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Good Sam strike vote | Amazon safety probe | Summer UPS strike?

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

 


LOCAL

 

► From WSNA — MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital nurses hold strike vote June 20 and 21 — About 750 registered nurses are taking a strike authorization vote at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup. Good Sam nurses are seeking safe staffing measures in their contract that will ensure they are able to give their patients the care they need and deserve. At present nurses are too often working short-staffed and not getting meal and rest breaks, which can put patient safety at risk.

► Meanwhile in Oregon, from KOIN — ‘Can’t find places to live’: Providence Seaside nurses strike over patient load — From Astoria to Tillamook, Providence’s Seaside hospital is one of just four medical centers on the coast – but its nurses are in the middle of a strike after struggling to keep up with patient loads and cost of living.

► From the Skagit Valley Herald — Mount Vernon special education teachers give director vote of no confidence — Special education teachers in the Mount Vernon School District say the administrator who oversees the department has created a toxic work environment and is not following the law when it comes to special education, according to the union that represents the teachers.

► From the Cascadia Daily News — Bellingham city hall receives petitions for minimum wage, tenant protections — Members of Community First Whatcom and their supporters delivered an armload of petitions Tuesday for ballot measures that would increase the city’s minimum wage and provide protections to tenants.

► From the New Republic — Missing Titanic sub once faced massive lawsuit over depths it could safely travel to — Court documents reveal a former employee of Everett-based OceanGate had several safety complaints over the tourist submersible—and then he was fired.

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► From the Peninsula Daily News — District 24 senator eyes state lands role — State Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, who has worked as a firefighter for 30 years, is running for the office of state commissioner of public lands, he announced Tuesday. “I’ve been a state lawmaker for years, but I’ve been a firefighter my entire professional life,” Van De Wege, 48, said in a press release.

► From the Seattle Times — U.S. Attorney Nick Brown resigns, expected to run for WA attorney general — Brown, a former legal counsel to Gov. Jay Inslee, was nominated for his federal job by President Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2021, making him the first Black U.S. attorney to serve in Washington state.

► From Crosscut — How WA cities’ lobbying muscle shapes housing, public records bills — Lobbyists for the Association of Washington Cities flex the group’s influence in Olympia — including the ability to draft policy themselves.

 


AEROSPACE

 

► From KWCH — Machinists’ union voting on Spirit AeroSystems contract — Machinists with one of Wichita’s largest employers will vote Wednesday on a proposed contract that could avert a potential strike. The current contract between Spirit AeroSystems and IAM Local 839 (District 70) expires Friday.

► From the Washington Post — Boeing, Airbus to sell up to 1,000 airliners to Indian carriers — Boeing says it has finalized an order with fast-growing Air India for 190 737 MAXs, 20 787 Dreamliners and 10 777X jets, with the option to purchase an additional 50 737 MAXs and 20 787s. The same airline firmed up an earlier deal for 250 jets from Airbus, and just a day earlier the Indian budget airline IndiGo placed a firm order for 500 Airbus A320 passenger jets. Mike Boyd, a commercial aerospace analyst at Boyd Group International, said Airbus is at “a production chokehold,” backlogged with orders that leave it unable to meet Air India’s full demand:

“Seeing that Airbus couldn’t meet that demand, they called up their friends in Seattle. Boeing is clearly in the descendency, even with this deal.”

► From Reuters — Paris air show: ‘Progress’ in supply chain as jet orders rack up — Jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney flagged “solid progress” in the aerospace supply chain on Wednesday, addressing a key area of concern for planemakers.

 


SUPREME COURT

 

► From ProPublica — Justice Samuel Alito took luxury fishing vacation with GOP billionaire who later had cases before the court — Alito was on vacation at a luxury fishing lodge that charged more than $1,000 a day, and after catching a king salmon nearly the size of his leg, Alito posed for a picture. To his left, a man stood beaming: Paul Singer, a hedge fund billionaire who has repeatedly asked the Supreme Court to rule in his favor in high-stakes business disputes. Singer was more than a fellow angler. He flew Alito to Alaska on a private jet. If the justice chartered the plane himself, the cost could have exceeded $100,000 one way. In the years that followed, Singer’s hedge fund came before the court at least 10 times in cases where his role was often covered by the legal press and mainstream media. In 2014, the court agreed to resolve a key issue in a decade-long battle between Singer’s hedge fund and the nation of Argentina. Alito did not recuse himself from the case and voted with the 7-1 majority in Singer’s favor. The hedge fund was ultimately paid $2.4 billion.

TODAY at The StandHigh court’s ethical lapses are a call to action (by David Groves) — Supreme Court justices’ inappropriate coziness with billionaire benefactors is another reminder of what’s at stake in re-election of President Biden.

► From the Washington Post — ProPublica asked about Alito’s travel. He replied in the Wall Street Journal. — Questioned about an undisclosed fishing trip hosted by a GOP billionaire, the Supreme Court justice instead shared his rebuttal in a rival media outlet — before the investigative journalists could publish their scoop.

