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Retaliation at Boeing? | Starbucks talks | Other Washington follows our lead

Thursday, April 25, 2024




► From Reuters — FAA probes union claims Boeing retaliated against two engineers in 2022 — The FAA said Tuesday it is investigating a union’s claims that Boeing retaliated against two employees who in 2022 insisted the planemaker re-evaluate prior engineering work on 777 and 787 jets. The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) said the two unidentified engineers were representatives of the FAA, which delegates some of its oversight authority and certification process to Boeing workers. The union filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the NLRB last week, saying the two engineers had received identical negative evaluations after the incident.

► From the NY Times via Seattle Times — Former Boeing manager says workers mishandled parts to meet deadlines — Two framed documents from a long career at Boeing hang side by side in Merle Meyers’ home: A certificate from 2022 that thanks the former Boeing quality manager for three decades of service. And a letter he received months later reprimanding him for his performance.

► From KIRO — Boeing reports big first quarter loss in the middle of negotiations with its firefighters union — The airline manufacturing giant is in the middle of negotiations with its firefighters union, IAFF Local I-66. KIRO 7 spoke with Lieutenant Jonathon Riggsby who said what firefighters want is simple. He said they want adequate staffing levels to maintain safety standards, higher wages and the ability to progress faster and earn top scale wages.

From The STAND (April 23)Safety first? Boeing picks contract fight with its fire fighters

► From the Seattle Times — Boeing, slowed to a crawl, bleeds cash in wake of Alaska Air blowout — Boeing lost $355 million in the first three months of the year, burning through $3.9 billion in cash after the jet manufacturer slowed 737 MAX production to a crawl following the midair blowout of a fuselage panel on an Alaska Airlines jet in January.

► From Reuters — Boeing reports first revenue drop in 7 quarters as deliveries decline — But the U.S. planemaker beat analysts’ lowered expectations.

► From the WSJ — Southwest to exit four airports as Boeing’s problems ripple through industryIts adjusted quarterly loss was worse than expected despite record operating revenue fueled by strong travel demand.




► From KUOW — Starbucks union negotiations resume after long impasse — Ari Bray, who has worked at Seattle Starbucks stores for nearly five years, is one of five Seattle-area delegates who traveled to Atlanta on Wednesday to negotiate with Starbucks for more control over their schedules, among other goals. The meeting represents a thaw in the icy relationship between Starbucks and Workers United, which represents more than 400 stores.




► From Crosscut — WA farmers brace for summer drought on heels of harvest shortfalls — Washington’s agriculture industry has been hit hard by climate change. Growers are working to develop crops that can thrive in shifting landscapes.

► From the Seattle Times — ICE releases report on Tacoma detainee death but leaves out key detail — More than a month after a man died at an immigrant detention center in Tacoma, federal officials released a report, as required by Congress. The report lacked one key detail: a cause of death.




► From HuffPost — 4 million more workers could be eligible for overtime pay under new Biden rule — The Labor Department’s regulation would ensure that salaried workers who earn less than $58,656 per year would automatically be entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week, starting in 2025. What’s known as the “overtime salary threshold” would then be updated every three years, starting in 2027, to account for inflation. Business groups aren’t excited about higher labor costs and could end up challenging the regulation in federal court.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington state already updated its overtime salary threshold. This year, with few exceptions, workers in our state who earn less than $67,725 per year are automatically entitled to overtime pay for more than 40 hours a week. That threshold is scheduled to continue increasing incrementally until 2028, when it will be $92,560 per year.

From The STAND (Dec. 11, 2019)Washington now has ‘strongest overtime law in the nation’ — WSLC hails Washington’s updated overtime pay rules, saying they will help ‘restore work-life balances’ for thousands of families.

► From HuffPost — Federal Trade Commission approves ban of noncompete agreements — The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday voted 3-2 in favor of adopting a historic and far-reaching ban on noncompete agreements, potentially giving more leverage in the job market to millions of U.S. workers. The agency has said that the agreements, in which workers are forbidden from seeking a job with a competing business for a certain period of time, lead to an “unfair method of competition” and violate federal law. The vote by the agency’s five commissioners this week means the ban will move forward.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington is also ahead of the curve on this issue. In 2019, labor-backed state legislation was approved that limits the application of noncompete contracts to workers who earn more than $100,000 per year (now adjusted  for inflation to $120,560), $250,000 for independent contractors (now $301,400), and limits the length of time they can be in effect. If employers lay off workers and enforce the noncompete contract, they must continue paying those workers. Musicians and other performers are also protected from long blackout dates before and after shows, which prohibit them from earning a living.

Just two more examples of progressive policies that improve the lives of all workers in Washington, brought to you by Washington’s labor movement.

► From the Washington Post — White House calls on pension funds to adopt stronger labor standardsThe push comes as many public funds are ramping up investments in private equity, which has drawn criticism over poor labor practices.

► From The Hill — Female Supreme Court justices push back most strongly on Idaho abortion ban — A divided Supreme Court seemed skeptical that Idaho’s strict abortion ban conflicts with a federal emergency care law, but there appeared to be a split by gender as well as ideology during the nearly two hours of argument. The four female justices, including conservative Amy Coney Barrett, pushed back the hardest against Idaho’s assertion that its law, which prohibits doctors from performing an abortion except when a woman’s life is in danger, supersedes a federal emergency care statute.

► From HuffPost — Conservative SCOTUS almost entirely ignores pregnant patients in emergency abortion arguments — Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh focused more on the spending power of the federal government than they did life-saving emergency abortion care.

► From NPR — Supreme Court will hear Trump’s claim he’s immune from criminal prosecution

► From Politico — Arizona grand jury indicts Meadows, Giuliani, other Trump allies for 2020 election interference




► From CNN — Biden scores major union backing as its leaders attack Trump — Joe Biden landed a major union endorsement Wednesday from North America’s Building Trades Unions, whose leaders say the president has his infrastructure bill largely to thank for it. In making one of their earliest ever presidential endorsements, NABTU leaders are kickstarting an eight-figure organizing program to try to deliver their 250,000 members in the battlegrounds of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin for Biden.

From The STAND (Aug. 11, 2023)‘Another promise kept by President Biden’ — Organized labor hails Department of Labor’s move to restore prevailing wage standards.

From The STAND (June 29, 2023)‘Biden is making good on his promises to workers’ — Washington’s Building Trades unions gather in Seattle, spotlight job creation under Biden Administration.

► From the WA State Standard — Court-ordered redistricting is factor in exits of two GOP state lawmakers — A third Republican lawmaker moved in order to seek re-election. Meanwhile, Latino Democratic candidates are campaigning in a redrawn Yakima Valley legislative district.

► From the Yakima H-R — Rep. Gina Mosbrucker won’t seek sixth term in Legislature




► From NPR — Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama might get a third try at unionizing — A sweeping, monthslong hearing begins on Thursday to decide the fate of the unionization campaign at Amazon’s facility in Bessemer, Alabama. An administrative law judge at the NLRB will review the company’s and the union’s conduct in the last election, which has remained too close to call since 2022.

► From the LA Times — California is trying again to extend unemployment benefits to workers on strike — Months after Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed the proposal, lawmakers in Sacramento are trying again to extend unemployment benefits to California workers who are on strike. Under Senate Bill 1116, California workers would be eligible to receive unemployment benefits after being on strike for 14 days.

EDITOR’S NOTE — A similar bill passed Washington’s House of Representatives, but did not get a vote in the Senate. The state’s unions vow to continue pressing for the legislation.


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

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