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Tuesday, March 12, 2024




► From KIMA — Washington State Primary Election: TODAY — The state’s presidential primary is Tuesday, March 12. All ballots need to be deposited in voting boxes by 8 p.m. or for those using mail, postmarked no later than March 12.

From The STAND (Mar. 8)‘An invigorating reminder’ of why we support President Biden (by April Sims) — I was honored to attend the State of the Union and witness a president excited about achieving even more pro-worker victories.

From The STAND (June 16, 2023)AFL-CIO votes to endorse President Biden




► From the union-busting Columbian — Camas mill employee killed in workplace accident — A 32-year-old man was killed Friday in a workplace accident at the Georgia-Pacific Camas Mill, according to the Camas Police Department. Police said the death was the result of a workplace accident that involved heavy machinery.




► From the Seattle Times — Boeing reports meager 737 MAX deliveries in February, trails Airbus — The midair blowout of a door-sized fuselage panel on an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX on Jan. 5 dashed Boeing’s hopes for improved competitiveness this year. Hamstrung by the repercussions of that incident, the jet maker continues to trail European rival Airbus.

From The STAND (Mar. 11)‘Washington’s union movement has IAM 751 members’ backs’ — As Machinists at Boeing begin contract talks, labor solidarity is evident.

► From Reuters — FAA audit finds dozens of issues in Boeing 737 MAX production, NYT reports — The Federal Aviation Administration’s audit of Boeing’s 737 MAX production process after a panel blew off on an Alaska Airlines jet in January failed 33 of 89 tests, the New York Times reported on Monday.

► From the AP — Passenger describes people ‘bounced off the roof’ on plane that dropped during flight to New ZealandOfficials are investigating what caused a “strong shake” before a sudden plunge on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner traveling between Australia and New Zealand.

► From The Hill — Boeing whistleblower found dead in apparent suicide — John Barnett, 62, died of an apparent self-inflicted wound on Friday, the Charleston County (S.C.) Coroner’s office said. He was found in his truck at his hotel’s parking lot.

► From NPR — Why flying is still safe despite high-profile problems — According to the International Air Transport Association, a trade association for airlines, the number of accidents involving commercial planes has been going down over the years.




► From the Spokesman-Review — More than a million Washingtonians can file taxes for free through new pilot program — More than 1 million Washington state taxpayers are eligible to file their federal taxes for free through a new pilot program launching Tuesday. The Direct File program is available to a total of 19 million taxpayers in 12 states, the agencies announced Tuesday, including an estimated 1.1 million people in Washington. It represents a tentative but significant step toward the Biden administration’s goal of eventually offering most Americans a free alternative to the for-profit tax preparation companies that have lobbied for years against such a federal program.

► From Crosscut — Federal judge to decide on new Latino voter majority district map — With the filing deadline for 2024 less than two months away, a hearing was held Friday to examine the redrawn Central WA boundaries.

► From the WA State Standard — ‘Modest at best’: The Legislature’s not-so-banner year on housing policy — With 60 days of legislative action come and gone, significant proposals that could have stabilized rent increases, required denser housing near transit stops and increased housing options in rural areas have all lapsed. “Modest at best,” is how Lt. Gov. Denny Heck characterized the Legislature’s progress on housing policy this year. It’s a far cry from 2023, which lawmakers dubbed the “Year of Housing” as they cleared the way for more “middle housing” – duplexes and triplexes – throughout the state and put a record $400 million into the state’s fund for building affordable housing.

► From the Guardian — American dream of owning a home is dead, majority of renters say — Though the vast majority of renters polled said they want to own a home in the future, 61% said they are worried they will never be able to. A similar percentage believe no matter how hard they work, they’ll never be able to afford a home.

► From the WA State Standard — Court blocks state inspections of federal immigration facility in Tacoma — A federal judge on Friday issued an order that will temporarily block L&I inspections at the Northwest ICE Processing Center. The facility’s operator, Florida-based GEO Group, requested this preliminary injunction as part of a lawsuit filed last year.




Bellevue-based T-Mobile had an effective tax rate of -0.4% from 2018-2022. Despite making $17.9 billion in profits those years, they got $80 million back from the federal government.

