ILWU 22 members picket for fair contract at Port of Tacoma
The following is from the Pierce County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO:
PORT OF TACOMA (Oct. 18, 2023) — Hard-working members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 22 held an informational picket outside the Port of Tacoma offices on Tuesday morning, immediately prior to the regularly scheduled commissioner meeting.
More than 40 members lined the entrance with signs demanding a fair contract and a cost-of-living adjustment that keeps up with inflation. One young supporter carried a sign that said, “diapers are expensive pay my dad COLA.” Trucks and other cars passing by honked their horns in approval of the action.
“We are part of the union team that kept this port going through COVID,” said Local 22 President Mike Kisak, “while management continues to do remote work, we do what we’ve done every day — we show up and keep the port moving. We are dedicated to our work and we deserve a contract that keeps up with the cost of living.”
When the commissioners heard of the informational picket, they cancelled their regular meeting and urged both sides to meet and work out a solution.
“In more than 50 years of my work, I have never crossed a picket line, and I was not going to do so today,” said retired ILWU member and current Port of Tacoma Commissioner Dick Marzano.
Bargaining sessions resume today (Wednesday, Oct. 18).
Short URL: https://www.thestand.org/?p=120542
Scholarship Opportunity! Since 1991, the Union Plus Scholarship Program has awarded more than $5.4 million to students of union families. Over 3,800 union families have benefited from our commitment to higher education.
Application deadline: 12:00 PM (Noon, Eastern Standard Time), Wednesday January 31, 2024.
Award amounts: $500 to $4,000. These one-time cash awards are for study beginning in the Fall of 2024. Students may re-apply each year.
Award date: May 31, 2024. During the first week of June 2024 award recipients will be notified by postal mail, and all applicants will be sent email notification.
After a year of bargaining, Coalition of City Unions demands fair contractThe following is from the Coalition of City Unions:
SEATTLE (Sept. 20, 2023) — More than 1,000 city workers, community members, and political leaders rallied Tuesday on the steps of Seattle City Hall and then marched along 4th Ave. to Westlake Park to mark one year of difficult and contentious contract negotiations with the City of Seattle.
At the Rally for #RSPCT — organized by the Coalition of City Unions (CCU), a group of 16 unions representing nearly 6,000 city workers — attendees stood in solidarity to demand an equitable contract with provisions to ensure safe workplaces, and wages that keep up with the cost of living.
Relative to inflation, the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for City of Seattle employees has not kept pace, lagging 5.7 percent between 2015 and 2023 — a relative pay cut. Meanwhile, private sector wage growth in the city has nearly matched inflation. The median income for city workers in the CCU is currently $75,000, with half — often women and workers of color — earning far below that rate.
“To keep up with the cost of living, inflation, and the lack of COLA, I have had to work a second job on the weekends along with my full-time job here at the City,” said Dominique Ingram, who works as an Administrative Specialist at Seattle Municipal Court. “So I’ve worked seven days a week since the pandemic, and the only days off that I’ve had are government holidays.”
City employees have also moved out of the city because they cannot afford to live in Seattle. According to membership data collected by one union in the Coalition, from the period of 2019 to 2023, 8.7 percent of members who work for the City of Seattle moved outside of the city limits, bringing the total percentage to just 42.9 percent who live in the city they serve.
“As an engineer, my salary and my co-workers’ salaries have fallen so far behind that we cannot fill vacancies because people can get better jobs in the private sector or in better paying municipalities,” said Rachael Brooks, an Engineer at Seattle City Light. “I also recently moved to Snohomish County to help my parents, and made the decision to stay because I just can’t afford to spend the majority of my salary on rent in the city I love.”
In August, union negotiators walked out of a contract bargaining session after City negotiators continually refused to budge from their offer of a one percent COLA, first proposed back in March 2023. In the following session, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell made an unusual appearance and promised to do better, but the Unions and City still remain far apart. The contract expired on Dec. 31, 2022.
“Labor needs to be a priority for the City of Seattle,” said Monte Anderson, President of the Seattle Building Trades. “Union workers are the foundation of this City, and it’s time the City recognizes this fact and compensates accordingly.”
The historical rally is part of the CCU’s campaign for #RSPCT: Racial Equity, Safety, Pay/Affordability, Climate Justice, and Time/Work-Life Balance. Lining the steps and street outside Seattle City Hall, attendees chanted and cheered for a fair contract now, and listened to community and political leaders lend their support to the cause.
“We Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in the labor movement stand with City of Seattle workers who are standing up to ensure that their families can survive and thrive,” said Ligaya Domingo, President of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA). “We stand in solidarity to ensure that City of Seattle workers get a contract that works for all workers, whether we are Black, Brown, Asian, or white and no matter what job workers do. All jobs are critical and we must ensure that we are able to retain all workers in their jobs.”
