Together, we will resist efforts to place profit over workers’ health and livelihoods
By APRIL SIMS
Protecting worker safety is fundamental to organized labor’s stated mission; it’s about people’s lives, it’s about the dignity and respect that all working people are due… Expanding the reach of Washington’s Apprenticeship Programs is vital to creating an economy that will work for all of us, but not at the risk of worker health and safety. Therefore, the WSLC will continue advocate for and advance policy that will provide high-quality training and education and protect the health and safety of workers… As members of organized labor, we will continue to fight shoulder to shoulder with all workers of all colors and backgrounds against attacks on worker safety and worker dignity. Read more.
The officers and staff of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO offer our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the tragic crane collapse in Seattle last weekend — including the two Union Ironworkers, Andrew Yoder and Travis Corbet, who were members of our labor family. To assist our Brothers’ families during this tragedy, donations can be made at Ironworkers USA Credit Union. Call 206-835-0150 or 1-877-769-4766 or make a donation online here. Thank you for your support of their families.
OLYMPIA — The 2019 session of the Washington State Legislature — which featured some major twists and turns, great successes and disappointing failures — wrapped up at midnight on Sunday with the passage of the biennial budget. Importantly, that budget will fully fund state employee contracts and school employee health care coverage. Here’s a quick summary of how things turned out for items that appeared in the WSLC’s pre-session 2019 Shared Prosperity Agenda. Read more.
EDITOR’S NOTE — As always, the WSLC will publish its annual Legislative Report, which describes what happened on working families issues and includes a voting record for each state legislator. A printed copy of that report — which will be available at the end of May — will be mailed to all WSLC-affiliated unions. Affiliates can also order extra copies of the WSLC Legislative Report for their executive boards, shop stewards, or member activists.
From The Calendar at The Stand…
TOMORROW in SEATTLE — The 20th Annual May Day March & Rally for Immigrant Rights will be Wednesday, May 1 beginning at 1 p.m. at Seattle’s Judkins Park, 2150 S. Norman St. Get details.
TOMORROW in SEATTLE — Union members and community supporters participating in the May Day march are encouraged to show their solidarity with security officers who are organizing to form a union on Amazon’s campus. They will rally at 4 p.m., as the May Day march makes a stop in front of the Doppler Building, 2021 7th Ave. Read more.
Plus, the rest of today’s news…
SCHOOLS REASSESS CUTS — KUOW reports: Now that lawmakers have passed a new state budget, the Seattle school district, which has been facing a $40 million deficit, said it will no longer have to cut librarians, assistant principals and other school-based positions. The projected cuts to schools had totaled about 90 full-time positions. Meanwhile, school districts across the state are studying the new budget and reassessing their proposed cuts.
THE HOT SEAT — The Seattle Times reports: In a tense and steely news conference, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg faced sharp questioning but refused to admit flaws in the design of the 737 MAX systems. “We have gone back and confirmed again, as we do the safety analysis, the engineering analysis, that we followed exactly the steps in our design and certification processes that consistently produce safe airplanes,” he said. “It was designed per our standards. It was certified per our standards.”… He took questions for less than 15 minutes. Finally, after parrying a question about whether he had thought about resigning and a last question about blame for MCAS, Muilenburg walked out grim-faced. As he strode briskly from the room, many reporters had not been called upon. One of those shouted after him: “346 people died. Can you answer some questions?”
GIG CONTRACTORS — The New York Times reports: The U.S. Department of Labor said people finding work through a particular unnamed company were contractors, not employees, meaning that the company does not have to pay them the federal minimum wage or overtime, or pay a share of Social Security taxes. Industry officials estimate that requiring gig companies to classify their workers as employees would raise their labor costs by 20 to 30 percent.
Read about all this and much more in today’s news at The Stand.