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PayDown in Seattle | Chamber vs. FTC and you | No suit for Senate

Friday, April 26, 2024




► From PubliCola — Nelson bill would eliminate minimum wage for ‘gig’ drivers—and slash workers’ rights — Gig delivery workers and their allies were bracing for legislation by City Council President Sara Nelson to repeal minimum wage legislation passed last year, known as the PayUp law. What they may not have expected was how far Nelson’s proposal would go to roll back reforms unrelated to wages, including protections against deactivation, transparency requirements, and legal rights for delivery workers to sue if their employer violates the law.

► From the Seattle Times — Seattle council may make U-turn on delivery drivers’ pay as fees increase — The Seattle City Council took up a suite of proposed changes Thursday to the city’s minimum pay standard for app-based delivery drivers that would cut hourly and per-mile rates, change when and how pay is calculated, and roll back regulatory requirements placed on the companies earlier this year. It’s also the clearest example yet of the political pendulum swing in City Hall, away from previous councils’ desire to pass first-in-the-nation labor regulations and toward a more conservative approach that gives companies greater power.

From The STAND (March 26)Seattle unions fight to save gig workers’ wage ordinance





► From the Seattle Times — Southwest Air pulls out of four airports, including Bellingham — Southwest Airlines is slowing growth, ending service at four airports and offering voluntary leaves to address “significant challenges” stemming from reduced deliveries of Boeing planes. The steps illustrate the toll that the Boeing crisis is having on one of its leading customers — one known for flying an all-737 fleet. Southwest earlier stopped hiring for multiple work groups, including pilots and flight attendants, and said it would end the year with 2,000 fewer employees than in 2023 as a result.

► From the (Everett) Herald — ZeroAvia’s new Everett center ‘a huge step in decarbonizing’ aviation — The British-American company, which is developing hydrogen-electric powered aircraft, expects one day to employ hundreds at the site.




► From the Tri-City Herald — Move forward with scale-down Horse Heaven Hills wind farm compromise (editorial) — A scaled-down version of the Horse Heaven Hills wind turbine project is headed to Gov. Jay Inslee. Proponents and opponents continue to pick at the details, but the current iteration of the plan strikes a reasonable compromise between developing desperately needed green energy and the impacts of the project on the Tri-Cities. The governor should sign off on it.




► From the Washington Post — Groups sue to block FTC’s new rule barring noncompete agreements — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups on Wednesday sued the Federal Trade Commission over a new rule that would make most noncompete agreements illegal, setting up a potential showdown over the scope of the agency’s authority. The FTC defended its stance on Wednesday, asserting that its rulemaking authority is “crystal clear.” The ban on noncompete agreements would take effect in about four months unless the courts block it.

EDITOR’S NOTE — In 2019, labor-backed state legislation was approved that limits the application of noncompete contracts to all workers in Washington state 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.

► From the AP — U.S. labor secretary says UAW win at Tennessee Volkswagen plant shows southern workers back unions — Workers at auto plants in the South should be free to unionize without pressure from employers or anti-union governors, acting U.S. Labor Secretary Julie Su said Thursday, even as some southern states pass laws to inhibit organized labor.

“That choice belongs to the worker, free from intervention, either by the employer or by politicians, free from retaliation and threats. And what we are seeing is that workers who were thought to be too vulnerable to assert that right are doing it, and they’re doing it here in the South.”




► From NBC News — Black and Latino workers die on the job at disproportionate rates, new report shows — Black workers’ job fatality rates are the highest they’ve been in nearly 15 years, and Latino workers die on the job more than any other group, according to a new report from the AFL-CIO, a coalition of dozens of unions representing 12.5 million people.

From The STAND (April 25)Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect

► From the Baltimore Banner — University of Maryland Medical Center doctors push to unionize, a first in the state — A group of doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center have petitioned to form a union that would represent just over 900 resident physicians and fellows, according to union organizers.

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 NPR — A year later, Florida businesses say the state’s immigration law dealt a huge blow — About a year ago, Florida Governor — and then presidential candidate — Ron DeSantis passed one of the toughest crackdowns on immigration in the country. Many local Florida businesses say the new law has led to workers leaving the state that’s hurt their bottom line. Florida farmer Fidel Sanchez:

“A lot of people are scared. A lot of people went north and never came back.

► From — After strike, mine workers union pushes reform proposals before Warrior Met Coal stockholders — The United Mine Workers of America, along with the AFL-CIO, presented stockholders of Warrior Met Coal Thursday with a package of proposals it says would eliminate some of the conditions that resulted in Alabama’s longest strike.

► From the American Prospect — The newcomer from the shop floor — “This is my first time in Washington,” Dan Osborn told me at a rooftop cocktail event earlier this month. He said it as a statement of fact, but it’s a humblebrag for his outsider campaign for U.S. Senate in Nebraska. A union leader who organized the 2021 Kellogg strike, Osborn is a first-time candidate running as an independent, and with no Democrat in the race, he’s the sole challenger to unseat two-term Republican Deb Fischer. Osborn’s lack of experience inside the Beltway complements his campaign’s depiction of him as the ultimate Washington antagonist. He’s so uncompromised by the sausage-making that he’s never even been inside the sausage factory; so uncorrupted by corporate lobbying that he didn’t even know what K Street meant until it came up in conversation that night; and so unshackled from the deadweight of the two-party system that he rejects both, eschewing their help and their consultants. He doesn’t even own a suit.




► We’re a little late to the party, but this month The Entire Staff of The Stand has finally discovered Real Estate, an indie band with a warm jangly style that perfectly fits our mood these days. “Water Underground” from their brand new album Daniel is already a favorite. But if you are looking for an entry point, start with their 2014 classic Atlas (5-star review at AllMusic!), which featured this single. Enjoy.


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!