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Nurses locked out | Herald guts newsroom | Boeing admits retaliation

Friday, June 14, 2024


► From OPB (June 20) – Providence nurses extend strike at Oregon hospitals – The strike is scheduled to end early Friday morning, but Providence has said it had to guarantee five days of work for replacement nurses, so striking nurses will only be invited back as needed. The nurses union said the strike would continue until all its members are reinstated to their regular schedules.

Editor’s note: Oregon Nurses Association confirms nurses have been locked out as of 7:15am Friday. Show your support for the workers by signing their petition.

► From the Hollywood Reporter (June 17) – Actors’ Equity Goes on Strike Against Developmental Work –Actors’ Equity will stop issuing contracts for work on projects in development, effective immediately, as negotiations for a new contract have stalled. The union of actors and stage managers began negotiations with the Broadway League on Jan. 22, and the current agreement expired Feb. 11. Equity Negotiating Team chair Stephen Bogardus said in a statement that the decision came as a result of an unsatisfactory wage package put forward by the League.

► From the Washington State Standard (June 20) – Electricians in Puget Sound region approve contract offer, end strike 

Previously at The STAND – IBEW 46 Limited Energy strike ends 


► From the Everett Herald (June 19) – ‘This breaks my heart’: Over half of Everett Herald news staff laid off – Daily Herald management announced Wednesday the elimination of 12 positions, including two editors. Company executives cited Carpenter’s “operating principles” to justify the layoffs, but have otherwise offered little detail, according to the Everett NewsGuild, which represents 10 of the employees. Alcott, the publisher, said cuts were office-wide but declined to give an exact number Wednesday. “Pretty much every division has been affected,” he said. Still, Alcott maintained: “Moving forward, operations are not going to change much. The readers won’t notice.”

Editor’s note: Oh the readers noticed alright. After this story gained traction, the new owners took the extraordinary step of unpublishing the original article from the Herald’s site. In response to pressure from the newsroom and general public, the paper then republished an updated article attempting to paint the mass firings by the new Mississippi-based ownership in a more sympathetic light. And here I thought southerners could handle a little heat…

► From KUOW (June 20) – Everett Herald’s new owner appears to censor story about layoffs 

Local news editor Caleb Hutton, who was laid off along with over half of his coworkers, tweeted the saga as it unfolded:

► From the Seattle Times (June 17) – Project Labor Agreements can ensure success of coming construction boom – The Port of Seattle, which regularly employs PLAs, offers a useful example as to their impact. A recent study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign analyzed nearly 100 of the Port’s projects. Totaling more than $1 billion in improvements over a seven-year period, most larger projects were covered by PLAs, while most smaller projects were not. Researchers found that Port projects covered by PLAs had 16% more bidders, on average, and were more likely to cost less than the original engineer’s estimates.

► From Crosscut PBS (June 18) – UW grad students get 36% raise as academic unions gain traction – The contract settlement followed a one-day strike that impacted academic operations at the UW. The UW strike reflects both nationwide trends in higher institution employment and a surge in union bargaining power on university campuses, said Moon-Ho Jung, professor of history at the UW and chair of the UW Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies.

► From Labor Notes (June 20) – Beat the Heat: How Workers Are Winning Fans, AC, and Even Heat PayAt a Starbucks in Prosser, in eastern Washington, overheating became the spark for a union drive. For the budding union at Homegrown, a Seattle chain of sandwich cafes and caterers, heat was the clear unifying issue. In organizing committee meetings, “we found out every single person working can feel the heat, in front or back of house,” said Kai Ortiz, who preps pastramis and runs the register up front. “People going back home after a long day in the heat, you’re totally exhausted. Nobody wants to live like this.”


► From CBS News (June 18) – New Boeing whistleblower alleges faulty airplane parts may have been used on jetsThe new complaint is from Boeing employee Sam Mohawk, who claims that when Boeing restarted production of the 737 Max after two deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019, there was “a 300% increase” in reports about parts that did not meet manufacturer standards.

