Posts tagged Washington state

    Workers announce intention to unionize at The Bulletin, Redmond Spokesman

    October 24, 2023 // Wright said, “Central Oregon Media Group has received a request from the PNW Newspaper Guild to voluntarily recognize members of our news staff at two our newspapers, the Bend Bulletin and the Redmond Spokesman. We are reviewing the request. Whatever the outcome, we stand by our employees.” The Central Oregon NewsGuild is represented by the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild, a sector of the Communications Workers of America and the largest union representing journalists and media workers in North America, according to the guild.

    Commentary: Workers deserve to hear all sides of a story

    October 23, 2023 // Neutrality agreements are contracts that require employers to stay silent in union organization efforts. They mean that employers can’t freely offer knowledge of workplace realities, counter misleading information given by an outside organization or give workers “cons” to a union’s “pros.” Long-sought by unions, neutrality agreements allow unions to give workers the information of their choosing while gagging employers. Requiring employers to remain silent during unionization efforts can leave workers with a one-sided argument — the union’s side. Long-standing precedent in which the judicial and legislative branches of government have defended worker rights would send the Biden Administration to detention for trying to deprive workers of their right to information.


    October 17, 2023 // By any fair reading of the state’s public disclosure laws, the name, address, birthdate, etc., of every person drawing a salary from the taxpayers should be 100 percent disclosable to anyone who asks for it. And for anyone but the Freedom Foundation, it probably would be. But pretty much every time we file a legal public information request for an employee database, the agency in question caves to pressure from public-sector unions to decline it. They cite a variety of bogus reasons for their action, such as concerns we’ll sell the information to a third party — but the truth is even more terrifying to them. They know we’ll inform their members that, according to the First Amendment, they can’t be forced to join or pay dues to a labor union. The government officials who deny our information requests know they’re breaking the law, but it costs them nothing and forces us to spend months or years waiting for the courts to award us what we were entitled to all along.

    WA electrical contractors jolted by new law they say favors big contractors, unions

    September 7, 2023 // Tim Rockwell is the owner of Rockwell Electric Inc, which is a small electrical contractor also based in Bellingham. Rockwell said trying to start his own apprenticeship program was extremely difficult. To do so, he had to receive a recommendation of approval of the apprenticeship program through the state Department of Labor & Industries, followed by another recommended approval by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. The Washington State Apprenticeship Training Council could then provide provisional approval after one year. Prior to a council meeting, the proposed apprenticeship program can be objected to by another apprenticeship program that operates within the same region. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union objected to Rockwell's proposed apprenticeship program.

    Camas teachers strike, prompting district to cancel 1st day of classes

    August 31, 2023 // To district officials, the strike is an aggressive measure. School leaders are considering filing an injunction in court in a bid to end the strike, spokesperson Doreen McKercher said. In Washington state, it’s illegal for public employees — including teachers — to go on strike. Judges have ruled against teacher strikes in the past but rarely impose any penalties.

    WA Supreme Court rules on disclosure of public employees’ work information

    August 29, 2023 // The court’s opinion is in response to a litigious dispute between the Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Olympia, and approximately 50 labor unions representing thousands of public employees across the state. The foundation had made formal requests to numerous state agencies requesting the full names of their workers along with dates of birth, job titles, work email addresses, annual salary, work location stations and addresses, full or part-time work status and names and titles of their union bargaining representatives. The foundation said it wanted to contact the employees to inform them about a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling which banned mandatory union membership and dues in the public workplace. The foundation, in its lawsuit, also asserted that unions had no standing in the case. Justice Barbara Madsen,

    White House Urged to Intervene in West Coast Port Labor Talks

    March 28, 2023 // A group of more than two hundred importers, exporters, logistics providers, and retailers urged the White House to intervene in West Coast port labor talks that have been underway since last May. In a letter March 24 to President Joe Biden, groups including the National Retail Federation, the American Trucking Associations, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, urged the administration to help speed the agreement on a new labor contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, after the contract governing dockworkers from California to Washington State expired on July 1. “While we appreciate that the parties agreed not to engage in a strike or a lockout, we are aware of several instances of activities that have impacted terminal operations. We need the administration to ensure these activities do not continue or escalate,” the March 24 letter said.

    Graduate Unions: Why Student Workers at University of California, Temple, More Are Striking

    March 27, 2023 // HELU was founded in 2021 in an effort to fill those shoes. At a digital summit that July, members of 75 unions and labor organizations convened to draft a “vision platform” laying out everything from their legislative commitments (like Sen. Bernie Sanders’s College for All Act) to their support of student debt cancelation. The endgame is a unified academic labor movement capable of securing public investment and reorienting higher ed to “prioritize people and the common good over profit and prestige.” To date, 130 unions and affiliated groups representing over half a million workers have endorsed the platform. The first step in realizing this vision, says Jaime, who attended the 2021 summit, is to build union density. “Transforming academia is not going to happen in one single contract campaign. We have to organize workers in every single university in order to achieve real change,” he says.

    Weyerhaeuser worker strike ends after 46 days with ‘not the greatest’ contract

    October 31, 2022 // A six-week worker strike at Weyerhaeuser mills across the Pacific Northwest ended Friday after union members narrowly voted to approve a new contract that included wage increases and benefits. The approved contract did not include all the changes unionized workers were hoping for but did secure improvements such as lower healthcare premium costs and 14% wage increases, according to Brandon Bryant, district business representative for International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.