Monday, September 25, 2023
► From the LA Times — More than 75,000 Kaiser workers in California and elsewhere plan to strike next month — Tens of thousands of Kaiser Permanente employees in California and elsewhere plan to go on strike in early October after the healthcare giant and unions that represent a huge swath of the Kaiser workforce failed to reach an agreement this week that resolves concerns about pay, staffing and other issues. The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions announced Friday that a three-day strike could begin Oct. 4 to protest Kaiser’s “bad faith bargaining” over solutions to what the coalition calls a “staffing crisis” that puts patient safety at risk. The strike will move forward if a deal isn’t reached by Sept. 30, when the unions’ current contracts expire, the coalition said.
EDITOR’S NOTE — The strike would include Kaiser employees represented by UFCW 555 in southwest Washington.
► From the union-busting Columbian — Union representing WSU student employees files unfair labor practice complaint — WSU-CASE/UAW, the union representing academic student employees at Washington State University, filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the school Monday with the Washington State Public Employment Commission. The complaint alleges the school failed to consult the union — which also represents student employees at the Vancouver campus — regarding “unilateral” changes made to its 2023-24 health plan.
► From Reuters — Air Canada to buy 18 Boeing 787 jets — Air Canada said on Monday it had signed an agreement with Boeing to buy 18 widebody 787 Dreamliner jets. The contract for Boeing’s 787-10 jets includes an option to purchase 12 more aircraft.
► From the Washington State Standard — Judge upholds Washington’s $17B transportation package — An effort to derail a sweeping state transportation package failed Friday, with a Thurston County judge upholding the law. But opponents hinted that the legal fight may not be over. They’d sued asserting the legislation contains multiple unrelated topics in violation of a state constitutional requirement that bills cover no more than one subject.
► From the Washington State Standard — WA prisoners struggle with wildfire smoke as ventilation upgrades go unfunded — The state’s Department of Corrections has another $4.2 million request for HVAC projects pending ahead of next year’s legislative session.
► From the Washington Post — Democrats embrace Biden’s upcoming visit to Michigan UAW picket lines — As strikes against the Big Three Detroit automakers enter their 10th day Sunday, Democrats are praising a visit by President Biden to Michigan, scheduled for Tuesday, to show support for autoworkers on the picket lines. Labor experts say Biden’s Michigan visit is probably the first time a sitting president has visited a strike in at least 100 years.
TODAY at The Stand — How you can support the UAW strikers
► From The Hill — Congress stares down shutdown deadline — The House and Senate this week are staring down a Sept. 30 deadline to fund the government, with a shutdown becoming more and more likely as lawmakers remain unable to reach a deal on keeping the lights on in Washington beyond the end of the month.
► From the Washington Post — Could a discharge petition keep the government open? — There is a potential escape hatch if the government shuts down. It’s called the discharge petition — a procedural tactic with which a majority of the House can bypass McCarthy and force a vote on legislation on the floor — and it could be used to bring a CR up for a vote if McCarthy won’t do it. Just five Republicans are needed to sign on to force it to the floor.
► From NPR — Thousands of federal firefighters face a looming pay cut. How much is up to Congress. — Federal wildland firefighters were on the frontlines of some of the harshest wildfires to hit the U.S. and Canada this summer. But as Congress is inching towards its Sept. 30 deadline to fund the government, those firefighters stand to lose half their salaries.
► From the AP — Writers’ union reaches tentative deal with Hollywood studios to end historic strike — Screenwriters’ union leaders and Hollywood studios have reached a tentative agreement to end a historic strike after nearly five months, raising hopes that a crippling shutdown of film and television filming is near an end. The agreement must be approved by the guild’s board and members before the strike officially ends, and that could happen this week.
► From Deadline — SAG-AFTRA congratulates WGA on tentative deal, urges studios to return to table with actors — SAG-AFTRA, which has been walking with the writers since day one of the WGA strike, was quick to congratulate the guild Sunday after reaching a tentative agreement on a deal. The union said tonight that it remains on strike and in a statement urged the AMPTP to get back to the table with the actors to “achieve the necessary terms” for its members.
► From the NY Times — How the Writers Guild deal reflects organized labor’s power — Reports suggest that screenwriters won concessions from Hollywood studios on key issues. That reflects the strength of unions’ hands in the current moment.
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 Reuters — Ford says ‘significant gaps’ remain in UAW labor contract talks — Ford Motor said on Sunday that despite progress in some areas, it still has “significant gaps to close” on key economic issues before it can reach a new labor agreement with the UAW.
TODAY at The Stand — How you can support the UAW strikers
► From the Las Vegas Sun — Frustrated by contract negotiations, Vegas hospitality workers consider strike — Culinary union has strike authorization vote on Tuesday.
► From Politico — Why unionizing is women’s work (by Sophie Gardner) — Today, the union membership rate for women is almost the same as it is for men. That’s a big difference from 1983, the first year that data is available, when the rate for men was 24.7 percent, compared to 14.6 percent for women. Despite women’s union participation rate, it’s taken until recent years for many unions to welcome women into top leadership ranks. Until roughly a decade ago, the U.S.’ most powerful union federations were mainly run by men. But now, women are breaking through. Union leaders say that, with women in positions of power, it provides an advocate for the issues that affect women the most, like childcare as well as reproductive health coverage and equal pay. “There’s a misperception that unions are male dominated, when in fact, we are half the workforce, and we’re half the labor movement,” says Liz Shuler, president of AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the U.S.
The Stand (Jan. 9, 2023) — April Sims, Cherika Carter make history as WSLC leaders — New president and secretary treasurer sworn in at Washington State Labor Council; first team of Black women to lead an AFL-CIO state federation.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.