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WSLC’s trailblazers | Keiser’s last bill | Pay up, apps | Perry’s 65

Friday, March 29, 2024




► From the Seattle Medium — April Sims and Cherika Carter: Trailblazing leaders transforming the labor movement in Washington state — April Sims and Cherika Carter will forever be connected when it comes to the history of the labor movement. Sims, who serves as President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and Carter, who was appointed as the Secretary Treasurer of the organization, are the first two African American women to hold both leadership positions at the same time.




► From the Senate Democrats — Keiser’s last bill, the Employee Free Choice Act, signed into law — Washington workers will gain protection against employers who seek to force them to attend meetings where they are required to listen to the employer’s opinions on religious or political matters, under the Employee Free Choice Act, signed into law Thursday. SB 5778 makes Washington the sixth state in the nation to prohibit employers from disciplining or firing employees who refuse to attend such meetings. It simply allows an employee to keep working at their job rather than attend a “mandatory” meeting on political or religious matters. Retiring Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines), chair of the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee and prime sponsor of the bill:

“Workers are hired to do a job. Going to work should not obligate a worker to listen to their employer’s views on religious and political matters… This is my last bill to become law, so I am very pleased Gov. Inslee is signing it today here in my district.”

From The STAND (Feb. 8)Employee Free Choice Act passes State Senate

► From the WA State Standard — Controversial clean energy law takes effect in Washington — Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday signed a hotly contested bill to quicken Puget Sound Energy’s transition away from natural gas. Flanked by lawmakers and labor leaders at a union hall in Kent, Inslee said HB 1589 provides the state’s largest utility with a road map and tools “to get out of the fossil fuel business.”

► From the WA State Standard — Inslee signs final transportation budget, warns of tough sledding — The governor says with revenues declining and project costs rising, lawmakers and his successor will face difficult decisions in coming years.

► From HuffPost — Joe Kent suggests CIA, Ukraine may be to blame for Moscow terrorist attack — Joe Kent, a Republican candidate for Congress in Washington’s 3rd District, has suggested the CIA and Ukraine may be responsible for a terrorist attack last week that killed 143 people in Moscow, echoing a theory pushed, without evidence, by Kremlin propagandists. Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA, 3rd):

“It’s shocking to me how willingly Joe Kent swallows and repeats the propaganda narratives pushed out by the Kremlin. Joe Kent would be Putin’s go-to guy in Congress, one of the many reasons why electing Joe Kent would be dangerous for the entire country.”




► From the (Everett) Herald — Mill Creek Starbucks votes 21-1 to form union — Workers at a Starbucks in Mill Creek overwhelmingly voted to unionize Wednesday, hoping to get better staffing, pay and benefits. When a National Labor Relations Board representative read aloud the results, the employees erupted in cheers at the store, located at 164th Street SE and Bothell Everett Highway. Zach Gabelein, the store’s elected bargaining delegate, said there was an “exciting atmosphere” after the votes were tallied.

From The STAND (Feb. 28)A ‘path forward’ to union contracts at Starbucks

EDITOR’S NOTE — There are now 518 Starbucks stores in 47 states that have filed to unionize. Of those, 401 Starbucks stores in 43 states have won union elections, a more than 75 percent win rate. In Washington state, 32 stores have filed for union elections and Starbucks workers have voted “Union Yes!” in 26 of them, with one outcome pending a challenge, and just five rejecting the union.

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 Stranger — Seattle City Council requests draft legislation to repeal minimum wage for gig workers — Workers who support their own minimum wage told The Stranger they would discuss changes, but so far it looks like Nelson’s definition of “fix” means making changes for one side of the debate: the bosses. While gig workers who support the minimum wage filled City Hall, the committee heard a presentation about the consequences of the wage from only central staff and Michael Wolfe, the executive director of lobby group Drive Forward.

From The STAND (Mar. 26)Seattle unions fight to save gig workers’ wage ordinance — Since the law went into effect in January, the campaign has faced a coordinated industry attack to undermine the policy and to interfere with its implementation.

