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Save Boeing from itself | WA Cares under threat | Go All the Way

Friday, March 15, 2024




► From the NW Labor Press — Boeing back in bargaining – first time in 16 years — “We need to bargain and save them from themselves,” said Brandon Bryant of IAM District Lodge W24 in Gladstone, Oregon. Bryant is taking part in the national negotiations with Boeing that began March 8. “Boeing’s not doing really well. We think there’s a solid future ahead of us, but they have to partner with the IAM. We have to be the valuable stakeholders in this company to get them back to being successful.”

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 Vox — How to think about Boeing’s recent safety issues — Flying is still extremely safe. But Boeing’s safety issues are real. For years, the culture of Boeing was one of pride in their engineering innovation and the high value they placed on product safety. But that started to change in the late 1990s. Executives and shareholders got rich while tensions roiled in the rank and file, who argued that the company needed to be investing more in the people who built the planes and ensured their safety. In 2000, Boeing’s engineers went on strike; between 2019 and 2020, the company laid off thousands of people, raising concerns about the experience of those hired when the company began staffing up again post-pandemic. Workers-turned-whistleblowers complained about serious safety problems they said they witnessed while working on Boeing planes.

► From SPEEA — Members elect Dimas and Nowlin to officer positions

► From the Guardian — Boeing cockpit seat switch mishap reportedly led to Latam flight incident — New scrutiny of planemaker’s 787 Dreamliner over terrifying drop adds to company’s safety crisis. Boeing has recommended that airlines inspect cockpit chairs of 787 jets for loose covers on switches.

► From the AP — Seat belt saved passenger’s life on Boeing 737 jet that suffered a blowout, new lawsuit says

► From the Seattle Times — Alaska Airlines blames Boeing for blowout, wants out of passenger lawsuit




► From the NW Labor Press — Workplace wins in Washington: A look at the 2024 legislative session — A well-watched union-backed bill that would have extended unemployment benefits to striking workers missed a cutoff deadline and died during the 2024 Washington state legislative session. But state lawmakers passed several other measures to improve workplaces and bolster workers rights.

From The STAND (Mar. 4)Progress, disappointment from State Legislature — Multiple pro-worker bills approved, but Senate kills HB 1893 to protect strikers. ‘This is not over,’ vows WSLC’s Sims.

► From the WA State Standard — How child care fared in this year’s Washington state legislative session — Lawmakers delivered some new support, but advocates say there’s still a ways to go shoring up the sector.

► From Crosscut — Washington UTC chair who used racial slur asked to resign — An investigation found two commissioners allegedly used derogatory language, disregarded harassment complaints and failed to advance equity policies.

► From the WA State Standard — WA’s long-term care benefit just got an important upgrade, but the program is also under threat (by Marguerite Ro and Dr. Charles Mayer) — State lawmakers approved a measure addressing the most commonly requested change to the state’s new long-term care program – making the benefits portable. Now, we’ll be able to keep our long-term care benefits, even if we leave the state for work, family, or retirement… As we look ahead to the November election, don’t be fooled by misleading messages from those who intentionally crafted Initiative 2124 to sound like a reasonable change to make the program voluntary. According to experts and actuarial analysis, the true impact of the initiative would be to kill the program, taking benefits away from more than 3 million workers.

► From the Inlander — Pacific NW finalizing plans for $1 billion in investments in ‘green’ hydrogen — The Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub, expected to create 10,000 or more jobs, will specifically focus on “green” hydrogen — using only renewable energy resources to power the electrolysis process that rips hydrogen atoms from the oxygen atoms in water to create hydrogen fuel.

From The STAND (Oct. 13, 2023)‘This is a big deal.’ Pacific NW wins hydrogen hub funding

► From the AP — Across the US, batteries and green energies like wind and solar combine for major climate solution




► From the NW Labor Press — A labor look at the 2024 Oregon Legislature — Organized labor notched several legislative wins in the five-week “short session” of the Oregon Legislature that ended March 7, including: Labor standards for offshore wind projects, Early retirement for more public safety workers, Campaign finance reform that preserves a role for unions, Healthcare interpreter portal, Stopping drug use on public transit, and “Christmas in March.”

