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One strike lingers, another begins | 6th CD heats up | Historic UAW win

Monday, April 22, 2024




► From IBEW 46 — Strike update: April 20th — The Limited Energy Electricians’ strike continues Monday after the negotiating team net with NECA on April 19 and “unfortunately we had no movement.” Their next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday. Picket lines continue throughout the Puget Sound area and strike trainings continue at the union hall.

► From the Spokesman-Review — Sacred Heart strike starts today. Picketing begins at 2 p.m. — The strike at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center is scheduled to begin Monday. Starting at 2 p.m. the hospital’s 500 technical workers are expected to walk out and begin picketing their employer. Workers gathered Friday evening at UFCW 3000 offices in Spokane to learn how to be strike captains – charged with leading the pickets and ensuring safety.

► From the Seattle Times — Providence to pay $200M for illegal timekeeping and break practices — Providence Health & Services must pay over 33,000 hourly employees more than $200 million after a King County judge found evidence the hospital system had willfully been shortchanging staffers for years through illegal timekeeping and meal break practices.

► From Reuters — Kroger, Albertsons to sell 166 more stores to gain regulatory approval for $25 billion merger — Kroger and Albertsons Cos will sell an extra 166 stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers under an amended deal to get regulatory approval for their proposed $25 billion merger, the companies said on Monday. The companies have been looking to offload stores to address regulatory concerns that the merger would lead to higher prices, store closures and job losses that have risen since they first announced the merger in October 2022.

From The STAND (Feb. 27)UFCW hails FTC move to block Kroger-Albertsons merger

► From the Yakima H-R — Toppenish School District announces 48 staff reductions amid budget shortfall — The Toppenish School District plans to cut 48 positions through layoffs or attrition to address a more-than-$8-million budget shortfall for the 2024-25 school year. Toppenish is the second school district in the county to announce staff reductions due partly to declining student enrollment.




► From Reuters — Boeing to face questions on potential CEO candidates, Spirit talks — Tough questions await Boeing when it announces its results on Wednesday, including on potential CEO candidates, talks with Spirit AeroSystems and slumping 737 MAX jet output, while its quarterly report is expected to show a surge in cash-burn rate.




► From the Seattle Times — WA 6th District campaign to replace Derek Kilmer takes a competitive turn — Public lands commissioner Hilary Franz (right), a Democrat, has opened up an early fundraising lead. But state Sen. Emily Randall (left), also a Democrat, has collected more high-profile endorsements from the state’s congressional delegation, indicating a split among the Democratic establishment. Republican state Sen. Drew MacEwen lags in fundraising but says he’s confident he can flip the seat, just as he previously won open state House and state Senate seats that had been held by Democrats.

From The Calendar at The STAND — AFSCME Council 28, AFT Washington and other union organizations are hosting a 6th Congressional District Candidates Forum on Tuesday, April 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Tacoma Community College’s Building 16, 6501 S. 19th St. Get details.

► From KUOW — Campaign to defend Washington state’s climate law raises $11 million, far outpacing opposition — A campaign focused on defending Washington’s Climate Commitment Act from repeal by voters launched Wednesday. The “No on 2117” campaign announced it has obtained more than $11 million in pledges from environmental groups, unions, tribes, and corporations.

► From the WA State Standard — Endorsements and discord: WA GOP wraps up Spokane convention — Heading into the 2024 election cycle, Semi Bird fired up the Republican crowd but moderates have doubts he and other candidates the party is backing can win.

From The Calendar at The STAND — The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO will hold its 2024 Committee on Political Education (COPE) Endorsing Convention starting at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 18 at the IAM District 751 Hall, 9125 15th Pl. South in Seattle. Get details.

► From the WA State Standard — WA charter school performance on par with other public schools, state report says — Washington has only 18 charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run. They enroll about 5,000 students statewide —a small fraction of the total public school population, which is about one million students.




► From Spectrum News — Biden rallies IBEW members as he looks to highlight union support ahead of November — President Joe Biden rallied union members at the IBEW Construction and Maintenance conference in Washington on Friday in his latest bid to put his pro-union bona fides front-and-center ahead of the 2024 election. “It’s good to be home,” Biden declared as walked to the podium in front of cheering members of the labor union, adding his grandfather would be “proud as hell I’m listed as the most pro-union president in history.”

► From the AP — Vice President Harris announces final rules mandating minimum standards for nursing home staffing — The federal government is for the first time requiring nursing homes to have minimum staffing levels after the COVID-19 pandemic exposed grim realities in poorly staffed facilities for older and disabled Americans. Vice President Kamala Harris announced the final rules on Monday before a trip to La Crosse, Wisconsin, where she will talk to nursing home care employees about their work.

► From The Hill — New pregnant worker rights: What to expect when expecting — Pregnant employees have the right to a wide range of accommodations under new federal regulations for enforcing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act that supporters say could change workplace culture for millions of people.




► From the AP — Tennessee Volkswagen employees overwhelmingly vote to join UAW — Employees at a Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga overwhelmingly voted to join the United Auto Workers union Friday in a historic first test of the UAW’s renewed effort to organize nonunion factories. The union wound up getting 2,628 votes, or 73% of the ballots cast, compared with only 985 who voted no in an election run by the NLRB. Both sides have five business days to file objections to the election, the NLRB said. If there are none, the election will be certified and VW and the union must “begin bargaining in good faith.” President Joe Biden, who backed the UAW and won its endorsement, said the union’s win follows major union gains across the country including actors, port workers, Teamsters members, writers and health care workers:

“Together, these union wins have helped raise wages and demonstrate once again that the middle-class built America and that unions are still building and expanding the middle class for all workers.”

► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO President on results of UAW vote at Volkswagen’s Tennessee plant — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler:

“We congratulate the Volkswagen workers, our UAW family and UAW President Shawn Fain for this monumental victory in Chattanooga. The victory at Volkswagen’s plant in Tennessee marks a historic milestone for workers across the state and the broader South. Led by a diverse coalition of young activists, this triumph challenges outdated labor laws and sets new standards for collective bargaining power. It symbolizes a shift away from the old economic model that prioritizes the profits of big corporations to a new era where working people have the power to shape our futures.”

► From the Wall Street Journal — Unions take aim at South after UAW win — “One of the things that history teaches us is that organizing is a little bit contagious,” said Christian Sweeney, deputy organizing director with the AFL-CIO. “Workers in the South are saying, ‘Wait a minute, we’re working for wildly profitable companies’.”

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 Pittsburgh Union Progress — ‘Huge news’: NLRB is ‘seeking injunction’ that could end Pittsburgh news workers strike — The National Labor Relations Board has authorized the regional NLRB office to seek an injunction in the guild’s and sister unions’ case against the Post-Gazette for dozens of ongoing unfair labor practice violations of federal law in the 18-month strike.

► From the Hollywood Reporter — Sesame Workshop averts strike: Tentative deal struck with writers — The new agreement expands the union’s contractually-covered work at the nonprofit behind ‘Sesame Street’ in animation and new media.

► From NPR — Many in Gen Z ditch colleges for trade schools. Meet the ‘toolbelt generation’ — A growing number of young people have chosen to swap college for vocational schools that offer paid, on-the-job training. The high cost of college isn’t the only factor driving many young people toward skilled trades. With the use of artificial intelligence on the rise, many Gen Zers see manual labor as less vulnerable to the emerging technology than white-collar alternatives. They also say vocational schools are a straight path to well-paying jobs.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Do you want to “earn while you learn” a family-wage career in the trades? Check out the Construct a Career website from the WA State Building and Construction Trades Council about how to get started in a union apprenticeship program today!


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!