► From CNN (June 18) – ‘I know it happens’: Boeing chief admits the company has retaliated against whistleblowers – For all the mistakes and safety problems Boeing has managed under CEO Dave Calhoun’s watch — resulting in a dozen corporate whistleblowers, multiple groundings and a chunk of a plane’s fuselage literally blowing off in midair — virtually no one has held him to account. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Boeing’s practice appears to be to shift the blame from the top down. “In effect, scapegoat workers rather than the management team responsible ultimately for conducting the company,” Blumenthal said.

► From Yahoo (June 19) – Boeing CEO Knew About Retaliation Against Whistleblowers But Never Bothered To Speak To OneComplaints were often routed directly to the people employees were complaining about, according to Bloomberg. One whistleblower, John Barnett, detailed a disturbing pattern of retaliation against employees who spoke out. Barnett was found dead of a supposed suicide while awaiting his chance to bring his concerns before congress.

► From MSN (June 20) – Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun admits ‘something went wrong’ after a worker who flagged a safety issue got 40 manager calls in two days – Boeing manager and whistleblower John Barnett received 21 phone calls from his supervisor in a single day, and 19 on another day, after Barnett raised concerns about missing parts. According to Blumenthal, when Barnett confronted the supervisor about the calls, the supervisor told him he would “push him until he broke.”

Editor’s note: Boeing’s retaliatory culture and Calhoun’s ‘aw shucks’ routine deployed to dodge accountability illustrate precisely why Machinists at Boeing are demanding a seat at the table.


► From Axios (June 20) – Workers are voting to join unions at record high rates – Workers voted in favor of a union 74% of the time this year (through April) — a jump from 2019 when it was 69%. In 2023, there were 1,777 union elections — the highest number since 2010, when there were 1,942. The NLRB has streamlined the rules around union elections — cutting the time between petition and voting.

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!

Editor’s note: head to the ‘POLITICS & POLICY’ section of today’s round up to read how Project 2025 – the Heritage Foundation’s ultraconservative, anti-worker policy slate – proposes dismantling the NLRB.


Newly elected UNITE HERE President Gwen Mills clasps hands with AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. Photo, AFL-CIO via Twitter/X

► From Reuters (June 20) – Unite Here union elects its first female president in 130-year history – Gwen Mills was elected president uncontested to a five-year term by roughly 1,000 union delegates from 45 local chapters of workers across industries including hospitality, gaming and transportation. Mills told Reuters her number one focus as president was to expand the union, especially in Canada where there are upwards of two million non-union hospitality workers.

► From NPR (June 18) – Amazon’s struggling union joins forces with the Teamsters – The independent Amazon Labor Union, which made history organizing the first and only unionized Amazon warehouse, has voted to affiliate with the hefty Teamsters. For two years now, Amazon has refused to recognize the upstart union or begin bargaining with some 5,500 workers it represents in Staten Island, N.Y. The company continues to legally challenge the union’s victory.

► From Fortune (June 17) – America’s teachers are among the most burned-out, stressed-out, unfairly paid workers in society, survey finds: ‘They should be lionized’ – The survey, from the nonpartisan nonprofit Rand, found that teachers feel all three pain points at about twice the rate of comparable working adults, defined as aged 18 to 64 with a bachelor’s degree and at least a 35-hour workweek. And roughly three times as many teachers reported difficulty coping with the work-related stress.

► From The Hill (June 17) – Groups urge FEMA to recognize extreme heat, wildfire smoke as a ‘major disaster – The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), one of the petition’s signatories, pointed to the need for more labor protections for those called in to assist with these weather events. “Too many workers are exposed to extreme heat and wildfire smoke on the job without adequate safety measures in place. Not only do we need to develop strong worker protection standards to meet the demand of the changing environment and intensifying climate disasters, we need the federal government to take action now to release resources,” Liz Shuler, president of AFL-CIO, said in a statement.

