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NW unionizing | Pack the House tonight | The Biden Boom

Tuesday, June 13, 2023




► From the Cascadia Daily News — WWU academic student employees unionize — Less than six months after going public with their intent to unionize, the Academic Student Employees (ASEs) of Western Washington University formed a union June 12 with a 98% margin — 805 people voting yes and just 19 voting no.

TODAY at The Stand WWU student employees vote ‘Union YES!’ — This year, the Washington State Legislature passed and Gov. Jay Inslee signed SB 5238, sponsored by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña (D-Seattle), which enshrined into law the collective bargaining rights of all academic student employees enrolled in Washington’s regional colleges and universities. WSLC President April Sims:

“We congratulate the Educational Student Employees of Western Washington University on their resounding victory. The WSLC was proud to stand alongside members of WAWU and our affiliated unions to support SB 5238 this year so that ASEs at our regional four-year universities do not face barriers when joining together. By empowering themselves, WAWU has paved the way for others to improve their working conditions — and the quality of our higher education system — through collective bargaining.”

► From the Bellingham Herald — ‘Over the moon’: Bellingham REI becomes first Washington state store to unionize — Bellingham REI employees voted on Friday, in an overwhelming majority (40-12), to form a union and join UFCW Local 3000. Bellingham REI sales specialist Johnny Cook said:

“I feel over the moon. This process has brought me closer to my coworkers, it’s given me a sense of pride and joy in the way that I work, and it is just so exciting to me to see everyone hugging each other and everyone celebrating. I feel like as a workforce we’re going to be stronger together.”

► From KATU — Strip club dancers in Oregon city unionize, demand safer work environments — As part of the growing industry in town, dancers at a strip club in Northwest Portland are now unionizing. In an online petition, dancers at Magic Tavern said some employees were fired because they brought up safety concerns.

► From Berkeley Side — Union drive brewing at 3 Peet’s Coffee locations in Berkeley and Oakland — Workers at the Southside Berkeley, Temescal and Piedmont locations filed petitions for union elections on Friday.

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 SW Washington CLC — Pack The House with Evergreen Education Association members, supporters on June 13 The Evergreen Education Association’s bargaining with the Evergreen School District is not going in a positive direction. Sadly, Evergreen educators are being met with anti-union opposition at the bargaining table. The EEA’s membership is asking for safety and learning supports in classrooms and schools, and the continuation of a contractual cost of living allocation. The district claims to be interested in retention and flourishing schools, yet is unwilling to do what needs to be done to achieve those goals.

TAKE A STAND — The EEA is calling for all available members of the labor community to join them in solidarity on Tuesday, June 13 at 5 p.m. in front of the district’s school board meeting, 13413 NE LeRoy Haagen Memorial Drive in Vancouver, WA.




► From the Seattle Times — Dockworkers union, employers clash over extent of Seattle port disruption — The two parties are pointing fingers and sending mixed signals about the extent of disruption caused to West Coast port operations, including at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma. Pacific Maritime Association, which represents the employers, claimed that actions taken by the ILWU have caused terminal operations to slow down or, in Seattle, “come to a halt.” But the ILWU, which represents more than 22,000 longshore workers on the West Coast, said Saturday that port dockworkers were still operating at the 29 ports along the coast despite having an expired contract. Both sides remain very far off on pay, Port of Seattle Commissioner Sam Cho said in an interview Monday, confirming a slowdown in operations.

► From the Seattle Times — Why Ed Secretary Cardona backed out of UW commencement speech — Cardona’s office said the secretary “will not cross the picket line to give the commencement address. We respect the collective bargaining process and hope the parties can reach a resolution soon.”

The Stand (June 7) — UW Postdocs, Researchers are on STRIKE!

TAKE A STAND — Check out the strike linktree where you’ll find information about how to contribute to the strike hardship fund, picket shift signups, solidarity petitions and letters, and more. Get the latest updates via Twitter @UAW4121.




► From the Bellingham Herald — WA state is a leader when it comes to managing long-term care. New tax begins July 1. (by Marguerite Ro) — Washington is literally first out of the gate to thoughtfully build a program aimed at providing flexible, affordable benefits for workers when the likely need for long-term care comes along — there is no federal program that can meet the needs of an aging baby boomer population. However, being a national leader in long-term care is both a blessing and a challenge. It means we must lean in to innovate and improve, not fold and retreat, to address this care crisis that has devastating impacts on millions of families. The unmet need is immense, which should spur policymakers to work even harder to develop solutions.

