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Back to work with raises | Slow down in work zones | Southern value: low pay

Wednesday, April 17, 2024




► From the Peninsula Daily News — After two-year deal, PA paraeducators back to work — Members of the Port Angeles Paraeducator Association voted to ratify an agreement for a two-year contract agreement between the union and the district, ending a five-day strike and enabling students to return to class Monday. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, baseline salaries from paraeducators will rise from $21.68 to $28.33 an hour to $22.14 to $28.84 an hour depending on years of experience. Paraeducators working one-on-one with students with high needs will receive 50 cents more an hour for those assignments.

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 STAND (April 15)Port Angeles Paraeducators ratify contract, end strike

► From the Seattle OLS — Seattle announces $180,000 settlement with Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. for alleged violations of multiple labor laws — The Seattle Office of Labor Standards alleged that Dollar Tree failed to provide employees with a compliant written Paid Sick and Safe Time policy, provide required rest and meal breaks, and provide 14 days’ advance notice of work schedules.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Are you surprised? John Oliver isn’t…




► From the Yakima H-R — WSDOT workers remember fallen comrades, renew call for drivers to be careful in work zones — WSDOT employees at the South-Central regional office in Union Gap marked National Work Zone Awareness Week Tuesday with a memorial service for department employees who were killed in highway crashes. At the ceremony, WSDOT employees wore orange reflective vests and jackets to help call attention to work-zone safety, and 61 traffic barrels were placed outside the Rudkin Road facility, one for each WSDOT employee killed in work zone crashes since 1950.

► From the Washington Post — Red states threaten librarians with prison — as blue states work to protect them — A raft of measures advancing nationwide that seek to do things like prohibit book bans or forbid the harassment of school and public librarians. Legislators in 22 mostly blue states have proposed 57 such bills so far this year, and two have become law (including in Washington state). But the library-friendly measures are being outpaced by bills in mostly red states that aim to restrict which books libraries can offer and threaten librarians with prison or thousands in fines for handing out “obscene” or “harmful” titles. At least 27 states are considering 100 such bills this year, three of which have become law.

► From the Tri-City Herald — WA, feds to release Hanford radioactive waste plan after 4 years of closed-door talks — Nearly four years after Washington and federal officials began renegotiating plans and treatment deadlines for 56 million gallons of radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear site, the Department of Energy and its regulators are ready to release a new draft plan.

► From the SBCTC — Bernal Baca appointed to state community and technical college board — Baca serves as executive director of Mi Centro, a Tacoma-based nonprofit that provides services to the greater Pierce County Latino community. He worked in the community and technical college system for over 40 years, including 30 years as a professor at Yakima Valley College and 10 years in government relations for AFT Washington.

► From the Olympian — ‘Risk of undue hardship:’ Washington issues statewide drought declaration — Washington declared a nearly statewide drought emergency Tuesday, citing low snowpack and forecasts of a warm, dry spring. Declaring a drought emergency allows the Department of Ecology to provide grant funding and to process emergency water right permits and transfers.




► From the Seattle Times — Ferguson blasts GOP opponent Reichert for remarks on same-sex marriage — In the early stages of the race for governor, Democrat and front-runner Bob Ferguson is casting one of his opponents, Republican Dave Reichert, as too conservative for Washington, sharing a video of comments Reichert recently made, saying that marriage is “between a man and a woman.”

From The STAND (Feb. 1)WSLC votes to endorse Bob Ferguson for Governor

► From the Spokesman-Review — Republican Congressional candidate sends cease and desist letter to Loren Culp –State Rep. Jacquelyn Maycumber has sent a cease and desist letter calling for Loren Culp, a deputy and former Republican gubernatorial and congressional candidate, to retract a “deepfake” social media post the Republican representative alleges was meant to tarnish her campaign.

► From the Seattle Times — The MAGAfication of the GOP in WA has the party under pressure (by Danny Westneat) — This party is at risk of not even being the Republican Party anymore. It’s becoming the Trump party. Why does this matter? Because we need a stable and sane Republican Party.




► BREAKING from the Seattle Times — Alaska Airlines flights resume after an hour of grounding by FAA Wednesday — Alaska Airlines flights have resumed after they were grounded for an hour Wednesday morning, the company said in a statement. The FAA has issued a ground stop advisory for Alaska Airlines at around 7:50 a.m. this morning, after the company said it had experienced an issue “while performing an upgrade to the system that calculates our weight and balance.”

