Wednesday, December 20, 2023
Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants are tired of Alaska stalling on contract negotiations. If Alaska has billions to pay for Hawaiian Air, they have money to pay flight attendants what they are worth. @AFAAlaska pic.twitter.com/sU4RRNgXwi
— MLK Labor (@MLKLabor) December 20, 2023
► From KING — Alaska Airlines flight attendants to stage informational picket at SEA Airport — Alaska Airlines flight attendants staged an informational picket at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Tuesday as the union works on negotiating a new contract with the company. There are two more meetings between the company and the union in January and February. Union leadership said they are prepared to announce “escalated actions in support of contract negotiations” on Tuesday.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Visit the AFA Alaska community support page for the latest updates and to learn how you can support their struggle for a fair contract.
► From KTTU — Alaska Airlines flight attendants picket in Anchorage
The STAND (Aug. 16) — Alaska’s flight attendants: Pay Us or Chaos! — Alaska’s flight attendants are working under a nine-year-old contract that has been extended twice, first due to the merger with Virgin America and second due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Alaska Airlines has reported record revenue of $9.6 billion in 2022, Alaska Airlines’ flight attendants have not received a significant pay increase in nine years.
► From the Wenatchee World — USPS to decide on Wenatchee mail operations in up ‘to a few weeks’; union claims decision is final — The United States Postal Service plans to decide whether to change outgoing mail operations from the Wenatchee Processing & Distribution Center to the one in Spokane in a “few days to a few weeks,” a spokesperson said. However, APWU Local 751 Wenatchee President Ryan Harris shared a USPS document that appears to be a timeline of the Wenatchee facility changing to Spokane on March 5. Harris also said the changes could come as soon as February. If operations change, Harris said it would mean at least a one-day delay in delivery for outgoing mail for zip codes beginning with 9-8-8 because it would need to be processed in Spokane.
► From The Stranger — The real reason for the Bartell apocalypse (by Charles Mudede) — Almost all of the news stories about the present Bartell’s apocalypse almost never mention its impact on workers. The workers also had no say in the sale that plunged Bartell Drugs into the black hole of Rite Aid.
► From the Seattle Times — Seattle neighborhoods near Amazon warehouses get more pollution, fewer packages, UW study finds — Amazon’s distribution facilities may be exposing neighbors to pollution – and disproportionately affecting communities that are predominantly home to people of color – according to a new study from the University of Washington.
► From Bloomberg — Airline shopping spree hands Airbus, Boeing bumper year of orders — Airbus and Boeing are rounding out the year with a flurry of major orders, smashing records in one of the most active purchasing periods in recent memory that stretches their production lines well into the next decade.
► From the WA State Standard — More people are calling WA’s 988 suicide crisis hotline — The number of Washington residents calling the state’s 988 suicide prevention hotline has climbed in the past year and is expected to keep rising, prompting Gov. Jay Inslee to request more money for the program.
Today at The STAND — You are not alone: Resources available for those in crisis
► From the WA State Standard — WA’s statehouse may soon achieve gender parity. Here’s why it matters — Washington’s Legislature is on track to achieve equal representation of men and women elected into office by 2026. That’s according to a new report from The Ascend Fund, an organization promoting women in politics and advised by former female lawmakers. Women now hold 45.6% of seats in the Washington Legislature — a record-breaking 67 women out of 149 legislators. That puts Washington well above the national average. Just 32.6% of state legislators across the country are women.
► From the Seattle Times — Why ‘The Boys in the Boat’ movie was not filmed in Seattle — There are multiple reasons. For one: the city has changed — and built — too much since the 1930s. Another major reason: The U.K. offers an exceptional tax credit that helped the production stretch its resources further than would have been possible locally. Washington just can’t compete with other places that offer more significant tax breaks for movie productions, or so-called “incentives.” Washington increased the cap on its Motion Picture Competitiveness Program (a set of financial incentives like tax breaks) from $3.5 million a year to $15 million. Applications opened this spring — too late for “The Boys in the Boat.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Learn more at WashingtonFilmworks.org.
► From the LA Times — This weed killer is banned in 50 countries. U.S. workers say it’s giving them Parkinson’s — Paraquat is manufactured by Syngenta, a Swiss-based company owned by the Chinese government. The chemical is banned in at least 58 countries — including China and Switzerland — due to its toxicity, yet it continues to be a popular herbicide in California and other parts of the United States.
EDITOR’S NOTE — The use of paraquat remains legal on U.S. farms if those who apply it receive certified training. See the Washington State Department of Agriculture site for details.)
► From the Washington Post — Trump disqualified from Colorado’s 2024 primary ballot by state Supreme Court — In a historic decision Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court barred Donald Trump from running in the state’s presidential primary after determining that he had engaged in insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. The 4-3 ruling marked the first time a court has kept a presidential candidate off the ballot under an 1868 provision of the Constitution that prevents insurrectionists from holding office. The ruling comes as courts consider similar cases in other states. The decision is certain to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it will be up to the justices to decide whether to take the case.
► From the Washington Post — GOP voter-fraud crackdown overwhelmingly targets minorities, Democrats — Black and Hispanic people made up more than 75 percent of defendants and Democrats nearly 60 percent in a controversial push by Republicans to prosecute election cheating, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis.
► From the CNBC — There were nearly 400 strikes in 2023, and experts think there’s more to come: ‘Nothing succeeds like success’ — Workers made their voices heard in 2023. Between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, there were 393 strikes in the U.S. involving more than 500,000 workers, according to Cornell University’s Labor Action Tracker. This year saw more work stoppages involving 1,000 or more workers than any year since 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
► From the Guardian — ‘We’re not backing down’: Wells Fargo workers push to grow union campaign — Workers at Wells Fargo, the fourth largest bank in the U.S., have ramped up their union organizing campaign in recent weeks in a move that marks the largest union drive at a U.S. bank in decades. Four Wells Fargo branches have filed for union elections since November in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Bethel, Alaska; Atwater, California; and Daytona Beach, Florida. The first union elections in New Mexico and Alaska are set to be held on Thursday.
► From the AP — Southwest Airlines, pilots union reach tentative labor deal — Southwest Airlines and its pilots reached a tentative labor agreement after three-and-a-half years of negotiations, the last of the four major airlines to reach a deal with pilots. Specific terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed, but pilots at American, United and Delta have won raises of roughly 40% over five years.
► From ProPublica — “Once you’re no good to them, they get rid of you” — Immigrant workers are essential to Wisconsin’s dairy industry. But when they get injured, they’re often cast aside.
► From the Guardian — Elon Musk says letting workers unionize creates ‘lords and peasants’. What? (by Steven Greenhouse) — That the world’s richest human dissed the idea of unions should certainly be seen as a selling point for unionizing. Musk’s statement shows that he realizes that unions can be highly effective in harnessing the collective voice and power of workers, not just to limit the autonomy of power-hungry CEOs like him in managing their companies, but also to counter the capricious and often officious way he runs things. Musk is allergic to the idea of letting workers and their union have a voice in how to run – and improve – things.
► From Reuters — Tesla skips employees’ yearly merit-based stock compensations
EDITOR’S NOTE — This stuff writes itself.
► The STAND will be on hiatus, for the most part, for the remainder of the year with only light posting.
Here’s a song written by American singer/pianist Charles Brown, a member of both the Blues Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It enjoyed a second life after The Eagles covered it in 1978. Here’s one of those Eagles. Enjoy and happy holidays.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.