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Labor’s climate roadmap | Vote today! | Biden takes aim at grocery mergers

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► From the Washington State Standard — Labor’s plan for fighting climate change and creating jobs in Washington — A coalition of unions on Monday released a report laying out an ambitious “worker-centered climate roadmap” to create more than 800,000 jobs across Washington in the building, transportation, energy, and low-carbon manufacturing sectors. The 104-page blueprint details 20 actions including making Washington a center for offshore wind power and sustainable aviation fuel, building modular nuclear reactors, reopening the Intalco aluminum smelter, and installing cool roofs on buildings in the Tri-Cities area. Collectively, labor leaders say, the recommendations will promote a healthier environment and economy by curbing greenhouse gas emissions and providing workers with family-sustaining wages. “Washington state has a crisis of climate change and a crisis of inequality and these two crises need to be addressed simultaneously,” said Washington State Labor Council President April Sims, at a news conference. The council is among the founders of the Climate Jobs WA coalition.

► From KGMI — Washington labor unions launch coalition for climate jobs

The Stand (July 31) — Unions launch Climate Jobs Washington

► From KING — ‘An extreme step:’ Washington child welfare workers call on Inslee to fire top DCYF boss — Unionized workers at the Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) are calling on Gov. Jay Inslee to fire and replace their boss, Secretary Ross Hunter. Members of the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE), a union that represents 47,000 state workers, have launched a no-confidence vote against Hunter.

► From KING — Gov. Inslee, AG Bob Ferguson say Idaho abortion travel ban ‘illegal’ — Washington Attorney General and Governor Jay Inslee are among political leaders from over 20 states challenging a new Idaho law criminalizing traveling for an abortion. Ferguson revealed Tuesday that he and a coalition of attorneys general filed a lawsuit in an Idaho U.S. District Court, urging the law to be blocked immediately.

 


ELECTION

 

► From the Spokesman-Review — It’s Election Day, but only one-in-five have voted in Spokane County — Countywide, Spokane County had received back 20.5% of the ballots the elections office mailed to voters. That amount will grow as more ballots are returned.

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

► From KOMO — Lost or damaged your ballot or envelope? Here’s how to make your vote count

 


LOCAL

 

► From the Wenatchee World — Confluence Health Mares Campus nurses voted to unionize — About 100 registered nurses at the Confluence Health Mares Campus in Wenatchee are now represented by a nurses union. Nurses at the Confluence Health Mares Campus — located at 820 N. Chelan Ave. in Wenatchee and formerly known as the Wenatchee Valley Hospital — voted July 19 and chose the Washington State Nurses Association to represent them as their bargaining representative.

The Stand (July 28) — Wenatchee Valley RNs join together with WSNA

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 Skagit Valley Herald — Guemes Island Ferry workers still without a contract — Guemes Island Ferry workers remain without a contract 20 months after their previous contract with Skagit County expired. The Guemes Island Ferry workers union (Inlandboatmen’s Union) released a news release Friday stating that Skagit County’s consultant had not produced a contract offer after informing the workers’ negotiation team that it would have one by July 24.

► From the Seattle Times — Seattle-area teachers worry as heat waves can make classes unbearable — Sweltering classrooms are becoming the norm in Seattle-area school buildings, many of which have no or poor air conditioning systems. It is yet another front in the region’s battle with climate change, which has increased both the degree and frequency of hot days in a region outfitted for milder weather.

► From the News Tribune — Those serving Tacoma’s most vulnerable can’t afford to live here. Ours are getting a raise. (by April Black) — This month, the Tacoma Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners will vote to ratify our union contract (OPEIU 8) to bring our lowest-paid workers up to an hourly housing wage of $32 per hour. People in these positions will be paid well over the competitive market rate. This is just a small step in our journey to remove structural and systemic barriers in our systems.

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From Boise Dev — Biden takes aim at grocery consolidation as agencies put up potential hurdles impacting Kroger/Albertsons — In the long sprint toward completing a proposed acquisition of Boise-based Albertsons, Kroger faces new hurdles: three federal agencies announced two separate actions that could impact the proposed deal. And, President Joe Biden took aim at a lack of competition in the grocery industry as it exists today – including the two grocery companies… Without saying their names, President Joe Biden appeared to reference Albertsons & Kroger in remarks on the new framework:

“The Department of Agriculture… is ramping up enforcement of antitrust and consumer protection laws in food and in agriculture. For example, just four supermarket companies control over a third of the market nationwide.”

The Stand (July 27) — Urge FTC to block Kroger-Albertsons merger — UFCW 367 calls on the community to contact the Federal Trade Commission and voice concerns over proposed megamerger.

TAKE A STAND — Anyone hoping to voice their concerns about their opposition to the Kroger-Albertsons megamerger can email the FTC here. Please take a moment to send the FTC a message that this proposed megamerger spells disaster for consumers and essential workers everywhere.

► From the Tri-City Herald — Murray secures proposed record-high funding to clean up radioactive waste in Eastern WA — The Hanford nuclear reservation site would receive a record of just over $3 billion in fiscal 2024, up $195 million from current funding, under the U.S. Senate Energy and Water Appropriations bill. It was one of 12 bills that passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee this summer with overwhelming bipartisan votes under the leadership of Chairperson Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. It is a first time since 1918 that all 12 Senate appropriations bills have passed out of committee.

► From Bloomberg — New factories are coming to the U.S., even as existing ones struggle — A leading measure of U.S. manufacturing activity due Tuesday is set to show a ninth straight month of contraction for the sector in July, even as factory construction surges in the wake of recent subsidies enacted by Congress and President Joe Biden’s administration. It will be a few years before the new plants can actually turn out things like computer chips and electric-vehicle batteries.

► From Roll Call — FAA extension on the horizon as legislative calendar shortens — Senators jetted out of Washington last week without advancing a bill to reauthorize the FAA, giving them just 17 legislative days to pass a measure before the agency’s funding authority expires at the end of September. Heated negotiations over pilot training have deadlocked senators.

► From Vice — Three people died in an Amtrak derailment caused by faulty freight rail tracks overworked track inspector missed, report finds — The damaged track was inspected just two days prior to the derailment, but the inspector had worked more than 42 hours the previous three days and had to inspect 126.8 miles of track that day alone.

 


NATIONAL

 

► From NPR — After yearlong fight, a near-total abortion ban is going into effect in Indiana — A sweeping ban on most abortions is scheduled to take effect today in Indiana. It would prohibit abortions at any point during pregnancy except if the woman’s life or health is seriously at risk. The restrictions will impact not just Hoosiers but also people in nearby states who have been relying on Indiana as a place where they could still access abortion.

► From Politico — ‘It’s a crisis’: Maternal health care disappears for millions — New data from the nonpartisan health advocacy group March of Dimes shows that the U.S. saw a 4 percent decline in hospitals with labor and delivery services between 2019 and 2020.

► From the New Republic — Hollywood’s fight against A.I. will affect us all — Writers, actors, authors, and artists are striking and suing to assert their stake in this technological upheaval. But the fight over A.I. and creative work implicates us all.

► From the LA Times — ‘No one is coming to our rescue’: Inside rural California’s alarming teacher shortage — A rural California school district scrambles to find teachers amid a national shortage. It will not offer transitional kindergarten, despite a new law.

► From the Washington State Standard — Plagued by teacher shortages, some states turn to fast-track credentialing — Virginia is the latest state to turn to for-profit teacher certification companies in an urgent effort to recruit and train more teachers. The states hope the new paths to certification will help ease the shortages, but critics argue those who take the programs are not as well trained as traditionally credentialed teachers and will do a disservice to young students.

 


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!