Folks, I wonder if we got the sun too riled up with those smooth Santana riffs. It seemed like it just would NOT go away. But in the end, we outlasted the heat wave. Good thing that’ll never happen again! Lol, let’s get into it.
BREAKING: Petco workers organize: Sources at the Aurora Village Petco in Shoreline tell me they’re filing paperwork today for a union election. They say: “Petco Workers United is in protest over management failing to meet the needs of workers after countless efforts to attain basic accommodations and fair compensation.” The store’s 16 employees are underpaid, often don’t know their hours until the day of, have worked through heat waves with no AC for years, and are routinely asked to skip meal and rest breaks. One employee has been at the store for nearly three years getting bitten by fleas in the dog-grooming section, and received only a 70-cent raise as inflation took off this year. Want to help? Stop by their store at 1241 N 205th Street in Shoreline to show your support.
City Council ends hazard pay during two health emergencies: They had the audacity to end hazard pay amid another COVID spike, and another health emergency. No, hazard pay shouldn’t be permanent or replace a strong union contract. But for many grocery workers who don’t have union representation, this is devastating. Hannah Kreig has more.
Primary goes pro-worker: With Tuesday’s primary in the rearview, here’s a breakdown from The Stand on how candidates endorsed by the AFL-CIO did. (Pretty, pretty, pretty good.) Speaking of which, Pramila Jayapal is having a moment. Our 7th district rep rolled into the primary with an absurd 84% of the vote, just dropped a new book, and appeared this week on The Nation’s Start Making Sense podcast. Check it out.
More pod: For all you Lucy Listeners out there, Citations Needed released part two of their history of labor depictions in Hollywood, and Tipping Pitches dropped their fifth-anniversary episode with predictions about the next five years in baseball and (as always) the effect those changes could have on labor.
Starbucks (derogatory): The New Yorker did a deep dive Tuesday into the organizers changing Starbucks, and Howard Schultz looks as bad as ever. The story even mentions the Sonics sale! Also: Charges the company filed against their own workers were dismissed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and as we can see from the map, 316 stores have now filed with the NLRB to hold an election. But it appears Starbucks is slow-playing negotiations with the 186 NLRB-certified union stores:
There are now 209 unionized Starbucks, 186 of which have already been certified by the NLRB.— Jordan Zakarin (@jordanzakarin) August 3, 2022
Starbucks has yet to put forth a good faith effort to negotiate a contract with any of them.
Reuters journalists walk off the job: Nearly 300 Reuters journalists held a one-day strike yesterday to protest their contract negotiations. They claim the news org is also slow-playing them by offering a meager 1% raise. Unfortunately, this is a common tactic, as it now takes an average of 465 days for unionized workers to sign their first contract. Punks.
The Sopranos: Seattle: Speaking of punks, the Office of Police Accountability (a contradiction in terms) released a 2018 report wherein they investigated now-retired Detective Mac Gordon for remarks he made about SPD’s cushy off-duty no-show jobs, like managing parking garages for $1,500 a month without ever putting in the work. Gordon allegedly referred to SPD as “the Mafia” five times and said “no one is going to mess with those jobs or they’re going to end up with broken kneecaps”! Of course, OPA found no wrongdoing. ACAB!
OPA: Det. Mac Gordon's remarks about an SPD mini-mafia” squeezing businesses and breaking bones “were not intended to be true and accurate descriptions of a business practice.”— DivestSPD (@DivestSPD) August 1, 2022
They were colorful “exaggerations.” (THREAD) pic.twitter.com/VcpFbhHiAf
Verizon workers are getting full bars out here: Amid sustained pressure from developments like the most recent ULP charge, Verizon workers are gaining traction. Stores in Everett and Lynnwood have ratified their first contract. The Stand has more. Workers at Graphic Packaging International in Portland are also applying local pressure: They just got a $2-an-hour pay bump after a nine-day strike. And local concrete workers rejected another substandard offer from the Concrete Cartel.
Where you work matters: After the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, major corporations like Amazon and Google proudly pledged to support workers traveling for abortion care. But as More Perfect Union reported this week, they’ve been donating to anti-abortion groups all along.
That includes defense contractors: Some Twitter users were surprised this week to learn they don’t get a pass on working for evil companies “because the benefits are great” or “somebody has to do it.” Some outstanding phrases published online this week by People Who Don’t Get It: “the Missile Defense Agency took a chance on me,” “My husband works for a large power company that likes to pollute,” “I would wax balls for the thin blue line,” and “happens to work at a defense contractor.”
the fuck is going on pic.twitter.com/XVBVn6SAgq— "𝘽𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙆𝙚𝙯𝙤𝙨" (@APunishedBill) August 2, 2022
Jobs to seek! Would you like to “happen to work” outside the industry of Big Tech/Anti-Abortion Fundraising? Are you reconsidering your place in the Murder Machine? You may be excited to hear Labor Notes is hiring a remote Assistant Editor at $66,000 and the Seattle Office of Labor Standards is hiring a Labor Standards Engagement Specialist at almost $50 an hour.
WHAT! ELSE! WHAT! ELSE! So much what else this week. UPS drivers posted photos of the 120-plus-degree temps in their trucks. Railroad workers are close to an economy-shaking strike. Apple workers continue to organize slowly. The NLRB ordered striking Alabama mine workers to pay the company $13.3 million. PetSmart is being sued for charging employees who quit after completing their (pause for cringe) “grooming academy.” And finally, this week’s PNW election filings: workers at iconic Voodoo Doughnuts in Old Town Portland; all 40-plus St. Charles Medical Group locations in Oregon; the South Hillsboro Primary Care Clinic; Jacobs Engineering Group in Renton; and the painters at Specialty Finishes in Seattle.
Speak up! Send us your tips and compliments, and drop some comments in the chat. (But please stop explaining to me how Leader of the Free World Joe Biden is powerless to Do Politics.)
Your curated, hand-picked, cringe-free bop of the week is, frankly, out of left field. I didn’t give you all the clues. But this week, for whatever reason (Mental Illness) my girlfriend and I have been communicating in the cadence of the “Under Pressure” line that goes “people-in-the-streets!” At 1:43, the exorcism will be complete, and you will become its new host, dear reader. You two have fun! Have a great weekend.