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Boeing lockout imminent | Alaska Air: Do better | We’re a teenager now

Friday, May 3, 2024




► From the Renton Reporter — Boeing: Firefighters in Renton face lockout if no deal by May 4 — Boeing said late Tuesday it will lock out its union firefighters at facilities across the state unless a contract is ratified by Saturday, May 4. Boeing shared its lockout plans with union members one day after dozens conducted informational picketing outside the company’s facilities in Renton and Everett… Dean Shelton, vice-president of the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters, said Local I-66 is willing to continue negotiations, but rejects the company’s current pay package and proposal that requires firefighters serve the company for 19 years before reaching the top pay grade. By comparison, firefighters at municipal fire departments typically reach the top end after three to five years, union officials said. The union is proposing six years.

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 Fortune — Southwest flight attendants are now the highest-paid in the industry thanks to a historic pay raise — Last week, Southwest flight attendants ratified a new four-year contract that stipulated a greater than 33% pay raise—and starting Wednesday, Southwest flight attendants will get a 22.3% raise, followed by 3% raises in the next three years.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines flight attendants are working under a nine-year-old contract that has been extended twice, first due to the merger with Virgin America and second due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alaska Airlines’ flight attendants have not received a significant pay increase in nine years. They remain in mediation amid stalled negotiations. Hey, Alaska Airlines… DO BETTER!

► From the Seattle Times — San Juan County ‘encouraged’ by initial results of 32-hour workweek — Leaders of an island county in Washington that moved most employees to a 32-hour workweek in October say the experiment is showing signs of success.

► From KNKX — Centralia’s coal plant has to close next year. Can other communities learn from their transition? — Under pressure from climate activists to close, the plant agreed to a deadline and put millions in a transition fund. Could Centralia’s plan hold lessons for an energy transition?

► From the Yakima H-R — Hundreds attend Yakima May Day rally in support of worker rights — Chants of “Si se puede!” commenced this year’s annual May Day march in support of worker rights. Around 250 people gathered at the Henry Beauchamp Community Center for the event, which featured music by students from Yakima Music en Acción, as well as a local mariachi band.




► From the NW Labor Press — Funeral home chain could go union — Teamsters Local 305 has launched an organizing campaign for undertakers in Oregon and Washington. On April 14, Local 305 asked the NLRB to hold a union election for 120 funeral directors, embalmers, grounds crew workers, crematory operators, family services counselors, removal techs, and office staff at multiple funeral homes, crematories, and cemeteries owned by Service Corporation International.

► From the NW Labor Press — Over 2,000 OHSU research workers join AFSCME — Oregon AFSCME has submitted union authorization cards signed by over half of the more than 2,000 research workers at Oregon Health and Science University. Under the state laws for public sector unions, once the cards are verified, OHSU will be required to recognize Oregon AFSCME as the workers’ bargaining representative.




► From Crosscut — The multimillion-dollar fight over WA’s cap-and-invest program — Bolstered by an almost $5 million war chest, supporters of Washington’s cap-and-invest program have begun their efforts to keep the state’s carbon pricing system, which is facing a November recall referendum.  The coalition hoping to repeal the state’s new cap-and-invest program, Let’s Go Washington, has raised just over $8 million so far, but most of that came as $5 million in loans from the instigator of the initiative.




► From KIRO — ‘Workers go home hurt:’ New bill aims to protect warehouse workers from unsafe conditions — A new proposal dubbed the Warehouse Worker Safety Act would ban quotas that violate health and safety laws. It was introduced by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) during a press conference on Thursday. “No one should fear losing their job because they have to use the bathroom or take a break,” said Sean O’Brien, General President of International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

► From the Washington Post — Texas man files legal action to probe ex-partner’s out-of-state abortionThe previously unreported petition reflects a potential new antiabortion strategy to block women from ending their pregnancies in states where abortion is legal.




► From the People’s World — Hotel workers march in 18 cities on May Day — Marshaled by the union, Unite HERE, workers at major convention city hotels in Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, Detroit, Philadelphia, Toronto, Baltimore, New Haven, Conn., and elsewhere (including Seattle and SeaTac) demanded better wages and working conditions from three major hotel chains: Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt. Bargaining has begun with managements in D.C., Boston, and Honolulu.

► Oh, and then there’s this from the Washington Post — Where seas are rising at alarming speed — One of the most rapid sea level surges on Earth is besieging coastal communities in the American South, choking septic systems, swallowing roads and drowning wetlands.




► The STAND is a teenager now. The WSLC’s news service celebrated its 13th birthday this week, so we decided to look back and see what was the first-ever TGIF music video, now a Friday tradition. It happened nearly a year after our May Day 2011 debut on April 20, 2012, and apparently The Entire Staff of The Stand had been watching the TV series Weeds:

In honor of 4/20, here’s “Little Boxes” by a band called Walk Off the Earth, introduced to The Stand by our 12-year-old daughter. If you likey, check out their cool cover of Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know” (unless you are already one of its 92 million-plus viewers). Have a great weekend — brought to you by the Labor Movement!


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