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Pickets at PeaceHealth | Boeing safety crisis | Horse Heaven halved

Thursday, April 18, 2024




► From the union-busting Columbian — PeaceHealth nurses picket Vancouver hospital, demanding safe staffing and fair wages — Picketers lined the sidewalk on Mill Plain in front of PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center this morning, decked out in blue and carrying signs supporting nurses. PeaceHealth employees represented by the Washington State Nurses Association and their supporters carried signs demanding safe staffing levels.

“This is the last straw – Safe Staffing!!!”

“Called Heroes Treated Like Zeroes”

“Trust a nurse to put people 1st”

► From the Spokesman-Review — Strike imminent: No more contract negotiations before Providence Sacred Heart tech workers’ work stoppage next week — Negotiations broke down late last week when the UFCW 3000 union submitted a 10-day strike notice to Providence. There has not been a contract bargaining session since then and, according to Providence Inland Northwest CEO Susan Stacey, no more negotiations will occur until after the strike ends on April 30.

► From the (Everett) Herald — $2.5M deficit in Arlington schools could mean dozens of cut positions — Facing a $2.5 million budget deficit, the Arlington school board must approve a plan by the end of the month. The draft includes the elimination of between 18 and 26 positions.




► From the Seattle Times — After months hearing about safety from Boeing workers, a call for change — Having spent a year interviewing Boeing employees and executives, documenting the company’s safety processes and taking stock of changes Boeing made after two deadly 737 MAX crashes, an expert panel determined the company has much more work to do. Among its many findings, the Federal Aviation Administration-appointed panel concluded Boeing employees fear retaliation if they speak up about safety concerns, aren’t sure how they fit into the company’s broader safety management system, and lack confidence that changes would be made if they do make suggestions.

► From KUOW — Expert: Boeing’s HQ move from Seattle contributed to safety crisis

► From the Seattle Times — Whistleblowers describe ‘criminal cover-up,’ safety risks

► From The Hill — Boeing whistleblower: ‘Absolutely’ a culture of retaliation — A Boeing whistleblower told a Senate committee Wednesday that he was silenced and threatened after he raised concerns with gaps in the airline giant’s manufacturing process. Sam Salehpour, a quality engineer at Boeing, alleged the company retaliated against him after he raised concerns that portions of the 787 fuselage were improperly fused together, which could cause the plane to break apart midflight after an extended period of use.

► From Vox — Boeing’s problems were as bad as you thought — Experts and whistleblowers testified before Congress on Wednesday. The upshot? “It was all about money.”

► From the Independent — ‘The decisions you’re making are going to end with a smoking hole in the ground’: Inside the Boeing catastrophe — SPEEA Executive Director Ray Goforth had rarely seen one of Boeing’s experienced flight simulator instructors lose their cool. But around 2013, amid company layoffs of veteran instructors, one instructor named Willy was worried about more than his job. Goforth said:

“These pilots are… super calm under pressure But [Willy] lost his temper, which was very surprising, and he yelled at them: ‘I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but the decisions you’re making are going to end with a smoking hole in the ground’.”




► From the Seattle Times — Plans for WA’s largest wind farm slashed in half — A state energy board cut in half the largest wind project proposed in Washington on Wednesday after a yearslong and contentious planning process. Plans for the $1.7 billion Horse Heaven Hills wind farm originally included up to 222 wind turbines across 24 miles of hillsides near the Tri-Cities, plus three solar arrays covering up to 5,447 acres.

► From the Tri-City Herald — WA council rules in split vote on huge Tri-Cities wind farm. Will Gov. Inslee agree?

From the STAND (June 9, 2022)Tri-Cities trades unions reach deal to build Horse Heaven

► From the Public News Service — WA workers won’t be punished for skipping ‘captive audience’ meetings — Washington joins a handful of states to do away with mandatory meetings for employees on political or religious matters. Sometimes known as captive audience meetings, the gatherings were seen as a way for employers to give their opinions on subjects like unionization, and held potential consequences for employees who didn’t attend. Lawmakers passed a bill this session allowing workers to skip the meetings without repercussions. Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines), a sponsor of the bill, said we live in a divided society where emotions run high on political topics:

“This bill simply protects employees to have a real choice on whether or not to attend a meeting called by their boss to be told about some political or religious issue.”

From The STAND (April 3)Washington adds multiple worker protection laws — Gov. Inslee signs ban on mandatory anti-union meetings, other pro-worker bills at IBEW Local 46 hall in Kent.

► From the WA State Standard — Washington Republicans get ready to rumble in Spokane — Here are six things to watch as they gather for the state GOP convention, where endorsements will likely reveal rifts between conservatives and moderates.




► From CBS News — Biden visits Pittsburgh, promises U.S. Steel will remain an American company — President Joe Biden visited Pittsburgh on Wednesday to meet with steelworkers and call for the tripling of tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum imports. Biden spoke at the United Steelworkers headquarters to announce new actions he says will protect the U.S. steel and shipbuilding industry from China’s unfair practices.

► From the Washington Post — Trump rails against wind energy in fundraising pitch to oil executives — Former president Donald Trump repeatedly ranted about wind power during a fundraising dinner with oil and gas industry executives last week, claiming that the renewable-energy source is unreliable, unattractive and bad for the environment.




► From NPR — ‘Sesame Street’ writers authorize a strike if they don’t reach a contract by Friday — Thirty-five WGA union members are asking Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that produces the mainstay children’s program, for “industry standard annual raises, improvements to residuals, and union coverage for Sesame Workshop’s popular animation and social media segments,” for the show’s writers, WGA said.

TAKE A STAND — The AFL-CIO is urging all to send a letter to Sesame Workshop’s executive staff and board calling for a fair union contract that protects all writers at Sesame.

► From the LA Times — ‘The fairy dust fades away’: Why the people who play Disneyland’s costumed characters are unionizing — In February, the workers announced their intent to unionize under the Actors’ Equity Assn., which already represents actors, dancers and singers at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. Magic United filed a petition Wednesday for a union election conducted by the NLRB. Employee Adam Hefner said:

“After a couple of months … the fairy dust fades away, and you see your friends and people you really care about hurting and burnt out and not able to pay their rent. Despite it being ‘the Happiest Place on Earth’ … it’s not always the case for the people that are working there.”

► From Reuters — Mercedes-Benz workers to vote on UAW membership in May — Workers at a Mercedes Benz factory in Vance, Alabama, will vote between May 13 and May 17 on whether to join the United Auto Workers union, the NLRB said on Thursday.

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 AP — Google fires 28 workers after office sit-ins to protest cloud contract with Israel — The workers held sit-ins at the company’s offices in California and New York over Google’s $1.2 billion contract to provide custom tools for Israeli’s military. They were fired on Wednesday evening after police earlier arrested nine people.


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!