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Olympia update | Cathy and Dan toe the line | AFL-CIO hails Dartmouth ruling

Wednesday, February 7, 2024




► From The STAND — A status report on WSLC’s Legislative Agenda — Updated with the status of pro-worker bills after the latest cutoff deadline, including the Senate’s 31-18 passage of SB 6060, allowing the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) to accept digital signatures for union authorization cards. The next cutoff: Tuesday, Feb. 13 will be the final day that bills can be considered in their houses of origin.

► From the Senate Democrats — Stanford bill limiting noncompetition contracts passes Senate — Workers in Washington state would gain protections against employer-imposed noncompetition agreements, under legislation passed on a 29-20 vote in the Senate on Wednesday. SB 5935, sponsored by Sen. Derek Stanford (D-Bothell), provides a range of protections to workers in response to real-life situations that have arisen since the passage of landmark 2019 legislation restricting the use of noncompete clauses in Washington.

► From the WA House Democrats — Senate is the next stop for Timmons bill that provides a cost-of-living increase to retireesRep. Joe Timmons (D-Bellingham): “HB 1985 provides a 3 percent cost-of-living increase, up to $110 per month, to those who dedicated their careers to public service and are on the state’s public employees’ retirement system (PERS1) or teachers’ retirement system (TRS1).”  

► From the AP — Adult dancers in Washington state want a strippers’ bill of rights. Here’s how it could help them — Proposals being considered in the Legislature would require a security guard at each club, keypad codes to enter dressing rooms, training for employees on preventing sexual harassment, and procedures if a customer is violent.

► From Crosscut — WA bill wants to create ‘healthier’ prisons for inmates, officers — Rep. Gina Mosbrucker’s (R-Goldendale) HB 2169 would create a four-year pilot program at the Washington State Penitentiary East Complex in Walla Walla, aimed at improving the prison environment through planting and painting projects.




► From HuffPost — Starbucks is sending one lucky barista to Costa Rica, but not if they’re in a union — Dillon Dix was excited to compete this year in Starbucks’ North America Barista Championship, a company-wide contest in which the winner would receive a paid trip to Starbucks’ coffee farm in Costa Rica. But he found some disappointing news in the fine print about the contest: Unionized Starbucks stores are not eligible to participate. Dix called the move “really petty.” Union baristas say their exclusion is another punishment for having organized roughly 400 of the chain’s 9,000 corporate-owned U.S. stores since 2021.

Today at The STANDStarbucks faces 47 new charges of illegal union-busting




► From the AP — NTSB says bolts on Boeing jetliner were missing before a panel blew out in midflight last month — The preliminary report said the plane arrived at Boeing’s factory near Seattle with five damaged rivets near the door plug, which had been installed by supplier Spirit AeroSystems. A Spirit crew replaced the rivets, which required removing the four bolts and opening the plug. The report did not say who removed the bolts. It said that a text message between Boeing employees who finished working on the plane after the rivet job included the photo showing the plug with missing bolts.

► From Reuters — Spirit to ramp up robotics to reduce 737 fuselage problems — Spirit AeroSystems will invest in autonomous technology to limit any defects in its production of Boeing 737 fuselages, its CEO said Tuesday. While full scale robotics are “impractical” in Spirit’s Wichita, Kansas-based factory, Interim CEO Patrick Shanahan said the company is looking to accelerate technology that can make it easier for mechanics to build the front and rear portions of the 737 fuselage, which are the most confined and complex workspaces.




► From the Washington Post — In stunning vote, House fails to impeach Mayorkas over border issues — The failed vote was a rebuke of a months-long investigation into Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that had raised concerns among legal experts and even some Republicans.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Both Washington Republican Reps. Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted to impeach Mayorkas. Nevermind that there is no constitutional basis to impeach him and no evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors.

► From the AP — IRS expects to collect hundreds of billions more in overdue and unpaid taxes thanks to new funding — The IRS is poised to take in hundreds of billions of dollars more in overdue and unpaid taxes than previously anticipated, according to new analysis released Tuesday by the Treasury Department and the IRS. Tax revenues are expected to rise by as much as $561 billion from 2024 to 2034, thanks to stepped-up enforcement made possible with money from the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act, which became law in August 2022.




► From the AP — NLRB says Dartmouth basketball players are school employees, sets stage for union vote — A National Labor Relations Board regional official ruled on Monday that Dartmouth basketball players are employees of the school, clearing the way for an election that would create the first-ever labor union for NCAA athletes. All 15 members of the Dartmouth men’s basketball team signed a petition in September asking to join SEIU Local 560.

► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler: NLRB ruling affirms freedom to join a union for Dartmouth men’s basketball team — “College athletes put their heart and soul into excelling for their schools, working long, grueling hours and risking bodily injury each and every day. These athletes, like so many other young workers, are standing together to improve their lives. The labor movement stands in firm solidarity with student worker-athletes seeking a voice on the job.”

► From SEIU — Mary Kay Henry, visionary SEIU leader who championed Fight for $15 movement, challenged status quo, will not seek re-election — Henry, a longtime organizer and the union’s first female and LGBTQ president, announced Tuesday that she will not seek reelection. Elected to lead the SEIU in May 2010, she has steered the union in bold new directions, taking on big corporations like McDonald’s and Starbucks, making big bets on behalf of working people and championing Black, brown and immigrant service and care workers who have long been written out of the nation’s foundational labor laws.

EDITOR’S NOTE — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler said: “SEIU President Mary Kay Henry has been a powerful, compassionate, and courageous leader for working people all over the world for decades. We’re grateful for her groundbreaking leadership and the years of partnership toward a game-changing way forward for the labor movement.”

► From the Hollywood Reporter — The Onion union ratifies strike-averting contract — The new deal contains language governing the use of AI, wage increases and improved financial terms in the event of layoffs.




► From Reuters — Australia to allow workers to ignore after-hours calls from bosses — Australia will introduce laws giving workers the right to ignore unreasonable calls and messages from their bosses outside of work hours without penalty, with potential fines for employers that breach the rule. The “right to disconnect” is part of a raft of changes to industrial relations laws proposed by the federal government under a parliamentary bill, which it says would protect workers’ rights and help restore work-life balance.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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