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What voters want | Restricting non-competes | Delta organizing

Thursday, January 5, 2023




► From Crosscut — What WA voters want to see from the 2023 legislative session — As Washington lawmakers get ready to return to Olympia Monday, the economy remains top of mind for residents, according to a new Crosscut/Elway poll. Just over a third of the 403 Washington registered voters polled said economic issues – including housing costs and price inflation – should be a main focus.

TODAY at The Stand WSLC announces 2023 legislative agenda — In 2023, Washington’s labor movement is calling on the State Legislature to take steps to grow an economy that works for working people by prioritizing job creation and work-life balance, safety on the job, and dignity in our employment. With those objectives in mind, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO — the state’s largest union organization, which represents the interests of some 550,000 rank-and file members in more than 600 different unions — today released its “Better Jobs, Stronger Communities” legislative agenda for the 2023 session that begins Monday, Jan. 9.

► From the Seattle Times — WA Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski stepping down — After six years in the post, Podlodowski leaves on a high note for state Democrats, who in the November midterms held on to their majorities in the state Legislature, won the secretary of state’s office and scored a surprise win in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.




► From the NW Labor Press — Portland laborers closer to strike — When the City of Portland finally presented its wage offer for a contract covering about 630 parks, environmental services and transportation workers, Laborers Local 483 found it underwhelming. The City and Local 483 have been bargaining since March 2022, and workers have been without a contract since the end of June.

► From the NW Labor Press — Five New Seasons stores now unionized — Workers at all five stores unionized with the New Seasons Labor Union (NSLU), which formed in mid-2022 at the Seven Corners store.




► From Reuters — U.S. moves to ban non-compete provisions that hurt workers — The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which enforces antitrust law, proposed a rule that would ban companies from requiring workers to sign noncompete provisions as well as some training repayment agreements, which companies use to keep workers from leaving for better jobs, the agency said on Thursday. The proposal seeks comment on a potential rule, which is months away, if not longer, from taking effect.

EDITOR’S NOTE — In 2019, labor-backed legislation was approved in Washington state that  limits the application of non-compete contracts to workers who earn more than $100,000 per year, $250,000 for independent contractors, and limits the length of time they can be in effect. If employers lay off workers and enforce the non-compete, they must continue paying those workers. Musicians and other performers are also protected from long blackout dates before and after shows, which prohibit them from earning a living.

► From the Seattle Times — To protect cannabis workers and customers, approve federal banking act (editorial) —  As federal lawmakers rushed to pass last-minute bills before the new Congress convenes, they failed to pass one piece of legislation, a failure that ensures Washington workers in cannabis businesses will continue to be at risk.

► From the AP — U.S. House has no members, no rules as speaker race drags on — As Republicans continue to squabble over who will be the next speaker, there are essentially no members in the U.S. House of Representatives — only members-elect. Without a speaker, none of the them can be sworn in, and the 118th Congress can’t convene or vote on any rules. Parliamentary procedure has been jettisoned in favor of controlled chaos. Members of both parties are unsure whether they can call votes or make motions on the floor because there is no speaker to rule on their requests. Committees can’t be formed and legislation can’t be passed.

► From the Spokesman-Review — Northwest Republicans remain united for Kevin McCarthy as GOP fails to select House speaker in six votes

► From the Washington Post — House Republicans’ dysfunction points to more chaos ahead — After six votes for speaker, Republicans appear no closer to a resolution. Will the new speaker, whoever that is, be able to lead effectively?

► From Politico — McCarthy bid sees glimmer of hope after late-night concessions — He caved to most of his opponents’ demands, but McCarthy’s most ardent detractors still appear dug in.




► From the Guardian — Delta workers accuse airline of ‘culture of fear’ amid attempts to unionize — Workers at Delta Air Lines are currently holding union organizing drives, citing tough working conditions in the U.S. airline industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and stagnant wages despite the airline making hefty profits. Flight attendants are organizing with the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, ramp agents with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), and mechanics with Teamsters. Workers say arbitrary write-ups have created a culture of fear at the airline and scheduling cuts have also reduced paid time off for workers, which have driven workers into signing union authorization cards.

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 HuffPost — Southwest pilots union blames former CEO for holiday meltdown — Southwest Airlines’ pilots union blamed the company’s holiday meltdown on former CEO Gary Kelly, who he said ruined Southwest’s culture of ground-up decision-making with “a headquarters-centric cult” of executives. Kelly stepped down as CEO last year but remains the chair of Southwest’s board.

► From NPR — Amazon CEO says company will lay off more than 18,000 workers — It’s the single largest number of jobs cut at a technology company since the industry began aggressively downsizing last year. The cuts will primarily hit the company’s corporate workforce and will not affect hourly warehouse workers.

► From NPR — America needs carpenters and plumbers. Try telling that to Gen Z. — While Gen Z — often described as people born between 1997 and 2012 — is on track to become the most educated generation, fewer young folks are opting for traditionally hands-on jobs in the skilled trade and technical industries.

► From Politico — Elon Musk ‘a perfect recruitment tool’ for organized labor, says new UK unions boss — Elon Musk’s controversial Twitter firing spree is sending workers into the arms of organized labor, according to the new head of Britain’s Trades Union Congress. “Elon Musk is a perfect recruitment tool for the trade union movement,” Paul Nowak said. Since the Tesla billionaire took over the social media platform in October, Prospect, one of the trade union federation’s 48 affiliates, “has seen its membership in Twitter go up tenfold,” he said.


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!