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3 pass, 3 to ballot | Meet Ray Connor | Our shared fight

Tuesday, March 5, 2024




► From the Seattle Times — Legislature passes 3 initiatives covering taxes, schools and police chases — The Legislature on Monday passed three of six initiatives to the Legislature, which would bar an income tax, put a “parents’ bill of rights” into law, and lift some restrictions on when police can chase suspects. The other three initiatives before the Legislature, which legislative leaders have said they will not act on, would repeal the state’s capital gains tax, repeal its carbon market, and make a payroll tax to pay for a state long-term care insurance program optional. If the Legislature doesn’t act, each of these three will go on the ballot in November.

► From KUOW — State steps in as Tukwila School District faces fiscal crisis — The state education department has stepped in to help Tukwila School District avoid insolvency. The 2,700-student district south of Seattle ended its fiscal year with a negative fund balance and faces an estimated budget shortfall as large as $4.5 million.

► From the Senate Democrats — Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig will not seek re-election — The Spokane Democrat, who was first elected to the Legislature in 2010, will finish his current term and continue to serve as majority leader until a new leader is selected in November. He was elected majority leader in late 2018 and has served in that role since the 2019 legislative session.

► From the Spokesman-Review — Natasha Hill, Ben Stuckart running for state House seat being vacated by Riccelli amid shakeup — Amid a major shakeup of Spokane’s legislative delegation Monday, former Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart and Spokane attorney Natasha Hill announced runs for a seat in the state House being vacated by Rep. Marcus Riccelli. Riccelli announced Monday afternoon that he will run for the state Senate seat filled by outgoing Sen. Andy Billig.




► From IAFF Local I-66 — Boeing Firefighters reject contract proposal — Our ratification vote has concluded and our membership voted to reject the company’s current offer. Our firefighters demand to be treated fairly with regard to safety, compensation and progression. We will continue to work with the company and work towards a fair contract that resolves these issues as quickly as possible.

► From the AP — Federal safety officials say Boeing fails to meet quality-control standards in manufacturing — The FAA said that it found “non-compliance issues” with Boeing’s manufacturing-process control and parts handling and storage. It did not provide details. The FAA said it gave a summary of findings from its six-week audit to Boeing and supplier Spirit AeroSystems, but it did not make the summary public. A spokeswoman said the FAA can’t release details because its investigation of Boeing is continuing.




► From the Working to Live in SW Washington — Meet Ray Connor, the new President of the SW Washington CLC (podcast) — In January, delegates to the Southwest Washington Central Labor Council elected UA Local 26 member Ray Connor to be their new president. Who is he and what are his plans for the CLC? Ray sits down with Harold to talk about his background, how the Labor Council works, and what the best decision he ever made was.

► From the union-busting Columbian — PeaceHealth SW Washington Medical Center sued by former worker, accused of wage and hours violations — The suit alleges that during her employment, she and other current and former PeaceHealth employees, were not given required 30-minute meal breaks or 10-minute rest breaks due to understaffing. It also claims PeaceHealth failed to compensate employees for these missed breaks and did not track when an employee missed a break, in violation of the Washington Industrial Welfare Act.

► From the Peninsula Daily News — Port Angeles School District, paraeducators aren’t closer to a new contract — A nearly five-hour bargaining session between the Port Angeles School District and the Port Angeles Paraeducators Association did not bring them closer to an agreement on a new contract. The two parties are scheduled to meet with a state PERC mediator again on Thursday. PAPEA membership voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike on April 8 if a deal can’t be reached.




► From the Tri-City Herald — Bill to avert U.S. government shutdown includes record $3B Hanford nuclear site spending — A spending bill negotiated between Democrats and Republicans includes record annual funding of just over $3 billion for the Hanford site in Eastern Washington. The bill now goes to votes before the U.S. House and then the U.S. Senate before Saturday to avoid a partial shutdown of the federal government, including the Department of Energy. “I made certain the federal government would make good on its obligation to support the important job being done by the workers for Hanford cleanup,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.

► From Roll Call — U.S. asks Supreme Court to stop Texas immigration law — The Biden administration asked the Supreme Court on Monday to halt implementation of a Texas law that would allow state officials to deport immigrants on their own.

► From the Washington Post — ‘On stolen land’: Tribes fight clean-energy projects backed by Biden — From power lines to copper mines, tribal leaders across the country are raising concerns about projects essential to President Biden’s climate goals.

► From the Washington Post — The most physically demanding jobs in America — Funded in part by the SSA, a new data set — the Occupational Requirements Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or ORS — marks the culmination of a mammoth five-year effort to collect 148,600 observations of the physical requirements of about 480 jobs at 56,300 U.S. workplaces.

► From Politico — Super Tuesday is the first test of what next year’s House GOP will look like — Two super PACs bankrolled by Republican megadonors have reported spending over $6 million to block troublesome candidates.




► From the St. Louis Labor-Tribune — We all share the same fight (letter by Liz Shuler) — The number of striking workers in the United States climbed 141% from 2022 to 2023. That’s numbers-backed proof of the energy and hope that we feel every day, isn’t it? … At the end of the day, we all share the same fight. Regardless of whether we clock in to work in scrubs or a hard hat, whether we are educating the leaders of tomorrow or writing the next award-winning show of the season, or whether we work 9-to-5 or the night shift, our fight for a better future is one and the same. And we’re just getting started.

► From the UCSD Guardian — 5-year contract proposed to increase pay for over 32,000 UC employees after AFSCME negotiations — The University of California proposed a 26% increase in wages for more than 32,000 union workers across the UC system. If the union accepts the proposal, all AFSCME members can expect an increase in hourly minimum wage to $24 in 2025, with the lowest paid union members receiving an average 47% increase through the full duration of the five-year contract.

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 Reuters — Labor unions end Starbucks boardroom fight after progress on bargaining — A coalition of labor unions is ending its boardroom fight at Starbucks after the coffee chain last week agreed to work toward reaching labor agreements. The Strategic Organizing Center (SOC), a coalition of North American labor unions, is withdrawing its three director candidates to the coffee chain’s 11-member board one week before Starbucks investors were slated to elect directors to oversee corporate strategy at the company’s March 13 annual meeting.

► From the Washington Post — See the moment 43 unionized YouTube contractors got laid offThe YouTube workers, who work for Google and Cognizant, unanimously voted to unionize under the Alphabet Workers Union-CWA in April 2023. Since then, the workers say that Google has refused to bargain with them. Thursday’s layoff signifies continued tensions between Google and its workers, some of whom in 2021 formed a union.

► From Reuters — SpaceX faces hearing on engineers fired after criticizing Elon Musk over sexism


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!