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Canadian port strike | Heat protections | More power for workers

Monday, July 10, 2023




► From Reuters — Canadian port strike talks resume, supported by federal mediators — Talks in Pacific Canada between striking dock workers and their employers have resumed after four days away from the negotiation table. Some 7,500 port workers (ILWU Canada) went on strike on July 1 for higher wages, upending operations at the Port of Vancouver and Port of Prince Rupert.

► From CNBC — ILWU says it won’t work diverted containerships amid Canada strikes — U.S. West Coast port workers’ unions say they won’t work containerships originally bound for the Port of Vancouver that changed course and were diverted to the Port of Seattle. The disruption comes as labor strikes at West Coast ports in Canada continue. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said Friday its members would not work any of the diverted vessels. ILWU President Willie Adams:

“The ILWU will not be unloading Canadian bound cargo in solidarity with our Brothers and Sisters in ILWU Canada.”




► From KUOW — Inside Seattle Schools’ budget: Staff cuts, but no teacher layoffs or school closures — The Seattle School Board unanimously approved a budget for next school year, closing a $131 million shortfall. District officials stressed that no teachers or school-based staff were cut, but about 40 staffers will shift to different schools depending on typical staff turnover and individual school enrollment. The budget, however, includes layoffs for at least 70 central office employees.

► From Supermarket News — Albertsons top execs stand to make up to $146M in payouts if merger deal goes through — If the $24.6 billion Kroger-Albertsons merger goes through, Albertsons executives could stand to receive millions of dollars in payouts, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Albertsons’ top 10 executives could receive a total of $146 million if they quit or are laid off following the mega deal, according to the filing, which also states that  Albertsons CEO Vivek Sankaran may also end up resigning under a “good reason” clause, still receiving his full compensation package, in addition to a $43 million additional payout.


Study: Kroger-Albertsons merger will cost workers over $300M (May 9)
Grocery unions decry proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger (Oct. 14, 2022)




► From Reuters — NTSB probes Boeing 737 MAX engine fire at Newark Airport — The NTSB said a fire warning light indicator came on after United Airlines Flight 2376 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida landed at Newark on June 28, prompting the crew to shut down one of the engines.




► From NPR — It’s hot. For farmworkers without federal heat protections, it could be life or death — The blazing hot temperatures, which lead to the deaths of farmworkers and others across the Pacific Northwest in Summer 2021, led the Biden administration to move forward on one of the president’s campaign promises: creating heat protections for workers. But the rulemaking process is slow and two years later — as another heat dome causes deaths among farm workers and others — it is still not done.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile in this Washington, updated heat protections for outdoor workers will go into effect on July 17.

► From the Washington Post — Biden’s push for EVs pits green-energy agenda against auto unions — The UAW’s new leadership has sounded a string of alarms in recent weeks about the Biden-backed push toward electric vehicles, criticizing the relatively low pay workers are earning at one new battery factory and blasting the closure of older gasoline-vehicle factories. In contract negotiations with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, the UAW’s priorities include ensuring that workers at older factories can transition to new EV jobs, and securing pay and benefits for EV workers that match those in the gasoline era.

► From KSDK — Local leaders, unions welcome North America’s Building Trade Union leaders to STL — The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will increase federal spending on infrastructure by about $550 billion over the next decade.

The Stand (June 29) — ‘Biden is making good on his promises to workers’ — Washington’s Building Trades unions gather in Seattle and spotlight job creation under Biden Administration.


► From Politico — Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su: ‘I remain hopeful for confirmation’ — Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su voiced confidence Friday that she will eventually be confirmed by the Senate, even as multiple key senators have not yet announced whether they will support her nomination. Republicans this week questioned the legal authority under which Su is leading the department, which carries implications about whether there might be time limits on her acting secretary status.

► From Reuters — Su sees no need now to step into UPS-Teamsters talks — Acting U.S. Labor Secretary Julie Su said on Friday she does not see a need at this stage to step in to urge parties to reach a deal in contract talks between the Teamsters Union and United Parcel Service.

► From The Hill — Investigation finds Clarence Thomas accepted more undisclosed gifts from wealthy friends through elite association — A New York Times investigation revealed that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was brought access to the wealthy through relationships he built with members of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.

► From The Hill — Schumer calls out Thomas, Alito for accepting ‘lavish gifts and vacations’ from billionaires




► From Spectrum News — Amid strong jobs market and record-low unemployment, union membership grows — For more than a year, the Federal Reserve has tried to cool down the economy with interest rate hikes, hoping to temper the continually expanding job market — and inadvertently creating a new and interesting power dynamic, where workers have potentially more power than they did before.

The Stand (Jan. 19) — Washington remains the 3rd most unionized state

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 Stanford Daily — Stanford graduate workers unionize — In a landslide vote, 94% of Stanford’s graduate worker voters said “yes” to being represented by the Stanford Graduate Workers Union, affiliated with the United Electrical Workers (UE). The final vote count was 1639 to 108.

► From the LA Times — Hollywood studios could face two strikes for the first time in 63 years. How did we get here? — SAG-AFTRA members have authorized their leaders to call a strike if they can’t reach a deal with the major studios by Wednesday night, when their extended contract officially expires. They would join members of the Writers Guild of America, who have been on strike since May 2, broadening a labor conflict that has already disrupted film and TV productions nationwide.

► From the Hollywood Reporter — Ryan Murphy, with 3 shows in production, threatens to sue Writers Guild strike captain — The flap started June 21, when a WGA East strike captain alleged in a tweet that crewmembers on Murphy’s American Horror Story had told him that “they’ll be blackballed in Murphy-land” if they don’t cross the picket lines… Multiple sources say that only four scripted TV series remain in production on the East Coast — with three of them produced by Murphy. Multiple sources also say Murphy was spotted twice last week in New York crossing WGA picket lines.


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!