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MultiCare strike in Spokane? | ‘Speak up’ at Boeing | Biden forgives

Thursday, March 21, 2024




Healthcare workers united in SEIU Healthcare 1199NW rally in May 2021 outside Deaconess and Valley hospitals.

► From the Spokesman-Review — Strike at Deaconess and Valley Hospitals? Service and tech workers mull labor action amid stalled contract negotiations — Approximately 1,400 support staff workers at MultiCare Deaconess and Valley hospitals (SEIU Healthcare 1199NW) are prepared to strike as soon as next month should their contract demands not be met. Union membership at the hospitals authorized their bargaining team to call for a strike to try and collect wage increases in a new contract. Deaconess Certified Nursing Assistant and bargaining team negotiator Shawn Crawford:

“The power of a strike authorization shows MultiCare how serious we are about this contract and how much our coworkers are willing to stand up for what we need. This shows them that we are serious. We are not afraid to do what it takes to get what we need.”

► From the Olympian — Saint Martin’s alerts faculty to possible job and program cuts as it faces financial crisis — The financial crisis at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey has taken a new turn: Some faculty at the four-year Benedictine school have received “terminal appointment letters,” meaning they would not be guaranteed a future teaching position.

► From the Wenatchee World — USPS moves ahead with Wenatchee Processing and Distribution Center changes — A USPS release says the business case for the changes supported transferring outgoing mail processing operations to the Spokane Processing and Distribution Center. No career employee layoffs will occur, it stated.

► From the Spokesman-Review — More work for less pay: Spokane County prosecutors, public defender’s office struggling to recruit, retain attorneys — Spokane County deputy prosecutors are juggling more than 100 cases at any given time while receiving far less compensation than other prosecutors in the state.

► From KUOW — As Seattle lost 10K Amazon employees, the company added corporate workers in Bellevue




► From KUOW — Boeing urges employees to ‘speak up’ about product safety. But what impact does a whistleblower really have? — Boeing created the “Speak Up” program in 2019 to empower employees to flag concerns about product quality and safety through a confidential reporting channel. But according to a FAA report published last month, the “Speak Up” program has yet to take hold among employees, who prefer to report issues to their managers directly.

► From the Wall St. Journal — Airline CEOs seek meeting with Boeing Directors to address production problems — Boeing’s biggest U.S. customers are taking their frustrations directly to its board of directors. A group of airline chiefs recently requested a meeting with Boeing’s board to express concern over the Alaska Airlines accident and production problems that have upended the industry’s plans, people familiar with the matter said.

► From Reuters — Airbus wins orders for 65 jets from two of Boeing’s major Asian customers — Airbus won orders for 65 planes from Japan Airlines and Korean Air on Thursday, a major breakthrough for the European firm as its U.S. rival grapples with safety issues after a January mid-flight panel blowout on a 737 MAX 9 jet.




► From the WA State Standard — Care providers for developmentally disabled people come up short pushing for more pay — Providers asked Washington legislators for a 10% pay hike for staff who care for people with developmental disabilities. Lawmakers only committed to a 2.5% bump.




► From The Hill — Biden cancels nearly $6B in student debt for 77,700 public service workersPresident Biden canceled $5.8 billion in student loan debt for 77,700 public service workers Thursday through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The workers who will receive the debt include teachers, nurses and firefighters, among others. The Biden administration overall has canceled student debt for more than 870,000 public service workers, eclipsing $62.5 billion in debt forgiven, according to the White House’s announcement.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Are you a public service worker who may qualify for PSLF? Check out these resources to learn more and check your eligibility:

► From the Oregonian — Biden touts Intel’s $100 billion spending plan, aided by $8.5 billion in federal subsidies — The Biden administration has predicted that the cash infusion should help the U.S. boost its global share of advanced chip production from zero to 20%.  Some of the money will help pay for a major factory expansion in Hillsboro, OR.

► From the USA Today — Biden wins United Steelworkers union endorsement after opposing US Steel sale to Nippon — Less than a week after President Joe Biden came out in opposition of the planned sale of U.S. Steel to Japanese-based Nippon Steel Corporation, the company’s union has endorsed his 2024 reelection bid.

► From The Hill — What made the cut in Congress’ $1.2 trillion funding deal? — The 1,012-page, six-bill funding package was released in the wee hours of Thursday, as lawmakers push to get the legislation quickly across the finish line to avert a shutdown this weekend.




► From Axios — There’s a big wealth gap between union and nonunion workersThere’s a massive wealth gap between workers in unions and nonunionized workers, across education levels, finds a new analysis from the liberal think tank Center for American Progress. Typically, unionized workers earn about 10%-20% more than their nonunion peers, but these wealth gaps are far wider, an indication that the benefits of union membership accrue to workers over time.

TODAY at The STANDUnions build wealth, narrow racial wealth gaps — New analysis shows unions increase wealth for all, particularly groups that historically had less wealth.

READY TO BUILD SOME WEALTH? 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 Editor and Publisher — Long Beach Post, Business Journal unionize; demand voluntary recognition — Like an increasing number of newsrooms across the country, the Post and Business Journal have sustained layoffs in recent months and are on uncertain ground under the umbrella of the recently created nonprofit.

► From Talking Biz — Law360 editorial workers stage one-day strike — Unionized editorial workers, represented by The NewsGuild of New York at LexisNexis-owned Law360, have walked off the job in a 24-hour work stoppage to protest layoffs.

► From KERA — Southwest Airlines reaches tentative agreement with flight attendants union

► From the People’s World — AFL-CIO and allies mobilize to stop Texas attacks on Latinos, others — The Texas State AFL-CIO and a wide-ranging coalition of Latino and civil rights groups, including the National League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), are laying plans to aid and protect brown-skinned and other people threatened with instant arrest, detention and deportation to Mexico from the Lone Star State. Those plans include a massive LULAC education campaign, to be rolled out today, with materials telling people what their rights are—and who to contact—when and if they’re stopped by newly empowered law enforcers.


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!