► From The Hill — How the Supreme Court changed America by overturning Roe v. Wade — Almost exactly a year ago, a Supreme Court ruling ended the constitutional right to an abortion, allowing states to make their own policies. The decision was part of a sharp rightward turn for the court after conservatives cemented a six-vote supermajority when Amy Coney Barrett replaced Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The court’s majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, issued June 24, 2022, halted a 50-year precedent of federal abortion protections and marked the start of a new era in abortion politics.

The Stand (June 27, 2022) — Amid attacks on abortion rights, unions must fight back (by Shaunie Wheeler James and Cherika Carter) — We have the tools to transform protests into concrete actions defending bodily autonomy.

► From NPR — Majority of Americans say it was wrong to overturn Roe

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From the AP — Sen. Bernie Sanders launches probe into Amazon’s safety practices, asks workers to share stories — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has opened a Senate investigation into Amazon’s warehouse safety practices, the latest in a series of probes he’s initiated against big corporations in his role as chairman of a committee that oversees health and labor issues. Injuries at Amazon have typically been higher compared with its peers in the industry, which critics and labor safety experts blame on the company’s fast-paced warehouses that track productivity and allow customers to get their packages quickly.

► From The Hill — Drug industry launches furious legal fight against Medicare negotiating powers — The drug industry is launching a legal assault on Medicare’s new powers to negotiate drug prices just as talks with manufacturers begin, threatening to stall a key Biden initiative. Merck & Co., the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Bristol Myers Squibb have all filed lawsuits against the Biden administration, seeking to block the Medicare price negotiation program established by the Inflation Reduction Act.

► From Jacobin — Health insurers are boosting CEO pay to astronomical heights while their customers suffer (by Wendell Potter) — Health insurance companies are spending more and more money on stock buybacks — boosting their CEOs’ pay to obscene levels even while insurers’ out-of-pocket requirements are burying 100 million Americans under a mountain of medical debt.

The Stand (June 1) — The bipartisan push to privatize Medicare (by Wendell Potter)

► From the Washington Post — Bill to seize failed bank CEOs’ pay draws bipartisan Senate supportSenate banking panel to consider measure empowering regulators to penalize bank executives whose firms collapse.

 


NATIONAL

 

► From Deadline — WGA strike at Day 50: Major Hollywood unions to join big L.A. march as economic impact mounts — By the Writer’s Guild’s own reckoning, the strike has already cost the California economy $1.5 billion ($30 million a day) in lost economic output – which is already more than the $1.287 billion in gains ($429 million a year) it says its proposals would cost the companies.

► From The Hill — Teamsters strike with UPS could snarl commerce as labor flexes muscle — A strike authorized Friday by Teamsters working for shipping giant UPS is the latest flash point in a conflict between organized labor and global logistics companies that 40-year high inflation triggered. The UPS Teamsters strike authorization is the latest sign of an emboldened U.S. labor coalition hoping to make gains following poor working conditions, low pay and the cost of living crisis set off by the pandemic.

► From the Washington Post — Sean O’Brien’s summer of the strike — Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien’s immediate priority is trying to win more concessions from UPS for its 340,000 Teamsters-represented workers — and he seems to relish the prospect of the largest-ever strike against a single U.S. business. On Friday, UPS union members voted by 97 percent to authorize the Teamsters to order a work stoppage as soon as Aug. 1 if contract negotiations haven’t culminated in a deal. Yet even a UPS strike would serve as a mere testing ground for what could be organized labor’s defining battle of the new century. O’Brien wants to unionize Amazon’s 1 million-plus workers, before the omni-retailer’s culture of hyper-efficiency and gig work — which the Teamsters perceive as a threat to labor aspirations for worker safety, rights and living standards — takes hold permanently in North America.

► From The Hill — An ‘average’ American income may no longer cut it — Many Americans earn too little in 2023 to attain a decent standard of living in their communities. The typical U.S. family earns about $71,000 a year, according to the Census. Yet, the average American believes a family needs at least $85,000 in annual household income to get by, according to a recent Gallup poll.

► From the AP — Eviction filings are 50% higher than they were pre-pandemic in some cities — After a lull during the pandemic, eviction filings by landlords have come roaring back, driven by rising rents and a long-running shortage of affordable housing. Most low-income tenants can no longer count on pandemic resources that had kept them housed.

► From the NY Times — Child care disruptions expected as record funding nears an end — Three million children could be affected as the largest investment in child care in U.S. history expires in September.

► From the LA Times — Is a dine-in service fee a tip? Former servers allege in suit they are owed gratuities — A restaurant says the 18% service fee attached to checks is part of a vision to make pay more equitable among all workers. The suit filed Tuesday in L.A. seeks damages for what servers claim are tips.

► From the LA Times — Dodgers agree to five-year contracts with stadium workers, ending threat of a strike — The contracts, according to a statement released by the parties, will give the lowest-paid Dodger Stadium game-day employees total wage increases between 45% and 50% over the five-year period. Affected workers include ushers, security officers, ticket takers, ticket sellers, hospitality team members and groundskeepers.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Ready for a raise? 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!

 


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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!