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TA at Providence | Starbucks sales slump | UI for strikers

Tuesday, December 5, 2023




► From the (Everett) Herald — After strike, Everett nurses, Providence agree on tentative contract — Providence Regional Medical Center Everett reached a tentative contract agreement with more than 1,300 union nurses, the hospital announced Monday. The agreement — reached Friday night — comes after nearly nine months of talks and a five-day strike in November. Nurses walked out Nov. 14 to protest understaffing, the main sticking point between both sides. The nurses’ union, UFCW 3000, declared victory in a message to nurses. Nurses are set to vote on the agreement Dec. 15.

► From the Seattle Times — Starbucks suffers record 11-day rout as sales concerns build –Starbucks shares suffer a record run of losses as concern builds that sales trends at the coffee giant have cooled in recent weeks. The stock dropped 1.6% on Monday, declining for a 11th consecutive session in what is the longest rout since Seattle-based Starbucks’ public debut in 1992. In total, the slump has erased 9.4% of Starbucks’ market value, a decline of nearly $12 billion. This marks the third straight week of decelerating trends amid boycotts and recent labor strikes, including on Red Cup Day (Nov. 16), which affected as many as 200 locations in the U.S.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Over the past two years, employees at 24 Starbucks stores (and counting) in Washington state, and 368 Starbucks stores in 42 states, have voted to exercise their right to join together in a union. But not one of them has a union contract yet. Why? Because Starbucks executives have responded with a scorched-earth campaign of illegal firings, intimidation and retaliation against their employees, while spending millions on union-avoidance firms and tarnishing their brand name. As Starbucks workers continue to organize and call out the company, is it any wonder that sales are suffering? At some point, Starbucks executive need to realize that obeying the law and negotiating a fair contract with their employees might reverse the damage to their brand, plus improve productivity and sales.

► From the Seattle Times — Renton voters to weigh $19 minimum wage in February special election — The Renton City Council rejected a proposal to pass the citizen-initiated measure outright at its Monday night meeting, instead deciding to bring the issue to voters. Modeled after Tukwila’s minimum wage measure that passed last year with more than 82% of the vote, Renton’s new wage floor would be in line with those in Seattle, SeaTac and Tukwila.

► From KIRO — Bellingham sees ‘huge safety concern’ as 2 fire stations operate without engines for over a day — During the weekend, Fire Station 6 and 31 had to operate without engines, leaving parts of the city vulnerable to any large fires or emergencies. Both were left without a fire engine for more than 24 hours. Hunter Elliot, Vice President of IAFF Local 106:

“When you pull two engines out of the mix, that’s a huge safety concern, not only for the public, but it’s also a safety concern for firefighters.”

► From the Cascadia Daily News — Setting the record straight on metal recycling (by Riley Sweeney) — As one of Bellingham’s most visible new businesses, ABC Recycling’s operations have inspired plenty of community conversation. While we welcome the interest, there is an unfortunate amount of misinformation circulating so it is time to set the record straight.

► From the Tri-City Herald — A WA nuclear site 1st. Hanford workers prepare to treat waste from aging tanks

► From the Oregonian — Portland mail handling site will close, lay off 62




► From the Washington State Standard — Washington lawmakers begin to drop bills ahead of upcoming session — Among the matters Washington lawmakers are teeing up for debate in the 2024 session… Striking workers would be eligible to receive unemployment assistance beginning the second week after walking off the job, under legislation put forth by Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines). It would apply to bargaining unit members participating in a “bonafide” strike, she said. One union behind the effort is SPEEA/IFPTE 2001, which represents about 19,000 engineers, technical workers, scientists and pilots at Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems. Brandon Anderson, SPEEA’s legislative director:

“This bill is intended to give Washington workers a fairer economic shot. Many of our members are just scraping by and do not have money to put away to live on during a strike.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO will be announcing its 2024 legislative agenda soon. Sen. Keiser’s UI for striking workers bill will be among the WSLC priorities.

► From the Yakima H-R — Are state rules enough to protect against the heavy metals in farm fertilizers?





► From Roll Call — Democrats divided over Biden’s move on digital trade — The Biden administration’s decision to withdraw U.S. support for digital trade provisions at the World Trade Organization and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a move that has riled the tech industry, has congressional Democrats taking opposite sides over the issue. Lori Wallach, director of the Rethink Trade program at the American Economic Liberties Project, said “unions, small businesses and consumer groups celebrate the Biden administration move to ensure our trade policy respects efforts underway by congressional Democrats and Republicans and federal agencies to create online privacy, data security, competition and AI policies to protect workers and consumers.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Also see the AFL-CIO’s Worker-Centered Digital Trade Agenda.

► From the AP — The Supreme Court is taking up a case that could rule out a tax on wealth favored by some Democrats — A decision in favor of Charles and Kathleen Moore of Redmond, Washington, could strike down a provision of the 2017 tax bill that is expected to bring in $340 billion, threaten other provisions of the tax code and rule out a wealth tax that is favored by some Democrats who argue that the wealthiest Americans don’t pay their fair share of taxes. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who was Speaker of the House when the tax bill was passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by then-President Donald Trump, has called the challenge “misguided” and said “a lot of the tax code would be unconstitutional if that thing prevailed.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — The billionaire benefactors of Supreme Court justices probably have thoughts about paying more taxes. A new RV could be on the line here for Clarence.

► From The Hill — Spending deal that helped sink McCarthy sees new hope as conservatives ease up — After months of infighting, bruising failed floor votes and the historic ouster of their leader, House Republicans could end up falling back on a bipartisan debt ceiling deal struck by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) earlier this year that helped lead to his undoing.

► From Politico — Obamacare is even more popular than the last time Trump tried to kill it — Roughly three-in-five Americans like the 2010 health care law, even more than when Trump and Republicans in Congress came to the brink of wiping it out. And some of the Affordable Care Act’s better-known provisions — like protections for preexisting health conditions — engender even greater support. When Trump said last week he’d try again to repeal the law if he wins next year’s presidential election, he picked at an electoral scab that party strategists hoped had healed by now.

► From the LA Times — The GOP is back to attacking Obamacare, and making less sense than ever (by Michael Hiltzik) — A couple of things are clear about this emerging Republican position on the Affordable Care Act and on U.S. health care more generally: They don’t have a clue about what to do with it. That doesn’t matter, because they have no intention about doing anything. They’re just gaslighting the public.




► From The Guardian — The UAW’s Tesla drive is showing the way forward for unions: go big or go extinct (by Hamilton Nolan) — For decades, under relentless attack from corporate interests and their political allies, unions have watched their membership decline. Now the United Auto Workers, fresh off a historic, victorious strike against the Big Three automakers, announced plans to unionize not just one, not two, but more than a dozen of the remaining non-union auto companies in the U.S. Tesla, Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen – essentially all of them. After the attractive contracts won in the strikes brought a flood of interest from workers across the country, the union has decided to seize the moment. The UAW is aiming to be exactly where a strong union needs to be: everywhere.

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!

► A related story from the AP — Danish union to take action against Tesla in solidarity with Swedes demanding collective bargaining

► From The Onion — Company wellness seminar teaches mindful acceptance of pay cuts — “With the constant demands and distractions of the workplace, we wanted to give our employees a chance to simply stop for a moment this morning and take a deep, grounding breath as we told them we’re cutting their pay,” said HR representative Bryce Powers.


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!