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A contract with RSPCT | REI rally today | High stakes in IAM-Boeing talks

Thursday, March 7, 2024




► From the Seattle Times — Mayor Bruce Harrell announces labor agreement with Seattle unions — The agreement with the Coalition of City Unions, a group of 16 unions covering everyone from electrical workers to 911 dispatchers, comes after more than a year of tense negotiations that led to protests inside and outside City Hall by more than 1,000 city workers on various occasions last year. If approved by the council, the contract would give workers a retroactive 4.5% raise for 2023 and a 5% raise for 2024. Wage increases in 2025 and 2026 would be tied to inflation, with a floor of 2% and cap of 4% next year, and a 3% floor and a 5% cap the year after that. The contract would also see larger increases for the city’s lowest-paid workers, in service of achieving more pay parity. Park maintenance workers, for example, would get a 22% raise and lifeguards would get a 16% raise.

Previously from The STAND:

More than 1,000 Seattle city workers rally for #RSPCT (Sept. 20, 2023)
50-foot petition to Seattle mayor, council: RSPCT city workers! (April 19, 2023)

READY FOR A RAISE? 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 KING — Unionized REI stores to picket in Issaquah to demand negotiations with the company — Unionized REI workers say they are “bringing the bargaining tables to the company” on Thursday by hiking out to the chain’s headquarters to demand progress on contract negotiations. The first of nine stores to unionize across the company has been bargaining with REI for two years, leaving eight other stores, including one in Bellingham, waiting for their turn to negotiate contracts with the company.

From The Calendar at The STAND — MLK Labor and REI Union invite all to a Rally for Unionizing REI Workers at noon on Thursday, March 7 at Tibbetts Valley Park, 965 12th Ave. NW in Issaquah. Workers at 9 REI stores have formed a union but the company continues to stall and pay a union-busting law firm. It’s time for REI to bargain a fair contract. Get details and RSVP.

► From the Northwest Labor Press — Low-paid library workers fed up in Vancouver — The Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries runs 15 libraries and bookmobile services in Southwest Washington. In June 2023, WPEA started bargaining a new contract with the board. Negotiations have hit a standstill over wages. “Things went really well for a while until we started talking about money,” said WPEA’s Abbie Hart, a member of the bargaining team.

From The STAND (Feb. 16) Raises for SW Washington library workers are overdue! — Please sign this petition in support of FVRL library workers.




► From Reuters — Boeing, Machinists kick off high-stakes contract talks on Friday — Boeing and its largest union — International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 751 — open talks on Friday seeking the first new contract in 16 years as the U.S. planemaker grapples with its ongoing 737 MAX safety crisis and after big gains by workers in other sectors of the economy. The union wants better retirement benefits and wage increases exceeding 40 percent over three to four years after what it termed years of stagnant earnings. IAM District 751 President Jon Holden:

“We have a lot to make up for.”

► From Bloomberg — Boeing strikes conciliatory tone ahead of union contract talks — Boeing is seeking to avoid a disruptive labor dispute as it heads into crucial contract negotiations at a delicate moment. The planemaker is striking a conciliatory tone ahead of talks that start on March 8, stressing a commitment to building a “strong future” for its employees, company and communities. A company statement reads:

“We’re confident we can reach a deal that addresses the needs of our employees while allowing us to win new business in a very competitive global market.”

► From Reuters — Airbus presents ‘totally unacceptable’ offer to A220 workers, union memo says — An Airbus contract offer being voted on this month by Montreal-area workers involved in the production of its smallest A220 jets is being dismissed by their union as “totally unacceptable,” according to a memo to IAM members.

► From the Seattle Times — NTSB: Boeing hasn’t produced records on Alaska Airlines midair blowout — National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy delivered scathing testimony during a U.S. Senate hearing Wednesday criticizing Boeing for lack of cooperation in the agency’s investigation of the Alaska Airlines midair blowout on Jan. 5. She said Boeing has not provided the records required to be kept of the work done to open and then reinstall the door plug.

► From Reuters — Boeing discloses names of 737 MAX employees after NTSB chair faults cooperation




► From the WA State Standard — Washington lawmakers finalize spending plans for the year — Lawmakers are turning their attention in the final hours of the 2024 session to money. More specifically, exactly how they want to spend lots of additional dollars in the second half of the state’s two-year budgeting cycle. Agreements for the supplemental operating and transportation budgets are awaiting action before Sine Die on Thursday.

► From the WA State Standard — Legislature ramps up school construction spending — Washington lawmakers approved plans on Wednesday to spend $306 million more on school construction. The funds are part of the capital budget passed by the House and Senate. The legislation now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk for a final sign-off.

