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Library workers unite | Pushback at DOH | Time for UPS to pay up

Monday, June 5, 2023




► From the (Everett) Herald — Sno-Isle Libraries workers cite safety, unfilled positions in union push — Sno-Isle Libraries staff members filled the library’s board meeting on Tuesday to notify leadership they have filed for union recognition. The meeting in the library administrative office was so full that a handful of the attendees, some wearing green “100% Union Strong” T-shirts, spilled into an overflow room to watch on a screen. Around 26 people attended on Zoom. Attendees were in good spirits, talking and laughing together before the meeting began. About 10 people spoke during public comment to express support for the union. Workers announced their plan to form Sno-Isle Libraries Employees United on May 19. They intend to join AFSCME Council 2.

The Stand (May 23) — Support Sno-Isle Libraries Employees United

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 Maritime Executive — Longshore workers ‘no show’ at West Coast ports, closing terminals — Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) failed to show up for their shifts Friday morning at many of the terminals on the West Coast forcing operations in some places to be suspended while others are proceeding with reduced resources. Two months ago, members of the union’s local in California also failed to show up for assigned shifts as the contract negotiations for the approximately 22,000 longshore workers at 29 West Coast have dragged on for a year. On Friday, ILWU President Willie Adams issued a statement:

“Any reports that negotiations have broken down are false. We are getting there but it’s important to understand that West Coast dockworkers kept the economy going during the pandemic and lost their lives doing so. We aren’t going to settle for an economic package that doesn’t recognize the heroic efforts and personal sacrifices of the ILWU workforce that lifted the shipping industry to record profits.”

► From Q13 — Hundreds of paraeducators receive layoff notices in Marysville SD, rally scheduled for Monday — As the Marysville School District faces an $18 million deficit, hundreds of paraeducators have received layoff notices for the 2023-2024 school year. The notices indicated up to 280 paraeducators may be affected. A rally in support of the paraeducators is planned at 5 p.m. Monday, before the school board meeting at the Marysville School District office at 4220 80th St.

► From the NW Labor Press — Nurses could strike in BendNurses voted in nearly unanimous, record-breaking numbers in May to authorize a strike at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, one of the state’s largest hospitals east of the Cascade Range.




► From the Olympian — Department of Health employees push back on mandatory agency training from Utah institute — The Washington Federation of State Employees are calling on the state Department of Health to cancel its contract and funding for mandatory DOH employee training that some say perpetuates workplace issues and creates an uncomfortable work environment. In a news release, WFSE provided a web link to a petition that is now circulating among DOH employees asking the agency to discontinue the training.

► From WFSE — Mind games at the Department of Health — Since 2019, DOH has paid over $2.5 million in taxpayer dollars for Outward Mindset training from the Arbinger Institute, an organization with roots in racist, homophobic, and religious ideology.

TAKE A STAND — Millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on faith-based “empathy training” that silences discrimination concerns and penalizes protected union activity. DOH employees are calling for it to stop. Sign their petition here.

► From the WA State Standard — Washington vies to become a national hub for hydrogen fuel — The Pacific Northwest is in the running to receive hundreds of millions of federal dollars to create a regional hub for the production and distribution of “clean hydrogen,” viewed by some as a key ingredient in the transition away from fossil fuels. Washington’s Department of Commerce and Oregon’s Department of Energy have leading roles in a push to secure the money, participating in the public-private Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association. The group is particularly keen on hydrogen production for heavy industry and in areas like the maritime and aviation sectors.

The Stand (April 10) — Pacific Northwest states seek billions to create hydrogen hub — WSLC President April Sims, who serves on the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association’s Board:

“This is an investment in Washington’s workforce and in our organization’s goal of creating/sustaining good jobs, strengthening our communities, and promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Clean hydrogen will help our state and our nation solve two existential crises facing our communities: runaway climate change and runaway income inequality.”

► From the Seattle Times — WA faces spate of lawsuits from workers fired for refusing COVID vaccines — Gov. Jay Inslee recently ended the COVID-19 vaccination mandate, but for some of the public workers fired for refusing to comply, the legal battle goes on. The state is facing more than a dozen lawsuits involving at least 180 ex-employees who allege they were unjustly forced from their jobs after asserting religious or other objections to receiving the vaccines.

