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Flight Attendants TA, prep strike | Boeing breaks rules (again) | Debate fact check

Friday, June 28, 2024


► From The Points Guy (June 24) – American Airlines flight attendants move closer to strike as Alaska reaches deal – The American Airlines flight attendants’ union said late last week that talks with the airline had broken down without a deal and that the union was making preparations for a strike. “American Airlines did not come to the table with an agreement that adequately compensates American’s 28,000 flight attendants,” Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) President Julie Hedrick said in a statement.

► From Twitter/X (June 27) 


► From Public News Service (June 25) – WA workers who help schools run call for higher wages – Known as classified staff, their jobs include administrative work, transportation and custodial services. Unions representing workers, including the American Federation of Teachers of Washington and Washington Education Association, have launched a wage campaign to increase pay for these workers.

► From Crosscut/Cascade PBS News (June 28) – Dancers struggle to find work as Eastern WA’s last strip club closes – Until its closure in September 2023 (and subsequent sale to Christian anti-trafficking organization Helping Captives), Deja Vu was the only strip club in Eastern Washington, and one of about 10 in the entire state. The day the club shut its doors, around 30 dancers were left unemployed and with limited options in an economy and culture that isn’t friendly to people with a background in sex work. “Clubs shutting down may not immediately lead to trafficking,” says one advocate. “But it immediately leads to all sorts of other vulnerable situations.”

► From the Puget Sound Business Journal (June 27) – Return-to-office order now in effect for some at Seattle City Hall – Seattle City Council President Sara Nelson’s order that legislative branch employees be in the office four days a week took effect Monday. Mayor Bruce Harrell’s press secretary didn’t say whether Harrell plans to ask executive branch employees to be in the office more than the current two-days-a-week requirement. “As a union we do not believe that a four-day in-office minimum will make the legislative department more efficient,” a [PROTEC17] representative says.

Editor’s note: you can read what some of the impacted workers think on Reddit

► From the Washington State Standard (June 27) – Strain of rent on wages in WA is among highest in U.S., report finds –  The report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that Washington has the fifth highest “housing wage” in the country. That’s the amount a person must make to afford a two-bedroom home without spending more than 30% of their income on housing. To afford a two-bedroom home in Washington – based on fair market rent prices – a renter needs to make more than $40 an hour, or $83,865 a year. The average renter in Washington makes just under $29 an hour, and those who are paid minimum wage make $16.28 an hour.

► From the Salish Current (June 26) – A tale of two student uprisings – At the same time that Western’s administration was ignoring the rally for better university funding and trumpeting the Moody’s announcement that Western’s “total cash and investments continue to grow,” the university paid a Seattle management attorney taxpayer and tuition dollars to tell mostly low-income student workers at the bargaining table that the jobs they need for food and rent are mostly about “experience” and beer money. This outside lawyer’s eight months of intransigence and delay was so counterproductive that the students were forced to organize Western’s first ever employee strike. A day and a half of the university shut down by well-organized picket lines led the administration to quickly settle a contract that should have been settled months before.



► From Yahoo (June 27) – NTSB sanctions Boeing over release of 737 Max investigation details – The NTSB said Boeing had “blatantly violated” the agency’s investigative regulations by providing “non-public investigative information to the media” and speculating about possible causes of the Jan. 5 Alaska Airlines door plug blowout.

► From Reuters (June 28) – NTSB says Boeing could lose 737 MAX probe status if it violates rules again – “This disregard of the federal regulations and rules governing NTSB investigations cannot be tolerated,” [Aviation Safety Director Timothy] LeBaron wrote, noting the board had warned Boeing on March 13 about prior company comments.

Editor’s note: if this is how little respect Boeing publicly shows for a government agency regulating safety in the midst of their PR safety crisis, imagine how little respect the company shows the workers in private. 

► From Fortune (June 26) – While Boeing’s regulatory woes grab headlines, the real battle brewing is closer to home: with its own unionBut while safety has dominated the headlines, there’s another vexing issue facing Boeing that threatens to explode this summer. On March 8, Boeing began bargaining its first full-scale agreement in 16 years with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the union that numbers 32,000 at Boeing and accounts for over half of the entire U.S. workforce in the commercial airplanes division. Put simply, this is America’s most important labor negotiation in decades.

► From CNN (June 26) Whistleblower warned Boeing of flaws in 787 planes that could have ‘devastating consequences’ Cuevas said he filed a complaint with Boeing’s ethics hotline, reporting to management that he believed Spirit was hiding the issues from Boeing. He also alleges that Boeing opened an investigation into Cuevas’ concerns in October 2023, alerting Spirit management to the complaints. During that time, Cuevas says his colleague remarked, “we’ve got a snitch among us,” and in March, Spirit suddenly fired Cuevas, according to the complaints.

