Tuesday, January 30, 2024
► From the Bellingham Herald — Bellingham Community Food Co-Op’s 170 employees consider unionizing; voting this week — Bellingham’s Community Food Co-Op is facing a possible employee union, as 170 employees across the two grocery stores will vote on whether to unionize this week. The employees of the 315 Westerly Rd. co-op and the 1220 N. Forest St. co-op filed a petition for a representation election on Jan. 10, according to the NLRB. Letters were then sent to the co-op administration from the NLRB and The Teamsters union.
WASHINGTON STATE RESIDENTS: Fair overtime pay for WA farm workers is once again under attack! #SB5476 would roll back our progress on overtime equity. Take action today to protect what farm workers have already won. #waleg
— United Farm Workers (@UFWupdates) January 30, 2024
► From the union-busting Columbian — Senate rent stabilization bill’s fate hangs in balance with Sen. Cleveland weighing her vote — On Friday, the Senate Committee on Housing discussed SB 5961, which originally limited rent increases for tenants at 5% each year. But to the dismay of most Democrats in the executive session, the bill was amended to a 15% rent ceiling, with the option for local governments to require a lower percentage.
► From the Seattle Times — Proposed bill would provide benefits for survivors of ride-share drivers killed on the job — At the hearing for HB 2382, Mohamud Adan, a representative for the Drivers Union, said there is a safety crisis affecting ride-share drivers:
“When tragedy strikes and a driver in our community loses their life while working, it rips the very fabric of our entire community. It is our moral duty to support the surviving family in the time of their need.”
► From KIMA — House lawmakers pass bill to simplify Working Family Tax Credit process — House lawmakers passed House Bill 1895 which aims to help streamline the application process by simplifying income verification and eliminating unnecessary delays.
► From Crosscut — A WA bill would allow non-citizens to obtain professional licenses — HB 1889 would remove citizenship requirements from certifications for jobs ranging from security guards to private investigators.
► From the Seattle Times — Under pressure, Boeing drops request for a 737 MAX 7 safety exemption — Under intense political pressure, Boeing withdrew its request for an exemption from key safety regulations to allow the 737 MAX 7 to be certified to carry passengers. This means entry into passenger service of the MAX 7, the smallest model of the MAX family, will be significantly delayed until Boeing can design a fix for the flawed design and get it approved by the FAA. It will cut Boeing’s promised cash flow for the year, though by how much is not yet clear.
► From Reuters — United exec says loss of skills may have contributed to Boeing problems — A senior United Airlines executive highlighted the widespread loss of experience in the aviation industry since the COVID-19 pandemic and said it may have contributed to recent problems at Boeing.
► From the LA Times — Striking hotel workers were hit by metal ball bearings, union says — Months of strikes have brought about more than two dozen new labor agreements between hotel operators and their workers, yet tensions remain high on picket lines across Southern California. In incidents last week, UNITE HERE Local 11, the union representing hospitality workers, alleges that people on one of its picket lines were struck by pellets fired by an air rifle.
► From the AP — GM made $10B last year despite autoworkers strike, but it’s prepared for lower auto prices this year — General Motors’ net income rose 12% last year despite losing more than $1 billion when many of its plants were shut down by a six-week autoworkers’ strike. The company predicts a small improvement this year even as it plans for lower vehicle selling prices due to increased discounts.
► From the Washington Post — UPS to cut 12,000 jobs, citing softer demand and higher labor costs — The layoffs will eliminate around 2.4 percent of its global workforce of roughly 495,000, with about 75 percent of the job reductions coming in the first half of 2024. The company’s business has suffered, logging revenue of $24.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023, down 7.8 percent from the same period the year before, with executives citing softer demand.
► From the AP — Prisoners in the U.S. are part of a hidden workforce linked to hundreds of popular food brands — Intricate, invisible webs link some of the world’s largest food companies and most popular brands to jobs performed by U.S. prisoners nationwide, according to a sweeping two-year AP investigation into prison labor that tied hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of agricultural products to goods sold on the open market. They are among America’s most vulnerable laborers. If they refuse to work, some can jeopardize their chances of parole or face punishment like being sent to solitary confinement. They also are often excluded from protections guaranteed to almost all other full-time workers, even when they are seriously injured or killed on the job.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.