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WEA meeting the need | Modern-day slavery | Starbucks Gets an F

Wednesday, February 21, 2024




► From KUOW — As WA schools lose more special education teachers, help comes from within — Joshua Wisnubroto is one of 16 future educators participating in a new teacher training program created by the Washington Education Association. It’s a fast-track to the education profession, instead of the traditional four-year degree. This one-year program allows people with any bachelor’s degree to become a special education teacher. The main focus is to get new teachers like Wisnubroto hands-on experience. Throughout the year, participants teach and learn from veteran educators in four different school settings. Wisnubroto said:

“It’s one thing to learn from books, right? But it’s another thing to learn and have on-the-job experience right away, on the spot. I don’t take that for granted at all.”

► From the Seattle Times — How an endangered hawk could topple plans for WA’s largest wind farm — What began as the largest wind project ever proposed in Washington — the Horse Heaven Hills wind farm — will likely soon be cut to a fraction of the original vision. Why? Because more than 100 of the turbines might pose a danger to a little-known endangered species in the Tri-Cities area: the ferruginous hawk.

From The STAND (June 9, 2022)Tri-Cities trades unions reach deal to build Horse Heaven




► From the Seattle Times — With Boeing in hot seat, claims against supplier Spirit AeroSystems take shape — A major Boeing supplier was already facing allegations from one former employee that supervisors routinely ignore mistakes and send substandard quality parts to Boeing. Now, as quality control problems at Boeing and its suppliers receive intense scrutiny following a Jan. 5 blowout aboard an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9, another ex-Spirit AeroSystems employee has come forward to support the whistleblower’s claims.

► From Reuters — United Airlines to lean more on MAX 9 and Airbus A321 amid Boeing delays — Amid new doubts over certification of the already delayed MAX 10, United has not cancelled its 277-jet order, but the airline has removed them from its internal plans.




► From the Seattle Times — Low wages, high costs: WA prisoners say they’re being exploited — People incarcerated by Washington have to work for as little as $1 per hour while paying unfair costs to stay healthy and connected with the outside world, says a new report by Columbia Legal Services based partly on survey responses and interviews with dozens of people in the state’s prisons. Because incarcerated people can face negative consequences if they decline to work and because their wages are so low, the labor system in Washington prisons “is nothing short of modern-day slavery,” says the report released Wednesday.

► From the WA State Standard — State Sen. Sam Hunt to retire after 24 years in Legislature — Hunt, a Democrat who represents the 22nd Legislative District, said on Tuesday he won’t seek reelection this year. He has held the seat since 2017 and before that served 16 years in the House. He chairs the State Government & Elections Committee. Hunt likened the 10 elections he’s run in and his 24 years in the Legislature to riding a bucking bronco. “It is time for someone else to climb in the saddle,” he added.

► From the Olympian — Rep. Bateman announces bid for Senate seat

► From the WA State Standard — Rep. Maycumber to seek McMorris Rodgers’ seat




► From The Hill — High-profile House retirements reflect the toxicity on Capitol Hill — The growing band of House Republicans racing for the exits at the end of this Congress are voicing a common and unsettling theme driving their decision: the toxicity of life on Capitol Hill.

► From the Washington Post — Trump and allies plotting militarized mass deportations, detention campsAs president, Trump sought to use military planes and bases for deportation. Now, he and his allies are talking about a new effort that current and former officials warn could be impractical and dangerous.

► From the Washington Post — Biden administration cancels $1.2 billion in student loans with new repayment plan — President Biden will start notifying 153,000 borrowers enrolled in the Save repayment plan that their debts — totaling $1.2 billion — have been forgiven.

► From the Wall Street Journal — U.S. to invest billions to replace China-made cranes at nation’s portsThe Biden administration is concerned about potential security threats at hundreds of sites.




► From the Guardian — Twenty-five universities face calls to cancel Starbucks contracts — Student organizers, faculty and workers at 25 university campuses across the US are calling for their institutions to cancel their contracts with Starbucks in protest against the company’s response to union organizing efforts. The “Starbucks Gets an F” actions will take place on Thursday at campuses including the University of Chicago, the University of South Florida, UW-Madison, New York University, Georgetown and Rutgers.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington State University is reportedly one of the campuses that will have an action Thursday (but we couldn’t find details).

From The STAND (Jan. 10)Students demand UW cut ties with Starbucks over union-busting

► From Fast Company — REI SoHo workers unionized in 2022, but still don’t have a contract. This play tells their story — In Laura Neill’s new play, employees at an outdoor goods store face a series of obstacles as they try to unionize one summer. Pay cuts in June. Staffing and scheduling issues in July and August. Finally, a strike in September. If that timeline sounds familiar, you may already be aware of the play’s inspiration: the unionization effort at the REI store in SoHo, Manhattan. Neill herself is an REI employee and union member, through the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store union (RWDSU), and she experienced those issues firsthand—along with safety issues at the store when there were floods and gas leaks, and alleged union busting.

► From Labor Notes — Sixteen months on strike at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — Journalists at the Post-Gazette have been on strike since October 2022—making this strike the longest of the digital age—along with four other units: mailers, advertising workers, and Teamster truck drivers and pressmen. Forty-five journalists joined the picket line at the beginning of the strike, while 38 continued to work. The paper then hired about 30 replacement journalists after the strike began. Three of the initial strikers crossed the picket line and returned to work; a handful of others have sought employment elsewhere.

► From Reuters — UAW reaches agreement with Ford over local Kentucky plant contract

► From the Washington Post — Shock, anger, confusion grip Alabama after court ruling on embryos — The state Supreme Court decision signals a new chapter in America’s fight over reproductive rights and marks another blow to women’s rights groups who expect similar challenges in other conservative states.

► From Politico — Democrats pushed climate action. Then utility bills skyrocketed. — Electricity bills are biting lawmakers in coastal, Democratic-leaning districts.


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

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