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Pickets at Boeing | New Hanford plan | Union momentum in the South

Tuesday, April 30, 2024




► From the (Everett) Herald — Boeing firefighters picket in Everett for better pay — The sprawling Boeing aircraft assembly plant at Paine Field is like a small city. The plant employing 35,000 workers has its own security force, medical facilities and firefighters. Now, 160 Boeing firefighters — members of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local I-66 — are seeking a deal from the aerospace giant that includes competitive pay and better staffing. Pay for Boeing fire fighters is on average 20% less compared to regional fire departments and fire districts, union officials said.

► From Q13 — Boeing firefighters hit picket lines as WA strike deadline looms — Members of IAFF Local I-66, representing firefighters at Boeing, took to the picket lines in Renton and Everett on Monday after overwhelmingly rejecting two prior contract proposals. With more than 80% of the union voting against the previous offers, concerns over pay, career advancement and safety standards remain at the forefront of discussions.

Today from The STANDBoeing fire fighters, supporters picket at company gates — Informational pickets come as Boeing, IAFF I-66 return to bargaining table.

► From Q13 — UW academic student workers could strike

From The STAND (April 29)99% of UW Academic Student Employees OK strikeUniversity of Washington ASE collective bargaining agreement expires on April 30.

► From The Stranger — King County workers deserve a fair wage (by King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay) — One job should be enough in King County. Until the state takes action, King County government must do more to promote consistency and economic mobility across our region. That’s why I have proposed legislation that raises the minimum wage to $20.29 in unincorporated King County.

► From the Seattle Times — As Seattle budget deficit grows, City Council begins spending review — As the Seattle City Council looks ahead to a likely $250 million budget deficit next year, members have begun looking back to better understand how the city got into this fix.

► From the Spokesman-Review — Major tax increase proposal headed to Spokane voters in August ballot to fill budget hole and invest in public safety

► From the Cascadia Daily News — Blaine School Board approves staff cuts — Plan will eliminate about 30 staff positions to help address anticipated $2.5M deficit.




► From the WA State Standard — Washington seeks to fix discrimination from racially restrictive property deeds — A program set to launch in July will enable families affected by housing discrimination to get financial assistance for home purchases.




► From the Tri-City Herald — WA, feds upend plan to clean up one of nation’s most costly, dangerous radioactive sites — The Department of Energy and its regulators have released a revised path forward for DOE’s most costly liability in the nation — the 56 million gallons of radioactive waste stored in leak-prone underground tanks in Eastern Washington. The agreement took nearly four years to negotiate and was made public Monday. Highlights include starting treatment of the Hanford site tank waste for disposal on the current schedule of 2025 for the least-radioactive waste and 2033 for the high-level waste.

► From the AP — Workers’ paycheck growth accelerated in the first quarter, a possible concern for the Fed — Pay and benefits for America’s workers grew more quickly in the first three months of this year, a trend that could contribute to higher inflation and raise concerns about the future path of price increases at the Federal Reserve.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Record corporate profits, not wages, are driving inflation.

► From the DOL — U.S. Department of Labor finalizes farmworker protection rule — The Department of Labor on Friday announced a final rule to strengthen protections for farmworkers. The rule targets vulnerability and abuses experienced by workers under the H-2A program that undermine fair labor standards for all farmworkers in the U.S. The final rule adds new protections for worker self-advocacy, clarifies “for cause” termination, makes foreign labor recruitment more transparent, improves transportation safety, and takes steps to safeguard against labor exploitation and human trafficking.

► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO praises Biden Administration for improving protections for farmworkers — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler:

“The Department of Labor’s final H-2A rule substantially strengthens protections for working people in one of the most dangerous industries in our country, and reaffirms the Biden administration’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding and improving the rights of all workers—regardless of immigration status.”

► From Roll Call — House cafeteria workers get better pay, protections under union deal — A little over a year ago, House cafeteria workers with Unite Here Local 23 were contemplating protests and pickets if negotiations with Sodexo turned sour. Now, they’re celebrating a new contract that raises wages and improves working conditions.

► From the WA State Standard — States are required to background check child care workers. Many are falling short. — Dozens of states are out of compliance with at least one component of a federal law’s requirements, a congressional report found. But the problems are so complicated, it’s unclear if anyone has a solution.




► From Reuters — UAW deal with Daimler Truck boosts energy ahead of Mercedes vote in Alabama — The United Auto Workers’ new labor contract with truck and bus maker Daimler Truck is likely to energize workers ahead of the union’s next target in the U.S. South – organizing a Mercedes-Benz auto assembly plant in Alabama. The tentative Daimler Truck contract, agreed to late on Friday, includes a 25% general wage increase over four years and, for the first time, profit-sharing and cost-of-living adjustments. UAW President Shawn Fain said the Daimler Truck deal included no concessions and paved the way for other hourly workers:

“Time’s up for companies that want workers to feel the pain while they take all the profit. The clock has run out on corporate greed. Today belongs to the working class.”

READY FOR A RAISE? 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 Washington Post — As Chicago Trader Joe’s votes on unionizing, grocer fights other efforts — The outcome of a vote on unionizing a Trader Joe’s on Chicago’s North Side is unclear after ballots were tallied late Monday in a closely watched union election at the national grocery chain, which has been gaining a reputation for opposing labor efforts. Workers voted 70 to 70, with one contested vote, which will determine whether the union succeeds, according to the NLRB. If the NLRB decides to count the vote and it’s a yes, the union wins; if the vote is determined invalid or a no, the union loses. While Trader Joe’s management did not come out publicly against the Chicago effort, the company is facing a litany of charges alleging anti-union tactics at other locations that have voted to organize.

► From the Washington Informer — Poor People’s Campaign emphasizes moral resurrection of economic rights — As poverty plagues communities across America, the Poor People’s Campaign, led by Bishop William J. Barber II, is working to eradicate systemic deprivation through voter empowerment during the 2024 election cycle. AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond said:

“There is no greater form of oppression than when a country that has immense resources and wealth allows its people to suffer and die from a lack of resources. Poverty is a failure of the system, it exists because we allow it to exist.”

► From the AP — These cities raised taxes — for child care. Parents say the free day care ‘changed my life’ — New Orleans is part of a growing trend of communities passing ballot measures to expand access to child care. In Whatcom County, Washington, a property tax increase added $10 million for child care and children’s mental health to the county’s annual budget. A marijuana sales tax approved last year by voters in Anchorage, Alaska, will generate more than $5 million for early childhood programs.

► From the LA Times — Hollywood’s crew union negotiations have gone well so far. Now the hard part begins — In a departure from the labor rebellions that roiled Hollywood last year, the latest set of contract negotiations between a major entertainment union and the top studios has unfolded about as smoothly as could be expected. So far.

► From the St. Louis Labor Tribune — Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive set for May 11




► From the Washington Post — The biggest problem for America’s chips boom? The workers. (by Heather LongKai Ryssdal and Maria Hollenhorst) — Giant factories are rising up in the desert all around Phoenix. It’s ground zero for President Biden’s massive bet that he can bring back to America one of the 21st century’s most important manufacturing jobs: making semiconductor chips. Now comes the greatest challenge of all: finding enough workers to make it a reality. Already, companies have struggled to hire enough construction workers, especially welders and pipe fitters. Factory openings are being delayed until 2025 or later. And the industry needs up to 70,000 new workers to run the fabrication plants… What became clear to us in Phoenix is that the ideal training model in the semiconductor industry is apprenticeships. We saw how effective “earn while you learn” can be when we visited Arizona’s construction trade unions.


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!