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Still seeking contracts | No justice, no Jeeps | AFGE: No shutdown!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

 


LOCAL

 

► From the AFL-CIO — UNITE HERE members at Homegrown strike over job insecurity, unaffordable health care — Approximately 150 workers at six locations of Seattle-based sandwich maker Homegrown went on strike Thursday over contract negotiations. The workers say the company offers unaffordable health insurance and provides no employment guarantee to workers in case the company is sold. The workers are members of UNITE HERE Local 8. “I’m fighting for a contract that will allow me to stay in the company long term, and I need to know that I can keep this job if the company is sold,” said Emily Minkus, who works at the Queen Anne location.

The Stand (Sept. 14) — Homegrown workers strike over health care, union security

EDITOR’S NOTE — Follow @OurUnionIsHG on Twitter for the latest.

► From the union-busting Columbian — Battle Ground teachers still without contract amid negotiations — Battle Ground Public Schools negotiators met at the bargaining table Saturday with leaders from the Battle Ground Education Association, which represents more than 800 teachers. The two sides have yet to agree on a new labor contract after months of bargaining; the last contract expired Aug. 31. Unlike unions in Evergreen and Camas, however, Battle Ground’s members voted against going on strike the day before the contract expired, despite months of bargaining without a deal.

► From the Seattle Times — Historic trial begins for 3 officers charged in killing of Manny Ellis — Only three Washington state law enforcement officers have been charged in on-duty deaths in the last half-century. Now, just as many are set to stand trial in Tacoma, with their freedom and jobs on the line. Jury selection begins Monday for the high-profile trial in the 2020 death of Manuel Ellis that could last into December.

 


SOUTH OF THE BORDER

 

► From the Oregonian — OHSU nurses vote to authorize strike with contract talks at impasse — Oregon Health & Science University nurses voted by a wide margin to authorize a strike, officials with the Oregon Nurses Association announced Monday. At a rally Monday morning, officials said 96% of eligible nurses voted and 95% of them voted in favor of authorizing a strike.

 


AUTOWORKERS’ STRIKE

 

► From The Hill — UAW president vows more strikes if no progress by noon Friday — United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain threatened the big three automakers with further strikes starting Friday if the companies don’t make “serious progress” on negotiating a contract. UAW began a historic strike against Ford, GM and Stellantis last Friday. The union is demanding higher wages, shorter work weeks, union representation for battery plant workers and better retirement benefits, including restored pensions for new hires.

► From Politico — Could the UAW strike last 11 weeks? It could be even longer. — The UAW has amassed enough money to pay all of its members to stay out on strike against Detroit’s Big Three automakers for as long as 11 weeks. But the union’s decision to target just a few plants at a time is one of its biggest tactical ploys — and could allow it to keep the strike going far longer.

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► From the Stranger — The hypocrisy of a right-wing pundit’s attacks on WA Cares (by Rich Smith) — A Koch-backed think-tank called the Washington Policy Center pays former columnist Elizabeth Hovde to discredit Democratic health care policy around the state. Her attacks on WA Cares, the state’s new long-term health care benefit, feel particularly galling given her personal history with the issue. Back in 2011, she suffered a terrible ski accident that put her in a coma and kept her hospitalized for more than a month. She was able to lean on her personal connections to help pay her long-term health care bills, but her decision to spend her career trying to stop the government from doing the same thing for less-fortunate Washingtonians represents the height of hypocrisy. It’s health care for me, but not for thee.

The Stand (Oct. 25, 2022) — Analysis: WA Cares Fund will be solvent over long term

► From the Kitsap Sun — Bainbridge Island runner, entrepreneur selected as 23rd District representative — Greg Nance, entrepreneur and the guy who ran across the country last summer, will serve as the next 23rd District representative after an appointment by the Kitsap County Commissioners on Monday. The seat was previously held by Drew Hansen, who commissioners appointed to fill the Senate position formerly held by Christine Rolfes.

► From KING — Ferry frustrations continue: Walla Walla out of service for weeks due to propeller damage

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From AFGE — AFGE urges Congress to avoid government shutdown — The last time Congress shut down the government for 35 days in December 2018 and January 2019, nearly 800,000 federal workers were either required to work without pay or were furloughed from their jobs without pay. AFGE members struggled to pay bills and feed their families. They drove for ride shares, went to food banks, and were forced to take out loans that caused some employees years of hardship. They also stepped up to share what they had among themselves, like creating on-site food banks for struggling workers. It’s completely unthinkable that they may have to go through this again because Congress has so far failed to do their job.

