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Biden clinches | Keiser: Not so fast | TSOs gain work-life balance

Wednesday, March 13, 2024




► From the Columbian — Hazel Dell man identified as worker killed in Georgia-Pacific Camas Mill accident — Officials on Tuesday identified a 32-year-old Hazel Dell man as the person killed Friday at the Georgia-Pacific Camas Mill. Dakota Austin Cline died from blunt trauma to his head, neck and torso. He became entangled in industrial machinery, according to the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Cline was a member of AWPPW Local 5, which writes: “To honor Dakota Cline’s memory and provide assistance to his family during this difficult time, we are initiating a fundraising campaign. The funds raised will go directly towards covering funeral expenses, supporting his family’s immediate needs, and establishing a memorial in his honor.” You can contribute here.

► From Crosscut — How will Seattle’s $230M deficit influence the 2025 city budget? — Some Councilmembers who promised to conduct a full audit are softening their approach. Now, the city is trying new processes for the next cycle.




► From the Spokesman-Review — Biden easily wins Washington’s primary despite ‘uncommitted’ push — President Joe Biden easily won Washington’s Democratic presidential primary Tuesday, the same day he clinched enough delegates to win his party’s nomination for a second term. Biden claimed 86% of the vote in Tuesday’s count, putting him in position to win all of the state’s delegates. Just less than 8% of Democratic voters cast “uncommitted” ballots.

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 WA State Standard — Longtime Washington state senator is leaving, but not right away — Karen Keiser says she will step down in December, midway through her term and 30 years since arriving in the Legislature. Two fellow Democrats in the House are eyeing the seat. One reason Keiser gave for leaving is “a little sense of frustration” with how the session played out. “We had so much caution that many things got left on the table that could have been worked out,” she said, citing bills to stabilize rents, provide unemployment aid to striking workers, and enshrine a legal right to an abortion in the state constitution.

From The STAND (March 6)Keiser announces retirement from State Senate

► From the Tri-City Herald — $25M in state budget for new nuclear in Eastern WA. Will climate initiative derail it? — The Legislature unanimously passed a 2023-25 state supplemental capital budget that includes $25 million for Energy Northwest to continue its new nuclear development efforts. But that funding is tied to the 2021 Climate Commitment Act, which caps and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The act faces a repeal effort, Initiative 2117, on the November ballot.

► From the Seattle Times — Hey, Eastern WA: Take the money from King County millionaires and run (by Danny Westneat) — The state’s capital gains tax (which is also facing a repeal effort on November’s ballot) falls almost entirely on the richest people in one place: King County. Why not hit King County’s millionaires to help defray the costs of your school buildings, Eastern Washington? The money to replace those old portables has to come from somewhere.




► From the (Everett) Herald — Boeing whistleblower found dead had worked at Everett plant — A former Boeing employee who raised quality-control and safety concerns over the company’s aircraft production was found dead this week. According to authorities in South Carolina believe, John Barnett, 62, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Saturday.

EDITOR’S NOTE — If you or someone you know needs help, visit or call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.

► From the AP — Boeing promises changes after getting poor grades in a government audit of manufacturing quality — Responding to a U.S. government audit, Boeing said Tuesday that it would work with employees found to have violated company manufacturing procedures to make sure they understand instructions for their jobs.

► From Reuters — Airlines warn of more Boeing delivery delays due to safety crisis — U.S. air carriers warned on Tuesday that their plans to increase capacity were in doubt due to more jet delivery delays from Boeing, as the hit to the airline industry from the planemaker’s safety crisis worsens.

► From Bloomberg — United CEO tells Boeing to stop making its long-delayed MAX 10s — United Airlines Holdings has told Boeing to stop building 737 MAX 10 jets for the carrier, opting to switch to a smaller variant and the rival Airbus A321 until the U.S. planemaker can pull the stretched single-aisle through its long-delayed certification.




