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‘Year of the Union’ momentum | ACA at risk (again) | McDermott’s utopia

Wednesday, March 27, 2024




► From The Urbanist — Local labor leaders hope to sustain ‘Year of the Union’ momentum — 2024 marks the 25th anniversary of the World Trade Organization protests, commonly called “the Battle of Seattle,” an important AFL-CIO-led protest for worker rights and anti-globalization. The quarter-century anniversary has seen an important spark for union and labor work in the city, as organizations across public and private sectors carry their work forward. Workers across industries are working on unionizing and bargaining for new contracts. Union leaders around Seattle and King County are looking to use their organizations for transformative change. Katie Garrow, Executive Secretary and Treasurer for MLK Labor, said:

“Our interests as workers and the interests of the general public are aligned and we can fight together to be able to transform our workplaces, our industries and ultimately all of our lives.”

► From Crosscut — Filipino fishermen left in WA marina allege abandonment, lost pay — Fishing companies say long waits between seasons can be common, but labor experts say offshore foreign workers are “uniquely unprotected” under U.S. policies.

► From the (Everett) Herald — Black Press, publisher of Everett’s Daily Herald, is sold — The new owners include two Canadian private investment firms and a media company based in the southern United States.




► From Bloomberg — Boeing punished unionized pilots with layoff, NLRB judge rules — Boeing violated federal labor law when it conducted discriminatory layoffs of unionized instructors who train airline pilots to fly the company’s planes, a National Labor Relations Board judge ruled. While Boeing had whittled down the group of unionized flight training airplane instructor pilots from about 55 to seven through a series of “antiunion acts” over the course of several years, the remaining pilots’ rejection of a 2020 effort to kick out their union was the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” Administrative Law Judge Gerald Etchingham ruled.

Today from The STANDSPEEA wins reinstatement for 7 Boeing pilots in labor case




► From the Seattle Times — What the Supreme Court abortion pill case could mean for WA — While the state has many protections for abortion access, a ruling for plaintiffs trying to limit distribution of the drug mifepristone would be dire for Washingtonians, said state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

► From Politico — Justices were skeptical of abortion pills arguments. Anti-abortion groups have backup plans. — The lawsuit that went before the high court Tuesday challenging federal regulation of abortion pills is just one piece of the movement’s strategy to curb access to the drugs — a conservative goal since before Roe fell and the medication gained popularity. The sprawling and loosely-coordinated tactics include other legal challenges in state and federal courts, state and federal legislation, executive orders, pressure campaigns against pharmacies that dispense the pills, and the use of environmental and wildlife laws.




► From the Seattle Times — Obamacare is in grave danger, again (by Paul Krugman) — In 2017, Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress tried to eviscerate the ACA and almost succeeded in passing a bill that the Congressional Budget Office estimated would have left 22 million more Americans uninsured by 2026. There’s every reason to believe that if the GOP wins control of Congress and the White House in November, it will once again try to bring back the bad old days of health coverage. And it will probably succeed, since it failed in 2017 only thanks to a principled stand by Sen. John McCain — something unlikely to happen in today’s Republican Party, where slavish obedience to Trump is almost universal.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Then-Rep. Dave Reichert, now a Republican candidate for governor of Washington, voted against the Affordable Care Act (2010 HR 3590), and then after it passed, voted multiple times to repeal and defund the ACA (2015 HR 596, 2013 HR 45, 2012 HR 6079). Just sayin’.




► From the LA Times — Southern California hotel workers ratify new contracts, ending strikes for some — After months spent on and off the picket lines, employees at about three dozen Southern California hotels, including some of Los Angeles’ most high-end properties, voted this weekend to approve new contracts that deliver higher wages for thousands of housekeepers, cooks and other workers. The deal brings a partial end to a labor dispute that has roiled the local hotel industry since last summer, when workers at about 60 hotels launched a strategy of intermittent strikes to protest wages and work conditions. The contracts approved this weekend cover only 34 of those hotels.

► From CBS — MLS referee lockout officially ends: League agrees to seven-year CBA — Entering matchday six, Major League Soccer’s regular officials will be able to return to work after the Professional Referee Organization and Professional Soccer Referees Association finalized a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the league that will cover the next seven years from 2024 through 2030. The PSRA officials are scheduled to return to MLS games on March 30.

► From the AP — Volkswagen workers to vote on union representation next month in the 1st test of UAW recruiting driveWorkers at Volkswagen’s factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., will vote next month on whether they want to be represented by the United Auto Workers union.

► From — After Warrior Met Coal strike, miners’ union, AFL-CIO urge reforms from stockholders — They are urging stockholders to support a package of proposals it says would eliminate some of the conditions that resulted in the strike.

► From the AP — What we know about the Baltimore bridge collapse — Two people were rescued, and six others are missing and presumed dead. They all were part of a construction crew that was repairing potholes on the bridge.

► From Vox — The Baltimore bridge collapse is only the latest — and least — of global shipping’s problems — From drought in the Panama Canal to the Houthis in the Suez to pirates off Somalia, we’re all paying the price.

► From Reuters — Baltimore bridge port blockade won’t trigger new supply chain crisis, experts say




► From Roll Call — Living abroad, Jim McDermott finds his liberal utopia — Former Rep. Jim McDermott is the rare lawmaker who has been able to live out all the policies he worked for during his decades in Washington. He just had to move to another country to do it. From a quaint French village about 90 minutes outside of Bordeaux, the longtime liberal lawmaker from Washington state enjoys free health care and a safe community where he doesn’t need to lock his doors at night. He loves that kids in the neighborhood don’t worry about gun violence and that women have access to reproductive care, specifically abortion. He reads the news every day but says he doesn’t miss America all that much.

“I spent 16 years in the Washington state legislature trying to get single-payer health care. Then I spent nearly 30 years in Congress trying to get single-payer. Then I came to France and in three months I had single-payer. Was that mind-blowing? You bet.”


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

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