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We will never back down | Elon’s huge threat | Arizona shame

Thursday, April 11, 2024




► From the Peninsula Daily News — Strike enters Day 4 — Members of the Port Angeles Paraeducator Association will return to the picket line for a fourth day Thursday as they continue their strike for a fair contract that began Monday. The Port Angeles School District in an email to families sent Wednesday evening said all schools in the district would be closed Thursday. Paraeducators said they will accept nothing less than a 3.7 percent wage increase, the same demand they have made since they started bargaining with the school district last year. Although they have stepped away from some of their other demands, paraeducators say they will continue to fight for what they say the state has funded and they have earned. PAPEA President Rebecca Winters:

“We have literally given up everything except the 3.7 percent. We will never back down.”

From The STANDStriking paraeducators to rally TODAY in Port Angeles — WSLC’s April Sims, Sen. Emily Randall, and others will attend to show support.

► From KING 5 — ‘What we are doing is right’: Port Angeles paraeducators defy judge, continue strike — Paraeducators in the Port Angeles School District walked the picket line for a third straight day Wednesday, demanding higher pay. Schools in the district have been closed all week as teachers joined the 135 paraeducators in solidarity and refused to work. Marcos Garcia said being a paraeducator is what he was meant to do. He works two other jobs to pay the bills so he can serve those students. Without paraeducators to guide them, he says, “they struggle. They shut down. They close off. They don’t love themselves. We are there to pick them up when they fall.”

► From the Yakima H-R — Staff members speak out about Yakima School District layoffs — The Yakima school board last month approved a plan to cut 138 employees as part of a major cost-cutting effort following a years-long decline in student enrollment and subsequent budget shortfalls. The nearly three-hour-long meeting saw close to a dozen district staff members call for Trevor Greene, district superintendent, and member of the school board to take accountability for the state of the budget. Many criticized the board’s decision to make the heaviest personnel cuts at the educator level.

► From the union-busting Columbian — Washougal budget cuts threaten dual language program in elementary schools — District hosts intimate “listening tour” event to have face-to-face talks with concerned parents.

► From the union-busting Columbian — PeaceHealth nurses announce plan to picket outside hospital April 18 — Nurses at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver will picket outside the hospital April 18. Employees represented by the Washington State Nurses Association will picket 6-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. at 400 N.E. Mother Joseph Place. The bargaining unit, which includes 1,465 nurses, is negotiating with the hospital for a new three-year contract. According to a news release from the union, “management has not agreed to the association’s proposed workplace protections, staffing commitments or market-rate wages.”

From The STAND (Mar. 28)Nurses at PeaceHealth SW plan to picket on April 18




► From the Wall Street Journal — Boeing finds executives got an extra $500,000 in perks from private jetsThe plane maker revised disclosures for personal trips by CEO David Calhoun and other executives after a WSJ investigation.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Earlier this week, it was reported that Calhoun received compensation last year worth $23.6 million… ansd counting.

► From the Seattle Times — Airbus pulls further ahead as Boeing struggles — Airbus delivered more than twice as many commercial jets as Boeing in March, with the U.S. aerospace giant slowed by efforts to contain quality issues at its 737 MAX assembly plant in Renton. Adding to Boeing’s woes, it delivered none of its widebody 777s in the first three months of the year due to a separate supply chain issue.

► From Reuters — Airbus CEO says ‘not unlikely’ it will take some Spirit Aero plants — The head of Airbus said it is “not unlikely” that the European planemaker takes control of two U.S. and UK plants run by Spirit Aerosystems if Boeing goes ahead with plans to buy one of the industry’s key suppliers.

► From Reuters — FAA proposes airworthiness directive for certain Boeing 747-400F airplanes, notice shows — It would require applying cap seals to certain fastener collars inside the fuel tanks.




► From the Olympian — WA has one of the highest workplace injury rates in the U.S. But is that really a problem? — Experts say Washington tends to have a higher rate of injuries that get reported due to its unique workers’ compensation structure. They suggest looking at workplace fatality rates for a more accurate picture of how safe each state is for its workers. “Fatalities don’t lie,” one said. In 2021, Washington had the third-lowest rate of workplace fatalities at 2.1 deaths for every 100,000 workers, according to the AFL-CIO’s most recent “Death on the Job” report. The national average was 3.6.

► From the WA State Standard — At least 6 suicide attempts this year at Tacoma ICE detention center, 911 calls show — U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D- Wash.) is pressing Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to launch an independent investigation into the facility.




