Monday, November 27, 2023
► From the Seattle Times — Seattle-area Macy’s workers strike for better protection from crime — While the dozens of Macy’s workers who began picketing early Black Friday at Westfield Southcenter in Tukwila and Alderwood mall in Lynnwood definitely want better wages in a new contract, their big ask is that Macy’s do more about the thieves who brazenly pilfer from the stores and sometimes assault staff.
► From KING — Macy’s workers striking in Lynnwood, Tukwila and Bellingham over ‘unfair labor practices’ — UFCW 3000 said the Black Friday strike would essentially shut down three of the busiest Macy’s stores in Washington.
► From the (Everett) Herald — Macy’s employees strike on Black Friday at Alderwood Mall
► From the (Everett) Herald — Providence Everett nurses end strike, return to understaffed shifts — As union nurses returned to work at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, the next steps for contract negotiations remained unclear last week. Nurses on the picket line expressed frustration when Providence leadership staffed the hospital with more nurses during the strike than they do on a regular basis.
The STAND (Nov. 6) — Nurses at Providence Everett announce plans for ULP strike
► From the (Longview) Daily News — Longview paper mill owner WestRock, Irish company to form packaging giant — Atlanta-based WestRock plans to merge with Smurfit Kappa this spring to form a multibillion-dollar publicly traded sustainable packaging company with hundreds of operations, including 67 mills, across the globe. A local economic development official said he does not foresee the merger affecting the number of Longview WestRock workers.
SOUTH OF THE BORDER
► From OPB — Teachers reach tentative deal with Portland Public Schools — After more than three weeks out of the classroom, and a tumultuous back-and-forth between district and union bargaining teams, more than 40,000 Portland students will return to school on Monday. Portland Public Schools and the Portland Association of Teachers have reached a tentative deal, essentially ending a teachers strike that’s kept schools closed since Nov. 1.
► From the WA State Standard — Over 200 employees hired to staff Tukwila behavioral hospital bought by Washington — A spokesperson for the newly-named Olympic Heritage Behavioral Health Hospital said around half of the new hires are former Cascade employees. Some were also brought in from the state’s two other adult psychiatric hospitals.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Employees at the former Cascade Behavioral Health facility were represented by SEIU Healthcare 1199NW.
► From the WA State Standard — Consumer spending drives another $200M in expected state revenue growth — A new revenue forecast projects state tax collections will reach $66.9 billion for the two-year budget cycle that began July 1, an increase of $191 million from what chief economist predicted in September.
► From the (Everett) Herald — Amid staffing crisis, student nurses run into shortages in education too — Everett Community College’s nursing program has 79 slots. Hundreds apply each year — and that’s just the first hurdle.
► From the WA State Standard — Petitions filed for initiative to erase Washington’s ambitious climate law — Backers say they turned in nearly 420,000 signatures. The measure seeks to end the cap-and-invest program that’s brought in nearly $1.6 billion this year for pollution-fighting efforts.
► From the Seattle Times — Semi Bird challenging Dave Reichert for GOP nomination for WA governor
► From Politico — Biden urged to go big on Social Security as a way to beat Trump — Progressives have pitched Biden officials and Democratic leaders in recent months on endorsing a plan to expand Americans’ Social Security benefits. The proposal, they argue, would be broadly popular with an electorate that ranks Social Security among the top issues they care deeply about, especially among seniors more likely to vote.
► From CNN — Unions are the strongest in decades. Nearly a million Americans got double-digit raises as a result — Nearly 900,000 Americans sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner had unions – and the double-digit pay increases they won – to thank. That’s how many unionized workers have won immediate pay hikes of 10% or more in just the last year, according to an analysis by CNN. And the pace of increases of that size have been picking up. More than 700,000 of those workers won pay hikes over the course of the last six months, and of that group, nearly 300,000 saw deals reached in just the last six weeks.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Ready for a raise? 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 Las Vegas Review-Journal — MGM workers cast 99 percent of votes for Culinary union contract — Culinary officials said every worker will get a 10 percent wage increase in the first year of the contract, retroactive to June 1, with a 32-percent increase over the total life of the contract. The average worker earns about $26 an hour, including benefits. That figure is expected to reach $35 by the end of the five years.
► From the Guardian — Wells Fargo workers at two bank branches launch efforts to unionize — Employees in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Bethel, Alaska, said they would notify the National Labor Relations Board that they plan to hold elections to decide whether to unionize.
► From the Washington Post — A 20-year-old Amazon employee died at work. Indiana issued a $7,000 fine. — Amazon’s safety record is under unprecedented scrutiny, but state and federal regulators often have limited ability to enforce safety policies at company warehouses.
► From Business Insider — Apple illegally denied benefits to the first unionized store in the country, says NLRB — The National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against Apple, alleging that the company violated labor law by withholding benefits from unionized workers at its Towson, Maryland, store, which became the first Apple Store in the country to unionize in June 2022.
► From HuffPost — Medieval Times workers end their strike — A California castle’s show cast and knights held a picket line for nine months amid a contract fight with the company. Now they’re returning to work.
► From YouTube — Why going solar with a union installer matters — Are you considering solar energy for your home? Find out why long-time union member and President of the Pierce County Central Labor Council Vance Lelli and his wife Kimberlie Lelli chose Artisan Electric as their unionized solar installer.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.