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COLA banking in Seattle | Alito finds out | Actors: ‘Let’s go!’

Thursday, November 9, 2023




► From PubliCola — Seattle Firefighters’ tentative contract could be bad news for other city workers seeking pay increases — A tentative 2022-2026 contract between the Seattle firefighters’ union, IAFF Local 27, and the city—still subject to approval or rejection by fire department rank and file—includes minimum annual wage increases of 2 to 4 percent, plus a “COLA [cost of living adjustment] bank” that would serve as a repository for “excess” cost of living increases during years when inflation is higher than 4 percent. An FAQ included in the contract raises the question of why the city is not providing a true cost of living increase—that is, a wage increase equal to the increase in annual inflation. The answer:

“The City was not willing to agree to a pay increase that included 100% of CPI. … Your Negotiations Team and Executive Board feel that we deserve 100% of CPI and we did our best to get it. However, we believe that this offer is a fair and reasonable deal that is better than our alternatives, in part because to capture 100% of the CPI we have also negotiated COLA banking.”

► From the Tri-City Herald — Starbucks challenged results of union election in Prosser. Baristas to vote again. — The Prosser workers voted 21-6 to join Workers United on Sept. 19, citing reduced hours, lost benefits and being forced to work while ill. In doing so they became the first Starbucks in the Mid-Columbia to unionize and one of the few in Eastern Washington. Results of that vote were set aside when Starbucks later challenged the results, NLRB records show.

The Stand (Nov. 1) — ‘Red Cup Rebellion’ to support Starbucks workers is Nov. 16 — Join the Red Cup Rebellion mobilization call at 5 p.m. Pacific time TODAY (Thursday, Nov. 9) and learn how you can show solidarity with union Starbucks workers. Sign up for the call here and check out #RedCupRebellion on social media.

► From the (Everett) Herald — Providence not following its mission of care (letter) — For nurses, most of whom joined the profession because they care about patients, it must be incredibly stressful and frustrating to work in conditions that make taking proper care of their patients very hard, if not impossible. It is time Providence does right by its nurses, and our community who depends on it for medical care, by getting back to its roots and start prioritizing care over profits.

The Stand (Nov. 6) — Nurses at Providence Everett announce plans for ULP strike — The union plans a 5-day Unfair Labor Practice strike set to begin Nov. 14 at 6 a.m.

► From KIMA — “This fight is not just for us,” Yakima nurses prepare for picket line in contract dispute with Multicare Memorial Hospital — Some Yakima nurses (SEIU Healthcare 1199NW) are heading to the picket line next week. We spoke to nurses at Yakima Multicare Memorial Hospital, and they tell us ever since they were acquired by Multicare they’ve been negotiating for a fair contract. They say they’ve gone 11 months without a contract, and healthcare workers tell us they’re barely being paid market wages among other issues.




► From the Seattle Times — Several WA elections offices evacuated over white powder, fentanyl — Election offices in King, Pierce, Skagit and Spokane counties were evacuated Wednesday after unknown white powder was found in envelopes, including traces of fentanyl in mail received by two of the offices. Law enforcement confirmed the presence of fentanyl in the envelopes sent to Spokane and King counties Wednesday afternoon. No employees were harmed by the substance in either county.

► From the Stranger — Mosqueda takes the lead — With 51% of the vote share, Seattle City Council Member Teresa Mosqueda stepped ahead of Burien Mayor Sofia Aragon, who now trails with 49% of the vote. If Mosqueda’s lead holds, which it will, then she will become the first Latina elected to the King County Council.

► From MLK Labor — In King County and across America, voters choose pro-worker vision

The Stand (Nov. 8) — How labor’s endorsed candidates are faring — Unofficial election results as of Wednesday morning in races where regional AFL-CIO Central Labor Councils made endorsements/recommendations. Check the websites of your County Election Office for the latest results in your community.

UPDATED election results coverage from the Bellingham Herald, (Everett) Herald, (Longview) Daily News, (Tacoma) News TribuneOlympianPeninsula Daily NewsSeattle Times, Tri-City Herald, Walla Walla Union Bulletin, Wenatchee World, Yakima Herald, and from the union-busting (Vancouver) Columbian.

► From the Seattle Times — Vote on Tacoma rental measure remains close as more ballots are counted




► From the Oregonian — Portland teens say they support teachers but worry what Portland Public Schools strike means for their academic, social lives — Grant High School junior Tess Kaliszewski has been trying to do some homework to keep herself busy while Portland’s 3,500 teachers continue a several day walkout, striking for higher wages, smaller class sizes and more planning time. But it’s been hard for Kaliszewski to find the motivation to do her schoolwork without concrete deadlines. She said:

“I’m very supportive of the teachers getting what they want because they do so much for us. But at the same time … I hope that what they’re asking for is reasonable, because it’s affecting everyday lives of students and parents.”




► From Politico — The Supreme Court dismantled Roe. States are restoring it one by one. — Justice Samuel Alito challenged voters to decide the future of abortion when he wrote the U.S. Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade last year. “We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond,” he noted as he threw out half a century of precedent. Now, 17 months later, the court has an answer: Americans want to preserve or restore Roe-like protections. In contest after contest, including a major victory in Ohio this week, voters decisively chose abortion rights over limitations — even in deep-red pockets of the country.

► From the AFL-CIO — Union voters power election victories across the country — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler: “Tuesday night’s results showed the power working people have in electing pro-worker candidates, up and down the ballot, who will fight for us and stand up to wealthy corporate interests and extremists.”

► From the AP — Biden goes to Illinois auto plant saved by union agreement, a sign his policies are helping workers — On Thursday, President Biden will visit Belvidere to showcase that auto plant, which has reopened as part of the settlement of a targeted strike by the United Auto Workers union. Stellantis, the maker of Jeep, Dodge and Ram vehicles, agreed to hire back 1,200 employees to build pickup trucks and to add another 1,300 workers for a battery factory.

► From the Guardian — U.S. faces almost daily hazardous chemical accidents, research suggests — Report by non-profit researchers tallies incidents exposing people to dangerous toxins through fires, explosions, leaks and spills.




► From NPR — Actors and studios make a deal to end Hollywood strikes — The heads of major studios have agreed to a tentative new three-year contract with SAG-AFTRA, the union representing Hollywood actors, stunt performers, voiceover actors and dancers. The workers have been on strike since July, when they joined screenwriters on their strike.

TODAY at The Stand SAG-AFTRA reaches tentative deal, suspends strike

► From the USA Today — Hollywood celebrates end of actors’ strike on red carpets and social media: ‘Let’s go!’

► From Reuters — How Fran Drescher rallied Hollywood actors to a new labor deal — To thousands of rank-and-file Hollywood actors, Fran Drescher emerged this summer as a modern-day labor hero who secured a hard-fought deal. To studio executives who negotiated with the SAG-AFTRA president, the former star of “The Nanny” prolonged a strike while she relished her high-profile role.

► From the AP — Las Vegas hotel workers union and MGM agree to tentative contract after deal with Caesars — The Las Vegas hotel workers union reached a deal with MGM Resorts International, the largest employer on the Las Vegas Strip, on the heels of its breakthrough agreement with Caesars Entertainment.

► From Forbes — Labor unions become more influential as technology impacts jobs (by Shalin Jyotishi) — Labor unions are having a comeback moment in the United States, and they are poised to become more influential as emerging technologies such as AI grip the U.S. job market and impact workers.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Ready to become more influential? 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 — Flexible working can significantly improve heart health, study shows — U.S. researchers suggest that better work-life balance particular beneficial for those over 45 or at higher risk.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!