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Kaiser rallies continue | Millions losing Medicaid | Glut of guest workers

Thursday, July 27, 2023




The Stand (July 26) — Rallies on July 26-27 to support Kaiser healthcare workers — The actions continue today! Come support SEIU Healthcare 1199NW and OPEIU Local 8 members who work at Kaiser Permanente at the following rallies:

Tacoma — Thursday, July 27 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Wright Park, 599 S. I St. in Tacoma. Get details.

Spokane — Thursday, July 27 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at 322 North River Dr. in Spokane outside Kaiser Permanente Riverfront Medical Center. Get details.

Bellevue — Thursday, July 27 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at 116th Ave NE & NE 8th St. outside Kaiser Permanente Bellevue Medical Center. Get details.

► From CBS 8 — Kaiser employees picket, protest across California — The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions represents 85,000 frontline workers and it is calling on Kaiser to make significant investments in the workforce as contracts are set to expire on September 30. With less than three months until the contract expiration, tens of thousands of employees are calling on management to provide safe levels of staffing.




► From Reuters — First delivery of Boeing 737 MAX 7 delayed to 2024 — Boeing still expects the FAA to certify the MAX 7 and begin FAA certification flight testing for the MAX 10 in 2023, the company said. MAX 10 is currently slated for first delivery in 2024. Both the MAX 7 and MAX 10 are seen as critical for Boeing to compete against Airbus for orders at the top and bottom of the narrowbody markets. A delay in getting the MAX 7 to launch customer Southwest Airlines will further draw out its entry into service, originally set for 2022, and could hinder the carrier’s expansion.

► From Reuters — Airlines brace for hit from Pratt & Whitney’s new engine problem — Airline executives are fuming about the prospect of grounding planes and trimming flight capacity amid a busy summer travel season after fresh problems arose with some of RTX’s Pratt & Whitney engines that power Airbus’ popular A320neo jets.




► From the LA Times — Millions of Americans are about to lose their healthcare coverage. Many have no idea. (by Michael Hiltzik) — Millions of Americans may have breathed a sigh of relief when the federal government declared the national pandemic emergency to have ended as of May 11. That doesn’t include Medicaid advocates and millions of Medicaid enrollees, however. The reason is that the end of the emergency meant the end of rules protecting those enrollees from losing their coverage for any reason. As a result, 15.5 million people will the thrown off Medicaid, according to an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office. Of that number, 6.2 million will become uninsured. That may be a conservative figure; the healthcare research organization KFF estimates that as many as 24 million people may lose their Medicaid coverage.

► From the NY Times — Labor Department decries surge in exploited migrant children — The Labor Department on Thursday decried a national surge in child labor, saying that the agency’s inspectors had found thousands of violations and were investigating a slaughterhouse where a 16-year-old boy from Guatemala was killed this month.

► From HuffPost — Biden vows to ramp up heat safety enforcement in workplaces — The move comes as Congressional Democrats call on the administration to do more to protect workers amid scorching temperatures.

► From Safety & Health — Reintroduced bill aimed at fast-tracking worker heat protections — Legislation that would direct OSHA to establish – “on a much faster track” – a permanent federal standard that protects indoor and outdoor workers from excessive heat is back before Congress. The legislation is supported by numerous labor groups, including the AFL-CIO, UFW, Teamsters and UAW.

► From the NY Times — More income for the Supreme Court: Million-dollar book deals — The deals have become highly lucrative for the justices, including for those who used court staff members to help research and promote their books.

► From the Washington Post — McConnell freezes mid-sentence, escorted away at news conference — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday abruptly left a news conference after he froze midway through his opening remarks and appeared to be unable to resume speaking immediately.

► From NBC News — McConnell fell recently at a D.C. airport, before his news conference freeze-up




► From NPR — America’s farms are desperate for labor. Foreign workers bring relief and controversy. — From the road, the FairBridge Inn & Suites on Yakima’s North First Street looks like any other no-frills hotel. Not so long ago, it was routinely getting 1-star Yelp reviews. “Oi. Is all I can say,” reads one. But location is everything. Strategically situated in a valley bursting with cherries, apples and hops, the property is now bustling with activity and nearing full capacity. That’s because the FairBridge Inn is now a dormitory. Gone are the king and queen beds, replaced with several bunkbeds in each of its 206 rooms. The guests are no longer road trippers or conferencegoers, but farmworkers brought to the U.S. from other countries. They stay for weeks and sometimes months. What’s happening at the FairBridge Inn is a symbol of the exponential growth in seasonal foreign workers on U.S. farms. The number of guest worker visas issued each year has more than quadrupled over the past decade. But the program is rife with labor rights violations, and farmers who have come to depend on it don’t love it, either.

► From the LA Times — Musicians deal with stingy streamers and AI threats, too. So why aren’t they on strike? — Some musicians are unionized. The American Federation of Musicians, with 80,000 members in the U.S. and Canada, collectively bargains for orchestra, film and live theater musicians. The L.A. Phil’s summer calendar is proceeding as normal under their contract through AFM. But the vast majority of artists who dominate the streaming charts and fill nightclubs, arenas and stadiums have no such counterpart.

► From the NY Times — Jobs sit empty in the public sector, so unions pitch in to recruit — Understaffing requires employees to pick up many hours of mandatory overtime, says Mitchell Kuhne, a sergeant with the Department of Corrections staffing a table at a state jobs fair in Minneapolis this week. The additional income can be welcome, but also makes home life difficult for new recruits, and many quit within a few weeks. So his union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, is playing an unusual role — helping their bosses recruit workers.

► From the AFL-CIO — Yellowstone workers first to organize a national park — Workers at Yellowstone National Park have elected the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), an affiliate of the Machinists (IAM), to represent America’s first established national park.

► From the Washington Post — Grocery chain Amazon Fresh is eliminating hundreds of in-store jobs — Hundreds of grocery store staffers who work for Amazon Fresh found out their jobs were being permanently eliminated on Tuesday. Staff were told the cuts were part of a cost reduction plan.

► From NPR — A Texas A&M professor was suspended for allegedly criticizing lieutenant governor — Joy Alonzo was suspended and investigated after she allegedly criticized Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick at a lecture on the opioid crisis. Free speech advocates call the probe “blatantly inappropriate.”

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 HuffPost — — THE PERSUADERS (5-part series on union-busters)

Part 3 — When immigrants try to organize, their employers know who to call — Organizing immigrants comes with unique challenges. Many workers face language barriers, have little familiarity with the U.S. form of collective bargaining, or are afraid to challenge their bosses’ control because they or their family members may be undocumented. To defeat the union at United Scrap Metal in Philadelphia, the company and its consultants settled on a plan, according to emails. They would produce flyers equating the union with oppressive “dictators” from Latin America. United Scrap President Brad Serlin seemed enthusiastic about the idea.

Part 2 — Inside Corporate America’s favorite ‘union busting’ firm

Part 1 — Workers wanted a union. Then the mysterious men showed up.


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!