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.
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.
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 Rolf, president of the Seattle-based Local 775 of the Service Employees International Union for health-care workers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’