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Safety still required | Profit inflation | All is on the line

Tuesday, November 1, 2022




► From L&I — Keeping workers safe from COVID-19 doesn’t end with lifting of Washington emergency orders — Washington state COVID-19 emergency orders put in place by Gov. Jay Inslee during the pandemic ended Monday. Still, coronavirus remains a workplace hazard and employers must continue taking precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. Among the general safety requirements and guidance still in place:

  • Every employer must assess their specific workplace for COVID-19 hazards and take steps to prevent employee exposure based on that assessment.
  • Workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 should be kept out of the workplace for at least five days per Washington State Department of Health guidance.
  • Healthcare workers and others providing care to or working near someone known or suspected to have COVID-19 should wear appropriate, fit-tested, and NIOSH-approved respirators.

► From Crosscut — Breaking down WA’s school funding formula — Recent educator strikes in Seattle, Eatonville, Richland and elsewhere in Washington have brought more public attention to rising school budgets. These rising costs could lead to funding gaps that both local districts and the state may have to grapple with.

► From the Seattle Times — More power to WA community colleges helping fill K-12 teacher shortage (editorial) — Washington’s community colleges are rising to the challenge of a nationwide teacher shortage by providing a rigorous but affordable path to the classroom for aspiring educators. The Legislature and local officials should monitor the effort closely and look for opportunities to collaborate.







► From the Washington Post — Ketanji Brown Jackson asks the right question about affirmative actionThe Supreme Court’s newest member, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, got to the heart of the matter in Monday’s oral arguments over affirmative action in college admissions: Does the nation’s long history of racial discrimination still matter? It is a historical fact that race has mattered massively, decisively and tragically in this country since its founding, and in ways that continue to shape the lives of young people today. If the court decides that race is now irrelevant and must be ignored, it negates that history by pretending it does not still resonate.

► From the AP — Roberts delays handover of Trump tax returns to House panel — Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday put a temporary hold on the handover of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns to a congressional committee. Roberts’ order gives the Supreme Court time to weigh the legal issues in Trump’s emergency appeal to the high court, filed Monday. Without court intervention, the tax returns could have been provided as early as Thursday by the Treasury Department to the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee.




► From the NY Times — Food prices soar, and so do companies’ profits — Amid growing concerns that the economy could be headed for a recession, some food companies and restaurants are continuing to raise prices even if their own inflation-driven costs have been covered. Critics say the moves are all about increasing profits, not covering expenses.

► From CNBC — BP rakes in quarterly profit of $8.2 billion as oil majors post another round of bumper earnings — Oil and gas giant BP on Tuesday reported stronger-than-expected third-quarter profits, supported by high commodity prices and robust gas marketing and trading. The world’s largest oil and gas majors have reported bumper earnings in recent months, benefiting from surging commodity prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

► From the NY Times — Biden accuses oil companies of ‘war profiteering’ and threatens windfall tax — The president has been eager to redirect public anger over gas prices as Democrats try to keep power in Congress in the midterm elections.

► From Jacobin — To protect workers from inflation, unions want to bring back the COLA clause — Cost-of-living adjustment clauses — which protect wages against inflation — used to be standard fare in collective agreements. By fighting to bring the COLA clause back, Canadian workers are refusing to bear the brunt of spiraling costs.




► From CBS News — Suspect in Paul Pelosi attack intended to kidnap Nancy Pelosi and “break her kneecaps,” DA saysDavid Wayne DePape, the man accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home and violently attacking her husband, intended to kidnap her and possibly break “her kneecaps,” he said, according to court documents. He told San Francisco police after his arrest that, “If Nancy [Pelosi] were to tell DePape the ‘truth,’ he would let her go, and if she ‘lied,’ he was going to break ‘her kneecaps,'” so that she would have to be wheeled into Congress.

► From the NY Times — Republicans continue to spread baseless claims about Pelosi attack — In the days since Paul Pelosi, the 82-year-old husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was attacked by an intruder asking, “Where is Nancy?”, a litany of Republicans and conservatives have spread baseless conspiracy theories about the assault and its motives.

► From the USA Today — History of threats against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: ‘It’s here; we shouldn’t be surprised’ — History of threats against Pelosi, others offer window into recent escalation of political violence.




► From the People’s World — Laborers’ President Terry O’Sullivan says all is on the line in 2022 elections — The 2022 midterm election is more important than workers suspect, Laborers President Terry O’Sullivan says. Not only will it determine the fate of pro-worker measures enacted since 2020, but it’ll be a predictor of 2024, too. The veteran president of one of the nation’s largest construction unions used that justification to urge his members, and all workers, “to organize, mobilize and activate like never before for the November 8th mid-term elections.” And, especially, vote.

The Stand (Oct. 19) — Got ballot? Check out labor’s endorsements

► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO warns of chilling effect on journalistic freedom, worker organizing if wrongheaded court decision isn’t overturned on appeal — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler: “The AFL-CIO strongly condemns last month’s ruling by an appointee of Donald Trump in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York that would allow large corporations like Starbucks to infringe on both the rights of workers to join a union without retaliation or intimidation, and journalistic freedom protected under the First Amendment.”

► From The Hill — Delta pilots overwhelmingly vote to authorize strike — Delta Air Lines pilots overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike on Monday if a new contract agreement with the carrier is not reached. The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents the pilots, said 99 percent voted to call a strike if necessary, with the vast majority of its members participating.

► From Reuters — UAW seeks election to represent GM battery joint venture workers — The United Auto Workers on Monday said it was seeking an election to represent workers at a General Motors/LG Energy battery cell manufacturing joint venture in Ohio after the companies refused to recognize the union.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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