► From the WA State Standard — A new state law will improve economic security for people who’ve been incarcerated (by Evan Walker) — They will now no longer face crushing financial debt imposed by courts if they are unable to pay fines and fees. This means thousands of people in Washington will have greater access to economic opportunity as they return home after prison.

► From the WA State Standard — State schools chief launches bid for a third term — Chris Reykdal helmed Washington’s schools through the pandemic. Now he wants to steer them out of the troubled waters of lower test scores and flagging enrollment.

► From the News Tribune — New WA law will make breast cancer exams more affordable and ‘flat out save lives’ — Starting in 2024, health insurers will be required to cover certain breast cancer exams, including magnetic resonance imaging, not require patients to share the cost on those tests.




► From The Hill — How Biden’s big investments spurred a factory boom — A surge in manufacturing construction across the country is grabbing the attention of economists and workers on the ground as legislative efforts to reinvigorate the U.S. industrial base are bearing fruit. Experts say these changes have been long-awaited, and they represent a watershed moment for U.S. heavy industry and a shift toward more environmentally friendly methods of production amid an ongoing climate emergency. President Biden’s 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law along with the Inflation Reduction Act and CHIPS and Science Act, both passed in 2022, are the main drivers behind the construction boom, economists say.

► From AFGE — AFGE members ratify new 2023 master agreement with VA — After over five years of unwavering dedication, members of the AFGE National VA Council have ratified the 2023 Master Agreement with the VA. This significant achievement showcases the relentless pursuit of a contract prioritizing VA employees and veterans.

► From the NY Times — Obamacare mandate for preventive care is restored, for now — Health plans must pay for all types of preventive care while an appeals court deliberates whether to strike down part of the Affordable Care Act.

► From Politico — On heels of debt fight, House GOP rolls out tax-cut package — Just days after Washington’s bitter fight over raising the debt limit, House Republicans are calling for billions in new tax cuts.

► From Politico — McCarthy and GOP hardliners reach deal to end their blockade — Hardline House Republicans left a roughly hour-long meeting in the speaker’s suite on Monday afternoon saying they would cede their blockade of the House floor after GOP leaders agreed to a number of concessions.




► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO marks historic year of progress under President Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer Redmond — On Monday, the AFL-CIO marked the one-year anniversary of the historic election of Liz Shuler as president and Fred Redmond as secretary-treasurer of the federation. The first year of the Shuler-Redmond administration has been characterized by transformational leadership at an unprecedented moment that is harnessing the energy of unions and putting power into the hands of working people. Their administration has led the AFL-CIO to expanded union membership, key legislative and political victories, and reinvigorated the labor movement. “A year ago today, I committed to amplify the voices of working people, invest in the tools we need to organize and innovate, and stand with workers to strengthen and reshape the labor movement—and I am so proud of the progress we’ve made,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “This has been a year of growth, expansion, investment and victories—and I am very excited to build on this work in the years ahead.”

► From Deadline — AFL-CIO joins striking writers in NYC — The head of the country’s largest labor union joined striking Writers Guild film and television writers at a rally on Monday outside the New York City offices of streaming giant Amazon and said the writers’ cause has the support of workers from across unionized labor. “You are fighting for all of us,” Liz Shuler, president of the 12.5-million member AFL-CIO, told about 200 people in a block-long picket line facing Amazon’s East Coast headquarters in the Manhattan’s Hudson Yards development.

► From the Wall St. Journal — First it was quiet quitting, now workers are facing off with their bosses — Half of workers aren’t engaged on the job, putting in minimal effort to get by, according to research by Gallup released Tuesday. Employee engagement, a measure of involvement and enthusiasm at work, in the U.S. declined for the second year in a row. There is also a growing share of the workforce that is disengaged, or resentful that their needs aren’t being met. In some cases, these workers are disgruntled over low pay and long hours, or they have lost trust in their employers.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Low pay and long hours? 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!

The Stand (June 12) — The ad Starbucks doesn’t want you to see (by Mike Andrew)

► From the Washington Post — Delivery workers in NYC to get almost $20 an hour minimum by 2025 — New York will become the first U.S. city to implement a minimum wage for food delivery workers, as much as tripling the current earnings of the city’s roughly 60,000 drivers.

► From HuffPost — David Byrne walks back burning-down-the-house (orchestra) approach to union dispute — David Byrne, the former frontman of rock group the Talking Heads, reached an agreement with a major Broadway labor union, conceding to their demands that he use live musicians for a forthcoming production.


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!