► From The Hill — Boeing braces for back-to-back Senate hearings scrutinizing ‘broken safety culture’ — Two Senate committees will scrutinize Boeing’s safety culture and new whistleblower allegations Wednesday as the company remains under a microscope. Boeing CEO David Calhoun (pictured at right) was invited to testify on the company’s “broken safety culture” alongside a whistleblower, who raised new allegations of safety concerns and corporate retaliation. But the embattled executive, who announced last month he would step down by the end of the year, has not committed to appear and is not included on the witness list. Subcommittee Chair Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.):

“The whistleblower will have the guts to show up, and I’m hoping that Dave Calhoun will as well at some point in the future, if not tomorrow.”

► From the Washington Post — American Airlines pilots union alleges ‘significant spike’ in safety issues — The Allied Pilots Association, which represents 15,000 pilots working for American Airlines, last week alleged an increase in safety and maintenance problems, including tools being left in wheel wells, increased intervals between routine aircraft inspections, an increase in collisions between aircraft while being tugged or towed, and pressure to return aircraft to service to maintain on-time performance.




► From the Guardian — Trader Joe’s and Starbucks are helping Elon Musk undermine the U.S. government (by Steven Greenhouse) — If SpaceX’s lawsuit, joined by Amazon, Trader Joe’s and Starbucks, succeeds in getting the federal courts to declare the NLRB unconstitutional, it could set a dangerous precedent that other courts seize on to weaken or even eviscerate other federal agencies, such as the EPA, OSHA, and perhaps even the FEC and the Social Security Administration. Like SpaceX, those companies face NLRB charges of illegally retaliating against workers. One way to look at all this is that a band of billionaires – Elon Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, and Trader Joe’s German owners, the Albrecht family – are seeking to kill the federal agency that protects typical workers when they seek to unionize or merely speak up for better conditions.

► A related story from Bloomberg — Union elections run faster after NLRB rule, agency says — Workers are casting ballots in union elections at a faster rate in the nearly four months after the federal labor board’s new rule shortening deadlines and streamlining procedures took effect.

► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler applauds critical protections for mine workers from deadly silica exposure

“In a definitive step toward safeguarding the health and well-being of our nation’s miners, we applaud President Biden for issuing a final rule to protect coal and metal and non-metal miners. For too long, these miners and construction workers at mine sites have suffered debilitating and permanent lung diseases, including silicosis, because of their jobs that power our nation.”

► From HuffPost — Biden seeks to triple tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum — Ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit to the United Steelworkers union headquarters in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, the White House announced a series of measures designed to shield the domestic steel, aluminum and shipbuilding industries from alleged trade abuses by China.

► From Bloomberg — U.S. antitrust funding increase urged by unions, lobbies, trade groups — The Justice Department’s antitrust enforcers need more funding to crack down on illegal mergers and conduct, unions, small business and advocacy groups told members of Congress on Tuesday.




► From the Guardian — ‘Victories would be nothing less than an earthquake’: Can UAW win in the South? — The United Auto Workers has launched an ambitious campaign to unionize 13 non-union automakers across the U.S., and the first big test begins when 4,300 Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, start voting on whether to unionize. The vote begins Wednesday and lasts three days, with results expected late Friday. Many VW workers are predicting victory. Lisa Elliott, a quality control worker at VW:

“We’re going to win. We have the momentum. I know this will be a [historic] event.”

► From the Washington Post — Governors of six Southern states warn workers against joining UAW union — In a high-profile attempt to head off unionization of their states’ auto factories, the governors of Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas warned their residents that joining the UAW would threaten jobs and “the values we live by.” Stephen Silvia, a professor at American University:

“It implies that the governors fear that the UAW will prevail in the upcoming union recognition election and that UAW success could upend their economic models built on relatively low pay and minimal worker voice.”

► From The Hill — SAG-AFTRA, record labels reach deal over AI protections for artists — Under the agreement, the terms “artist,” “singer,” and “royalty artist” will include only humans, the union said. The deal also requires “clear and conspicuous consent,” and “minimum compensation requirements” before the release of sound recording that uses a digital replication of an artist’s voice.

► From Deadline — Sesame Workshop writers unanimously authorize strike, will walk out Friday if no deal is reached — The Writers Guild of America says there was 100% participation in the unanimous strike-authorization vote from the 35-member bargaining unit. The strike would include any and all work for Sesame Street.

► From the USA Today — Nebraska steamfitter running for U.S. Senate against GOP incumbent is gaining traction — A former union president who led a 77-day strike at Kellogg’s in 2021, Dan Osborn, a nonpartisan candidate, is gaining traction at the polls, attracting national media attention, and, most importantly, securing cross-over voters.

► From — AFL-CIO urges Norfolk Southern shareholders to vote against activist investor’s proposals — The labor organization raised concerns about service, safety, and job losses should Ancora Holdings win its proxy contest.


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

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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!