unions

Labor
10:54 am
Tue October 22, 2013

No Strike! 11th Hour Deal Averts Grocery Showdown

Grocery workers gathered at Westlake Center in downtown Seattle to countdown to a strike that was narrowly avoided late Monday.
From the Stand With Our Checkers Facebook page.

With just two hours left on the strike countdown clock, a tentative agreement was reached on Monday night between grocery workers and four major chains: Safeway, Fred Meyer, QFC and Albertson’s.

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Labor Dispute
3:46 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Grocery Unions Prep For Strike As Talks Heat Up

A Safeway in Seattle's University District advertises checker positions ahead of a possible worker strike.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

As they debate their contracts, grocery workers insist they’re serious about striking: Picket captains have been tapped at hundreds of stores throughout the region, and strike headquarters have popped up in five counties.

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Minimum Wage Increase
2:32 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

New Directions For Labor Nationally And Locally

On August 29, fast-food workers in Seattle held a stirke in support of increasing the minimum wage.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A ballot initiative that would raise the minimum wage for some workers in SeaTac to $15 an hour could mark a major change in the larger labor movement’s strategy in the US.

Marcie Sillman talks it over with New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse. We also hear from David Rolf, the president of SEIU Healthcare 775NW, and Jeff Johnson, president of the Washington State Labor Council.

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Labor Representation
12:18 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

SEIU: Fastest Growing Union Holds Strong In Washington

Nationwide, the percentage of workers who are in unions has dropped to around 11 percent according to January report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  That’s lowest rate in nearly a century. But the Service Employees International Union has been bucking the trend in recent decades – it’s the fastest growing union in the United States.

Since 1996, 1.2 million workers have joined SEIU nationally. Today, SEIU national represents 2.1 million.   Here in Washington state the SEUI has six locals with more than 100,000 members, up from about 40,000 in 2001. 

The union represents nurses, child care workers, public school employees and janitors.   Plus, Local 775 is the biggest, with around 43,000 members who are long-term care workers, home health aides, and nursing home aides.  

Ross Reynolds talks with David Rolfpresident of the Seattle-based Local 775 of the Service Employees International Union for health-care workers. 

Initiative 1240
4:40 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Union-Led Group Calls For Challenge To Washington Charter School Law

A group that includes Washington’s largest teachers’ union has formally asked state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to challenge the constitutionality of the state’s new charter school law.

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Education
12:00 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Wash. Teachers' Union President On How To Improve State K-12 Education

Flickr Photo/ccarlstead (CC BY-NC-ND)

This week we’ve been taking a closer look at the battle over how to improve state education.  Today we get another perspective from Mary Lindquist, president of the state’s largest teachers' union, the Washington Education Association.

Fiscal Policy
11:49 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Congress Readies For The Next "Cliff"

Gray clouds fill the sky over the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, the day closed-door meetings and votes negated a fiscal cliff of across-the-board tax increases and sweeping spending cuts.
Credit AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The next cliff looms in Washington, DC, as the US Treasury runs out of borrowing authority at the end of February. There may be a decision about across-the-board spending cuts known as "sequestration," as well as a debate over the social safety net.

Will Democrats agree to cuts to Social Security and Medicare? We talk with economics writer James Kwak about the political support for smaller government and less revenue.

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Labor Dispute
8:58 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Northwest Wheat Growers Hope For Resolution At Grain Terminals

Lester L Flickr

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 5:27 pm

Northwest wheat growers are hoping for a swift resolution to a labor dispute that could keep their grain from reaching the world market. Grain terminals remain open in Portland, Vancouver and Seattle, even though the terminals' owners have implemented a contract offer unionized longshoremen rejected.

Most of the wheat that grows on the rolling hills of eastern Washington is bound for the international market. But to get there, the wheat passes through one of a handful of grain terminals in the Northwest.

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Business
6:17 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Former Hostess Workers Still Picketing Shuttered Plant

Union members Byya Soey, Shella Robbins, and Kim Laird outside the Hostess plant in Seattle. The company closed the plant for good this week, citing the ongoing strike by bakery union members.
KUOW/Deborah Wang

Striking members of a bakers’ union are still picketing a plant in Seattle that makes Hostess Twinkies and Ho Hos. That’s despite the fact the plant is now closed for good.

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Boeing
12:57 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Boeing, SPEEA Contract Talks Take Positive Turn

Credit Boeing Company

After months of stalemate, Boeing and its engineering union say contract talks have taken a positive turn. In fact, both parties sent out identical statements Thursday saying talks are “productive.”

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Music
4:59 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Seattle Symphony And Opera Musicians Authorize Strike

Members of the Seattle Symphony and Opera Players' Organization (SSOPO) voted October 15 to authorize a strike.  In a statement on its website, SSOPO representatives say the latest contract offers from both organizations call for 15 percent reductions in pay and benefits for the 2012-2013 season.  That's on top of concessions the musicians have already made.  The union says its membership can't take further cuts.  

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Boeing
3:28 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Boeing Engineers Reject Contract Offer, Return To Bargaining Table

Boeing 747.
Flickr Photo/Pylon757

Negotiators for the Boeing Company and its engineering and technical union are back at the negotiating table today. That’s after union members soundly rejected the company’s latest contract offer.

More than 21,000 members of SPEEA, the Society For Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, voted by mail on the company’s contract proposal. When the votes were counted last night, 96 percent of engineers and 97 percent of technical workers had voted ‘no.’

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