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Sacred Heart faces strike | USPS woes | UAW vote in Tennessee

Monday, April 15, 2024




► From the Peninsula Daily News — Port Angeles schools open following contract — The Port Angeles School District and the union representing paraeducators reached a tentative contract agreement after bargaining for more than seven hours Sunday, opening all schools Monday at their usual time.

► From Q13 — Port Angeles paraeducators reach agreement with school district

Today from The STANDPort Angeles Paraeducators ratify contract, end strike

► From KXLY — Hundreds of workers at Sacred Heart to go on strike — Employees at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center will go on strike starting Monday, April 22, as workers claim unfair labor practices by Providence. Nearly 500 union health care workers will begin strike at 2 p.m. on April 22 and continue through April 30 with employees picketing outside the hospital from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. every day. “Instead of respecting our high level of skill and the special services we offer, Providence has been enormously disrespectful throughout the bargaining process,” said Derek Roybal, bargaining team member, UFCW 3000 executive board member, and cardiovascular technologist at Sacred Heart.




► From Reuters — Spirit AeroSystems limits overtime and hiring as Boeing 737 output drops — Boeing’s key supplier Spirit AeroSystems is limiting overtime and hiring as production declines due to lower output of 737 MAX jets. “When I walk the shop floors things have slowed down,” said Cornell Beard, president of IAM District 70, which represents Spirit Aero workers. “We’re just hanging on.”




► From the WA State Standard — Struggling state ferry system finds its way in Washington governor’s race — Washington’s front-running Democratic candidate for governor is embracing a Republican idea that would hasten building of new ferries and slow the state’s push to electrify the fleet. Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he supports constructing two diesel-powered vessels “if this is the fastest solution” to adding boats needed to boost reliability of service amid the ongoing threat of cancellations when an existing vessel breaks down. The approach is an element of Ferguson’s plan, released this week, to address a confluence of challenges besetting Washington State Ferries, the nation’s largest public ferry system that serves as a marine highway for businesses, tourists and daily commuters.

► From the Seattle Times — Abortion access in WA isn’t a sure thing. Here’s why (by Naomi Ishisaka) — You might have heard of the cruel abortion restrictions in Arizona and Florida (as well as the 15 other states with little to no access to abortion) and thought: Well, at least we are safe in Washington. But an 1873 law called the Comstock Act , as NPR reported last week, “could be used to stop virtually all abortion in the country, including in places it is currently legal.”

► From the Spokesman-Review — New Washington law authorizes tax breaks for affordable housing built on state land




Postmaster General (still!) Louis DeJoy looks at some mail.

► From the Washington Post — USPS got billions in financial aid, and now says it needs more — Two years after Congress wiped more than $100 billion in obligations off the U.S. Postal Service’s books, the mail service and its allies are pressing for help again, warning the agency could face a financial crisis that affects home delivery without billions more. The difficulties and financial troubles, some lawmakers and advocates worry, could disrupt mail-in balloting in November’s elections, along with other key functions the Postal Service performs every day. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and other top agency officials are set to appear before a Senate hearing on Tuesday about the chronic issues.

EDITOR’S NOTE — It should be noted that the “more than $100 billion” was not money spent, it was an accounting change: ending the ridiculous and unprecedented mandate that the USPS prefund its future retirees’ benefits, something that no other government agency (or private company) has ever done.

► From the AP — Justice Thomas misses Supreme Court session Monday with no explanation –Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was absent from the court Monday with no explanation. Thomas, 75, also was not participating remotely in arguments, as justices sometimes do when they are ill or otherwise can’t be there in person.

► From Politico — ‘The 401(k) industry owns Congress’: How lawmakers quietly passed a $300 billion windfall to the wealthy — In this era of deeply divided politics, the 2022 bill known as Secure 2.0 was hailed as a bipartisan success — a victory for average Americans. It raised the cost of private retirement savings accounts to $282 billion per year was quietly signed into law after sailing through the House by a whopping 414-5 vote. But a yearlong investigation found that Secure 2.0 and its predecessor bills have expanded the system well beyond its goal of helping the middle class. Today, wealthy taxpayers can protect up to $452,500 per year in tax-advantaged accounts in a single year, saving up to $203,600 on their taxes. And they can keep their money in tax-advantaged accounts far longer.




► From the Washington Post — The South has few unionized auto plants. Workers say this one could be next. — Growing up in eastern Tennessee, Jeremy Collins didn’t know many people with unionized jobs. But he remembers reading good things about unions fighting for the eight-hour work day and against child labor. That’s why Collins plans to vote yes when employees at his Volkswagen factory decide this week whether to join the United Auto Workers. And he thinks many of his co-workers will do the same — possibly making their factory one of the few auto plants in the South to unionize.

► From Patch — ‘Overworked, underpaid’: Flight attendants picket at Newark Airport — If an airline has the cash to give its executives a big pay bump, its employees also deserve a raise. This was the call from dozens of unionized flight attendants with United Airlines at a picket line outside Newark Airport last week.

► From the Guardian — Workers at California cannabis-delivery service threaten ‘unprecedented’ strike — After Eaze workers unionized with UFCW, the company cut pay and wouldn’t address it in negotiations.

► From the Guardian — Tesla to cut 14,000 jobs as Elon Musk bids to make it ‘lean, innovative and hungry’ — Billionaire says “there is nothing I hate more” than cutting staff as more than 10% of workforce to be affected.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Then it must have been truly awful to cut 80 percent of the employees at Twitter as he has absolutely run that platform into the ground.

► From Florida Politics — Gov. DeSantis strips worker wage, heat protection powers from cities — Florida cities and counties will be barred from requiring businesses to give water breaks or other “cooling measures” to employees who work outside after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 433.


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

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