museum of Art Workers United, making it the first museum in Columbus to unionize. The group joins AFSCME Ohio Council 8, a labor union representing some Ohio’s municipal, county and regional authorities, universities, hospitals, and non-profit workers.

The Stand Solidarity Rally on Saturday for Tacoma Art Museum workers — Despite 90% support, Tacoma Art Museum has not yet recognized union.

TAKE A STAND — It’s time for the labor movement and community supporters to step up and send a message to TAM administrators. Please attend a TAM Workers United Solidarity Rally on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. at Tollefson Plaza, 1548 Commerce St., directly across Pacific Avenue from the museum. Let’s send a message that TAM needs to respect the overwhelming majority of workers who want to unionize by voluntarily recognizing TAM Workers United as their union. RSVP here.

► From the Art Newspaper — After strike and with a hard-won new contract, Philadelphia Museum of Art employees go back to work

► From More Perfect Union — Fast food giants trying to overturn new pro-worker law in California — Signature gatherers are lying to voters in an effort to reverse AB 257, according to a formal complaint filed today by SEIU.




► Fifty years ago today, Stevie Wonder released his influential Talking Book album, which featured songs like “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” “Lookin’ for Another Pure Love,” and this smash hit. The Entire Staff of The Stand is well aware that we’ve posted this live version from Sesame Street before, but watching these kids as they get to hear and witness Wonder’s brilliance — especially the extended instrumental at the end — continue to bring us joy. We hope it does for you, too.


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!