Friday, October 6, 2023
— Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (@WAAFLCIO) October 6, 2023
EDITOR’S NOTE — Ready for a voice at work? Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate for better wages and working conditions. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!
► From the union-busting Columbian — Kaiser strike enters its second day in Vancouver, across the Northwest — The largest health care strike in U.S. history has entered its second day of picketing, after more than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente health care workers walked out Wednesday morning. Around 300 members of the SEIU Local 49 picketed Wednesday morning at the Cascade Park office on Mill Plain Boulevard. The strike for unionized Washington employees is set to end at 6 p.m. Friday, but the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions said it has plans to strike for longer in November if a new contract agreement is not negotiated before then.
The Stand (Oct. 4) — Kaiser unions launch nationwide strike over low pay, staffing
TAKE A STAND — Join the picket line at the Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park Medical Office, 12607 SE Mill Plain Blvd in Vancouver from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today. Click here for details or to RSVP. Although the union is directing supporters to join five main picket locations in Oregon and Vancouver, you may see other picket locations in SW Washington
► From the AP — Health care strike over pay and staff shortages heads into final day with no deal in sight — A massive health care strike over wages and staffing shortages headed into its final day on Friday without a deal between industry giant Kaiser Permanente and the unions representing the 75,000 workers who picketed this week. The three-day strike carried out in multiple states will officially end Saturday at 6 a.m. The two sides did not have any bargaining sessions scheduled after concluding their talks midday Wednesday.
► From Vox — Why 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers have gone on strike — The workers say they are overworked and underpaid. The unions reportedly asked for a minimum wage of $25 per hour plus annual raises of 7 percent over the next two years. The company had countered with a base wage of $21 to $23 per hour and slower wage increases.
► From KIRO — ‘We’re exhausted’: Everett nurses warn of critical staffing shortages at Providence — Patients are feeling the strain from major staffing issues at Everett’s Providence Medical Center. Nurses telling KIRO 7 their staff is being stretched too thin – and it’s taking a toll on their level of care. UFCW 3000 says bargaining has been both promising and frustrating, with nurses we spoke to warning that the nurse to patient ratio has reached unsafe levels.
► From the Seattle Times — As Washington’s economy booms, more older residents live in poverty — While Washington’s poverty rate has fallen considerably as the state has grown more affluent in the past decade, elder poverty appears to be growing across the state, new Census Bureau data indicates.
► From the Washington State Standard — Does Washington need a new agency to oversee jails? — Washington would create a new independent agency to set safeguards and conduct inspections of city, county and regional jails, under a proposal a statewide task force is backing. Its oversight powers would not extend to state correctional facilities.
Our economy gained 336,000 jobs last month, for a total of nearly 14 million jobs created under President Biden.
That monthly average is higher than any President on record – by far. pic.twitter.com/gXHpAne9nO
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) October 6, 2023
► From the AP — U.S. employers added a surprisingly strong 336,000 jobs in September in a sign of economic resilience — The nation’s employers added 336,000 jobs in September, an unexpectedly robust gain that suggests that many companies remain confident enough to keep hiring despite high interest rates and a hazy outlook for the economy.
► From the LA Times — Biden canceled billions more dollars in student loans. Here’s what you need to know. — The Biden administration announced an additional $9 billion in student debt relief for tens of thousands of borrowers Wednesday, days after federal student loan payments resumed after a three-year pause during the pandemic.
► From the USA Today — House paralyzed without a speaker, increasing the odds of a government shutdown in November — While House Republicans bicker over who should succeed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and lead the GOP conference, the House is virtually paralyzed as Congress faces the monumental task of funding the government by mid-November.
► From Vox — The high stakes in a new Supreme Court showdown over gerrymandering — On Oct. 11, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to racially gerrymandered congressional maps in South Carolina that could tell us a lot about where the Court stands on voting rights.
► From Reuters — UAW strike decision day comes as bargaining heats up — UAW President Shawn Fain is scheduled to say later on Friday whether recent intensified bargaining with the Detroit Three automakers has produced enough progress to forestall more walkouts. A video address by Fain is scheduled for 11 a.m. Pacific time.
— Shawn Fain (@ShawnFainUAW) October 5, 2023
► From Business Insider — Majority of Americans back the UAW’s unprecedented auto strike; GOP union support grows — A Reuters-Ipsos poll found that 58% of respondents said they supported the UAW’s strike at the Big Three Detroit car manufacturers. That support was surprisingly bipartisan.
► From the Hollywood Reporter — SAG-AFTRA negotiations to continue Friday, next week — SAG-AFTRA announced in a new joint statement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which bargains on behalf of studios and streamers, on Wednesday that talks would proceed Friday as well as resume Monday. The joint statement and the continuation of negotiations will likely be read as a positive sign as the 2023 actors strike stretches on.
► From NPR — Kentucky had an outside-the-box idea to fix child care worker shortages. It’s working. — The state made all child care employees eligible for free child care, regardless of household income.
► From HuffPost — These pilots were sued for quitting. They say it was dangerous to stay. — Southern Airways Express has taken roughly 80 former pilots to court over training debts. In interviews, many cited safety concerns as the reason they left.
► The Entire Staff of The Stand is going to another concert this weekend. This time, we’ll be seeing British singer/songwriter, activist, and former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel. He’ll be at the union-built Climate Pledge Arena on Sunday night. But we’re a little worried that, if he plays this long a version of “In Your Eyes,” we won’t be able to hold the boombox over our head the whole time. Enjoy.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.