Connect with us


TA in Spokane | Our nuclear option | REI’s new low | Sunday’s Simpsons

Thursday, April 4, 2024




EDITOR’S NOTE — Stay tuned to The STAND for results of this contract vote.

From The STAND (March 28)Strike set for April 7 at Spokane’s MultiCare hospitals

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 Seattle Times — Two new members join the Seattle School Board — Sarah Clark, the director of policy at the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, will represent District 2, while Joe Mizrahi, the secretary-treasurer of UFCW 3000, will represent District 4. They will officially join the board Thursday, after a swearing-in ceremony.

► From the Seattle Times — Amazon resumes Bellevue tower build, as Seattle workforce shrinks — Amazon is restarting construction on a Bellevue office tower, as its Eastside workforce continues to grow and its presence in Seattle shrinks. The company announced Thursday it had resumed construction on Sonic — a 42-story building that will accommodate more than 4,500 employees when complete.

► From the (Everett) Herald — Pfizer to lay off 119 workers with closure of south Everett plant — The pharmaceutical giant plans to relocate the facility’s Seagen drug production to a plant in North Carolina.

► From Last Week Tonight — Food Delivery AppsJohn Oliver discusses food delivery apps, how they are both helping and harming restaurants and workers, and why starting an orphanage definitely should not be your side hustle.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Oliver exposes how the app companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to block local regulations establishing wage standards and rights for gig workers, including in Seattle.

From The STAND (Mar. 26)Seattle unions fight to save gig workers’ wage ordinance




► From Reuters — Boeing 737 output drops on quality checks, more FAA audits — Boeing 737 MAX production has fallen sharply in recent weeks as U.S. regulators step up factory checks and workers slow the assembly line outside Seattle to complete outstanding work, industry sources told Reuters. The FAA has imposed a cap of 38 jets a month following a blowout on a 737 MAX in January, blamed on an assembly error. But the monthly output rate is fluctuating well below this level and in late March fell as low as single digits, they said.

► From Reuters — Alaska Air says Boeing paid $160 million in compensation after MAX 9 grounding — Alaska Air Group said on Thursday that Boeing had paid about $160 million to the airline in the first quarter as initial compensation to address the hit from the temporary grounding of 737 MAX 9 jets.

► From Reuters — Frontier’s flight attendants oppose operations overhaul, demand negotiations — Flight attendants at Frontier Airlines are opposing an overhaul to the airline’s operations, saying the changes are not covered by their labor agreement and will “drastically upend” their lives.




Steam rises from Energy NW’s Columbia Generating Station near Richland.

► From the union-busting Columbian — Don’t rule out nuclear power in warming climate (editorial) — Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a supplemental state budget that includes $25 million for a study to weigh the benefits and risks of building a small modular nuclear reactor near Richland. The facility would be near the state’s only commercial nuclear energy facility. Increasing demand for electric vehicles, data centers and even cryptocurrency is outpacing population growth and requires innovative solutions. In that regard, Washington is wise to consider nuclear power and the potential consequences.

► ICYMI yesterday from the (Everett) Herald — Small nuclear plants may be key to state’s energy mix (editorial) — Considering the pace of global warming and climate change — 2023 globally was the warmest year on record and the 10 warmest years in the last 174 have all occurred in the last decade — there remains ample reason to further investigate nuclear energy’s place in the mix of solutions, especially for a new and promising development in nuclear energy.

From The STAND (April 1)Labor hails Washington’s investment in nuclear future — Building Trades, Climate Jobs WA applaud state’s investment in an advanced modular reactor.

► From the WA State Standard — Power generated from Northwest dams fell last year to lowest level in two decades — The drop in production comes at a time of higher demand for electricity which is expected to continue.

► From the Seattle Times — WA utility offers an alternative maritime fuel, but gets pushback — PSE’s LNG facility in the Tacoma Tideflats is an example of industries at a crossroads, raising questions about how to reduce emissions now and in the future amid a warming climate. With battery power now unrealistic for big ships, LNG has emerged as a contending fuel for reducing local air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions because it is cleaner than the diesel and so-called bunker fuels in widespread use.

