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“We were so close” | Boeing’s reversal | A bridge too far

Monday, March 4, 2024




► From the WA State Standard — ‘We were so close’: Push for unemployment benefits for striking workers fails in Legislature — Unemployment benefits for striking workers won’t be available in Washington anytime soon. HB 1893 failed to make it to the Senate floor before a key cutoff deadline on Friday afternoon, sinking the bill for this year. The Washington State Labor Council’s Joe Kendo said:

“Senate Democrats couldn’t pull it together. It was a real missed opportunity to help a lot of low-wage workers who have been organizing unions but who have corporate employers who refuse to bargain in good faith.” 

Today from The STANDProgress, disappointment from State Legislature — Multiple pro-worker bills approved, but Senate kills HB 1893 to protect strikers. “This is not over,” vows WSLC President April Sims.

► From the Spokesman-Review — State likely to give public school districts more money for special education — With minutes to spare before their 5 p.m. deadline to vote on a bill Friday, state senators unanimously advanced a proposed law that would increase the cap on the percentage of a district’s student body that receives state funding for special education support services, including instructional teacher’s aides and speech therapy.

► From the Ellensburg Daily Record — WA lawmakers approve out-of-state option for long-term care benefit — Workers may soon be able to bring their state long-term care benefit with them if they move out of Washington.

► From the Tri-City Herald — Washington is 2nd-most productive state in the U.S., study of Labor Statistics data says — The study took the economic value-added of each state and divided it by the number of hours laborers in that state worked, to determine how productive the workforce in each state was on an hourly basis. Washington took second place, with the average worker contributing $107.12 per hour of work, nearly $28-an-hour more productive than the national average of $79.48.




► From the Seattle Times — Boeing seeks to buy Spirit Aero, unit it sold in push for outsourcing — Boeing is in talks with bankers to discuss a potential multibillion-dollar purchase of its troubled supplier, Spirit AeroSystems of Wichita, Kan. If a deal is reached, it would reverse the largest divestment in Boeing’s modern history, when the jet-maker in 2005 sold off its major plant in Wichita to advance its strategy by shedding aircraft parts and systems manufacturing. Engineers inside Boeing warned as early as 2001 that the company risked losing control of its manufacturing processes and hollowing out its internal capabilities.

► From Reuters — Boeing in talks to buy supplier Spirit Aero as it delays production hikes — The company told suppliers it was delaying expected increases in plane production as it tries to regain the confidence of the industry and satisfy regulators’ desires for better oversight of its safety and quality control systems.

► From the AP — JetBlue, Spirit ending $3.8B deal to combine after court ruling blocked their merger





► From the Seattle Times — Aging bridge is a flashpoint in competitive Washington House race — U.S. Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA, 3rd) considers funding to rebuild one of the region’s main arteries, the aging Interstate 5 bridge, to be a major coup for her district and her reelection campaign. But far-right Republican Joe Kent, whom she beat in 2022 by less than 1 percentage point, has branded the reconstruction plan an “antifa superhighway.” It is an example of how Republicans, many of whom opposed President Joe Biden’s sweeping $1 trillion infrastructure law, are seeking to transform even the most basic of local issues into battlegrounds in the nation’s culture wars in elections this year in which control of Congress is at stake.

► From the AP — Supreme Court restores Trump to ballot, rejecting state attempts to ban him over Capitol attack — The justices unanimously ruled a day before the Super Tuesday primaries that states cannot invoke a post-Civil War constitutional provision to keep presidential candidates from appearing on ballots. That power resides with Congress, the court wrote.




► From The Hill — Congress unveils long-awaited funding bills ahead of shutdown threat — Congressional leaders on Sunday finally revealed bipartisan bills to fund parts of the government for most of the year, setting off a bicameral sprint to avert looming shutdown threat in less than a week.

From The STAND (Feb. 29)Tell Congress: Fund the federal government

► From Politico — Harris calls for ‘immediate’ cease-fire in Gaza — Vice President Kamala Harris called for “an immediate cease-fire” in the Israel-Hamas fighting during an event Sunday in Alabama that was to commemorate the anniversary of Bloody Sunday:

“Given the immense scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate cease-fire at least for the next six weeks, which is currently on the table.”

► From the AFL-CIO (Feb. 8) — Statement on the situation in Israel and Gaza

“The AFL-CIO condemns the attacks by Hamas on October 7th and calls for a negotiated cease-fire in Gaza—including the immediate release of all hostages and provision of desperately needed shelter, food, medicine and other humanitarian assistance to Gazans—and reaffirms our support of a two-state solution for long-term peace and security.”




► From Bloomberg — Starbucks’ labor pivot poised to spur new unionization wave (analysis) — Starbucks’ new commitment to work with its main union to end hostilities and hash out a fair process for labor organizing is a landmark moment for labor relations — both at the coffee chain that’s long resisted organizing, and far beyond it.

From The STAND (Feb. 28)A ‘path forward’ to union contracts at Starbucks

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 NY Times — Microsoft, the union-friendly tech titan (analysis) — Tech companies routinely position themselves as progressive employers, pointing to corporate diversity initiatives and support for LGBTQ+ rights. Yet only Microsoft, whose leaders say they have been on a “journey” rooted in the principle that “people have a fundamental right to organize,” has taken a permissive path on unions.

► From the Herald-Dispatch — Kroger union workers reject contract offer, vote to strike — Kroger union members working at 38 stores in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio voted overwhelming to reject the company’s last contract offer and also voted to approve a strike. The UFCW Local 400 vote count livestreamed Friday had members voting 1,375–214 (87%) to reject the company’s contract proposal and 1,347-229 (85%) to authorize a strike.

► From the LA Times — Hollywood crew members take center stage as IATSE negotiations kick off — IATSE and Teamsters, two unions representing crew members, are entering contract negotiations with the studios after the writers’ and actors’ strikes.

► From Variety — IATSE, Teamsters warn of another Hollywood strike at massive rally: ‘Put your helmets on’ — Hollywood union leaders warned of the possibility of another strike this summer if the studios cannot reach a deal before crew contracts expire on July 31.

► From the AFL-CIO — Women’s History Month: A reading list — Our Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Department has put together a list of recommended reading for the month—and we’re making it easy for you to support women authors and to buy union-made. We’ve sourced each book and linked to some union bookstore choices where you can order it online.

► From CNBC — Many workers believe pensions are key to achieving the American Dream. But getting those plans back isn’t easy — More than three-quarters of Americans, 77%, say the unavailability of pensions is making it harder to achieve the American Dream, according to a new report.


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!