► From MSN (June 23) – Exclusive-US prosecutors recommend DOJ criminally charge Boeing as deadline looms U.S. prosecutors are recommending to senior Justice Department officials that criminal charges be brought against Boeing after finding the planemaker violated a settlement related to two fatal crashes. The Justice Department must decide by July 7 whether to prosecute Boeing.



► From CNN (June 24) – Alaska Airlines reaches tentative labor deal with flight attendants – Terms of the deal have not been released, though the union called it a “record contract.” The deal likely contains a significant pay raise, which has been a common demand across the airline industry and sought by unions whose members in some cases have not seen a pay increase in years.

► From Yahoo (June 25) – Hollywood workers union reaches pay, AI-use deal with top studios – The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) members, which include lighting technicians and costume designers, are to ratify the deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents Disney, Netflix and others.

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 New York Times (June 26) – A Development in the U.S. Labor Movement –  if organized labor is going to have a true resurgence in the United States, it can’t simply win raises for workers it already represents. It will need to organize new workers and reverse the decades-long decline in union membership. That’s why recent events at Starbucks have been so significant. The company and the union — which represents more than 400 of Starbucks’s 10,000 U.S. stores — appear on track to reach a contract that will cover wages, benefits and disciplinary policies.  

► From NBC News (June 27) – The next entertainment industry strike could be over AI and video games“It is the major obstacle to having an agreement, and this contract area has been for quite some time,” said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s executive director. Union leaders say they aren’t “anti-AI altogether.” But voice actors and other video game performers are worried that unchecked use of AI could provide game makers with a means to displace them — by training an AI to replicate an actor’s voice, or to create a digital replica of their likeness without consent.



► From Healthcare Brew (June 26) – Why nurses are protesting AI – The nurses fear that the tech is contributing to the devaluation of their skills amid what they say is already a “chronic” understaffing crisis, nurses reported in an NNU survey of 2,300 registered nurses and members in early 2024. But the NNU, which represents approximately 225,000 nurses across the country, also claims healthcare operators are using AI hype as a pretext to rush half-baked and potentially harmful technologies into service.

► From (June 21) – UAW claims Mercedes-Benz reneging on promised raises after Alabama union election – In a June 19 letter to the German works council and IG Metall, a German metalworkers union, UAW President Shawn Fain said the company is telling workers it “cannot follow through on” promised improvements because of the union. In the letter, Fain said the company is blaming the union “rather than keeping their commitments to make improvements for workers.”

► From M Live (June 24) – No work, no school, no spending: why women and labor unions are demanding action post-Dobbs – “Labor is in the most powerful position to mobilize thousands of workers in defense of this fundamental right. The inability to control whether or not to bear children impacts all working people. The same forces attacking reproductive rights are also seeking to destroy our unions.”



► From the AP (June 28) – FACT FOCUS: Here’s a look at some of the false claims made during Biden and Trump’s first debate

► From The Hill (June 28) – Biden snaps at Trump over immigration lies – Trump also leaned into making a link between crime and immigration — a key claim for Republicans ahead of November’s election — making a generalized assessment of immigration based on isolated crimes. Most research has shown the presence of immigrants tends to lower crime rates because immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than native-born citizens.“Everything he says is a lie,” Biden said during the event held by CNN in Atlanta. “Every single one.” 

► From NW Progressive Institute/Cascadia Advocate (June 24) – A tied race in WA-03: Marie Gluesenkamp Perez and Joe Kent are neck and neck as 2024 rematch heats up, NPI poll finds



► From the Irish Independent (June 28) – Aer Lingus cancels further 122 flights next week as pilots’ union warns passengers to expect additional strike and work-to-rule action

► From Yahoo (June 26) – Canada’s WestJet to cancel flights again after second strike noticeThe offer that was rejected had presented aircraft maintenance engineers with a 22% pay increase over four years. “AMFA believes in the parties’ mutual obligation to make every reasonable effort to reach an agreement,” the union said in a statement.

► From The Dayton Daily News (June 26) – Bolivian official says general wanted to take power, navy vice admiral also arrested – The leadership of Bolivia’s largest labor union has condemned what it calls an attempted coup d’état and declared an indefinite strike of social and labor organizations in La Paz in defense of the government.



On June 28, 1969, NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn under cover of the era’s virulently anti-gay laws, igniting an uprising that sparked the gay rights movement. 55 years later, that movement has secured legal rights and protections for queer and trans folks that would’ve been unthinkable in 1969. In that progress, we can find hope for the battles we’re fighting now. 

And that is worth celebrating. Get a little joy with your justice, and join local unions and local Pride at Work chapters for the Seattle Pride march Sunday. 

Learn more about Stonewall from PBS: Watch Stonewall Uprising | American Experience

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!