Teresa Mosqueda, Seattle City Councilmember and candidate for King County Council, also spoke at the rally: “I am proud to stand with city workers in their fight for a fair contract. They are not only fighting for wages and improved working conditions, they’re fighting to ensure the city continues to address our housing crisis, our affordability crisis, our climate crisis. Inflation remains at record highs and middle class families are struggling to make ends meet. They’re fighting to ensure that Seattle works for working people.”
Other speakers at the rally included Cherika Carter, Secretary-Treasurer of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Katie Garrow, Executive Secretary of MLK Labor, and several union executive directors, city workers, and members of the negotiating team.
Short URL: https://www.thestand.org/?p=119878
Auto workers strike for a fair share of record profitsDETROIT, Michigan (Sept. 15, 2023) -- The Stand Up Strike is on.
UAW auto workers walked out on strike in the early hours of September 15 as their contract expired. Workers are standing up strike lines at three locations, deploying a creative strike strategy to keep the companies guessing and build leverage at the bargaining table.
The following is from the United Auto Workers, released at midnight.
UAW family and allies --
A few minutes ago, thousands of UAW members at Ford, GM, and Stellantis walked out, marking the beginning of the Stand Up Strike.
UAW members at GM Wentzville Assembly, Local 2250 in Region 4 are ON STRIKE.
UAW members at Stellantis Toledo Assembly Complex, Local 12 in Region 2B are ON STRIKE.
UAW members at Ford Michigan Assembly Plant – Final Assembly and Paint, Local 900 in Region 1A are ON STRIKE.
This fight is our generation’s defining moment. Not just at the Big Three, but across the entire working class.
We will stand up for ourselves.
We will stand up for our families.
We will stand up for our communities.
Follow @UAW on Twitter for updates.
National Hispanic Heritage Month starts next week and the AFL-CIO is accepting submissions for their series of profiles of union members.
Please submit your members as soon as possible. AFL-CIO Communications will prioritize by submission date for the first profile submitted. Extra submissions may or may not be used, time and space permitting.
SUBMIT YOUR MEMBER HERE
Please submit a headshot of the member you nominate and provide them with 2-3 sentences about their accomplishments and why they should be featured this month.
If you have any questions, please send them to Kenneth Quinnell at email@example.com.
From The Stand. CAMAS, Wash. — After six days on strike, the 450 Camas Education Association members could be in classrooms with their 7,300 students before the end of the week. Negotiating teams from CEA and the Camas School District came to a tentative agreement on Wednesday night after months of intense negotiations. The CEA members will now vote on whether to ratify the agreement. If approved by 50 percent-plus-one of the membership, the educators will return to work. If rejected, members will return to the picket lines. Read more.
► From KGW — Camas teachers, district reach tentative agreement while Evergreen teachers strike continues — Classes in Camas are still canceled for Thursday. In the Evergreen School District, the largest in Southwest Washington, the strike continues — no deal has been reached. Teachers remain off the job and school is canceled for Thursday there, too.
From The Stand
As Project HELP outreach has increased, so have claim inquiriesSEATTLE — If you don’t know help is available, you can’t ask for it. That’s been the thinking at the Washington State Labor Council’s Project HELP, which has stepped up outreach promoting its services. This is the program that educates injured workers on how to navigate the state’s workers’ compensation system and offers workshops explaining this safety net for injured workers and their families. Project HELP Director Jessica Gallardo and Senior Claims Specialist Kathy Petruzzelli and Bilingual Claims Specialist Emmanuel Carrillo are doing more workshops, more presentations, more labor-management events, and generally seizing more opportunities to spread the word about the program. During its 2022-2023 contract period, Project HELP participated in more than 200 such events, a 43 percent increase from the previous year. As outreach has increased, so have the inquiries from people seeking assistance. Read more.
EDITOR'S NOTE -- If you or a loved one have been injured on the job or developed a medical condition from the performance of job duties, you need to be proactive about ensuring your “sure and certain relief” in the workers’ compensation system. Contact Project HELP at 1-800-255-9752 or click here.
🎓 🎉 Great news for UFCW members & families! The new UFCW Discount College Program is now LIVE! Choose from a diverse selection of participating colleges w/ heavily discounted tuition rates & degree programs ranging from associate to master’s.
UFCW has partnered w/ EBS Union College Benefit and EDVance to offer UFCW members and their families exclusive discounted tuition rates ranging from 30%-50% at participating colleges and prospective students can work directly with school administrators to apply for additional federal financial assistance, which could cover their remaining tuition costs.