► From KOIN — Oregon Public Broadcasting and KMHD staff form union with SAG-AFTRA –More than 80% of OPB and KMHD’s content creators – including on-air staff, hosts, reporters, audio and video producers – signed the petition to unionize, delivering it to OPB management on Thursday.

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 — Rep. Smith introduces legislation to expand access to job training and education programs — Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA, 9th) on Thursday introduced the Empowering Individuals to Succeed through Education and Workforce Training Act. It would establish a fund through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act dedicated to providing wrap-around support services and stipends for individuals in workforce training programs and two-year education programs. It is endorsed by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Ironworkers 86, IAM 751, Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), Seattle Colleges District, ANEW, and YouthCare. Rep. Smith:

“For the millions of Americans who do not obtain a four-year degree after high school, job training and education programs are crucial for creating pathways to high-quality, good-paying jobs. We should do everything we can to make these programs as accessible as possible.”

► From the AP — Biden opposes plan to sell US Steel to a Japanese firm, citing the need for ‘American steel workers’ — President Joe Biden came out in opposition to the planned sale of U.S. Steel to Nippon Steel of Japan, saying on Thursday that the U.S. needs to “maintain strong American steel companies powered by American steel workers.” In a statement, Biden added: “U.S. Steel has been an iconic American steel company for more than a century, and it is vital for it to remain an American steel company that is domestically owned and operated.”

► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO thanks Biden for having Steelworkers’ backs, prioritizing American manufacturing — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond said:

“The most pro-union president in our lifetime once again today showed he stands firmly with working people.”

► From The Hill — ‘Made in the USA’ meat rule sparks trade battle — A newly finalized rule with more stringent requirements for meat products labeled as “Made in the USA” is being applauded by domestic meat producers and fretted over by industry groups as it promises to change dynamics within U.S. meat consumption and trade.

► From the NW Labor Press — Biden announces Postal Board pick: Marty Walsh — Postal unions are applauding President Biden’s new nominee to serve on the Postal Board of Governors: Marty Walsh. Walsh is a Laborers union member, former Boston Mayor and  building trades leader, and was Biden’s first secretary of labor. Now he’s executive director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association.




► From Axios — AFSCME President Lee Saunders: Flexing union muscle — U.S. workers today have enormous momentum and leverage. 2023 was a year of walkouts, with the number of U.S. workers on strike more than doubling. Lee Saunders is president of AFSCME, one of the country’s largest unions, and he says with workers engaged as never before, this is the moment to make progress for American labor. A look at the power of workers in 2024, and how one union leader wants to wield it.

► From the Seattle Times — Amazon reports ‘measurable progress’ on worker safety; critics object — Amazon’s safety data shows a decline in its warehouse injury rate in 2023, marking an improvement for the second consecutive year, but critics disagree with how the company measures its worker safety. Irene Tung, a senior researcher and policy analyst at the nonprofit National Employment Law Project:

“This is no great cause for celebration — improvement from a horrific injury rate … to a merely horrible injury rate.”

Because Amazon is so large, it skews the average injury rate, critics say. According to a NELP analysis of OSHA data, Amazon makes up roughly 71% of the category for warehouses with more than 1,000 employees. Taking Amazon out of the calculation, the analysis found, the average injury rate for warehouses with more than 1,000 workers would drop from 6.8 to 3.6. That would put Amazon’s injury rate significantly above the industry average.




► This week, Cleveland-raised singer/songwriter Eric Carmen died at 74. He will be remembered for many of his solo hits, like “All By Myself” and “Hungry Eyes.” The Entire Staff of The Stand will date ourselves here, but… we used to own a 45 (that’s RPM for a vinyl single, kids) of “She Did It” during our formative years. But truly, we probably liked him best in his role as lead singer for The Raspberries. Here they are performing their biggest hit. R.I.P., Eric.


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

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