Tuesday, September 26, 2023
► From the News Tribune — Local urgent-care clinics could face work stoppage after strike vote by medical staff — MultiCare Indigo Urgent Care clinics could see staff go on strike in the near future for possibly two weeks, according to a union representing providers. The action is the result of a vote Monday by clinic staff represented by the Union of American Physicians & Dentists. The represented workers took the vote before the two sides return to the bargaining table on Wednesday. Across 24 clinics, a union spokesperson said, “About 26 providers have left in the past year, and those vacancies have yet to be filled.”
TODAY at The Stand — UAPD MultiCare providers authorize strike
SOUTH OF THE BORDER
► From OPB — Auto workers in Beaverton join nationwide strike — More than 40 workers at the Chrysler Parts Distribution Center joined with 18,000 striking auto worker across the country who are demanding better pay and benefits, among other things.
The Stand (Sept. 25) — How you can support the UAW strikers — TODAY (Sept. 26) at 1:15 p.m., all union members and community supporters in the area are invited to a Big Three Solidarity Rally at the Beaverton picket location, 10030 SW Allen Blvd.
► From the Oregonian — Labor woes escalate at Portland schools after classified employees union turns down proposed contract — Labor woes at Portland Public Schools compounded Monday when the 1,350 members of the Portland Federation of School Professionals voted to reject a proposed contract, sending the two sides back to the bargaining table.
► From the (Everett) Herald — Robinson smart choice to head Senate budget panel (editorial) — State Sen. June Robinson (D-Everett) reacted to her appointment to chair of the Senate’s Ways and Means Committee, with the humility expected from a veteran lawmaker who has worked effectively behind the scenes on policy and budget goals, in the Senate and in the House. “It’s an honor that the caucus trusts me enough to do this job,” she said.
► From the Washington State Standard — WA lands commissioner race gets more crowded as Dave Upthegrove jumps in — King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove entered the race for Washington commissioner of public lands on Monday, becoming the fifth Democratic candidate vying for the job of managing state public lands and forests. He joins four fellow Democrats in the race: state Sens. Rebecca Saldaña of Seattle and Kevin Van De Wege of Port Angeles, Patrick DePoe of Neah Bay, and former state Sen. Mona Das of Kent. Sue Kuehl Pederson, who lost to Franz in 2020, is the lone Republican candidate so far.
► From the Seattle Times — As federal shutdown looms, WA agencies told to start preparing — As a stalemate in “the other Washington” signals a potential shutdown of the federal government, some Washington state agencies have been directed to identify programs that could be affected if federal funds stop flowing to the state.
► From the Washington Post — As government shutdown looms just days away, no agreement is in sight — Congress returns to Washington on Tuesday with less than five days to find an agreement that will avert a government shutdown. That agreement so far does not exist. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), faced with myriad demands from his hard-right flank, has been unable to unite his conference on a short-term path forward that would both appease the hard-liners and ensure he keeps his leadership position.
► From Newsweek — Republican shutdown warning issued by union leader — AFGE President Everett Kelley said he is worried about the economic effects on federal workers and their families, comparing the current deliberations to the 35-day shutdown in December 2018-January 2019 that resulted in 800,000 workers either required to work without pay or furloughed from their jobs without pay. It also cost the American economy about $11 billion.
Unless Congress overcomes its current budget impasse, government agencies like the NLRB will shut down after the September 30 funding deadline. Our members are not deemed “essential” workers, so the NLRB’s field staff will be furloughed indefinitely without pay.
— National Labor Relations Board Union (@TheNLRBU) September 26, 2023
► From the Washington Post — Inside the spending cuts House Republicans are fighting for — The 12 bills would cut nondefense discretionary spending by $58 billion more than the amount to which President Biden and McCarthy agreed in May when they struck a deal to raise the debt limit, according to one analysis. One quarter of all the savings House Republicans’ bills would achieve comes from cutting a single program that provides funding for low-income schools, known as Title I education grants. House Republicans want to cut Title I by nearly 80 percent, saving $14.7 billion.
► From The Hill — Moderate Republicans plot last-ditch shutdown plan with Democrats — At least three Republicans — Reps. Mike Lawler (N.Y.), Don Bacon (Neb.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.) — have expressed an openness to joining Democrats in signing a discharge petition, a mechanism to force a vote on a measure against the wishes of the Speaker. Five Republicans would need to join their party’s leaders in order to force action with Democrats.
