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UW library strike tomorrow? | Offshore organizing | Kroger wage theft

Tuesday, January 24, 2023




► ICYMI from The Stand (Jan. 13) — UW Libraries, Press staff may strike on Jan. 25 — Union staff at the University of Washington Libraries and Press have declared their intention to strike beginning Wednesday, Jan. 25 if a full contract agreement with the UW administration is not reached. “Fifteen months without a contract is too long,” said Allee Monheim, a public service librarian and member of the UW Libraries Union/SEIU 925. “We’ve been waiting on some proposals for over six months, and we’re tired of dragging this out. We will go on strike if we don’t reach a tentative agreement before the 25th.” The last scheduled day of bargaining is today (Tuesday, Jan. 24).


► From SEIU Healthcare 1199NW — Raising standards and growing our union never stops — Healthcare workers at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup made our voices heard in early December by taking to the informational picket lines and getting our community involved in our ongoing fight for a fair contract… Workers at Behavioral Health Resources – with locations in Thurston, Mason, and Grays Harbor County – unanimously voted to ratify a strong new contract… Finally, we are thrilled to welcome 220 new members to 1199NW from Comprehensive Life Resources in Tacoma (pictured above). Behavioral health workers overwhelmingly voted UNION YES in their election – next step, bargain and secure a great contract!

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 the Seattle Times — Seattle’s massive $2B convention center finally opens after delays — Seattle’s newest building is a $2 billion glass-and-steel modernist monolith, looming over Interstate 5, dominating a mega-block in the heart of downtown, and it is poised to boost a neighborhood revival — or linger, half-filled as downtown continues its staggered recovery from the pandemic.




► From the Seattle Times — WA lawmakers to hear testimony on abortion bills — On Tuesday, days after the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, state lawmakers will hear testimony on several bills intended to protect abortion rights and access in Washington. Abortion is legal in Washington up to the point of viability, or roughly 23 to 24 weeks of pregnancy, and to protect the life or health of the pregnant person. Democratic state legislators are proposing laws that would increase protections for patients and providers in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe.

TODAY at The Stand Report links abortion access to economic security — States with abortion restrictions or bans have lower wages, weaker labor standards, and higher levels of incarceration, according to a new EPI report.

► From the Spokesman-Review — Inslee, Spokane lawmakers remain committed to finding funding for North Spokane Corridor — Funding for on-time completion of the North Spokane Corridor is still up in the air, but legislators and Gov. Jay Inslee have said they are looking at alternate means to keep the project on track.

► From the (Everett) Herald — Fund could break inequitable cycle of poverty (editorial) — Washington state version of “baby bonds” would provide capital for low-income young adults’ economic success.




► From Reuters — Relatives of 737 MAX crash victims to speak at Boeing arraignment — More than a dozen relatives of people killed in two Boeing 737 MAX crashes plan to speak Thursday at a federal court arraignment for the planemaker in Texas, according to a court filing. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor last week ordered Boeing to appear to be arraigned on a 2021 felony charge after families of those killed in the two crashes objected to a 2021 plea deal. Boeing won immunity from criminal prosecution as part its $2.5 billion January 2021 Justice Department deferred prosecution agreement over a 737 MAX fraud conspiracy charge related to the plane’s flawed design.

► From Reuters — Raytheon beats profit estimates on strong travel demand

► From Reuters — Lockheed Martin profit outlook disappoints as supply, labor squeeze persists




► From NPR — Biden’s offshore wind plan could create thousands of jobs but challenges remain — The Biden administration wants to significantly reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and is pushing the development on offshore wind along America’s coasts. Its goal is to have 30 gigawatts of offshore wind online by 2030 and that will require thousands of new jobs, especially in the construction sector. Though other renewable energy sources, such as solar and onshore wind, have been around for decades in the U.S., they often lack the protection and job security provided by unions. Offshore wind wants to change this by unionizing large parts of its workforce.

► From The Hill — Here’s what you need to know about the GOP bill to abolish the tax code — House conservatives are breathing new life into an old proposal to do away with income taxes, payroll taxes, estate taxes and even the IRS itself in favor of a supersized sales tax that would account for nearly all government revenues. The Fair Tax Act introduced by Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) and supported by 30 other Republicans would institute a massive 30 percent sales tax on all purchases in exchange for doing away with income, Social Security and Medicare taxes.

► From the Washington Post — The GOP tax plan is to let the rich pay less and make you pay more (by Jennifer Rubin) — President Biden, consistent with his idea of building an economy from “the bottom up and the middle out,” has tried to get the rich and big corporations to pay more taxes. The MAGA GOP, abandoning all pretense of populism, has a scheme to junk the progressive tax code and replace it with a mammoth 30 percent national sales tax, with devastating results for working- and middle-class Americans.




► From HuffPost — New Kroger payroll system has led to wage theft, workers allege — A shift to a new payroll system at the grocery chain Kroger has left workers short on their paychecks and stirred up hundreds of employee complaints, according to a new lawsuit. A group of workers represented by UFCW Local 400 filed a complaint in federal court on Jan. 19 seeking back pay and damages from Kroger.

The Stand (Dec. 14, 2022) — Union to Kroger: Fix your payroll problems at Fred Meyer, QFC

► From the NY Times — Long COVID is keeping significant numbers of people out of work, study finds — An analysis of workers’ compensation claims in New York found that 71 percent of claimants with long COVID needed continuing medical treatment or were unable to work for six months or more.

► From Vice — Dollar stores are the ‘fastest-growing’ food retailers in U.S., study finds — As the cost of everything from food to gas goes up, Americans—especially in rural areas—are getting a bigger share of groceries at dollar stores.

► From the Hollywood Reporter — ‘SNL’ postproduction workers authorize strike as contract negotiations stall — A recently unionized group of postproduction workers (IATSE) at Saturday Night Live has authorized a strike in an effort to expedite negotiations on their first contract, which they claim have stalled in early stages of talks.

► From the Guardian — Ford to cut 3,200 jobs in Europe and move some work to U.S. — Ford plans to cut 3,200 jobs across Europe, according to Germany’s largest union, as the carmaker looks to cut costs and shift its focus towards electric vehicles.


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!