The Stand

Let us vote | No-show Joe runs away | Win by losing | Railroads can afford it

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Wednesday, November 2, 2022

 


LOCAL

 

EDITOR’S NOTE — Tuesday’s picket comes after Homegrown workers filed for an NLRB union election following management’s refusal for 130 days to voluntarily recognize the overwhelming majority of employees’ petition to join together in a union.

► From the Kitsap Sun — Citing ‘extraordinary crisis,’ union petition calls for St. Michael leadership’s ouster — The union representing St. Michael Medical Center is circulating a petition calling for the removal of the hospital’s leadership, as chronic staffing shortages have led to an “extraordinary crisis” at Kitsap County’s only emergency room. UFCW 3000’s Anna Minard:

“There’s real broken trust here, and we need to repair that trust. We’ve reached a breaking point. This petition represents a need for accountability and at this point, the way to do that is through new leadership.”

► From the (Everett) Herald — Everett City Council member honored by local labor council — The Snohomish & Island County Labor Council presented the first annual Mike Sells Labor Champion Award to Mary Fosse, an Everett City Council member and Democratic candidate for the 38th Legislative District. The new award honors Rep. Mike Sells, a Democrat in his ninth term representing the 38th Legislative District. Sells is retiring this year, after serving 18 years. Fosse is campaigning to succeed Sells in the state House in the Nov. 8 election. The award recognizes a “deserving recipient who has championed the cause of organized labor and public service here in Western Washington,” the council said.

The Stand (Oct. 27) — Mike Sells Labor Champion Award presented to Mary Fosse

► From Crosscut — Advocates want Pierce County to stop using E-Verify technology — The system, which compares employment eligibility forms to government records, has been described as error-ridden, cumbersome and redundant to the I-9.

 


ELECTION

 

► From the union-busting Columbian — 3rd Congressional District candidate Joe Kent tied to firm not named by campaign — A deeper dive into Republican 3rd Congressional District candidate Joe Kent’s 2021 wage and tax statement shows ties to another company not previously named by the campaign. Kent’s campaign did not return The Columbian’s multiple requests for a comment to clarify his employment.

► ICYMI from the Daily Beast — MAGA House candidate Joe Kent never worked for his pay, ex-staffer says — A Washington state congressional candidate The Daily Beast caught misreporting his employer in 34 public statements and disclosures in fact never worked at all for his six-figure pay, his former campaign manager claims.

EDITOR’S NOTE — In the 3rd District race for U.S. House, the unions that comprise the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO have endorsed a candidate whose job actually exists: auto shop co-owner Marie Gluesenkamp Perez. Learn more about the WSLC election endorsements at www.wslc.org/vote.

► From the Tri-City Herald — Drop box watchers seen in Tri-Cities. What they can — and can’t — do under WA law. — A Richland resident said his wife felt “intimidated” when she dropped off her and her husband’s ballots on Tuesday last week at the Badger Mountain Community Park. The activity is completely legal — so long as it’s not done within 25 feet of a drop box, per Washington state electioneering laws. Drop box watchers cannot interfere with a person dropping off their ballot.

► From KING 5 — New state law protects election workers from online threats — State Sen. David Frockt said after seeing threats after the 2020 election, he wanted to make sure those who are counting ballots have legal protections.

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► From the Seattle Times — WA sues to block $4 billion Albertsons dividend ahead of Kroger merger — Washington’s top lawyer has asked a court to stop Albertsons from paying investors a $4 billion dividend set to be paid out ahead of the grocery retailer’s proposed merger with rival Kroger. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, is among the first targeting the proposed merger, which would combine the two of the largest grocers operating in Washington into a single corporation.

TODAY at The Stand State sues to block Albertsons cash-out with merger pending — Ferguson aims to stop grocer’s $4 billion shareholder payout as anti-trust regulators consider Kroger merger; Sens. Murray and Cantwell also express opposition.

