Wednesday, November 1, 2023
► From UFCW 555 — Kaiser Permanente Imaging workers to walk out Wednesday morning — UFCW 555 members working under the Imaging Services contract will join pharmacy technicians and clerks on the ULP strike line tomorrow morning, as previous bargaining sessions have yet to yield a tentative agreement. The Imaging ULP strike will begin on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 6 a.m. and end on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 3 p.m.
EDITOR’S NOTE — In addition to four Oregon locations, pickets are up at Kaiser Cascade Park Medical Office, 12607 SE Mill Plain Blvd. in Vancouver, Wash.
The Stand (Oct. 31) — Tentative deal at Kaiser Washington averts strike — SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members join Kaiser workers across nation voting on contract.
► From the Washington State Standard — Northwest hydrogen hub backers highlight project’s expected economic benefits — They said the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub could spur up to 70,000 regional jobs and grow education, apprenticeship programs in Oregon, Montana and Washington.
The Stand (Oct. 13) — ‘This is a big deal.’ Pacific NW wins hydrogen hub funding — Federal clean energy project will create thousands of quality jobs in the region. WSLC President April Sims, Sims, who serves on the Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Association (PNWH2) Board:
“Washington’s union movement is focused not only on promoting clean energy development, but also on ensuring that the jobs it creates pay livable wages. Making the Pacific Northwest a clean, low-carbon hydrogen production and distribution hub is an investment in creating and sustaining good jobs, and strengthening our communities.”
► From Q13 — Washington’s dwindling ferry fleet reduced even further: ‘This is a tough position to be in’ — After an unexpected error, Washington State Ferries dwindling fleet has been reduced to 14 boats.
SOUTH OF THE BORDER
► From the Seattle Times — Portland Public Schools strike: What you need to know — Teachers have asked for $372 million in new spending over the next three years. For context, the district’s general fund budget this year is $834 million. The two biggest pieces of the union’s demand by far are $236 million for salaries and $106 million to cover additional planning time. The district’s counter offer would spend about $150 million, most of it on salaries and bonuses. That means the two sides are still about $220 million apart.
► From the Oregonian — Susheela Jayapal will run for Congress, resign from Multnomah County Commission — Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal (sister of Pramila) is the first Democrat to enter the 3rd Congressional District race to replace U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), who announced Monday that he would not seek reelection after nearly three decades in Congress.
► From Reuters — Spirit Aero books $101 million in losses, cuts 737 fuselage deliveries — Spirit AeroSystems on Wednesday announced $101 million in forward losses on key Boeing and Airbus aircraft production efforts and projected higher-than-expected cash burn for 2023 as it slashed anticipated deliveries of 737 fuselages.
► From the Washington Post — The autoworkers’ big win exposes the absurdity of Trump’s populism (by Greg Sargent) — In September, Donald Trump’s advisers leaked word that he would travel to Detroit to show support for striking members of the UAW. In reality, he ended up addressing workers at a nonunion shop, bashing the strike as useless given that electric vehicles will inevitably destroy their jobs — unless they elect him president in 2024, of course. Now that UAW has reached tentative deals, that Trumpian episode takes on a glaring new meaning. On multiple levels, this whole affair captures the vacuity of the right-wing populism espoused by Trump and other Republicans eager to give the GOP a “working class” makeover.
► From The Hill — Looming shutdown sparks worries about CHIPS funding rollout — More than a year after President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act into law, the Commerce Department is pushing to get billions of dollars in semiconductor manufacturing and research incentives out the door. But the government is set to run out of money Nov. 17, and a potential shutdown — which could slow down the program’s funding rollout — is not out of the question.
► From The Hill — McConnell tells Senate Democrats to back off on Supreme Court — Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) warned Senate Democrats on Tuesday about issuing subpoenas to two prominent billionaires and a conservative activist because of their friendly ties to conservative members of the Supreme Court, calling such a move “totally inappropriate.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Refusing to allow confirmation hearings for a Democratic president’s Supreme Court nominees is totally inappropriate.
► From the AP — Business group estimates several hundred thousand clean energy jobs in EV, battery storage and solar — A nonpartisan business group that advocates for clean energy estimates that 403,000 jobs will be created by the 210 major energy projects announced since the Inflation Reduction Act took effect in mid-2022.
► From Politico — Offshore wind company pulls out of New Jersey projects, a setback to Biden’s green agenda — David Hardy, the head of the company’s American operations for Danish energy company Orsted, blamed macroeconomic factors, like inflation and supply chain issues.
► From the Hollywood Reporter — SAG-AFTRA negotiations to continue Wednesday with deal in sight — On the 110th day of the 2023 actors strike, SAG-AFTRA and the Hollywood studios wrapped their latest negotiations session for the holiday as a deal appears to be within reach. The two sides broke off in the afternoon after a day that was spent dealing with AI issues and are set to return to the bargaining table on Wednesday.
► From the Washington Post — ‘A tipping point’ in equal pay: Automakers are scrapping tiered wages — The country’s largest automakers — Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Stellantis — are poised to become the latest U.S. corporations to do away with tiered wage arrangements, a system that splits the workforce into haves and have-nots by confining newer employees to lower wages.
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 Guardian — Is the pendulum of power swinging towards U.S. unions? (by Robert Reich) — I’d love to think so. But I frankly worry about the Fed chair, Jerome Powell, and his colleagues. They continue to believe – wrongly – that inflation is being pushed by wage increases rather than by corporate profits. If they succeed in slowing the economy to the point where workers lose whatever bargaining leverage they now have, it’s far from clear that populist politics or more vivid inequalities or a string of labor victories will be enough to put organized labor on the path to where it was four decades ago.
► From KTNV — ‘We are preparing’: Culinary Union on the brink of striking — Thousands of Culinary Union members in Las Vegas are still without a contract following yet another round of bargaining sessions with major resort companies. The union is now on the brink of going on strike.
► From the Washington Post — Underpaid child-care workers seize on pandemic lesson: America needs them — A few years ago, hardly anyone showed up when Brooke Skidmore asked fellow child-care workers to meet. They were exhausted, or they lacked confidence, a trait Skidmore considered a natural response to earning less than just about every other worker in America. Even dog-walkers made more each year. Child-care workers were still exhausted, but the pandemic had emboldened them. Now, they were testifying in statehouses across the country. They’d won historic pay increases in New Mexico, and they’d even secured health care in California and D.C. Those movements had started with a handful of women whose days looked a lot like Skidmore’s. If she could persuade others to advocate with her, she thought, they might win in Wisconsin, too.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.