Friday, December 2, 2022
After today, The Entire Staff of The Stand will be on vacation until Monday, Dec. 12.
► From the (Everett) Herald — Budget dips, but Everett city union workers in line for 7.5% pay bump — Washington State Council of County and City Employees union members who work for Everett are in line to get a 7.5% pay bump next year in a two-year tentative agreement. About 400 employees are represented in that union, which was collecting votes on the deal. Further wage increases between 3% and 5% are set to follow in 2024.
EDITOR’S NOTE — How do wage increases like that sound to you? 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 PS Business Journal — Starbucks ordered to begin bargaining with workers at Seattle flagship store — Starbucks must begin bargaining with baristas at its upscale Reserve Roastery in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, the NLRB ruled Wednesday. A three-person panel from the board, which enforces federal labor laws, sided with Starbucks Workers United in a case that alleged the Seattle coffee giant unlawfully stalled collective bargaining talks with employees at the store.
The Stand (Nov. 29) — Tell Starbucks: Stop union-busting closures — The company has announced the closure of another unionized store in Seattle.
► From KOMO — Red Robin to pay over $400K for allegedly violating wage theft laws at Seattle location — The Seattle Office of Labor Standards said Red Robin must pay employees who worked at its Northgate location between Jan. 1, 2018, and Sept. 7, 2022, for allegedly violating scheduling and wage theft laws.
► From KNKX — Historian chronicles the plight of early workers in Seattle’s history — Seattle from the Margins: Exclusion, Erasure, and the Making of a Pacific Coast City explores Seattle’s early economic history and the role that Asian immigrants and Indigenous workers played. KNKX’s Emil Moffat spoke with author Megan Asaka.
► From the Wall Street Journal — Boeing races to win congressional reprieve for new 737 MAX models — One of Boeing’s biggest engineering challenges has morphed into a political problem—and the company is running out of time to get help from the current Congress. The plane maker’s executives and lobbyists are racing to persuade federal lawmakers to lift a Dec. 27 deadline set by Congress two years ago as part of a law aimed at making future airplanes safer. The law, enacted in the wake of two deadly crashes of Boeing’s 737 MAX, requires new aircraft to feature modern cockpit-alerting systems to help pilots resolve emergencies. The stakes are high. Carriers including United, Delta and Southwest Airlines are banking on the new 737 MAX models to expand their flight networks and reduce fuel costs.
► From the WSLC — Send congrats note to welcome our new WA legislators — Send a quick note of congratulations to 18 of Washington’s new state legislators and ask them to make the right choice: to support bills that make Washington’s ultra-wealthy pay what they owe. Washington’s workers are the ones paying our share in taxes, while the super rich and big corporations get richer and richer. Our newly elected lawmakers need to hear that NOW is the time for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations to pay what they owe.
► From Roll Call — Senate clears rail labor agreement, rejects sick leave — The Senate passed a resolution Thursday that would put in place the rail labor agreement reached by the White House, railroads and labor unions in September, but rejected a separate measure to provide an additional seven days of sick leave to workers. The rejection of the sick leave resolution serves a blow to rail union workers who held up the bargaining process and have threatened to strike Dec. 9 unless they get the additional sick leave.
TODAY at The Stand — Senate approves railroad contract settlement — Republicans block the paid sick leave measure, but the AFL-CIO vows that the fight isn’t over.
► From the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department — Statement on Resolution to end rail dispute
“While we are disappointed, we are not defeated. We are going to keep this fight moving forward, whether it be through legislation, executive action, or dragging the railroads back to the bargaining table. Rest assured, the transportation labor movement will harness this moment and channel it into an aggressive and effective campaign for better, safer working conditions for all railroad workers.”
► From the Intelligencer — Why America’s railroads refuse to give their workers paid leave — The answer, in short, is “P.S.R.” — or precision-scheduled railroading. P.S.R. is an operational strategy that aims to minimize the ratio between railroads’ operating costs and their revenues through various cost-cutting and (ostensibly) efficiency-increasing measures. The basic idea is to transport more freight using fewer workers and railcars. All this has worked out poorly for rail workers writ large. Over the past six years, America’s major freight carriers have shed 30 percent of their employees. To compensate for this lost staffing, remaining workers must tolerate irregular schedules and little time off since the railroads don’t have much spare labor capacity left.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Another short answer: greed. Railroad companies are currently earning record profits. In the past two decades, operating profit margins have nearly tripled for the major carriers, while the percentage of revenue they spent on labor sunk by double-digits.
► From Murray.senate.gov — Sen. Murray calls for passage of Pregnant Workers Fairness Act this Congress — Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) on Thursday joined colleagues, advocates, and pregnant workers in pushing for Senate passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) this Congress to protect pregnant workers and ensure they have the basic workplace accommodations they need to have healthy pregnancies.
TAKE A STAND — Too many employers discriminate and retaliate against pregnant workers when they ask for necessary workplace accommodations. The PWFA would change that. Please send a message today to your U.S. senators urging them to pass the PWFA.
► From the NY Times — Biden, demoting Iowa and prizing diversity, wants S.C. as first primary — Michigan would become the fifth primary. The plan came as the president asked that “voters of color have a voice in choosing our nominee much earlier in the process.”
► A MUST-READ from the Washington Post — Medicare Advantage? More like Medicare Disadvantage. (by Helaine Olen) — When the annual enrollment period for Medicare ends on Dec. 7, analysts expect that, for the first time, more seniors will receive their 2023 health-care coverage from Medicare Advantage than the traditional program. That’s not a good thing for either elderly Americans or federal coffers. Multiple studies have found that seniors on privatized Medicare Advantage plans cost the government more than those in the traditional program, exactly the opposite of what is intended. This flood of money is fattening the bottom line of the health insurance companies even as they’re increasing pressure on the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, which is projected to run out of funds in 2026.
► From the Washington Post — U.S. added 263,000 jobs in November, a strong showing amid tech slowdown — The unemployment rate remained unchanged from 3.7 percent a month earlier. The still-strong labor market continues to be one of the sturdiest pillars of an otherwise confounding economy. Americans are spending heavily, though they are saving less than they have in 15 years. Although inflation is slowing, to 7.7 percent, it is still well over the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target.
► From the Capitol Weekly — Progress made, but strike of UC academic workers drags on — UAW Local 5810 representing postdoctoral scholars and academic researchers announced that it reached a tentative five-year agreement with the University of California amid a strike that began on Nov. 14. Meanwhile, union graduate researchers, scholars and teaching assistants in UAW 2865 and Student Researchers United-UAW remain on strike.
► From the Newsguild — Over 1K New York Times newsroom workers pledge to walk out if contract deal is not reached — On Friday morning, unionized workers at The New York Times sent a pledge to company executives with over one thousand signatories that read, “We will walk out and stop work for 24 hours, on Thursday, Dec. 8, if we do not have a deal for a complete and equitable contract by then.”
► This week singer-songwriter-keyboard player Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac died. Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham may be the most recognizable names from this legendary band, but it’s McVie who wrote fully half the songs on their Greatest Hits album. After a tumultuous period of drugs and internal romantic relationships (and breakups) — all while recording some of the most popular songs ever — the band broke up in the 1980s. But in 1997, they toured together and produced the live album “The Dance,” which is one of the top-selling concert recordings of all time. Here’s one of McVie’s classics from that tour.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.