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Pay paraeducators | Cashing out Clarence | 21 more Starbucks

Tuesday, February 20, 2024




► From the NW Labor Press — Reporters go union at The Stranger, Portland Mercury — “Yep, we somehow aren’t already unionized.” That cheeky quip comes from newsroom workers at the Portland Mercury, the (Seattle) Stranger, and other Index Media publications who announced on Feb. 12 that they want to unionize. Some readers may be surprised that workers at the “alternative” publications weren’t already in a union, considering the progressively pro-labor stance of their reporting, said Portland Mercury reporter Taylor Griggs.

► From the NW Labor Press — To avoid bankruptcy, ILWU pays $20.5 million to replace a shipper’s lost profits — To settle a bitter decade-long legal dispute, America’s West Coast longshore union is paying $20.5 million to a company run by a Philippine billionaire. According to a joint Feb. 1 announcement, the settlement with ICTSI Oregon makes it possible for International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) to withdraw its application for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

► From the News Tribune — More cuts ahead at Tacoma Public Schools? District again preparing for budget shortfalls — Tacoma Public Schools is anticipating a steeper budget shortfall to come than it faced during the current school year, in which it slashed positions and enacted other cuts to bridge a roughly $15 million gap between revenues and expenses, district officials said.

► From the union-busting Columbian — East County Fire and Rescue district facing staffing and revenue woes, seeks levy ‘lid lift’




► From Q13 — Paraeducators demand respect and higher pay from lawmakers — On Monday, educators who help our state’s most vulnerable students rallied outside the Capitol, demanding respect and higher pay. More than a hundred paraeducators and paraprofessionals spent their President’s Day Holiday working to bring change.

► From the WA State Standard — How Washington lawmakers want to spend another $2 billion with this year’s state budget — Pay raises and inflation. Hospital beds and opioid treatments. Special education and college financial aid. Electric-powered fire trucks and soccer field renovations. Democratic budget writers in the Senate and House penciled in money for these, and much more, in spending proposals released Monday.

► From the WA State Standard — ‘We strip our clothes, not our pay:’ Strippers rally outside the State Capitol — Dancers and members of the LGBTQ+ community called on lawmakers to pass a bill to improve workplace standards and clear a pathway to liquor sales in strip clubs. An amendment would also remove lewd conduct rules amid an outcry against inspections at Seattle gay bars.

► From Crosscut — Over half of WA school bond measures get majority vote, but fail — Only seven of 21 school bonds statewide got supermajority votes, but 91% of school operations levies, which require only a simple majority, passed.

► From the (Everett) Herald — Bar set unfairly high for passage of school bonds (editorial) — Requiring 60 percent approval denies too many students the schools and facilities they deserve.

► From the (Centralia) Chronicle — Semi Bird wins straw poll, speaks at Lewis County Republican Convention — Local GOP members prefer Bird to Dave Reichert for governor.




► From the NW Labor Press — Streak of union wins at Legacy Health — An extraordinary wave of union organizing in the Legacy Health system continued in recent weeks, with three more units voting to unionize: 50 nurse practitioners and physician assistants (Oregon Nurses Association), 17 obstetricians and gynecologists (Pacific Northwest Hospital Medicine Association), and 27 cyber security engineers and equipment technicians (IUOE Local 701).




► From the NW Labor Press — NLRB: No more dodging labor law with temp agencies and franchise structuresUnder a new National Labor Relations Board rule that takes effect Feb. 26, whoever controls a worker’s essential terms of employment — including wages, benefits, and work schedules — is considered an employer and must recognize and bargain with the union representing those workers. The “joint employer” rule is meant to get around shell games some employers have played, in which the entity that really calls the shots, like a franchiser or outsourcer, claims that an employment agency or franchisee is the sole employer.

► From the Seattle Times — Clarence Thomas has 30 days to resign if he wants millions from John Oliver — When it comes to Supreme Court reform, John Oliver is tired of just talking about term limits and ethics codes. Instead, the late-night talk show host said he’s taking a page out of the playbook used by the rich and powerful, who the comedian said routinely lavish gifts on public servants to curry favor.




► From Reuters — Singapore air show kicks off with orders for China’s COMAC, Boeing — Royal Brunei Airlines announced a firm order for four Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, while the U.S. planemaker also held a signing ceremony to mark a recently placed order for 45 of the wide-body planes by Thai Airways.




► From HuffPost — 21 Starbucks stores plan to form unions in 1-day blitz — Starbucks baristas from 21 stores around the country told the company Tuesday that they plan to organize, potentially adding hundreds of new members to a union campaign that’s battling the coffee chain for first contracts. The union, Workers United, said it is the largest group of Starbucks stores to go public with their organizing plans in a single day since the effort began in Western New York in 2021. The 21 locations are scattered across 14 states from coast to coast. Workers sent a joint letter to the company’s CEO, Laxman Narasimhan, demanding “higher wages, fair and consistent scheduling, improved benefits, and a safe and dignified workplace.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Among the 21 stores filing for election is the Starbucks store in Mill Creek, WA, at 164th & Bothell Highway.


Amid union-busting, Starbucks workers just keep organizing (Jan. 30) — Renton Village store becomes 29th in Washington state to file for union election.

Starbucks faces 47 new charges of illegal union-busting (Feb. 7) — Actions speak much louder than words.’ Starbucks Workers United says lawbreaking has continued despite company’s ‘sincere’ pledge to negotiate.

READY FOR A VOICE AT WORK? Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate for better wages and working conditions. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

► From the LA Times — CSU faculty union approves contract with university that would raise salaries — After months of negotiations and an unprecedented systemwide strike, the Cal State faculty union overwhelmingly approved a new contract with the university that could raise salaries by 10% while providing other benefits, including increased parental leave, the union announced Monday.

► From the Teamsters — Teamsters strike Molson Coors — Members of Teamsters Local 997 at Molson Coors in Fort Worth, Texas, were forced to strike Saturday over the company’s disgusting pay package and complete unwillingness to reach a fair agreement with workers. The strike shuts down production at the only brewery that services the entire Western region of the United States with major Molson Coors products, including Coors Light, Topo Chico, Simply, Pabst, and Yuengling, among others. Meanwhile, Molson Coors announced this week that the company’s year-end 2023 earnings were its highest in 19 years.


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

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!