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Final push for HB 1893 | Hobbling the NLRB | Descent into dictatorship

Thursday, February 29, 2024




► From the Seattle Times — Final push in Olympia for unemployment benefits for striking workers — The pouring rain didn’t stop hundreds of labor advocates from gathering in Olympia on Wednesday to call on the Legislature to pass HB 1893, which would allow workers on strike to access unemployment benefits. “Corporate profits are going up, and working folks, well, we’re just struggling to keep up,” Washington State Labor Council President April Sims said in a speech. The bill, which passed the House, now awaits action in the Senate. If it does not receive a floor vote by March 1, it will not advance. In an interview, HB 1893 sponsor Rep. Beth Doglio (D-Olympia) said:

“I actually think this will encourage employers to come to the table and negotiate in good faith and negotiate well with their workers.”

Today from The STANDHundreds rally in Olympia to protect strikers with HB 1893

TAKE A STANDSend a message to your state senator today urging them to pass HB 1893.

► From Senate Democrats — Legislature votes to require sanitary resources for construction workers — Legislation passed unanimously today by the Senate directs the state Department of Labor & Industries to adopt rules to accommodate workers at construction sites who menstruate or need to express milk. The bill was modified on the Senate floor to give L&I flexibility in setting standards appropriate for jobs sites of different sizes. HB 2266 now goes back to the House for a vote on the Senate changes before it can be sent to Gov. Jay Inslee to be signed into law.

From The STAND (Feb. 13)Bill to guarantee sanitary jobsite conditions passes House

► From House Democrats — Senate passes Mena bill establishing pay equity for all protected classes in WashingtonThe Washington State Senate passed HB 1905, aimed at leveling the playing field for workers across the state. Sponsored by Rep. Sharlett Mena (D-Tacoma), the bill expands existing pay equity protections to encompass all protected classes under Washington’s anti-discrimination laws.

From The STAND (Jan. 12)Expand equal pay protections to cover all discrimination

► From KIRO — State passes strippers’ bill of rights as part of sweeping protections for dancers — It mandates security guards at clubs, coded keypads for dressing rooms, sexual harassment training for all employees at strip clubs, and specific procedures for violent customers.

► From KING — Fallen firefighters could get Capitol campus memorial — The bill to establish a memorial for fallen firefighters passed out of the state House and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

► From the WA State Standard — Former WA House Republican leader will not seek re-election — State Rep. J.T. Wilcox (R-Yelm), who led the House Republican Caucus for five years, announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election this fall.




► From the union-busting Columbian — Facing nearly $20 million budget deficit, Evergreen Public Schools may cut 140 positions — Evergreen Public Schools leaders are proposing cutting 140 positions across the district to meet nearly $20 million in budget reductions for the 2024-2025 school year. Much like last year, leaders point to continued enrollment decline, inflation and the exhaustion of pandemic-era federal relief dollars as factors behind the needed reductions.

► From the News Tribune — Macy’s workers brace for retailer’s next wave of closures. Which stores will be next? — It’s not yet clear what the sweep of store closures announced by retail giant Macy’s means for the Tacoma-Seattle area or Washington state. On Tuesday, the retailer said it was entering a “bold new chapter” and was preparing to close around 150 stores nationwide through 2026, with about 50 of those closures occurring by the end of its fiscal year.

► From the Yakima H-R — USPS taking comments until March 14 on plans for Yakima postal changes — Residents have until March 14 to weigh in on a proposal to have much of the mail from Yakima County processed in Spokane.




► From Reuters — FAA gives Boeing 90 days to develop plan to address quality issues — Boeing must develop a comprehensive plan to address “systemic quality-control issues” within 90 days, the head of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday, after a mid-air emergency last month sparked renewed safety concerns.

► From Reuters — Allegiant expects fewer aircraft from Boeing as planemaker faces quality issues

► From Reuters — Airbus to win larger portion of American Airlines narrowbody order




► From The Hill — Corporate giants aim to hobble National Labor Relations Board — Amazon, Starbucks, SpaceX and Trader Joe’s are all facing complaints from the NLRB over their alleged harassment, intimidation and illegal firings of unionizing employees. The companies have responded by challenging the constitutionality of the NLRB in federal court, which could upend the structure of the New Deal-era agency.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Starbucks says it will begin discussions — after two-and-a-half years — on a “path forward” to reaching collective bargaining agreements with its employees. Meanwhile, they are also part of this effort to kneecap the NLRB.

