Wednesday, January 17, 2024
► From UFCW 3000 — Macy’s workers launch ULP Strike on Martin Luther King Jr. Day — Macy’s workers at the Alderwood Mall location (18700 Alderwood Mall Pkwy in Lynnwood, Wash.) began an Unfair Labor Practice strike. Despite frigid temperatures, we took to the picket lines this MLK Day to stand up for ourselves, our colleagues, our families and our customers in the face of management’s blatant disrespect. We have been in negotiations with Macy’s for close to a year now. We plan to stay off the job indefinitely, picketing every day during Macy’s normal business hours.
► From the Seattle Times — Should Washington state try to block the Kroger-Albertsons merger? — On Monday, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed suit to block the proposed $25 billion merger between Kroger and Albertsons. He argues that the deal between Kroger, which owns QFC and Fred Meyer, and Albertsons, which owns Safeway and Haggen, would reduce competition and potentially raise prices for consumers. What do you think? Should the merger be blocked? Why or why not? Share your views in this form.
The STAND (Jan. 16) — Ferguson files lawsuit to block Kroger-Albertsons merger
► ICYMI from Crosscut — WA unions wary of proposed Kroger/Albertsons supermarket merger — Workers fear that the move — which would be the nation’s largest-ever grocer consolidation — could undermine bargaining or close current locations.
From The STAND:
Despite C&S deal, UFCW 367 remains opposed to megamerger (Sept. 11, 2023)
Urge FTC to block Kroger-Albertsons merger (July 27, 2023)
Study: Kroger-Albertsons merger will cost workers over $300M (May 9, 2023)
Grocery unions decry proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger (Oct. 14, 2022)
► From KNKX — Opposition forms as Renton voters weigh minimum wage proposal — There is now organized opposition to a ballot measure in Renton, Wash., that would raise the minimum wage to about $20 an hour. The Washington Hospitality Association and the Washington Food Industry Association have already contributed almost $70,000 to a PAC to fight the measure.
► From the Seattle Times — Spirit AeroSystems, Boeing’s supplier for 737 MAX, steps up inspections — Spirit AeroSystems — Boeing’s supplier that built the Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 that had a panel blow out mid-flight earlier this month — is stepping up its inspections, according to a note Spirit CEO Pat Shanahan sent to employees Tuesday:
“There have been learnings from the airplane inspections to date and there will be more.”
► From Reuters — FAA says first 40 inspections of Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplanes complete — The FAA said on Wednesday that it will “thoroughly review the data” from the inspections before deciding if the planes can resume flights.
► From Reuters — Judge blocks JetBlue from acquiring Spirit Airlines — A federal judge on Tuesday blocked JetBlue Airways’ planned $3.8-billion acquisition of ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines after agreeing with the U.S. Department of Justice that the deal was anticompetitive and would harm ticket buyers.
SOUTH OF THE BORDER
► From the Daily Emerald — Tentative agreement with Univ. of Oregon halts GTFF strike — On Monday, the Graduate Teaching Fellows federation announced that it had reached a tentative agreement with the University of Oregon on a new 3-year contract, avoiding a large-scale graduate employee strike that was slated to begin on Wednesday, Jan. 17.
► From the WA State Standard — Voters to decide on repeal of Washington cap-and-trade program — Initiative 2117, certified for the ballot on Tuesday, would erase the two-year-old Climate Commitment Act. The law imposes annual limits on greenhouse gas emissions for major emitters, such as oil refiners and utilities, and requires them to buy allowances at state auctions for each metric ton of their pollution.
► From the WA State Standard — Washington’s latest daylight saving time proposal would mean earlier summer sunsets — A bill up for debate in Olympia calls for clocks to no longer “spring ahead” in March and for Pacific Standard Time to remain in effect year-round.
► From Politico — Supreme Court takes on executive branch in broad fight over policymaking power — A legal fight over an obscure commercial fishing rule appears to be on the verge of fulfilling a decadeslong goal of legal conservatives: the demolition of a legal doctrine used to sustain a vast array of federal government policies ranging from gun safety to immigration to pollution controls.
► From U.S. News & World Report — Supreme Court rejects Alaska’s bid to let state workers avoid union dues — Supreme Court justices declined to hear Alaska’s bid to revive a Republican-backed policy to make it easier for state workers to opt out of paying union dues in the latest case aimed at limiting the influence of unions representing public-sector employees.
► From The Guardian — Workers making Bud Light and other beers threaten strike — Workers who make Bud Light and other top-selling beers are threatening to strike in demand of significant wage increases, job security and improvements to retirement and benefits in the first big union contract battle of 2024. Five thousand workers, represented by the Teamsters at 12 Anheuser-Busch breweries, are threatening to strike after voting 99% in favor of a strike authorization last month. Their current union contract is set to expire on Feb. 29. On X, the Teamsters warned:
“Without a contract by February 29, there won’t be any beer come March.”
► From Art Forum — Denver Art Museum staff move to unionize –Workers at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) publicly announced their intention to unionize under the auspices of the AFSCME Cultural Workers United Council 18. The union says a supermajority of roughly 250 eligible employees have agreed to unionize as Denver Art Museum Workers United (DAMWU).
The STAND (Dec. 5, 2023) — Tacoma Art Museum workers’ victory a model for other museums
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.