► From The Nation — Elon Musk wants to gut the National Labor Relations Act — Elon Musk hates unions, with a white-hot passion that has rendered him delusional. Unfortunately, this billionaire isn’t satisfied to simply rant and rave; he’s now in the courts with a challenge to the New Deal legislation that established the National Labor Relations Board, conveniently filed before the NLRB hit his company SpaceX with a complaint in late March about unfair labor practices. Musk’s strategy has drawn legal support from other union-busting, billionaire-run enterprises, including Jeff Bezos’s Amazon, as well as Starbucks and Trader Joe’s. If Musk gets his way, this scheme to gut the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 could destabilize a wide range of federal enforcement agencies that administer laws regulating everything from workplace safety to environmental conditions. U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), a cochair of the Congressional Labor Caucus and one of the few dues-paying union members in the House:

“This is a huge threat, because Musk and Bezos are… trying to work through the courts rather than the legislative process. If they succeed, they could do incredible damage to worker rights.”

► From Reuters — U.S. Senate backs repeal of NLRB ‘joint employer’ rule, teeing up Biden veto — The U.S. Senate on Wednesday narrowly approved a proposal, which President Joe Biden has vowed to veto, to repeal a NLRB rule that would treat companies as the employers of many of their contract and franchise workers and require them to bargain with those workers’ unions. It passed 50-48 with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who often votes with Republicans, and independent Sens. Angus King of Maine and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona voting in favor.

► From the AP — More Republican states sue to block Biden’s student loan repayment plan — Another group of Republican-led states is suing to block the Biden administration’s new student loan repayment plan, which offers a faster path to cancellation and has already been used to forgive loans for more than 150,000 borrowers. A statement from the Education Department:

“The Biden-Harris Administration won’t stop fighting to provide support and relief to borrowers across the country — no matter how many times Republican elected officials try to stop us.”

► From the AP — Biden awards $830 million to toughen nation’s infrastructure against climate change — The money is expected to improve bridges, roads, ports, rail, transit and other infrastructure across 37 states, Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands, particularly those battered by increasingly frequent extreme weather events brought on by the planet’s warming.

EDITOR’S NOTE — In Washington state, the Northwest Seaport Alliance will get $24.5 million to replace the failing culvert with a bridge at the Pierce County Terminal near the Port of Tacoma, and restore passage through Wapato Creek. Another $300,000 will go to the Skagit Council of Governments to conduct a Resilience Improvement Plan covering Skagit County that assesses the vulnerabilities of the transportation system.

► From the USA Today — Just days after returning from a two-week recess, right-wing fury – Spurred on by former President Donald Trump, conservative Republicans brought the House to a standstill in a significant blow to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) as he grapples with a threat to his leadership post.




► From the Guardian — ‘Shame! Shame!’ Arizona Republican leaders block effort to repeal abortion ban — Arizona’s state Republican leadership halted an effort by Democrats on Wednesday to repeal an 1864 law banning almost all abortions, which the state supreme court this week ruled could go into effect. Democrats and one Republican lawmaker sought to repeal the law, but GOP leaders, who command the majority, cut it off twice and quickly adjourned. Outraged Democrats erupted in finger-waving chants of “Shame! Shame!”

From The STAND (April 10)They are ‘ripping away the right to choose’ — Arizona ruling criminalizes nearly all abortions as post-Roe healthcare landscape continues to deteriorate.

► From the Atlantic — The logical end point of college sports — College sports generate billions of dollars in annual revenue, but the players putting on the show currently get nothing from that pot of money—even after a recent change allowing athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness. They rely instead on advertisers, rich donors, and the pooled funds of loyal fans, who are themselves growing fatigued with propping it all up. The Dartmouth players’ union threatens to change that structure, opening the door for universities to pay college athletes directly. Some athletes could be in line for a huge windfall; the top college-athletic departments generate more in sports revenue than some NHL teams. If Duke men’s basketball players, for example, got the 50 percent share of revenue common in professional sports, they’d be in line for $1.5 million each, per year.




► From Reuters — Lufthansa agrees pay rise with flight attendants after strike — Lufthansa and the flight attendants’ union UFO have agreed a pay rise for the German airline’s 19,000 cabin staff, ending the threat of strikes after wage disputes in the industry had upended travel for thousands. Employees will receive a 16.5% total pay rise in three stages, retroactively from Jan. 1, as well as an inflation compensation bonus of 3,000 euros ($3,220.50) and an increase in other allowances.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Strikes work.


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

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