► From The Hill — Farm workers union endorses Biden reelection bid — The United Farm Workers endorsed President Biden’s reelection bid on Tuesday, praising him as an “authentic champion for workers and their families.” UFW President Teresa Romero said:
“The United Farm Workers has seen first hand the positive impact that President Biden has made in the economic standing, labor rights, and daily lives of farm workers across America.”
The Stand (June 16) — AFL-CIO votes to endorse President Biden for re-election
► From the AP — Biden will join the UAW strike picket line. Experts can’t recall the last time a president did that. — President Joe Biden’s decision to stand alongside United Auto Workers pickets on Tuesday on the 12th day of their strike against major carmakers underscores an allegiance to labor unions that appears to be unparalleled in presidential history.
EDITOR’S NOTE — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler says:
“President Biden is demonstrating once again that he is the most pro-union president in history. Working people know he has our backs every day and that he understands that UAW members’ fight for a fair contract is deeply connected to the struggle over the soul of our country.”
► From the USW — USW mourns passing of International President Tom Conway — It is with heavy hearts that the United Steelworkers (USW) union today announces the passing of International President Tom Conway at age 71. Elected as the union’s president in 2019, Conway was known for his quick wit, formidable bargaining skills and unwavering devotion to workers and their families.
ALSO see AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler’s statement on Conway’s passing:
“The loss of Tom is deeply felt not only by his Steelworker sisters, brothers and siblings, but by every worker he positively impacted through his forceful leadership. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and all who knew and loved him. Tom’s legacy will forever remain—and we’ll all continue to learn from his life in service to working people.”
“Nobody wants to work for 399 times less than what I make anymore.”
— AFL-CIO ✊ (@AFLCIO) September 25, 2023
► From NPR — Ford pauses construction of Michigan battery plant amid contract talks with UAW — The move comes as the company is in the midst of national contract talks with the United Auto Workers union, which wants to represent workers at battery factories and win them top wages.
EDITOR’S NOTE — UAW President Shawn Fain responds:
“This is a shameful, barely veiled threat by Ford to cut jobs. Closing 65 plants over the last 20 years wasn’t enough for the Big Three, now they want to threaten us with closing plants that aren’t even open yet. We are simply asking for a just transition to electric vehicles and Ford is instead doubling down on their race to the bottom.”
► From SAG-AFTRA — SAG-AFTRA members approve video game strike authorization vote with 98.32% ‘yes’ vote — AFTRA has been in Interactive Media Agreement negotiations with signatory video game companies (Activision Productions Inc, Blindlight LLC, Disney Character Voices Inc., Electronic Arts Productions Inc., Formosa Interactive LLC, Insomniac Games Inc., Epic Games, Take 2 Productions Inc., VoiceWorks Productions Inc., and WB Games Inc.) since October 2022.
► From the LA Times — The writers’ strike was the first workplace battle between humans and AI. The humans won. (by Brian Merchant) — The historic, 146-day writers’ strike finally appears to be over. Details are scarce, but the Writers Guild of America sounds triumphant: It’s calling the deal “exceptional” and heralding gains in just about every arena. And though there are many reasons that the union ultimately won out — smart organizing and a memeable picket line, strong allyship from SAG-AFTRA, and tactical blunders by the studio execs among them — there’s one thing above all that lighted up the action: The way the writers refused to let bosses use AI to exploit them.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Refuse to be exploited. Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate for better wages, working conditions and job security. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!
► From the AP — Writers strike is not over yet with key votes remaining on deal — Crucial steps remain for the writers, who technically remain on strike, and for other workers awaiting a return to production of new shows. The next phase comes Tuesday, when the governing boards of the two branches of the Writers Guild of America are expected to vote on the tentative agreement reached by union negotiators with Hollywood studios.
► From Bloomberg — ACLU fired staffer for speaking up about working conditions, NLRB claims — The American Civil Liberties Union, the iconic defender of free-speech rights, faces allegations by the National Labor Relations Board that it fired an employee in order to deter its own staff from speaking up about working conditions. The advocacy group is accused of terminating a staffer for engaging in collective action about working conditions and doing so to discourage other employees from speaking up, according to the complaint.
► From the LA Times — Hotel workers strike at five Santa Monica properties after negotiations stall again — Hotel workers at five Santa Monica properties walked off the job early Monday after negotiations stalled last week.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.