► From The Hill — Congressional leaders strike deal to avert shutdown this week — Congressional leaders have struck a deal to avert a government shutdown this week, agreeing to punt a pair of funding deadlines later into March to buy more time for spending talks. Under the deal announced Wednesday, leaders have agreed to extend funding for six full bills through March 8.

► From the Guardian — Trump gave top U.S. firms staggering tax cuts, with some paying $0 or less, report finds — Some of the nation’s most profitable corporations, including General Motors, Citigroup and Netflix, have slashed their tax bills in the years since the passage of the Trump tax cuts, with nearly a quarter paying rates in the single digits and 23 paying nothing, a new report has found.

► From the AP — Supreme Court will decide whether Trump is immune from federal prosecution — The Supreme Court’s decision to consider whether former President Donald Trump should be immune from prosecution in his federal 2020 election interference case could push a trial close to Election Day — or even beyond this year. The announcement Wednesday was a victory for Trump’s efforts to delay the criminal case charging him with plotting to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

► From The Hill — McConnell exit surprises GOP: ‘It’s Trump’s party now’ — Republican senators say Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.) saw the writing on the wall in choosing this term to be his final as Senate Republican leader, arguing it’s increasingly obvious that the party is drifting away from him and embracing former President Trump as its likely presidential nominee.

► From Reuters — Judges in Trump-related cases face unprecedented wave of threats

► ICYMI from the Washington Post back on Nov. 30, 2023 — A Trump dictatorship is increasingly inevitable. We should stop pretending. (by Robert Kagan) — The magical-thinking phase is ending. Barring some miracle, Donald Trump will soon be the presumptive Republican nominee for president. When that happens, there will be a swift and dramatic shift in the political power dynamic, in his favor… He will not be contained by the courts or the rule of law. On the contrary, he is going to use the trials to display his power. Can Trump win the election? The answer, unless something radical and unforeseen happens, is: Of course he can. Will his presidency turn into a dictatorship? The odds are, again, pretty good. This is the trajectory we are on now. Is descent into dictatorship inevitable? No. Nothing in history is inevitable. What is certain, however, is that the odds of the United States falling into dictatorship have grown considerably because so many of the obstacles to it have been cleared and only a few are left.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Everything the author wrote would happen in the coming months is happening exactly as he predicted it would.




► From Politico — Norfolk Southern’s accident rate spiked over the last decade — The country’s major freight railroads were becoming more dangerous even before the train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio, that sparked a chemical fire and weeks of political controversy. Norfolk Southern Corp., whose train derailed in East Palestine a month ago, had the biggest increase in its accident rate over the last 10 years, rising nearly three times as fast as the industry average, according to an analysis of Federal Railroad Administration data.

► From the AP — Anheuser-Busch, Teamsters reach labor agreement that avoids strike — The union, which represents 5,000 Anheuser-Busch workers who brew and package beer, had threatened a strike at the brewer’s 12 U.S. plants if an agreement on a new five-year contract wasn’t reached by 11:59 p.m. Thursday. But the two sides said late Wednesday they had reached a tentative agreement that boosts wages and increases vacation days and pension contributions. In a statement, Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien said.

“Teamsters make the beer, Teamsters make Anheuser-Busch successful and our members deserve the best contract. That is what we fought for and won today.”

► From the WV Metro News — WV Education Association, AFT-WV to merge into one organization — Two teacher unions in West Virginia will merge into one organization.

► From the Badger Herald — Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin workers vote to unionize — Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin voted to unionize due to recent challenges for healthcare professionals, including long work hours, according to WPR. The unionization will also give planned parenthood workers a say in the decision-making process, which could improve patient care.

► From the Washington Post — The Marshall Project, Pulitzer-winning nonprofit newsroom, to unionize — Staffers said the unionizing effort is not adversarial and cited the newsroom’s growth and culture — which they universally described in positive terms — among the chief reasons to organize.

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!


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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!