Thursday, February 8, 2024
► From Crosscut — A WA bill would extend unemployment pay to workers on strike — Companion bills before the Legislature this session would extend a financial safety net to people on the picket line by allowing striking workers to collect unemployment. HB 1893 and SB 5777 await a final vote in both chambers. One of the bill’s primary sponsors, Rep. Beth Doglio (D-Olympia), called the legislation a way to level the playing field a bit between workers and employers who refuse to negotiate fairly with their workforce. Low-wage workers cannot exercise the right to strike due to the significant financial burden, Doglio argued:
“Employers know this and they use this as a tactic to refuse to negotiate in order to suppress wages and working conditions.”
TAKE A STAND — Washington state legislators must act now to support HB 1893 / SB 5777, which would allow striking workers to access unemployment benefits! Send an email to your State Senator and Representatives urging them to support HB 1893 / SB 5777 and keep this important legislation moving at the State Capitol.
► From the Spokesman-Review — Plans to build Washington’s largest wind farm held up again amid local controversy — In 2021, Scout Clean Energy asked the state for permission to build the Horse Heaven Hills Wind Farm. Last week, the state Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council was scheduled to vote on whether to recommend Gov. Jay Inslee give developers the go-ahead to break ground. But complicated details and conflicting opinions by residents who live near Horse Heaven Hills prompted the council to extend the voting deadline to April 30.
From The STAND (June 9, 2022) — Tri-Cities trades unions reach deal to build Horse Heaven
► From the union-busting Columbian — Washington leads nation in need-based aid, still struggles to retain students — Washington offers more need-based financial aid to undergraduate students than any other state in the country. Yet college enrollment is stagnant, students are struggling to fill out the application for federal assistance and millions of dollars in aid are being left unclaimed.
► From the Kitsap Sun — Republican Rep. announces he won’t run again for 26th District position — State Rep. Spencer Hutchins (R-Gig Harbor), who defeated Adison Richards in the November 2022 election for the Dist. 1 position, will not run for re-election, citing a need to prioritize his family.
► From the WA State Standard — Migrants rally at WA Capitol for health care, unemployment benefits — Hundreds of immigrants, refugees, and advocates rallied in front of Washington’s state Capitol in Olympia on Wednesday, calling on lawmakers to expand health care access and unemployment insurance for people lacking permanent legal immigration status. “We’re more than just a job permit,” said Catalina Velasquez, Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network’s executive director. “We also need health care. We also need a social safety net.”
► From HuffPost — As lawmakers debate border, immigrants set to add $7 trillion to economy — The finding, by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, echoes other economists who say the surge in immigration may have already provided another benefit to the economy by helping it avoid a recession, even as the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates sharply in 2023.
EDITOR’S NOTE — From the AFL-CIO’s position on the border and workforce:
“Successive waves of immigrants and refugees have always helped to build, serve and feed our nation. Today is no different. Far from posing a threat, newly arriving migrants can make valuable contributions to our society when afforded the proper support to effectively integrate into our communities. The labor movement is committed to welcoming more refugees, asylum seekers and other forced migrants and helping them to integrate into the workforce with good union jobs. To right way to use immigration policy to defend and lift labor standards in our country is by ensuring that all workers—regardless of where we were born—have equal and enforceable rights on the job.”
Previously from The STAND — Register now for 2024 Labor and Immigration Summit on March 23 — The Labor and Immigration Committee of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is proud to announce the 2024 Labor and Immigration Summit will take place on Saturday, March 23 at Machinists District 751 in Seattle.
► From the Seattle Times — PCC workers ratify new contract as co-op looks to get back on track — Workers at Seattle-based PCC Community Markets ratified a two-year deal Tuesday. The contract caps nearly a year of tension between the natural foods co-op, which has 15 locations in and around Seattle, and its 1,600 workers represented by United Food & Commercial Workers Local 3000. On Jan. 26, UFCW members authorized a strike after rejecting PCC’s latest offer, but reached a tentative agreement just a few days later.
Today from The STAND — PCC grocery workers ratify industry-leading contract
► From the (Everett) Herald — Everett schools deficit shrunk by $23M following loss of 140 staff — The deficit fell from $28 million to an estimated $4.4 million, with most staff reductions coming from attrition.
► From the South Seattle Emerald — An Event Guide to Black History Month 2024 — It’s February, which means it’s time to highlight and uplift the rich history, culture, and traditions of Black people in the United States. We even have one extra day this year (Feb. 29, it’s a Leap Year!), which means you have ample time to make your plans to check out the Call to Conscience Black History Month Museum at the Columbia City Theater, pour candles with Noir Lux at MOHAI, and learn about Bo Diddley moving the blues into rock ʼn’ roll.
► From Reuters — Thai Airways orders 45 Boeing 787s plus options — Thai Airways has placed a firm order for 45 Boeing 787 jets, with options potentially boosting the size of the deal to around 80 aircraft as it serves rising international travel demand, industry sources said.
► From the AP — Supreme Court hears landmark election case seeking to kick Trump off ballot over Capitol attack — The Supreme Court on Thursday will hear former President Donald Trump’s appeal to remain on the 2024 ballot, the justices’ most consequential election case since Bush v. Gore in 2000. The court will be weighing arguments over whether Trump is disqualified from reclaiming the White House because of his efforts to undo his loss in the 2020 election, ending with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
► From Vox — Can Colorado disqualify Trump from its ballot? 4 ways the Supreme Court might rule — The Court’s GOP-appointed majority is very likely to rule for Trump. But it also matters how they rule for Trump.
► From Roll Call — Supreme Court could toss Trump eligibility dispute to Congress
► From the AP — U.S. labor judge orders Starbucks to reinstate high-profile union organizer — A federal labor law judge has ordered Starbucks to reinstate a high-profile labor organizer and barista who resigned in 2022 after the coffee giant repeatedly ignored her scheduling requests. In a decision dated Tuesday, an administrative law judge with the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Starbucks compelled Jaz Brisack to resign. The judge said Starbucks scheduled Brisack to two or three shifts per week for months despite her repeated requests to reduce her schedule.
Previously from The STAND:
Amid union-busting, Starbucks workers just keep organizing (Jan. 30) — Renton Village store becomes 29th in Washington state to file for union election.
► From KSBY — Allegiant Stadium workers push for union ahead of hosting Super Bowl — With the spotlight on Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas ahead of Super Bowl LVIII, workers at one of the NFL’s newest venues are pushing to unionize. At a press conference Tuesday morning, the AFL-CIO Sports Council, UNITE HERE and the NFL Players Association came together and called on Allegiant Stadium to allow its workers to join a union.
► From HuffPost — Workers at the U.S.’s largest nuclear-fuel factory plan to unionize — Workers at the United States’ largest factory for assembling the fuel rods used in nuclear reactors are attempting to unionize. Nearly 700 employees at the Columbia Fuel Fabrication Facility, located 25 minutes southeast of Columbia, S.C., are set to vote on whether to form a union represented by the IBEW. The election is scheduled for Feb. 29-March 2.
IT’S BETTER IN A UNION
► From the AFL-CIO —
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.