The idea of coming together in common cause is woven into Washington’s social fabric, especially into its union history. But labor has suffered reversals before, and it suffered a large one on Jan. 3, when the Machinists union voted by a narrow margin to abandon the Boeing pension plan. At stake was a key production line.
Ross Reynolds talks with University of Puget Sound sociology professor Leon Grunberg about the larger implications for organized labor following Friday's vote to approve a contract extension between Boeing and local machinists.
Jeannie Yandel talks with Clark University industrial relations professor Gary Chaison about the divide between national and local leaders of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
In the hours after Boeing machinists overwhelmingly voted down an eight-year contract, a theme emerged: The machinists view themselves as a family that could not vote for a contract that would hurt future generations.
Grocery workers at QFC, Albertsons, Safeway and Fred Meyer have been in contract negotiations since March. Workers take issue with the grocery stores' current contract proposals: their lack of health care coverage, their holiday pay policy and stagnant wages.
The union member bargaining team has recommended a strike vote. The grocery unions, United Food Commercial Workers Local 21, Local 367 and the Teamsters Local 38 are holding strike authorization votes this week. David Hyde talks with UFCW Local 21 communications director Tom Geiger about the potential strike.
In a letter to the community Friday evening, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda outlined key elements of the district's latest contract offer, including a four percent pay increase over two years, hiring extra support staff including school psychologists, nurses, speech pathologists, and occupational and physical therapists, and improvements to the special education delivery model.
School doesn't start for two weeks, but it was standing room only at the Seattle School Board meeting Wednesday night as hundreds of community members turned out for a host of issues they want settled before school begins.
Class size appears to be the main sticking point between Seattle School District and its teachers’ union as they bargain a new, three-year contract before school is scheduled to start next month.
Seattle Education Association President Jonathan Knapp says the district’s latest proposal, made last week, would increase class sizes in Seattle by two students per class in grades four through twelve.