Monday, May 22, 2023
► From the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum CLC — Students learn about the benefits of apprenticeship at Kelso High School — More than 50 high school juniors and seniors gathered in the Kelso High School library on May 11 for a “Lunch and Learn” session with representatives of area building trades unions. The event, organized by the Longview Kelso Building and Construction Trades Council and the Kelso High School Career and Technical Education Department, focused on introducing the students to a career in the trades and the benefits of apprenticeship. LKBCTC President Mike Bridges said:
“We have a long history of partnership with KHS, but this particular event was new and specifically set up for students. We had hands-on activities — including a virtual welder provided by Iron Workers 29.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Want to “earn while you learn” a family-wage career in the trades? Check out the Construct a Career website from the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council about how to get started in a union apprenticeship program today!
► From the (Everett) Herald — Sno-Isle library workers make demands in plan to unionize — Sno-Isle Libraries workers announced a plan to unionize Friday, calling for a stop to “arbitrary changes” to work schedules and “uncompensated work,” among other demands. Library workers intend to join AFSCME Council 2.
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 Bellingham Herald — Staff layoffs, reductions in hours approved by Bellingham School Board — Forty two Bellingham Public Schools teachers will not be hired back in any capacity for the 2023-24 school year as a result of the district’s $16 million budget cut. Fifteen more teachers are getting their hours reduced and are coming back on a part-time basis.
► From the Yakima H-R — Yakima city council to discuss potential budget cuts for fire department, SunComm — Yakima Fire Chief Aaron Markham will present budget cuts that could include the elimination of 12 firefighter positions and the closing of Fire Station 92 at 7707 Tieton Drive.
► From the Kitsap Sun — ‘Not being heard’: North Kitsap parents protest over school district’s response to racial discrimination claims — Nearly six months after some Latino parents and students shared their experience of facing racism and discrimination with North Kitsap High School administration, on Thursday over 150 people turned out to protest what they perceive as a lack of follow through by the North Kitsap School District.
► From KUOW — WA mushroom farm ordered to pay $3.4 million for discriminating against female workers — A little more than a year ago, a mushroom farm in Eastern Washington put a job posting on Facebook, looking for only male workers. The post was made by a lead employee of what was then Ostrom Mushroom Farms in Sunnyside. Now, the farm has been ordered to pay $3.4 million to settle allegations of discrimination against 170 female farmworkers it fired, apparently because of their sex. The Washington state attorney general’s office says farm management at Ostrom believed their female workers had child-care obligations and could not work late hours or on weekends.
The Stand (May 18) — Mushroom workers get $3.4M for violations — State Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s announcement comes as Ostrom (now Windmill Farms) workers continue to demand recognition of their union with UFW.
► From the Olympian — Rep. Caldier rejoins Republican caucus after ‘issues’ with leadership caused her to leave — Documents obtained through a public records request indicate that Caldier left the caucus last year because she felt leadership was not making adequate accommodations for her as a legislator who is legally blind.
► From The Hill — Biden’s Labor pick in limbo as confirmation comes down to the wire — Julie Su’s nomination to become Labor secretary is coming down to the wire as Democrats drag their feet on bringing her up for a final vote and admit her confirmation fight will be a close call. Su, the acting Labor chief who served as former Labor Secretary Marty Walsh’s No. 2 at the department, is not expected to receive any GOP support. And she has yet to publicly win over any of the other key senators — Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) — who will determine her fate.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Julie Su has made a career out of representing the most vulnerable workers in America. Call your senators now at 866-832-1560 and tell them to vote to confirm Julie Su as secretary of the Department of Labor.
► From The Hill — Biden, McCarthy to meet as debt limit showdown enters critical week — The meeting is taking place after talks paused — then resumed — on Friday, a sign that the two sides remain far apart on how to increase the borrowing limit. With 10 days to go until June 1 — the date when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said the U.S. could run out of cash — pressure is on lawmakers and the White House to come to an agreement on how to raise the debt ceiling.
► From NPR — These are some of the people who’ll be impacted if the U.S. defaults on its debts — Veterans, seniors and government employees: These are just some of the people who stand to be impacted if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.
► From the WA State Standard — GOP’s desired work requirements for federal aid would kick millions from anti-poverty programs
► From the Washington Post — The poor are being held hostage in the debt ceiling standoff (by E.J. Dionne) — House Republicans have decided to hold the economy hostage to slash assistance for low-income Americans while protecting tax cuts for the wealthy. That’s a factual statement, not a partisan complaint.
EDITOR’S NOTE — On a 217-215 vote, Washington Republican Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse both voted to approve the “Limit, Save, Grow Act,” which imposes these work requirements and is the basis for the GOP’s debt limit threat to crash the U.S. economy. If either one of them had voted “no,” it would have failed to pass.
The Stand (May 5) — How Republican spending cuts will hurt Washington state
► From Roll Call — Medicare Advantage supplemental health plans draw scrutiny — Medicare Advantage plans lure customers with television ads promising plans with dental, vision and hearing benefits that traditional Medicare doesn’t offer But in a series of reports, experts and advocates question the actual value of those benefits to enrollees, who often find they still have to pay significant amounts out of pocket.
The Stand (April 13) — Rise of Medicare Advantage: The creation of a myth (by Rick Timmons)
► From Wisconsin Politics — AFL-CIO stands in solidarity with OPEIU Local 39 members on strike at CUNA Mutual in Madison — Over 450 workers represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 39 are on an unfair labor practice strike at CUNA Mutual Group, based in Madison, Wisconsin. Workers have been attempting to negotiate a fair contract since February 2022 and have been working without a contract for more than 400 days.
► From NPR — The latest workers calling for a better quality of life: airline pilots — Protests by pilots have been staged at airports all across the country in recent weeks, as United, American and Southwest airlines have all been engaged in contract talks. Quality of life issues have taken center stage.
► From Reuters — American Airlines pilots reach tentative deal on new contract
► From the AP — Warner Bros. Discovery CEO booed over commencement speech: ‘Pay your writers’ — Scores of Boston University students turned their backs on David Zavlav, the head of one of Hollywood’s biggest studios, and some shouted “pay your writers,” as he gave the school’s commencement address Sunday.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav’s pay package topped $39 million in 2022. A year earlier, he received about $246 million in total compensation, including stock options.
► From the WESA — Carnegie Museums workers approve first union contract, including pay raises — Most workers will see immediate raises ranging from 15% to 35%, according to the union.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, in Tacoma…
The Stand (May 16) — Tacoma Art Museum board opts for more union-busting
► From the NY Times — Resident doctors go on strike at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens — The strike, the first by doctors in New York City since 1990, shows how the pandemic may be leading to rising activism among young doctors.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.