► From KING — State, county-run ferry systems face problems with aging fleets — A failed generator on the Christine Anderson shut down ferry service out of Steilacoom on Saturday. Steilacoom II, its sister-ship, was also out of service.




► From Jacobin — The recent SCOTUS ruling against unions was bad. But it could’ve been far worse. (by Alexandra Bradbury) — The Supreme Court’s Glacier pro-employer ruling this week opens the door to further erosion of workers’ rights to strike. But the right to walk off the job is far from extinguished in the U.S., and workers shouldn’t let the court scare them away from doing so.

The Stand (June 1) — Glacier NW decision: ‘This changes nothing’ — April Sims, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO:

“The Glacier Northwest decision changes nothing. The momentum of our labor movement cannot be stopped. As organized workers, we control when and whether we labor. Opinions of the Court will not stop workers striking for better pay and working conditions, exercising our right to make our own choices on pregnancy, or fighting for better jobs and stronger communities for all working people. Worker power is on the rise.”

► From the AP — Dozens of dangerous rail crossings will be eliminated with $570 million in grants — With the rail industry relying on longer and longer trains to cut costs, the Biden administration is handing out $570 million in grants to help eliminate many railroad crossings in 32 states.




► From CNN — Amazon fires Alabama warehouse worker who led union push — An Amazon worker who helped lead a milestone organizing effort to form what would have been the company’s first US union at a warehouse in Alabama said she has been fired by the e-commerce giant. Jennifer Bates became the face of the effort to unionize an Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama, back in 2021 when she testified before lawmakers about her “grueling” experience working at the company.

► From the Washington Post — Conservatives seek control over public universities with state bills — Their efforts — which have alarmed many academics — include limiting teaching about certain topics, mandating courses, ending faculty tenure, banning diversity, equity and inclusion programs, and fighting accreditors trying to limit political interference.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Their efforts also include forbidding faculty from striking…

The Stand (May 19) — Antioch University faculty condemn Ohio Senate Bill 83

► From the NY Times — States are silencing the will of millions of voters — By reducing the right of localities to make their own decisions, Texas has joined dozens of other states that have asserted their dominance over cities in recent years through a practice known as state pre-emption. One watchdog group has counted more than 650 pre-emption bills in state legislatures this year; the large majority have been introduced by Republican lawmakers to curb policymaking in cities run by Democrats.

EDITOR’S NOTE — They’re all for small government… until they’re in charge.

► From Variety — Directors Guild of America reaches tentative labor settlement with Hollywood studios — The Directors Guild of America said Saturday night that it had reached a tentative three-year labor deal with the Hollywood studios and streamers after a bruising skirmish. A separate strike by Writers Guild of America members over the terms of their relationship with studios and streamers remains ongoing.

► From Variety — Snoop Dogg postpones Hollywood Bowl shows amid writers’ strike: ‘Me and Dr. Dre, we stand in solidarity with the writers’

► From the LA Times — Dodger Stadium game-day workers protest, threaten strike

► From Reuters — U.S. hotel developers run out of cash as construction lending dries up — Tighter lending standards from regional banks are making it harder for U.S. hotel developers to secure funding, slowing construction of new hotels at a time Americans’ appetite for travel is ripe.

► From NPR — Dogs attacked more than 5,300 mail carriers last year, the Postal Service says — USPS officials say even well-behaved pets who don’t show signs of aggression may lash out at postal workers, who often must enter a property to drop off the mail, and the results can sometimes be deadly.

► From Reuters — Energy sector’s COVID recovery turns into massive CEO payday — The CEOs of America’s biggest oil companies were paid a lot more in the first year of the COVID crisis than initially estimated, thanks to stock-heavy compensation packages that have since soared in value.




► From Salon — UPS is making record profits — while workers like me are falling further behind (by Jane Fallon) — I work for UPS, a global package delivery company. As a “preloader,” I prepare packages for the brown trucks that you see on the road every day. I help children get their presents on time and businesses get critical goods that keep our economy running. If you clicked online to order a package, I likely helped get it to your door. I take pride in my work, as do my co-workers. But our compensation doesn’t reflect the work we put in for this company. I’ve been with UPS for 12 years and make $21 an hour. The starting rate for part-timers like me is only $15.50. It shouldn’t be like this, and it doesn’t have to be. UPS pocketed more than $13 billion in profits last year. This company can afford to pay us a living wage and provide better working conditions.


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

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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!