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May Day solidarity, action | Boeing bullies | An anti-union union

Thursday, May 2, 2024




► From the Seattle Times — Seattle’s annual May Day march calls for immigrants’ and workers’ rights — At Seattle’s annual May Day rally and march, hundreds of people filled downtown streets Wednesday to show support for worker and immigrant rights. On this year’s International Workers’ Day, its 135th anniversary, about 300 demonstrators centered the fight for safe and stable housing for migrants and asylum-seekers, maintaining minimum wage for gig workers in the city, and solidarity with Palestine. Jorge Torres of the limited energy electricians of IBEW Local 46, who are currently on strike, said:

“We have Starbucks Workers United here. We have rank-and-filers at the museum who are organizing. What’s different about this year is that we’re in the middle of a change happening in this country among the working class. Workers in various industries are doing their own kind of organizing. I think that’s inspiring people in established unions to start fighting more, to form relationships.”

From The STAND (May 1)‘One Day Longer, One Day Stronger’ — IBEW 46 Limited Energy Electricians vow to continue strike until they get a fair contract.

► From Q13 — UW student workers hold sit-in protests while calling for a fair contract — A strike is on the table for those who serve an essential part in the labs and classrooms at the University of Washington. Academic student employees (ASE) held a sit-in protest on Wednesday while contract negotiations continued.

From The STAND (April 29)99% of UW Academic Student Employees authorize strike

► From KIMA — Hundreds march in Yakima on International Workers Day demanding better labor protections — Their message focused on demanding local, state and federal governments to pass significant reforms for labor protections that include immigrant workers. “We want to make sure the contributions of immigrants labor force in the Yakima Valley are highlighted,” said Dulce Gutierrez, a member of the May 1st Coalition Yakima Valley.




► From the (Everett) Herald — Boeing: Firefighters face lockout if no deal by Saturday — Boeing said late Tuesday it will lock out its union firefighters at facilities across the state unless a contract is ratified by Saturday. About 125 Boeing firefighters — members of IAFF Local I-66 — are currently in contract negotiations with Boeing. Union members have rejected two previous contract offers. Boeing shared its lockout plans with union members Tuesday afternoon, a day after dozens picketed outside the company’s facilities in Everett and Renton.

► From Source One — Boeing to lock out firefighters in Moses Lake amid contract dispute and safety crisis

From The STAND (May 1)Boeing says it will LOCK OUT its fire fighters — As it struggles to restore culture of safety, Boeing says it will lock out its frontline safety workers at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 4. Local I-66 president Casey Yeager:

“We presented Boeing with a reasonable, meet-in-the-middle proposal. Boeing refused to consider it. The company told us we’ll have to accept the offer we’ve already rejected twice, because we won’t get anything better. Now with this lockout threat, it’s trying to bully us into accepting a bad contract.”

► From Reuters — Canadian Airbus A220 workers approve deal, ending lockout fears — Canadian Airbus A220 jet assembly workers approved a five-year contract with more than three-quarters of votes in favor, their union (IAM) said Wednesday. The workers will get a 23% salary increase over five years, improvements in group insurance access, and an increase in evening premiums that would encourage work on later shifts.

► From Reuters — Spirit Aero says it has a new plan to address Boeing 737 MAX parts demand — Spirit AeroSystems said it has developed a plan that gives it “a high degree of confidence” to meet U.S. planemaker Boeing’s rate and quality demands for parts for the 737 MAX jet, the company said Wednesday.

► From the Seattle Times — Whistleblower Josh Dean of Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems has died




► From the WA State Standard — Republican legislative staff move first to unionize under new WA law — May 1 marked the first day employees of Washington’s Legislature could petition to form unions and collectively bargain. More than 60% of the Republican House and Senate assistants signed cards showing interest in unionizing with the “Legislative Professionals Association,” said Jami Lund, association president and legislative assistant for Sen. Jeff Wilson (R-Longview).

EDITOR’S NOTE — Lund is a former staffer of the right-wing Freedom Foundation. He has a long history of not only opposing unions, but also opposing pay increases for state employees. Good luck with that.

► From the WA State Standard — Demand for electricity in Northwest projected to grow 30% in decade, triple previous estimates — Electricity demand in the Northwest is expected to grow more than 30% in the next decade, or about 5% more than estimated last year and triple the prediction three years ago, industry experts said in a new report. Large data centers, an increase in high-tech manufacturing and growing electrification in homes, buildings and transportation are key factors in the forecast.

► A related story yesterday from the WA State Standard — Inslee has 60 days to decide on controversial Horse Heaven wind farm

► From the WA State Standard — Washington’s neverending housing crisis — The state has made progress over the past decade in building more homes. But homeownership remains out of reach for many residents and homelessness is still rising.