► From Tech Brew (June 14) – UAW hopes to set new precedent for EV battery sector with new Ultium Cells agreement – The United Auto Workers reached a tentative agreement on a contract for workers at an Ohio battery plant—a milestone the union hopes will help establish a precedent for the EV battery sector. The Lordstown workers now are the first in the US EV battery industry with a local contract. During a six-week strike by Detroit automakers last fall, GM agreed to include Ultium Cells workers in its national agreement with the UAW.

► From Jacobin (June 16) – Workers Deserve the Right to Frown on the Job 

► From The Progressive (June 18) – The Laborious Nature of Labor Reporting – – As we gear up for another hellish election cycle, replete with the breathless horse-race commentary already well covered in this issue, your friendly neighborhood labor reporters are bracing for the resurgence of a particular kind of bad journalism: the (white) working-class “safari” piece. The labor beat was once a vibrant part of the daily (and weekly and monthly) news. But since the 1970s, and the reorganization of capitalism that we have come to call neoliberalism, the news business has restructured itself to suit the needs of shareholder profit. News companies consolidated, broke their unions, and molded coverage to appeal to an affluent consumer who was more likely to need advice on investments than on how to win a strike.

► From The Los Angeles Times (June 19) – Column: How anti-union southern governors may be violating federal law –  “We have one federal labor policy, not 50 different state policies, when it comes to union organizing and collective bargaining,” says Benjamin Sachs, a professor of labor and industry at Harvard Law School and the author of a recent article examining how the actions of anti-union politicians may have illegally interfered with employees’ right to “a free and untrammeled choice for or against” a union.

► From The New York Times – Opinion | The Supreme Court Ruling in the Starbucks Case Proves the Law Won’t Save Labor – The most conservative Supreme Court in decades eroded another legal protection of workers’ right to organize. U.S. labor law contains no penalties for firing workers in retaliation for organizing — only remedies. The Supreme Court underestimates the damage that retaliatory firings cause. Even before the decision, such injunctions were rare, totaling fewer than 20 in 2023. The Supreme Court’s action exposes how little relief workers can expect to receive. In response, the labor movement must re-evaluate the source of our power; the law will not save us. 



► From The Hill (June 18) – In first, EPA union endorses Biden for president – The union, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Council 238, represents 8,000 EPA employees, including engineers, lawyers and inspectors. The union cited Biden’s record of fighting climate change and supporting workers, as well as “the attacks on science and the federal workforce” during rival former President Trump’s term.

► From American Progress – Project 2025 Would Undo the NLRB’s Progress on Protecting Workers’ Right To Organize – In 2023, the union win rate in NLRB elections broke 70 percent for the first time in 15 years. Project 2025 instructs the next administration to eliminate procedures such as card checks, which make it easier to form a union, and would turn the administrative state against unions by accelerating the process to decertify them when workers have won a contract.


► From Reuters (June 17) – German metalworkers’ union seeks 7% raise before bargaining round – “Inflation rates may well have gone down, but the level of prices to pay at the checkout is high,” said the union, which covers the mechanical engineering and electronics sectors.

► From the Korea Times (June 20) – Labor groups in Korea, Philippines demand better protection for caregivers, seasonal workers

► From the Irish Times (June 17) – Aer Lingus strike looks ‘inevitable’ after pilots vote again for industrial action 

► From Reuters (June 20) –Extreme heat kills hundreds, millions more sweltering worldwide as summer begins – The heatwaves are occurring against a backdrop of 12 consecutive months that have ranked as the warmest on record in year-on-year comparisons, according to the European Union’s climate change monitoring service.


Anyone who has ever poured their all into organizing their workplace just to lose their union election knows how devastating that defeat feels. Well, today’s serotonin top-up may heal some of that pain: our SBWU family in Media, PA have triumphed and won their union one year after losing their first election. Absolutely love to see it.

The Stand posts links to our weekly News Roundup every Friday AM.


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!