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Fired for being gay | No Boeing Field for Biden | High stakes of I-2124

Wednesday, May 8, 2024




► From the Seattle Times — In year of our Lord 2024, teachers are still losing jobs for being gay (by Danny Westneat) — A kindergarten teacher at St. Luke School, a Catholic school in Shoreline, is not having her teaching contract renewed for next year because she’s gay and getting married. Discrimination against gays and lesbians was banned here 18 years ago. Don’t ask, don’t tell ended 13 years ago. Same-sex marriage has been the law here for 12. Given all that progress, all those years ago, shouldn’t we be better than this by now?

► From Supermarket News — Spokane Kroger, Albertsons workers ratify contract — Grocery workers at Kroger- and Albertsons-owned stores in the Spokane area have ratified a new, three-year contract that includes wage increases and other benefit improvements, and no increases to health care premiums or deductibles.

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 the Skagit Valley News — Local postal workers prepare for food drive — The Mount Vernon Post Office and the U.S. Postal Service’s Burlington/Sedro-Woolley annex will be participating in the country’s largest one-day food drive on Saturday. The National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger food drive started in 1993.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Buy food now for this Saturday’s Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive. The National Association of Letter Carriers will conduct its annual food drive on Saturday, May 11. Postal customers simply leave their donation of non-perishable food items next to their mailbox before the delivery of the mail on Saturday. Letter carriers will collect these food donations and distribute them to local food banks. Get details.

► From the Spokesman-Review — Avista to begin blackouts during storms to avoid fires — Rolling blackouts will now be part of the plan to combat Spokane area wildfires, according to an announcement Tuesday by officials at Avista Utilities.




► From KIRO — President Biden visiting Seattle on Friday — A representative for King County confirmed the president would be flying into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and not Boeing Field.

EDITOR’S NOTE — There is a picket line at Boeing.

From The STAND (May 5) — Join locked-out Boeing firefighters on picket lines

TAKE A STAND — All union members are encouraged to show their solidarity by joining locked-out IAFF Local I-66 Firefighters on picket lines at these sites (click here to register for specific pickets):

▪ AUBURN — 700 15th St. SW, Auburn
▪ EVERETT — Kasch Park Road & Airport Road, Everett
▪ FREDERICKSON — 18001 Canyon Rd E., Puyallup
▪ MOSES LAKE — 8998 Tyndall Road NE, Moses Lake
▪ RENTON — Logan Ave E. & N. 8th St., Renton
▪ SEATTLE — E. Marginal Way S. & 14th Ave S., Seattle

► From the Seattle Times — DOJ decision on reopening Boeing criminal prosecution coming this month — The U.S. Justice Department expects to have a decision by the end of this month on whether it will pursue criminal claims against Boeing following two fatal 737 MAX crashes. Federal prosecutors are set to meet on May 31 with the families who lost loved ones in those crashes more than five years ago to share their decision.

► From the Guardian — Boeing cargo plane forced to land at Istanbul without front landing gear — Incident involving Boeing 767 jet operated by FedEx comes amid intense scrutiny of troubled planemaker.

► From MSN — Boeing supplier Spirit Aero squeezed as 737 output drops

► From the AP — Boeing’s first astronaut launch is off until late next week to replace a bad rocket valve




► From the WA State Standard — WA decides: Initiative 2124 to make the state’s long-term care program optional — Initiative 2124 would amend the state’s long-term care program, known as WA Cares, so all workers would have a choice about whether to participate in it and can opt out at any time.  As is, most workers in the state must take part in WA Cares and pay a tax supporting the program.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Delegates representing unions from across Washington state will gather in Seattle on May 18 for the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO 2024 COPE Convention to vote on endorsements for ballot initiatives, plus congressional, statewide and legislative candidates. Get more information.

► From the WA State Standard — Why supporters of Washington’s long-term care program are worried — I-2124 would make the payroll tax that funds WA cares optional. That’s likely to blow up its finances, according to policy experts and a recent analysis. Norma Coe, former UW professor and current director of research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics:

“Making this program voluntary is essentially a vote to end the program. It just is not financially feasible as a voluntary insurance program.”

► From the DRS — PERS 1, TRS 1 one-time benefit increase in July — Certain retirees in Plan 1 of the Public Employees’ Retirement System and Plan 1 of the Teachers’ Retirement System (PERS 1 and TRS 1) will receive a one-time benefit increase in July of this year. Eligible PERS 1 and TRS 1 retirees will receive a one-time, permanent 3% increase in their monthly benefit, to a maximum of $110 per month.

EDITOR’S NOTE — This increase is the result of labor-supported legislation, HB 1985 sponsored by Rep. Joe Timmons (D-Bellingham), approved this year.

► From the WA State Standard — Washington Republicans wrestle with realities of a redrawn political map — GOP lawmakers used a Senate hearing to air concerns with a court-ordered redistricting that displaced their colleagues and boosted Democrats’ election prospects this fall.




► From the Washington Post — Biden’s nursing home staffing rule surfaces horror stories — The Biden administration’s plan to set minimum staffing levels for nursing homes prompted comments from more than 46,500 people and organizations — including residents of homes and nurses with harrowing stories about conditions inside.

  • One resident purchased a bullhorn with a siren to get nurses’ and aides’ attention because he was often left sitting in his own stool, one commenter recounted.
  • Nurses at one facility declared a “med holiday,” according to a dietitian, and threw away all the drugs for a shift because they didn’t have time to pass them out.
  • A day shift nurse found a resident choking on vomit and having seizures after a night when there had been only one nurse and one aide on duty — for 100 residents.

► From the People’s World — Union makes Letter Carriers Protection Act a top legislative priority — Amid increasing mail thefts, the U.S. Postal Service police have prioritized protecting buildings over pursuing thieves and protecting Letter Carriers from theft, injury and even murder. Meanwhile, U.S. attorneys don’t treat mail thefts and injuries as a top priority. The NALC want to change all that. So they’ve put the bipartisan Protect Our Letter Carriers Act atop their legislative priority list.




► From The Hill — Why labor unions are backing pro-Palestine protesters after mass campus arrests — Several major labor unions have criticized the mass arrests of students and faculty at pro-Palestinian campus protests across the country, following their own calls for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. The unions’ support for pro-Palestinian protesters, as well as their calls for cease-fire, draws on a long history of antiwar activism in the labor movement, and it reflects a shift in its approach to Israel, experts said. Some of the country’s biggest unions — the UAW, SEIU, AFT and the NEA — have issued statements calling for a cease-fire since the outbreak of war last October.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The AFL-CIO statement on Israel-Gaza:

“The AFL-CIO condemns the attacks by Hamas on October 7th and calls for a negotiated cease-fire in Gaza—including the immediate release of all hostages and provision of desperately needed shelter, food, medicine and other humanitarian assistance to Gazans—and reaffirms our support of a two-state solution for long-term peace and security.”

► From Roll Call — ‘It must stop’: Biden denounces antisemitism on college campuses — The president described a “ferocious surge of antisemitism in America” in his Holocaust remembrance speech.

► From the LA Times — Thousands rally over expected school cuts, a rebuke to LAUSD’s pledge to protect workers — In a massive and raucous street rally Tuesday during the Los Angeles Board of Education meeting, school union leaders spoke out against expected budget cuts that are already affecting decisions at individual schools, where administrators are making plans that will likely cut employee hours or student programs. As crowds cheered, angry union leaders lashed out against called Supt. Alberto Carvalho, saying he is reneging on a pledge to protect jobs and employee benefits.


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!