► From the South Seattle Emerald — Gig worker minimum wage is good for business (by Luzmila Freese) — If the app corporations truly cared about the Seattle economy, they would eliminate excessive fees and stop fighting the common sense, time-tested policy the rest of us already support: minimum wage for workers.

► From the Yakima H-R — Students walk out of Yakima high schools to protest staff cuts — Hundreds of Yakima high school students staged protests around town Thursday to support Yakima School District staff members who will lose jobs as part of budget cuts. The Yakima school board approved a budget plan on Monday that calls for layoffs across all of the school district’s bargaining units starting next school year. It likely will affect more than 100 staff members.

► From the Yakima H-R — Sunnyside Council honors Cesar Chavez Day — Sunnyside City Council issued the city’s first Cesar Chavez Day proclamation and received a standing ovation from a crowd that included United Farm Workers members at its Monday night meeting. Cesar Chavez was a farmworker and activist who led nonviolent protests and boycotts and organized the United Farm Workers union beginning in the 1960s. He visited the Yakima Valley multiple times. UFW has been active in Sunnyside, where it has worked to organize workers at a mushroom production facility.

► From the Tri-City Herald — ‘Built with parts from eBay.’ Tri-Cities leaders rush to replace failing 911 system — Tri-Cities leaders say it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” our area’s aging 911 communications infrastructure will fail.

► From the Seattle Times — Sound Transit will pay $600K to new megaproject leader hired from LAX




► From NPR — Texas attorney general investigating a supplier of Boeing 737 parts — Spirit AeroSystems makes fuselages, or the bodies of planes, for some models of the Boeing 737 aircrafts. Defects during the company’s manufacturing process led to some of the high-profile mishaps that have occurred involving the planes in recent weeks, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton alleges. Paxton’s office will be requesting documents related to “the company’s organization, conduct, and management,” as well as its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices to examine “whether those commitments are unlawful or are compromising the company’s manufacturing processes,” it said.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Thanks, Elon! Meanwhile, right-wing extremist politicians are also blaming DEI for everything from antisemitism to the Baltimore bridge collapse. In response to being called “Baltimore’s DEI Mayor,” Brandon Scott said:

“They don’t have the courage to say the N-word.”

► From the Economic Times — ‘Shortcuts everywhere’: How Boeing favored speed over quality — “There’s a lot of areas where things don’t seem to be put together right in the first place,” said Joe Jacobsen, an engineer and aviation safety expert who spent more than a decade at Boeing and more than 25 years at the FAA. “The theme is shortcuts everywhere — not doing the job right.”

► From the Seattle Times — Boeing paid out $418M in bonuses to WA employees last month — Boeing paid out annual bonuses totaling $418 million to about 68,000 eligible employees in Washington state last month. That’s down from $513 million paid to 64,000 employees a year earlier.




► From Polygon — Sega of America workers ratify union contract, protecting 150 employees — Workers at Sega of America voted Tuesday to ratify their first collectively-bargained contract with the U.S. arm of the video game company, granting new protections and raises for about 150 full-time and temporary employees.

► From the LA Times — The Baltimore bridge collapse reminds us immigrants often do unheralded and dangerous work — Immigrants built America, but some politicians and pundits would like us to believe that the great contributions of immigrants stopped somewhere in the late 1800s.

► And then there’s this, from the Spokesman-Review — Michigan Republican misidentifies Gonzaga basketball buses as ‘illegal invaders’ — A Republican state representative from Michigan was convinced that tour buses carrying Zags players and coaches on Wednesday in Detroit were “illegal invaders.”




► The Entire Staff of The STAND offers warm congratulations to singer-songwriter Perry Farrell, who is now eligible for Medicare as he turns 65 today. Best known as the frontman for Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros, Farrell founded Chicago’s Lollapalooza music festival in 1991 and it continues to this day. Here he is singing our favorite shoplifting song. It is best enjoyed with the volume up, especially at the bass-drum break at 2:22. You’re welcome.


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!