► From Government Executive — Employees ratify TSA’s first union contract since rights expansion — The American Federation of Government Employees’ new collective bargaining agreement streamlines grievance and arbitration rules and greatly expands work-life balance policies like shift trading. Hydrick Thomas, president of AFGE Council 100, which represents Transportation Security Officers nationwide:

“It’s been a long journey since the beginning of our union, when we barely had any say in what happened in our workplace. This agreement is a testament to the power of union membership.”

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 AP — Letter carrier robberies continue as the US Postal Service, union and lawmakers seek solutions — When the U.S. Postal Service launched Project Safe Delivery last year, officials pledged they would be “doubling down” on their efforts to combat growing rates of letter carrier robberies. The crackdown has led to hundreds of arrests, but overall, the number of postal carriers who were robbed in 2023 rose again and the number who were injured nearly doubled as criminals continue to target carriers for their antiquated “arrow keys” that allow access to mailboxes.

► From The Hill — Democrats go on offense as Trump floats Social Security cuts — Trump said in a Monday interview there’s “a lot” that can be done on entitlements “in terms of cutting,” a comment President Biden immediately seized on. Republicans are concerned about the party’s ability to articulate its message on Social Security and how to fix it, and they believe Trump’s latest comments are proof.

EDITOR’S NOTE — It’s simple. “Fix it” by scrapping the cap so everyone, including high earners and wealthy individuals like CEOs and corporate shareholders, pays the same tax rate.

► From The Guardian — Companies paid top executives more than they paid in U.S. taxes, report finds — Senior executives at 35 different firms – from Tesla to T-Mobile US – received compensation worth more than the net tax payments of their respective employers between 2018 and 2022, the research found. All the companies generated billions of dollars in profit over the same period.

► From The Hill — Buck to retire next week, narrowing House GOP majority — Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) will retire from Congress next week, he said Tuesday, a stunning announcement that will narrow the House GOP’s razor-thin majority even further. His impending departure will knock the House GOP’s majority down by one, bringing the breakdown in the House to 218 Republicans and 213 Democrats.

► From ProPublica — What’s missing from railroad safety data? Dead workers and severed limbs — Gregory West’s was one of at least 130 worker deaths and other injuries that were alleged to have happened on the job but that railroad companies never reported to regulators. Railroad companies go to extreme lengths to portray themselves as safer than they really are — retaliating against workers who report defects and silencing those who get injured.




► From HuffPost — A strange thing happened when Patagonia workers said they wanted a union — When workers at its outlet store in Reno, Nevada, recently petitioned for a union election, the outdoor apparel and equipment brand Patagonia didn’t react like other big-name American companies often do. There were no “captive audience” meetings and no pressure from management to reject the union effort, according to the UFCW. The union says managers didn’t take a position on the vote and remained neutral during the process, unlike companies like Trader Joe’s and REI.

► From The Hill — Let it go, Disney: Elsa wants a union (by Jonah Lalah) — On Feb. 13, Disneyland employees who don costumes and perform as our children’s favorite characters announced their intent to organize a union. Under the mantle “Magic United,” the cast members stated that in just three days, 30 percent of the 1,700 employees in the characters and parades departments have signed union authorization cards. Disneyland has a choice. It can fight unionization, or it could take advice from Anna of Arendelle, and do the next right thing — let the workers decide.

► From — Teamsters strike AmerisourceBergen — After 10 months of contentious contract negotiations, 124 members of Teamsters Local 150 are on strike at the AmerisourceBergen distribution center in Sacramento, Calif. The warehouse workers are seeking a fair wage progression, lower health care costs, and stronger seniority rights.




► From the AP — Europe’s world-first AI rules get final approval from lawmakers. Here’s what happens next — European Union lawmakers gave final approval to the 27-nation bloc’s artificial intelligence law Wednesday, putting the world-leading rules on track to take effect later this year. The AI Act is expected to act as a global signpost for other governments grappling with how to regulate the fast-developing technology.


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!