► From the WA State Standard — Biden calls for expanded child tax credit, taxes on wealthy in $7.3 trillion budget plan — President Joe Biden released his budget request for the upcoming fiscal year Monday, calling on Congress to stick to the spending agreement brokered last year and to revamp tax laws so that the “wealthy pay their fair share.” The budget calls on Congress to expand the child tax credit to the levels that were in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, “which helped cut child poverty nearly in half in 2021 to its lowest level in history,” the proposal says.

► From the Tri-City Herald — Biden proposes 2025 Hanford nuclear site budget, topping record set 2 days ago — It would be an historic spending level for waste cleanup at the nuclear site.

► From CNN — Trump suggests he’s open to cuts to Medicare and Social Security after attacking primary rivals over the issue –In an interview with CNBC, Trump said, “There is a lot you can do in terms of entitlements, in terms of cutting.”

► From AFGE — New AFGE-TSA contract sees historic gains for TSOs — Transportation Security Officers can look forward to better rights on the job, more money in their pocket, and a more powerful voice at their airports and with the agency itself. After months of collective bargaining between the Transportation Security Agency and AFGE, a seven-year contract was agreed upon on March 5. Two days later, TSA Council 100, which represents TSOs nationwide, started the 45-day ratification process.

► From Roll Call — Markey staffers begin collective bargaining, a win for union organizers — Announcement represents first progress for the congressional labor push in months.




► From HuffPost — Trader Joe’s threatened workers ahead of union vote, feds allege — Prosecutors at the National Labor Relations Board say Trader Joe’s illegally interrogated workers and threatened to take away their pay raises when they were trying to form a union last year. The alleged threats came in the run-up to a January 2023 election at a Louisville, Kentucky, store where workers voted in favor of joining a new union, Trader Joe’s United.

From The STAND (Mar. 11)What’s behind the corporate effort to kneecap the NLRB?SpaceX, Amazon, Trader Joe’s, and Starbucks are trying to have the NLRB declared unconstitutional—after collectively being charged with hundreds of violations of workers’ organizing rights.

► From ESPN — It’s MLS that’s suffering most in ongoing lockout of refs — The Professional Referee Organization — which is funded by Major League Soccer — locked out referees from the Professional Soccer Referees Association, the refs’ labor union, on Feb. 18 when the PSRA overwhelmingly rejected a tentative agreement. Negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement since then haven’t gone well.

► From KOLO — Patagonia in Reno becomes first in the U.S. to unionize

► From the Art Insider — Denver Art Museum workers vote to unionize

► From the Triangle — Drexel University resident assistants file petition to unionize

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 NPR — It’s Equal Pay Day. Women earn 84 cents for every dollar men make — or even less — Despite the annual reminder about how far into the new year women have to work to earn as much as men made the previous year, the wage gap remains persistent. Women working full time, year-round earn 84 cents for every dollar men make, inching up from 83.7 cents last year, according to the latest numbers from the Census Bureau. But that amount falls to 78 cents when you include seasonal and part-time workers, who account for roughly a third of women in the U.S. workforce. That results in a difference of $11,450 in earnings over the course of a year, based on median annual pay, the group found. For women of color, the pay gap is even bigger.

► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on Equal Pay Day

“It is unacceptable that for the past 20 years the gender wage gap has remained largely unchanged as big corporations and the wealthy—along with many Republicans—resisted change. But a new wave of hope and organizing is building in the fight for equality, and the labor movement knows that when working people stand together in a union we have the strength and power to demand equal pay for equal work.”

► From the WA State Standard — Facing public backlash, some health care companies are abandoning hospital deals — Financially strapped hospitals often look to merge with or be acquired by other systems. After a pandemic-era slowdown, health care mergers and acquisitions have risen steadily over the past two years. But some proposed hospital deals in Connecticut, Louisiana, Minnesota and elsewhere have fizzled amid heavy pushback from lawmakers, organized labor and grassroots organizations.

► From Jacobin — Union gives a close look at the historic Amazon Labor Union win — In 2022, Amazon workers at the JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island became the first in the US to win a union election. The new documentary Union gives a compelling glimpse behind the scenes of the victory — and the challenges that have come since.




► From Reuters — Amazon workers in England to take fresh strike action — Workers at two Amazon locations in central England will take strike action later this month, the GMB trade union said on Tuesday as workers at the two centers seek formal union recognition from the U.S. retail giant.


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!