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SAG-AFTRA strike support | DCYF boss criticized | What’s powering the economy

Monday, July 31, 2023




► From the Seattle Times — Turnout meager, but on track, for Seattle and King County elections — Only 1 in 3 of you are likely to vote in Tuesday’s election. Voter turnout, both locally and statewide, ahead of the Tuesday primary elections is on track with previous odd-year primaries, which have much lower participation than congressional and presidential years.

The Stand (July 14) — Fill out, return your primary election ballot — Check out local labor endorsements for the 2023 primary election. Tuesday, Aug. 1 is the deadline to mail or drop off your primary election ballots throughout Washington state.

► From NW News Radio — Striking Actors planning more rallies in Seattle this week — Heading into week three of the SAG AFTRA strike performers are stepping up their presence in the Pacific Northwest. “The Workers United Will Never be Defeated!!!” WSLC President April Sims led a strike rally on Friday with union members on the banks of Lake Union in Seattle. “It is about the survival of your profession, we know that wealthy executives who run television and film production companies aren’t just trying to take away your pay and your residuals, they’re trying to take away you.”

► From the Yakima H-R — Negotiations are ongoing between Yakima Valley College and faculty union over expired contract — Negotiations continue between Yakima Valley College and its faculty union, AFT Local 1485, after their collective bargaining agreement expired June 30. The negotiations are taking place amid increasingly strained relations between the faculty union and the school’s administrative leadership.

► From KUOW — Seven staffers injured in youth brawl at King County juvenile detention facility — A fight between eight youths housed at King County’s juvenile detention facility sent seven staff members to the hospital on Thursday with injuries including a broken wrist, sprains and a shoulder injury, said an agency spokesperson.




► From the Seattle Times — Child welfare workers push Inslee to fire Department of Children, Youth and Families Secretary Ross Hunter — Unionized workers at the state Department of Children, Youth and Families have launched a no-confidence vote against their boss, DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter, urging Gov. Jay Inslee to fire and replace him. The long-simmering revolt stems from what workers contend is Hunter’s “ignorance about the work we do and indifference to the issues we raise, all of which have put children and staff at risk,” according to a summary of their grievances posted on the state employee union website.

EDITOR’S NOTE — At the Washington State Labor Council’s 2023 Convention earlier this month, union delegates from across the state approved Resolution 2023.14 to “put the weight of the labor movement behind securing safety and support for Washington’s child welfare workers by demanding DCYF work collaboratively with their employees to improve conditions for their workforce and improve outcomes for vulnerable children.”

► From the Washington State Standard — ‘Clearly greenlighted’: Washington and Oregon lawmakers upbeat about I-5 bridge replacement — Washington and Oregon lawmakers got a clearer idea Friday of what a new Interstate 5 bridge across the Columbia River might look like, how much drivers may pay to use it and how residents of both states can stay involved as the project moves toward construction.

► From the Washington State Standard — New state housing dollars a ‘drop in the bucket’ compared to need — The pace of home construction has trailed demand for years, and advocates worry high rents and evictions will drive up homelessness.




► From the PS Business Journal — Boeing plans to restart 777X production this year, but regulatory hurdles remain — New 777X planes will come off the line again later this year, as Boeing plans to restart production earlier than expected. But it has also warned of risks to its backlog of orders for the jet if it’s not able to get regulators to sign off soon.




► From the Washington Post — Infrastructure and green energy spending are powering the economy — A surge in government funding and related private investment is beginning to make its way to businesses and communities across the country, building electric vehicles, new bridges, airport upgrades and a host of other infrastructure and green energy projects that are juicing the economy — just when it needs it most. The Biden administration estimates that three key pieces of legislation — the Inflation Reduction Act, Chips and Science Act, and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act — will eventually translate to roughly $3.5 trillion in funding over the next decade, including some $1 trillion from private businesses.

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

The Stand (June 16) — AFL-CIO votes to endorse President Biden for re-election

► From Politico — Labor battle brews as Trump rallies in Biden’s backyard — Donald Trump talked up his appeal to labor groups in hotly contested Erie County Saturday evening, a western Pennsylvania bellwether Joe Biden won by a razor-thin margin almost three years ago. AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond accused the former president of having an “anti-worker record,” on a Saturday morning press call as Trump continues to make a play for organized labor:

“Donald Trump doesn’t care about workers. Trump undermined workers’ rights. Trump rolled back workplace safety rules. He delivered massive tax giveaways to the extremely rich and big corporations while not lifting a finger to help struggling working people in Erie and so many other communities around the country.”

► From the Guardian — Big business lobbies against heat protections for workers as U.S. boils — Big-business lobbyists, including big agricultural and construction groups, are pushing to water down or stymie efforts at the federal and state levels to implement workplace heat protection standards. This summer, millions in the U.S. have been exposed to some of the hottest days on record, inciting renewed urgency for federal protections from heat exposure for U.S. workers.

► From the NY Times — Heat is costing the U.S. economy billions in lost productivity — Now that climate change has raised the Earth’s temperatures to the highest levels in recorded history, with projections showing that they will climb further, new research shows the impact of heat on workers is spreading across the economy and lowering productivity.




► From PBS — In era of tech disruption and instant gratification, workers say they’re pushed to the brink — Overworked and underpaid employees is an enduring complaint across industries — from delivery drivers to Starbucks baristas and airline pilots — where surges in consumer demand have collided with persistent labor shortages. Workers are pushing back against forced overtime, punishing schedules or company reliance on lower-paid, part-time or contract forces.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Ready to push back? Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate for better pay and working conditions. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

► From Jacobin — At the Big 3 automakers, workers endure dangerous work speeds and horrible hours — The United Auto Workers are starting to negotiate their next contract with the Big Three automakers. As bargaining begins, workers at the companies say management is pushing unsafe work paces, more and longer shifts, and divisions between workers.

► From the LA Times — An actor’s heart problems highlight health insurance concerns amid SAG-AFTRA strike — The SAG-AFTRA strike is showing how industry uncertainty leads to actors losing their health insurance or not qualifying in any given year.

► From Channel 3000 — TruStage workers march and rally on day 485 without a contract — It’s been exactly 485 days since well over 450 TruStage employees had a contract in place. Members of the OPEIU Local 39 held a march and rally in downtown Madison, Wisc., on Saturday morning to further their call for action.

► From Reuters — Teamsters: Trucking firm Yellow shuts ops, to file for bankruptcy — Cash-strapped U.S. trucking company Yellow Corp. has ceased operations and is filing for bankruptcy after failing to reorganize and refinance over a billion dollars in debt, the Teamsters Union said on Sunday.

► From the Washington Post — Truck drivers are leaving boom-and-bust supply chain jobs — Several thousand drivers who have fled tractor cabs this year amid one of the harshest freight recessions in memory. 


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!