► From the Seattle Times — Immigrant who died in ICE custody spent 13 years in solitary — many in WA prisons — After a man died last month at the immigrant detention center in Tacoma, activists and members of Congress sharply criticized federal authorities for holding the 61-year-old in solitary confinement for almost the entire four years he was detained. It turns out he was held far longer in solitary — more than 13 years — because before entering the Tacoma facility he spent nearly a decade in isolation while in state prisons.

► From KNKX — As Washington’s prison population shrank, the cost of incarceration went up — Washington recently closed a prison to save money, but officials say rising prices for essentials and facility maintenance are contributing to the ballooning price of incarceration.

► From the Spokesman-Review — Longtime Spokane Valley state Sen. Mike Padden says he won’t run for re-election




► From Politico — Biden moves to defang political assaults on federal workforce — The Biden administration put the finishing touches Thursday on a plan to restrict presidents from unilaterally nixing civil service protections from large swaths of the federal workforce, as former President Donald Trump renews his vow to uproot a perceived “deep state” if he is returned to the White House.

► From The Hill — Biden extends some immigrant work permits, potentially saving thousands of jobs — The Biden administration on Thursday is announcing an extension of work permits for certain categories of immigrants, potentially preventing hundreds of thousands of people from losing their jobs overnight. Eligible immigrants whose EADs have expired since Oct. 27 will remain eligible to work for at least another 360 days, while their EAD renewals are processed.

► From Roll Call — Texas tells court that state immigration law maybe went ‘too far’ — A Texas state attorney told a federal appeals court that the state may have gone “too far” in passing a law that allows state officials to effectively deport immigrants, part of oral arguments Wednesday in the federal government’s push to block the law.

► From Politico — Jill Biden says nation’s top teachers will be recognized at their own White House state dinner — Biden made the announcement Wednesday during a nationally televised appearance in which she surprised Missy Testerman of Tennessee, the newly named National Teacher of the Year.

► From the Seattle Times — Trump says he’ll jail his opponents. Members of the House Jan. 6 committee are preparing — In mid-March, Trump said on social media that the committee members should be jailed. In December he vowed to be a dictator on “day one.” In August, he said he would “have no choice” but to lock up his political opponents.




► From HuffPost — REI fired a popular manager for not immediately reporting union chatter — The firing of a popular department manager at the Northbrook store outside Chicago shocked the store’s workers. It revealed the aggressive response of REI ― a customer-owned cooperative known for its progressive image ― to a union effort that’s organized nine stores so far. And it underscored the difficult, sometimes impossible position that companies put low-level managers in when their underlings start to discuss unions. What’s unusual in Littig’s case is that the company was so frank about its reasoning when it fired him.

From The STAND (Mar. 8)REI workers demand company bargain in good faith

► From the AP — California schools forced to compete with fast food industry for workers after minimum wage hike — The minimum wage law that took effect Monday guarantees at least $20-per-hour for workers at fast food restaurant chains with at least 60 locations nationwide. That doesn’t include school food service workers, historically some of the lowest-paid workers in public education.

► From Variety — IATSE sees fears and promise of artificial intelligence: ‘We want the spoils’ — AI is high on the agenda as IATSE looks to set a new three-year contract with Hollywood’s major studios and streamers before the July 31 expiration of its current deal. Like the other unions that have struck new contracts over the past year — the WGA, SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild and the AFM — IATSE is seeking “guardrails” on AI use.

► From Vermont Public News — Vermont Senate unanimously passes amendment ensuring workers’ right to unionize — The Vermont Senate on Tuesday gave its unanimous approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that protects the rights of Vermont workers to organize and collectively bargain. The Senate vote is the first step in the constitutional process for this proposed amendment.




► From the Simpsons — Night of the Living Wage (Episode 14 of Season 35!) — Marge gets a job in a high-pressure ghost kitchen. But when she tries to start a union, she gets more than she collectively bargained for. Join the struggle in a brand-new episode of The Simpsons this Sunday at 8 p.m. on FOX, next day on Hulu.


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!