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Wednesday, March 6, 2024




► From America’s Work Force Union Podcast — April Sims and Cherika Carter of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO — On the final day of Black History Month, the America’s Work Force Union Podcast featured the duo that became the first black women to lead a state labor council in AFL-CIO history, WSLC President April Sims and Secretary-Treasurer Cherika Carter. Carter discussed her journey to the labor movement, how Sims and herself came to work together and their work to improve diversity and inclusion in Washington unions.




► From the WA State Standard — House, Senate at odds on rules to govern collective bargaining with their staff — In less than two months, several hundred employees of the Washington Legislature will be able to form unions and negotiate contracts. But as of late Tuesday, the House and Senate could not agree on exactly which workers would be eligible to unionize and what topics could, and could not be, collectively bargained. Lawmakers hashing out the differences expressed confidence that an agreement on SB 6194 can be reached before the session ends Thursday but stopped shy of assuring success.

► From the Seattle Times — Bill that would up oversight of WA hospital consolidations dies — Washington’s Keep Our Care Act, which would have increased oversight of the state’s hospital and health care consolidations, has failed to make it over the finish line this legislative session. SB 5241 was approved in the Senate last month but stalled in the House over the past few weeks and never came up for a floor vote before the deadline last Friday.

From The STAND (March 4)Progress, disappointment from State Legislature — A status report on bills included in the 2024 Legislative Agenda of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

► From the Seattle Times — Dual language education is one step closer to becoming a WA law — Educators say that to sustain and expand dual language and tribal education, increased funding is needed. HB 1228 has passed both the House and Senate to create permanent funding to make these programs available to every school district by 2040.




► From the Oregonian — Kroger-Albertsons merger, largest supermarket merger in history, rests in hands of Oregon judge — Kroger’s $24.6 billion bid to buy its next largest rival, Albertsons Co., will soon rest in the hands of an Oregon federal judge — and the Portland-area grocery market could figure prominently in arguments over whether the merger will hurt workers and customers. U.S. District Judge Adrienne Nelson, a former Oregon Supreme Court justice appointed to the federal bench in 2023 by President Joe Biden, has been tasked to adjudicate the FTC’s request to block Kroger’s attempt to take over Albertsons.

From The STAND (Feb. 27)UFCW hails FTC move to block Kroger-Albertsons merger

► From the WA State Standard — EPA looks to unlock Superfund dollars for Columbia River site in northeast Washington — In a pocket of northeast Washington, years of pollution from a giant smelter complex just north of the Canadian border has left Columbia River sediment and soil contaminated with lead, arsenic, and other hazardous metals. The EPA said Tuesday it is proposing to add the area to what’s known as the National Priorities List, which would unlock cleanup funding through the federal Superfund Program.

► From KUOW — Area McClatchy newspapers move to printing just 3 days per week — The Tacoma News Tribune and The Olympian announced they’ll move to a digital-first news format, and only provide print versions of their papers three days a week, starting May 6. In January, the McClatchy-owned Bellingham Herald also moved to printing just twice a week.

► From the Seattle Times — Bellevue officer who fell onto I-5 during VP visit loses health benefits — A Bellevue police officer who was seriously hurt while escorting Vice President Kamala Harris’ motorcade last year has taken a swipe at the city of Bellevue’s policies after his benefits expired last week.




► From Reuters — Emirates chief backs Boeing-Spirit merger amid factory crisis — One of Boeing’s biggest customers, Dubai carrier Emirates, threw its support behind a possible Boeing takeover of Spirit AeroSystems, saying it would be a step towards resolving the planemaker’s industrial and quality crisis.




► From the Washington Post — Businesses escalate fight against Biden rule on gig worker pay — The legal challenge could prevent more ride-sharing drivers, home-health aides, janitors and truckers from being treated as employees, rather than independent contractors, which would ultimately deny these workers access to a minimum wage and overtime pay.

► From the Washington Post — Federal judge orders minority business agency opened to all races — The ruling sides with White plaintiffs in finding the Minority Business Development Agency’s presumption of disadvantage is unconstitutional.

► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler to join Labor Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan at State of the Union

Today from The STANDWSLC’s Sims is Strickland’s guest to State of the Union




► From the NY Times via Seattle Times — Donald Trump, seeking cash infusion, meets with Elon Musk — Donald Trump, who is urgently seeking a cash infusion to aid his presidential campaign, met Sunday in Palm Beach, Florida, with Elon Musk, one of the world’s richest men, and a few wealthy Republican donors. With a net worth of around $200 billion, according to Forbes, Musk could decide to throw his weight behind Trump and potentially, almost single-handedly, erase what is expected to be Biden and his allies’ huge financial advantage over the former president.

► From the AP — Nikki Haley suspends her campaign and leaves Donald Trump as the last major Republican candidate




► From HuffPost — Dartmouth men’s basketball team votes to form first union in college sports — Members of the Dartmouth College men’s basketball team voted 13-2 to form the very first union in a college sports program on Tuesday, delivering a boost to organized labor and another potential blow to the collegiate amateurism model. The union election held at the Ivy League school in Hanover, New Hampshire, could prove to be historic, but the legal battle over whether the players can bargain collectively is far from over.

► From the Washington Post — After a historic union vote at Dartmouth, what’s next for college sports? — This is only beginning. The initial appeal process is expected to take months.

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 Orlando Weekly — The battle over Florida’s unions is driven by political favors, out-of-state interest groups, and confusion — A controversial bill that could make it harder for public employees to join unions, and make it easier for unions representing thousands of public employees to be dismantled, is quickly making its way through the Florida Legislature, with its final passage likely secured before the end of session… The Freedom Foundation, a self-proclaimed co-author of last year’s legislation, has limited political capital in their home state of Washington, which has been amenable to pro-union policy changes in recent years. On the West Coast, the group has accomplished little in their mission of reducing public sector unions’ power. Their primary schtick these days is sending misleading mailers to union members across the country, urging them to “opt out” of their unions. With last year’s anti-union law, Florida has become one of the Freedom Foundation’s greatest success stories so far.

From The STAND (Feb. 20)Don’t be fooled by right-wing efforts to weaken your union — The Washington State Nurses Association has informed its members of an effort by the Freedom Foundation — a billionaire-funded right-wing organization created to harass and weaken labor unions — to solicit its members and try to convince them to withdraw from the union.


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!