► From The Hill — House GOP tensions in shutdown drama boil over — Tensions in the House GOP over how to avoid — or not avoid — a potential government shutdown are coming to a boil, with frustrations spilling over into public jabs and airing of grievances without a clear path forward to fund the government past Sept. 30. “It’s an unmitigated disaster right now on the majority side,” Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.), an appropriator, said Monday on MSNBC. “I’m fearful of what this leads to.”

► From The Hill — Progressives see new momentum from auto strike — Left-wing Democrats and labor advocates see the days-long wage hike effort against GM, Ford and Stellantis as bringing their top concerns back into the focus, offering an immediate channel for their activism around workers’ rights, corporate profits and income inequality that had fallen into the background this cycle.

 


NATIONAL

 

► From the St. Louis Labor Tribune — Unions are America’s future. The numbers say so. (by Liz Shuler) — Some people ask: What could a UPS driver, a retail worker, an auto worker possibly have in common with Hollywood writers and actors? The answer is the story of the Labor Movement in America at this moment — people all over this country who have realized, no matter their job or industry, how much they have in common with their fellow workers. They are fed up with an economy that has been rigged against them. They are rebelling against a broken status quo. And they are turning to unions and the Labor Movement as their answer because they understand that a union is the vehicle for them to build and hold power to change their lives.

► From Vox — What’s the state of the Hollywood strikes? — Trying to figure out what’s going on with the Hollywood double strike — both writers and actors are still on the picket lines — can feel like peering into a particularly muddled crystal ball. On the one hand, the unions have exhibited extraordinary solidarity; on the other, the AMPTP fired one crisis PR firm and hired another, and has denied rumors of division in its ranks.

► From the LA Times — Thanks to Drew Barrymore, striking writers are in their most powerful position yet (by Mary McNamara) — In just seven days, Barrymore highlighted the new rules and high stakes of this year’s 4½-months-long writers’ strike — and wound up handing the WGA a very powerful weapon just in time for what one hopes will be a near-final round of talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios, this week.

The Stand (Sept. 12) — Drew Barrymore ‘owns this choice’ of being a scab (by Sarah Tucker)

► From CNBC — Writers union will resume strike negotiations with studios this week — The announcement comes on the 139th day of the strike, which began May 2. The union told its members to continue joining picket lines as the talks resume.

► From Maryland Matters — Health care workers in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. authorize strike against Kaiser Permanente, joining thousands across the nation — Some 3,800 union healthcare workers in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., are threatening to go on strike at the end of this month if the leadership at Kaiser Permanente and the union cannot agree to a new contract addressing staffing shortages and low pay for workers.

► From Fox 5 Vegas — Contracts expire for 40K Culinary Union workers in Las Vegas — As of Friday, September 15, contracts covering 40,000 workers who are represented by the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165 expired. They are in active negotiations with casino/hotel employers for a new 5-year contract and plan a Sept. 26 strike authorization vote.

► From ABC 15 — Phoenix Sky Harbor workers file complaint, vote to strike over dangerous working conditions and low wages — Concession workers contracted by SSP America voted on Sept. 1 to authorize a strike after negotiations between the union, UNITE HERE Local 11, and the employer broke down.

► From Bloomberg Law — Unions keep pressure on statehouses to regulate AI, protect jobs — Unions say state lawmakers shouldn’t wait to confront potential threats from artificial intelligence despite vows in Congress that the federal government would act following a flurry of activity in Washington last week. “I don’t think the states should hold back in pursuing state-level strategies,” said Amanda Ballatyne of the AFL-CIO Tech Institute in an interview, adding that federal activity can “set a tone and a framework for the states.”

► From the LA Times — Much-needed nurses are flocking to California — for some of the same reasons others are fleeing — Large numbers of registered nurses are relocating to California, in part because of the state’s strong unions and generous healthcare systems, among other reasons.

► From the LA Times — Will California health workers get a $25 minimum wage? Legislature sends bill to Newsom after long fight — Californians who work in hospitals and other medical settings, including receptionists, cleaners and security guards, could see a significant raise after the state Legislature approved a $25 hourly minimum wage requirement. The fate of the bill is now in the hands of Gov. Gavin Newsom,

 


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

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