Thursday, November 30, 2023
► From KIMA — Central Washington University student workers campaign for a union — Student employees who work at Central Washington University announced their campaign Wednesday to form a union representing all student workers on campus. Working Wildcats – UAW is working to gain union recognition for all 1,000 student employees at Central, including undergraduates and graduates, working in diverse roles.
Today at The STAND — Student workers at Central WA University are forming a union
► From KING — Psychiatric unit at Seattle Children’s has nurses in ‘persistent state of fear’ — Forty-four nurses at the state’s largest pediatric hospital describe working “in a persistent state of fear” in the psychiatric and behavioral medicine unit. The Washington State Nurses Association issued a release on behalf of employees at Seattle Children’s hospital, who sent a letter to the facility on Nov. 17 urgently requesting more help in their unit. Nurse Natasha Vederoff:
“Having 12 officers come in and escort a patient out is a sign we are under resourced and also traumatizing.”
► From the Seattle Times — Renton $19 minimum wage measure qualifies for February special election — Renton voters may in February weigh in on a measure to raise the city’s minimum wage to roughly $19 an hour. The measure — modeled after a similar campaign in Tukwila that passed with overwhelming support — would raise the city’s minimum wage to be more in line with those in Seattle, SeaTac and Tukwila. King County officials proposed a similar $19 minimum wage proposal in September.
► From the (Everett) Herald — At tense meeting, Marysville schools stare down drastic cuts to sports, more — Even with a $5 million loan, the budget is still $10.8 million short. In a budget presentation Tuesday, officials discussed next steps.
► From the Olympian — Amtrak will add trains to route between Seattle and Portland, starting in December — Amtrak will add two more trains daily to its Amtrak Cascades route between Seattle and Portland, with stops in between.
► From Crosscut — Culture complaints spark WA Utilities commission investigation — Gov. Jay Inslee’s office has commissioned an independent investigation into workplace issues at the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission amid allegations of high employee turnover, low morale, sexism and divisions over gender and racial equity.
► From the LA Times — ‘Everything’s like a gamble’: U.S. immigration policies leave lives in limbo — The sometimes arbitrary and frequently confusing nature of American immigration law enforcement constrains the lives of millions of immigrants — those who live in the country legally as well as those here without legal status. More than 4 in 10 immigrants who participated in a wide-ranging survey conducted earlier this year by the Los Angeles Times and KFF, said they don’t understand how the country’s immigration policies work, nor how those policies affect their families. Yet they have no choice but to rely on those policies to be able to live, work, study and sometimes simply exist in this country.
► From The Hill — GDP, corporate profits soar as Biden calls out companies for ‘price gouging’ — Corporate profits increased by $105.7 billion in the third quarter, compared to $6.9 billion in the second, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Earlier this week, President Biden called out the role of private-sector profit-gouging in inflation. “Let me be clear,” he said Monday. “To any corporation that has not brought their prices back down, even as inflation has come down, even supply chains have been rebuilt — it’s time to stop the price gouging, [give] the American consumer a break.”
► From The Hill — EPA proposes requiring lead water pipes to be replaced in 10 years — Under the Environmental Protection Agency’s newly proposed “Lead and Copper Rule Improvements,” water systems would have to replace lead service lines in 10 years, with limited exceptions. Compliance is expected to cost public water systems between $2.1 billion and $3.6 billion annually.
► From NPR — Supreme Court conservatives seem likely to axe SEC enforcement powers — The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative justices seemed highly skeptical Wednesday about the way the SEC conducts in-house enforcement proceedings to ensure the integrity of securities markets across the country. The case is one of several this term aimed at dismantling what some conservatives have derisively called, “the administrative state.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Clarence Thomas’s billionaire sponsors will be happy about this.
► From the UAW — Thousands of autoworkers launch campaigns to join the UAW at more than a dozen automakers — In an unprecedented move, autoworkers at more than a dozen non-union automakers have announced simultaneous campaigns across the country to join the UAW. Thousands of non-union autoworkers are signing cards at the new UAW webpage, UAW.org/join, and are publicly organizing to join the UAW. The organizing drive will cover nearly 150,000 autoworkers across at least 13 automakers. UAW President Shawn Fain:
“To all the autoworkers out there working without the benefits of a union, now it’s your turn.”
► From the Washington Post — UAW announces drive to organize Toyota, Tesla and a dozen other automakers — The United Auto Workers announced a drive to organize the U.S. factories of Toyota, Tesla, Honda and the nation’s other non-unionized automakers, hoping to dramatically expand its membership after negotiating record contracts with Detroit’s Big 3.
Tomorrow will be Pizza Day across the non-union automotive industry. @UAW
— Benjamin Dictor (@BenjaminDictor) November 29, 2023
► From Reuters — Ford takes $1.7 billion profit hit from UAW strike — The automaker now expects adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of $10 billion to $10.5 billion for 2023, down from its prior forecast of $11 billion to $12 billion. Shares of the company were up 1.9% in premarket trade.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Translation: Despite executives’ protestations, Ford can easily afford to pay family-supporting wages… if their employees join together and demand them.
► From Common Dreams — McDonald’s, one of the largest employers in the world, was fined just $26,000—a tiny fraction of its profits—on Monday for violating child labor laws in Pennsylvania, with two franchisees found to be violating numerous rules in five stores.
► From the LA Times — Can Hollywood’s new SAG-AFTRA contract hold AI at bay? (by Justin Hughes) — Initially the studios just didn’t want any of the possible business opportunities related to AI — now not fully understood — to be constrained by a collective bargaining agreement. But constraint is what both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA achieved, especially the actors’ union.
► Last week Jean Knight, singer of the 1971 funk classic “Mr. Big Stuff,” passed away. As a young woman working as a baker in the St. Mary’s Dominican College cafeteria in New Orleans, Jean Audrey Caliste sang in local bars in the evening and eventually caught the attention of a small Mississippi record company. After recording “Mr. Big Stuff,” they shopped it to multiple major labels, who all rejected it. Finally, Stax took a chance on it and the song became a major hit, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #1 on the Soul Singles chart. After her death, her family released a statement that read: “Beyond touring, recording studios, Ms. Knight loved cooking delicious Creole dishes for family and friends, celebrated Mardi Gras with several local krewes, and proudly served on the Louisiana Music Commission.” R.I.P., Jean.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.