Wednesday, October 11, 2023
► From the Seattle Times — Virginia Mason nurses picket over violence, attacks at work — Hundreds of nurses lined Seattle streets in front of Virginia Mason Medical Center during a pair of Tuesday pickets, hoping to push the hospital into addressing recent safety scares and attacks on staffers. Nurses aimed to bring attention to what they say are worsening incidents of workplace violence in the state’s hospitals — especially at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health’s downtown hospital, said registered nurse Brad Rathke. He and other nurses, along with a group of local and state elected officials and labor leaders who made appearances, emphasized the connection between assaults and ongoing issues of staffing shortages, retention and pay. “I am so sick of having short staffing at work,” Rathke said to the crowd Tuesday.
The Stand (Oct. 10) — Nurses demanding safety at Virginia Mason
“Whenever workers come together in union, whenever they are united for fair pay, better working conditions, more respect and dignity — they win.”
– WSLC Pres. @aprilr_sims
— Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (@WAAFLCIO) October 10, 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 Seattle Times — Warning for Seattle: The schools’ pandemic hangover is not easing (by Danny Westneat) — According to the district, 48,960 kids showed up for the city’s public K-12 schools. That’s down from 50,111 last September. It’s nearly 5,000 fewer students than in the fall of 2019, before the virus and the school closures touched off an unraveling. This is the smallest the Seattle school district has been since 2012, just as the big Amazon boom was about to get rolling. It means a decade of progress, growth and popularity has been lopped off.
► From the Wenatchee World — Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center presents tribute to migrant farm workers
► From Reuters — Boeing 737 MAX monthly deliveries fall to lowest since 2021 — Boeing deliveries of its best-selling 737 MAX fell in September to the lowest level since August 2021, the plane maker said on Tuesday, as it continues struggling with work needed to correct a manufacturing defect. Boeing is inspecting and fixing thousands of holes that were drilled wrong on the 737 MAX aft pressure bulkhead by Spirit Aerosystems. While new orders improved sharply, the largest U.S. planemaker said deliveries in September fell to 15 737 MAX planes, 10 787s and two 777s, for a total of 27 deliveries.
► From Reuters — Boeing opens tech center in Brazil, touting alternative fuels link — Boeing on Tuesday opened a technology and engineering center in Brazil, aiming to expand its global footprint and take advantage of expertise in a country it sees leading sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production.
SOUTH OF THE BORDER
► From the NW Labor Press — Biggest ever Kaiser strike starts with pharmacists — About 500 Kaiser Permanente pharmacy workers in Oregon and Southwest Washington began a 20-day unfair labor practice strike Oct. 1, and another 75,000 Kaiser workers across five states and Washington, D.C., began their own three-day strike Oct. 4. The pharmacy workers are represented by UFCW Local 555. A union spokesman said Kaiser brought in “agency workers” to temporarily replace union members.
► From the NW Labor Press — OHSU averts nurse strike with $20.67/hour raise — Oregon Nurses Association reached a tentative agreement Sept. 25 with Oregon Health and Science University that raises wages and improves workplace safety for almost 3,200 nurses there. The agreement came just a week after nurses voted to authorize a strike with 95% support.
► From the NW Labor Press — Sheet Metal Local 16 wins $23.25 raise — Members of Sheet Metal Workers Local 16 will see a record-busting $23.25 an hour increase in compensation in their new four-year agreement with union contractors. That includes an hourly wage increase for journeymen of at least $19.77.
► From the NW Labor Press — Buffalo Exchange workers at downtown Portland store announce union — Buffalo Exchange hired Tonkon Torp, a Portland-based law firm that says it offers help with “union avoidance.”
► From the NW Labor Press — Reed College student workers want to join OPEIU 11
EDITOR’S NOTE — For more great labor news in Oregon and Southwest Washington, subscribe to the Northwest Labor Press!
► From KIMA — Washington state to receive $1.08 billion for transportation projects — Washington state is going to be receiving $1.08 billion next year to help with transportation projects including bridges, highways and more. Electric vehicles are a smaller portion of that billion-dollar investment, which is coming from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funding will also be used to repair bridges, highways and other transportation projects across the state.
► From the NW Labor Press — How to not get carpal tunnel — A crude contraption made with PVC pipe, a small vise, a simple clamp, and a roll of duct tape helped one manufacturer reduce the risk of carpal tunnel. The $30 solution is one of several ergonomic “success stories” in the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries’ Ergonomics Ideas Bank. The Ideas Bank is a searchable database with ideas for keeping workers safe from strains, sprains, and repetitive motion injuries. Every idea is vetted by L&I’s team of expert ergonomists.
► From The Hill — Anxiety grows amid GOP Speaker’s battle — The White House and Senate are ringing the alarm as the next deadline to avoid a government shutdown draws closer and House Republicans appear no closer to picking a Speaker. The deadline to fund the government is Nov. 17, but the lack of a Speaker is complicating those efforts.
► From Roll Call — California law signals ongoing push for single-payer system — While the issue has stalled at the federal level, the push toward single-payer health care continues to resonate as a campaign issue for Democrats. Advocates of a unified health system have mostly rallied behind “Medicare for All,” a federal effort that would fund medically necessary care for U.S. residents through taxes.
► From the NY Times — How a series of air traffic control lapses nearly killed 131 people — Two planes were moments from colliding in Texas, a harrowing example of the country’s fraying air safety system, a New York Times investigation found.
► From the LA Times — Healthcare workers kick off 5-day strike at four hospitals over staffing shortage, labor practices — Roughly 1,500 essential workers at four hospitals in Los Angeles County kicked off a five-day strike Monday morning to protest what they claim are dangerous working conditions and unfair labor practices by hospital management. Employees at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood walked off the job and picketed outside while nonunion nurses and staff were brought in to keep the hospital open, according to union organizers.
► From the Detroit News — UAW strike day 27: Talks continue following end of GM strike in Canada — Contract negotiations continue as the UAW’s simultaneous strike of all three Detroit automakers entered its 27th day on Wednesday. The Detroit-based union’s talks with Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Stellantis NV are ongoing amid progress on the other side of the border, where Canadian autoworkers union Unifor on Tuesday reached a tentative agreement covering some 4,300 GM workers after a brief strike.
The Big Three auto CEOs talk a big game about staying “competitive.”
— UAW (@UAW) October 11, 2023
► From the Las Vegas Sun — Culinary members to picket Caesars, MGM properties amid negotiations — Thousands of hospitality workers will picket outside eight Las Vegas Strip properties on Thursday after another week of negotiations with three major resort companies didn’t result in a new contract, the Culinary Union announced Monday.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.