Thursday, December 7, 2023
► From Crosscut — How the overturn of ‘Roe’ still impacts Washington abortion care — Confusion, fear and delayed abortions for patients traveling from other states are among the lingering impacts in Washington nearly a year and a half after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.While Washington abortion providers knew they would be helping a lot of people from Idaho and elsewhere in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, the reality has been much more complicated than bringing in more providers, expanding abortion training and resources and stockpiling abortion medications, as legal battles that could further restrict abortion access.
The STAND (Jan. 24, 2023) — New report links abortion access to economic security
The STAND (June 27, 2022) — Amid attacks on abortion rights, unions must fight back (by Shaunie Wheeler James and Cherika Carter) — Organized labor has the tools to transform protests into concrete actions defending bodily autonomy.
The STAND (May 3, 2022) — WSLC: ‘Reproductive rights are workers’ rights’ — The Washington State Labor Council will fight to defend healthcare choices, abortion rights.
► From KIMA — Low-income families will receive checks after Attorney General was successful in taking down corporations engaged in price-fixing — Over 1 million Washingtonians will be getting some extra cash this holiday season as a result of price-fixing lawsuits. Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced his office was successful in antitrust lawsuits against large chicken and tuna corporations that engaged in price-fixing over the last decade.
► From the WA State Standard — Patients stuck in Washington hospitals pose quandary for state lawmakers — Health officials and hospital operators want to see further action to help patients with conditions like dementia and mental health disorders transition into long-term care and behavioral health facilities.
► From the WA State Standard — Here’s how WA spent first sliver of cap-and-trade dollars — The state conducted its last allowance auction of 2023 on Wednesday. A new report sheds light on how the state spent proceeds from earlier ones.
► From the (Everett) Herald — Fosse shouldn’t have to choose between elected roles (editorial) — As have other cities, the Everett council can require that those who seek election to that post serve on the council and nowhere else. However, it would be unfair to apply that restriction retroactively on Fosse and on those who have voted for her. If voters believe that Fosse’s performance in either position is lacking, they can remove her at the next election.
► From Crosscut — Can Washington bridge its political divide? Some want to try — Already dreading the 2024 election atmosphere, a bipartisan group of community leaders and politicians are working to “disagree better.”
► From the South Seattle Emerald — Macy’s workers get ready for a pre-Christmas contract negotiation — Retail workers across the state of Washington are getting ready to go to the bargaining table with Macy’s just before Christmas and a raise isn’t all they’re asking for. Aside from dollar raises, workers are asking for Macy’s to do more when it comes to crime. During Black Friday, hundreds of Macy’s workers from stores at Westfield’s Southcenter mall, Alderwood Mall in Lynwood, and Bellis Fair mall in Bellingham went on strike for three days.
► From the Seattle Times — King County Council forecasts dire cuts to come as it trims budget — The Metropolitan King County Council approved modest reductions to the county’s ongoing general fund budget Tuesday while warning of much more dire cuts next year unless the county gets help from the state Legislature.
► From Reuters — Boeing closing in on Thai deal for 80 Dreamliners — Boeing is in advanced talks to sell around 80 wide-body 787 Dreamliner jets to Thai Airways after pulling ahead of Airbus in widely watched fleet renewal talks, industry sources said.
► From Roll Call — Framework appropriations deal elusive as session winds down — Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) says an agreement was needed “yesterday” to get spending bills passed on time. Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson is taking a hard line in negotiations over final spending levels for fiscal 2024, imperiling odds of a deal on appropriations toplines that’s needed in the next week for lawmakers to have any chance of finishing full-year bills by deadlines early next year. Under pressure from House Freedom Caucus-led conservatives, Johnson is seeking to hold nondefense funds below the $772.7 billion ceiling that negotiators agreed to in the debt limit law. Murray said:
“(Johnson) wants to now go back and say, ‘Nevermind, it doesn’t matter that there was an agreement. Now we want to cut more.”
► From the AP — White House threatens patents of high-priced drugs developed with taxpayer dollars — The Biden administration is putting pharmaceutical companies on notice, warning them that if the price of certain drugs is too high, the government might cancel their patent protection and allow rivals to make their own versions. Under a plan announced Thursday, the government would consider overriding the patent for high-priced drugs that have been developed with the help of taxpayer money and letting competitors make them in hopes of driving down the cost.
► From Variety — Hollywood’s labor peace may be temporary, as IATSE and Teamsters gear up for a fight — Even as Hollywood tries to return to normal, dark clouds are forming on the horizon. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees contract expires on July 31, as does the Basic Crafts contract, which covers the Teamsters. In a period of rising union militancy across industries, it’s not clear whether the Hollywood studios have achieved lasting labor peace or just a temporary truce.
► From the Detroit News — UAW ratifies 3.5-year contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan — UAW members ratified a 3.5-year labor agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan on Wednesday, ending an 88-day strike by 1,360 workers. The deal is retroactive to Sept. 1 and includes “significant general wage increases,” a $6,500 ratification bonus for Blue Cross Blue Shield employees and a $5,000 ratification bonus for employees of Blue Care Network HMO.
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 Washington Post… this.
► From NPR — Washington Post journalists stage daylong strike under threat of job cuts — More than 750 journalists and business-side staffers at The Washington Post walked off the job for the day, saying they are angered by the company’s decision to embark on massive job cuts while contract negotiations have stalled. The strike Thursday is the most serious labor action at the paper in decades. The Post is privately owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, one of the world’s wealthiest people.
► A related story from the Guardian — Spotify CFO cashes in $9 million in shares after value surges on news of job cuts — Paul Vogel, Spotify’s chief financial officer, moved to sell the $9.4 million worth of stock on Tuesday, a day after investors sent the company’s share price soaring in response to reports that it was laying off almost a fifth of its workforce to cut costs.
► British musician and singer/songwriter Denny Laine passed away this week at age 79. He was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member of Moody Blues. After leaving that band, Laine joined Paul and Linda McCartney to form Wings, with whom he played from 1971 to 1981. At Wings shows, he would take over lead vocals for this song that the Moody Blues made a hit in 1964. Enjoy.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.