► From the Seattle Times — My plan as head of Washington State Ferries (by Steve Nevey) — We’re seeing interest from shipbuilders across the nation to build desperately needed vessels and plan to have contracts in place this fall to begin delivering new boats by 2028. As importantly, our new boats will be clean, quiet, energy-efficient hybrid-electric models.  Those who think that building diesel boats would be faster are simply wrong. Changing course now would require restarting a new design, legislative authority and bid process. Even if we started that process today, the soonest a new diesel boat would be in the water would be 2030.




► From the AP — Abortion is still consuming U.S. politics and courts 2 years after a Supreme Court draft was leaked — Two years after a leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion signaled that the nation’s abortion landscape was about to shift dramatically, the issue is still consuming the nation’s courts, legislatures and political campaigns — and changing the course of lives.

The STAND (Jan. 24, 2023) — New report links abortion access to economic security

The STAND (June 27, 2022) — Amid attacks on abortion rights, unions must fight back (by Shaunie Wheeler James and Cherika Carter) — Organized labor has the tools to transform protests into concrete actions defending bodily autonomy.

The STAND (May 3, 2022) — WSLC: ‘Reproductive rights are workers’ rights’ — The Washington State Labor Council will fight to defend healthcare choices, abortion rights.

► From Politico — Florida’s ban cuts off abortion access in the South — Florida has been a refuge for abortion access in the South. Not anymore. Florida’s six-week abortion ban went into effect Wednesday, making the procedure nearly impossible to access for many would-be patients throughout most of the southern United States. Women from Florida to Texas are cut off from obtaining abortions either entirely or beyond the very beginning stages of pregnancy — unless they have the time and means to travel across states to a place where appointments are available, an option many women will not have.

► From NPR — Arizona lawmakers vote by a narrow margin to repeal Civil War-era abortion ban — The Arizona Senate voted Wednesday to repeal the Civil War-era ban on abortion that was recently revived by a court ruling, setting the stage for it come off the books later this year.

► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO President on pending congressional reauthorization of the FAA — AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler:

“The bipartisan agreement reached to reauthorize the FAA is a victory for workers across the aviation industry, and the AFL-CIO urges its prompt passage. From production to operation and maintenance, our aviation affiliates, owning their power as essential contributors to the American economy and way of life, made their voices heard. This agreement shows that lawmakers listened.”

► From The Hill — Biden to announce $3 billion to replace lead pipes — Biden will announce the funds, part of a total of $15 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, during a trip to Wilmington, N.C., to replace these pipes.




► From Bloomberg News — U.S. union members see record pay raises, outpacing nonunion workers — Unionized workers in the U.S. saw record raises, while nonunion workers’ pay barely beat inflation over the past 12 months, the latest government data show. Wages of private sector union workers rose 6.3% in the year ended in March, the largest increase in data back to 2001, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures released Tuesday. Meanwhile, nonunion workers in the private sector saw a 4.1% bump in their salaries over the past 12 months, not much higher than inflation.

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 Seattle Medium — AFL-CIO report exposes deepening racial disparities in workplace safety — According to the report, Black workers’ job fatality rates have surged to the highest levels seen in nearly 15 years. Meanwhile, Latino workers continue to endure the most significant risk of death on the job compared to any other demographic group.

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

► From HuffPost — Judge rebukes Trader Joe’s for ‘meritless’ trademark lawsuit against workers’ union — The company had claimed that Trader Joe’s United, a new union representing employees at four stores, violated Trader Joe’s trademarks through its name and logo. But U.S. District Judge Hernán D. Vera dismissed the lawsuit in January, finding that Trader Joe’s had tried to “weaponize the legal system” against its own workers. In a new order issued Tuesday, Vera went a step further and said Trader Joe’s should have to pay more than $112,000 in attorney’s fees for the union.

► From Bloomberg — Amazon CEO’s comments violated labor law, NLRB judge rules — Remarks that Jassy made to reporters about the downsides of unionization told “employees that, if they selected a union, they would become less empowered and would find it harder to get things done quickly,” NLRB administrative law judge Brian Gee wrote.

► From The Guardian — Investors push to rein in Dollar General CEO pay and perks — SOC Investor Group highlights ‘serious concerns’ over company led by Todd Vasos who pocketed $183m between 2015 and 2021

► From HuffPost — Kristi Noem bizarrely doubles down on ‘tough decisions’ in defense of dog killing — The South Dakota governor and potential Trump running mate pointed to “rural America” as she went to bat for a controversial anecdote in her upcoming book.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen: “I get it.


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!