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‘Blown away by the power’ | Last holdout in Lacey | New heat rules

Wednesday, July 12, 2023




► From — Teamsters ratify first contract at Ridwell — Teamsters in Washington state have voted unanimously to ratify a first contract at Ridwell, Inc., a recycling start-up based in Seattle. Highlights of the three-year agreement include substantial wage increases, significant increase in paid time off, triple the number of paid holidays, employee stock options, and improved working conditions. Ridwell employee Eamon Keane said:

“This contract is a smashing success for all of us, better than I could have possibly expected. I’m blown away by the power of Teamsters Local 117. The company respects us now. It’s changed how management approaches every decision. Before moving forward on anything that affects us, they now check with the union first.”

The Stand (Nov. 28, 2022) — Ridwell employees join with Teamsters 117

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 Washington State Standard — Upcoming Fred Meyer union vote marks culmination of recent organizing push — The merchandise department at a Fred Meyer store in Lacey is the last non-union holdout among the major retail chain’s stores in a six-county swath of western Washington — but that may change after workers there hold a union election on Thursday. If the effort succeeds, employees in the store’s general merchandise wing will join UFCW Local 367, which represents workers across Pierce, Mason, Thurston, Grays Harbor, Lewis and Pacific counties.

The Stand (April 21) — Sumner win: Facing pressure, Fred Meyer recognizes union

► From the Skagit Valley Herald — County signs with Waste Management for trash hauling contract — Starting in October, Waste Management will handle Skagit County’s waste disposal, as the Skagit County Board of Commissioners decided to end a 30-year relationship with competitor Republic Services.




► From Bloomberg — Boeing delivered 60 jets in June despite strike, supplier snarls — Boeing delivered 60 jets in June, including 49 of its best-selling 737 models, beating analyst expectations even as it contended with a strike at a key supplier and manufacturing defects. The tally boosted Boeing’s total handovers for the second quarter to 136 jets, 12% more than a year earlier.




► From the Yakima H-R — What to know about Washington’s new heat rules for employees and employers — New heat rules for outdoor workers go into effect in Washington on July 17. The new rules were requested in 2021 after a record-breaking heat wave hit the Northwest, which saw a new all-time high temperature record of 113 in Yakima. Officials estimate 126 people in the state died from the heat between June 26 and July 2, 2021. A new report from the University of Washington released this month said the heat wave was likely far more deadly, with more than 400 people in Washington dying from direct and indirect heat-related causes that week.

► From KUOW — Report: WA’s high cost of child care hits single moms hardest — A new report finds the average annual cost to send a toddler to a child care center in Washington state has risen to more than $14,000. Only five other states — Connecticut, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York — and Washington, D.C., had a higher average annual cost for child care. And it’s especially burdensome for single mothers.

► From the Seattle Times — Former U.S. Attorney Nick Brown to run for WA Attorney General — Nick Brown, the former U.S. Attorney for Western Washington, is jumping into the race for state attorney general, becoming the second major Democratic contender in the race, with state Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-Redmond).

► From the Spokesman-Review — Former Spokane City Attorney Nancy Isserlis named chair of Washington PDC




► From KATU — Contract promises historic cost of living raise for Oregon state workers, union says — Oregon AFSCME, which represents state workers, announced the tentative agreement on Tuesday, calling the contract “historic.” If approved, workers will get a 6.5% cost of living adjustment in December of 2023, and another 6.55% COLA increase in early 2025. It also includes a $1,500 one-time bonus intended to offset higher living costs, which will be dispersed once the contract is ratified.




► From the Washington Post — Inflation eased further in June as economy slowly cools — A year after inflation soared to the highest level in four decades, price increases are returning closer to normal levels, with families and businesses feeling the difference as policymakers debate how much more to slow the economy. As has been the case for months, housing costs continue to be the main driver of inflation. Rising rents and other shelter costs accounted for more than 70 percent of the June increase.

► From CNBC — Microsoft-Activision deal moves closer as judge denies FTC injunction request — A federal judge in San Francisco has denied the Federal Trade Commission’s motion for a preliminary injunction to stop Microsoft from completing its acquisition of video game publisher Activision Blizzard.

► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO applauds ruling allowing Microsoft-Activision Blizzard acquisition to move forward — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler:

“This action opens the door for some 10,000 workers in the technology and video game industry to join a union, representing a transformational shift in the balance of power and a leap forward for all workers.”

► From the AP — A Biden plan cuts student loan payments for millions to $0. Will it be the next legal battle? —  The Biden administration calls it a “student loan safety net.” Opponents call it a backdoor attempt to make college free. And it could be the next battleground in the legal fight over student loan relief.

► From The Hill — Iowa Republicans pass six-week abortion ban, setting up new court challenge — The new law is passed weeks after the state Supreme Court deadlocked on whether the state’s current ban was enforceable.

► From the American Prospect — In its next term, the Supreme Court could claim more power for itself — A case on its docket could enable justices to strip rulemaking authority from federal agencies and reassign it to themselves.




► From NBC News — California hotel workers on strike demand higher wages and a chance to live closer to work — Hotel workers and labor organizers in Southern California have been striking and demanding higher wages and other benefits as they argue their existing salaries are unsustainable amid the region’s high cost of living and rent, making commutes and buying basic goods unsustainable.

► From the LA Times — Hotel workers near LAX walk out in second wave of strikes

► From the AP — Hollywood actors agree to mediation, but strike may be unavoidable — Unionized Hollywood actors on the verge of a strike have agreed to allow a last-minute intervention from federal mediators but say they doubt a deal will be reached by a negotiation deadline late Wednesday.

► From Reuters — Hollywood studios racing to avoid actors’ strike at midnight — SAG-AFTRA, Hollywood’s largest union, is demanding higher compensation in the streaming TV era plus safeguards around the use of artificial intelligence. Members have authorized a strike if negotiators cannot reach a deal, and A-list stars including Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep have said they are ready to walk off the job.

► From the Wall St. Journal — UAW nixes symbolic CEO handshakes as labor talks begin — In forgoing the ceremonial handshake, the union is signaling a more aggressive tone for contract negotiations with GM, Ford and Stellantis.


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

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