► From the union-busting Columbian — State Sen. Lynda Wilson (R-Vancouver) to step down from Legislature to spend time with family




► From the Seattle Times — Too many pregnant Idahoans are sick and dying (by Hannah Killian) — It’s a scary time to be pregnant in the state of Idaho. Over the past few years, we’ve seen Idaho’s maternal mortality rate soar by 121.5%. Most of these deaths were found to be preventable, even treatable with proper medical care. Idaho has lost 22% of its practicing obstetricians over the last 15 months. As a practicing family doctor, I have seen moms who are fearful of the expense of medical care and cannot obtain an appointment due to provider shortages resulting in delays in care, often around the time of delivery.




► From the AP — Biden to call in State of the Union for business tax hikes, middle class tax cuts and lower deficits — President Joe Biden is going into Thursday’s State of the Union address with an expanded plan to raise corporate taxes and use the proceeds to trim budget deficits and cut taxes for the middle class. The Democratic president in this election year is refining the economic agenda that he’s been pushing since the 2020 presidential race, trying to show that he is addressing voters’ concerns about the cost of living.

From The STAND (March 6)WSLC’s Sims is Strickland’s guest to State of the Union — Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (D-Wash., 10th) has announced that her guest to President Biden’s third State of the Union address is April Sims, President of the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC), AFL-CIO. The address will be on Thursday, March 7 at 6 p.m. Pacific time and can be live-streamed

► From The Hill — House approves spending package to avert shutdown — The House on Wednesday approved a package of six spending bills, sending the legislation to the Senate days ahead of Friday’s partial government shutdown deadline. The “minibus” — which funds a slew of programs and agencies through the end of fiscal 2024 — cleared the House in an 339-85 vote, with 207 Democrats and 132 Republicans supporting the measure.

EDITOR’S NOTE — All of Washington’s House delegation supported the package except retiring Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who voted “no.”

Today from The STANDUA 598 thanks Sen. Murray for record Hanford funding — A union representing hundreds of Hanford workers is crediting — and thanking — Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the Chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, for her role in securing record federal funding for cleanup at the decommissioned nuclear production complex in Eastern Washington. The Hanford funding is included in the bicameral, bipartisan package approved by the House on Wednesday. Nickolas Bumpaous, Business Manager for United Association of Plumbers & Steamfitters (UA) Local 598:

“We are immensely grateful for Senator Patty Murray’s steadfast dedication and leadership in securing a historic $3.035 billion for the Hanford cleanup project. This unprecedented funding not only reflects her commitment to the environmental restoration of one of the nation’s most critical sites, but also her unwavering support for the health and safety of every worker involved in this mission.”

► From the Olympian — Amazon, Trader Joe’s and SpaceX are attempting to fundamentally change the government (by Erwin Chemerinsky) — These companies have made a radical argument: The National Labor Relations Board, which has existed for 88 years, is unconstitutional. If this argument is ultimately accepted by the Supreme Court, it will make virtually every federal administrative agency unconstitutional. At a time when the Supreme Court is already cutting back on the administrative state, major companies are seeing an opportunity to go much further and fundamentally change the nature of the federal government.




► From the Washington Post — Amid explosive demand, America is running out of power — Vast swaths of the United States are at risk of running short of power as electricity-hungry data centers and clean-technology factories proliferate around the country, leaving utilities and regulators grasping for credible plans to expand the nation’s creaking power grid. The soaring demand is touching off a scramble to try to squeeze more juice out of an aging power grid while pushing commercial customers to go to extraordinary lengths to lock down energy sources, such as building their own power plants.

► From the LA Times — Pizza Hut workers in L.A.’s Historic Filipinotown go on 3-day strike, alleging wage theft — The strike comes as part of a broader push from the newly formed California Fast Food Worker Union for improved work standards as well as predictable and stable scheduling for workers.

► From NBC Boston — Massachusetts art museum workers strike over wages — Carrying signs such as “Living Artists Living Wages” and “Our Power is in Our Unity,” the workers picketed outside of the North Adams museum, commonly referred to as MASS MoCA.

► From Variety — Costume Designers Guild gains nationwide support from Hollywood stars, labor unions for pay equity demands




► From Reuters — Strikes hobble German railways, airports as disputes mount — Germany faced strikes on several fronts on Thursday, as train drivers and airport workers walked off the job, causing chaos for millions of travellers and adding to the country’s economic woes at a time of looming recession.

► From the AP — Major French union threatens strikes during Olympics. Hospital workers could walk off the jobA major French union is warning of possible strikes in the public sector, including at hospitals, during the Paris Olympics.


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

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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!