 


STARBUCKS

 

► From KNKX — Labor expert weighs in after Starbucks and workers face off in Seattle hearing — A NLRB judge is considering arguments over whether Starbucks broke labor laws when it offered higher wages and benefits exclusively to nonunion workers. John Logan, chair of the labor and employment studies program at San Francisco State University, has been following the case and sees Starbucks’ defense as a delaying tactic. He said:

“Starbucks would have a legitimate position if the union had objected to extending those benefits to stores where workers had already voted to unionize. But in fact, it did the exact opposite. It said we’re not going to object… The problem is when you have a company with such deep pockets as Starbucks and that it’s willing to fight to the bitter end, Starbucks can win even by losing at the NLRB.”

► From HuffPost — Starbucks broke law by closing unionized store in Ithaca, feds say — Federal labor officials have filed a new and sweeping complaint against Starbucks alleging that the coffee chain retaliated against union workers by shuttering a popular location in Ithaca, New York, among other charges.

► From Jacobin — Starbucks Roastery workers in New York City are on strike — Unionized workers at the Starbucks Roastery in Manhattan are on day eight of a strike protesting unsanitary conditions, including a bedbug infestation and moldy ice machines. Jacobin spoke with striking workers about their demands and Starbucks’s retaliation.

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From the NY Times — Republicans, eyeing majority, float changes cuts to Social Security and Medicare — Congressional Republicans, eyeing a midterm election victory that could hand them control of the House and the Senate, have embraced plans to reduce federal spending on Social Security and Medicare, including cutting benefits for some retirees and raising the retirement age for both safety net programs. Prominent Republicans are billing the moves as necessary to rein in government spending. Their ideas include raising the age for collecting Social Security benefits to 70 from 67 and requiring many older Americans to pay higher premiums for their health coverage.

► From the Intercept — The Fed’s war on workers (podcast) — How the Federal Reserve is undermining workers’ recent modest gains.

► From The Hill — Conspiracy theories aided by Musk, Trump soar after Paul Pelosi attack

► From The Hill — Biden rips GOP over Paul Pelosi jokes

► From the LA Times — GOP responds to Pelosi attack with cruel, baseless jokes. It’s shameful (editorial)

► From the Washington Post — Paul Pelosi’s attack is not grounds for jokes and unfounded rumors (editorial) — Any decent person would find such a violent assault horrifying. Not so for a number of Republicans and conservatives who have seized on it as an occasion for jokes and an opportunity to spread lies about a political rival’s spouse. Republican leaders should speak out against violence — and against those who make light of it — or there might well be more of it.

 


NATIONAL

 

► From Railway Age — Rail labor update: A FUBAR lurks (by Frank Wilner) — Although six of 12 rail labor unions have ratified amendments to contracts setting wages, benefits and work rules on most Class I railroads and many smaller ones, two unions (BRS and BMWED) have rejected the tentative deal, creating a likelihood of a nationwide rail work stoppage as early as Nov. 19. Paid sick leave—specifically, the lack of it for railroad workers—has emerged as the driver of “no” votes. The optics are not pleasant for railroads, nor for President Biden, given his praise of the Marty Walsh all-nighter that left paid sick leave on the bargaining table and rail union members incensed… BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific are on track this year to generate some $15 billion in free cash flow (what’s left over after deducting operating expenses and capital expenditures). Free cash flow is the source of dividends and stock buybacks—$180 billion worth since 2010. Carriers estimate that granting unionized employees seven days of paid sick leave annually would cost around $400 million. That is less than three cents of each dollar of this year’s projected free cash flow among the Big Four.

► From CWA — Federal call center workers organizing with CWA strike against Maximus — This week, call center workers at federal contractor Maximus, who answer Medicare and Affordable Care Act Marketplace lines, went on a two-day strike demanding affordable healthcare and an end to poverty wages. The workers went on strike on Monday and Tuesday at Maximus’ largest call centers in Bogalusa, La., and Hattiesburg, Miss.

► From NPR — Home Depot workers in Philadelphia vote on whether to form 1st unionized store — Voting begins at a Home Depot location in Northeast Philadelphia, where more than 260 employees are eligible to vote on whether to join the Home Depot Workers United, a new independent group formed at the store. The results are expected Saturday night.

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!

 


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

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