How about a cup of solidarity?
How about a cup of solidarity? @adriennedanielle_arts

Happy Super Bowl Weekend. While many of you will likely be yelling “GO BENGALS” or “GO RAMS,” I’ll be yelling “GO CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS and the labor movement!”

Before you perform a mental health check on me, this is a reference to a cringy three-year old tweet by a now-suspended account. But hey, screenshots are forever:

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And now: the news.

Concrete strike threatens bridge repairs: The concrete strike here in Seattle is attracting national attention. In this video from More Perfect Union, workers explain that the rising cost of living in the area and management’s refusal to pay fair wages means they’re “building a city we’re not able to live in anymore.”

On Wednesday, Mayor Bruce Harrell urged both sides to come to an agreement soon to keep the West Seattle Bridge repairs on track, though the striking workers have stressed that it’s management who won’t negotiate.

Starbucks workers winning: After Starbucks fired the entire organizing group at a Memphis store for dubious reasons, the Starbucks Workers United group swiftly filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board, and protesters forced the store to close. Remember last week when I reported that 62 Starbucks stores had announced their intention to unionize or had already filed? That number is 76 now.

Locally, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution from Kshama Sawant in support of the organizing Starbucks workers and demanding Starbucks stop their union busting effort. Councilmembers Sara Nelson and Alex Pederson conspicuously abstained.

Crossroads is scrambling: My source at the Crossroads Trading Co. store on Capitol Hill told me the company’s CEO sent every employee an email with a $25 in-store credit after workers filed to unionize last week. Why is anyone’s guess.

This week, I’m told Crossroads hired union-busting law firm Jackson Lewis, and the district manager visited the store all week to conduct one-on-one meetings in an attempt to sniff out the identities of the organizers. Next week looks like it’ll heat up even more, with management bringing in a “union expert.”

Wouldn’t it just be easier to give your employees what they need to do their jobs and make you money?

REI busts open new podcast: In the latest edition of Late Capitalism, REI started an anti-union podcast. I swear. Some Twitter users found it funny that REI started the first episode by clarifying their pronouns and giving a land acknowledgement.

You can find the company’s podcast wherever you get your insincere bullshit.

Wage transparency is near! Assuming it passes the House without getting watered down, and assuming the Governor signs it, soon we’ll all know what we all make!

Mariners star leading MLBPA fight: With pitchers and catchers due to report next week for Spring Training, the MLB season is in jeopardy. Commissioner Rob Manfred claimed MLB owners make a worse return on their teams than they would in the stock market, which prompted some backlash summarized here by baseball writer Keith Law.

Mariners relief pitcher Paul Sewald, whose outstanding 2021 season kept the Mariners in contention, has emerged this offseason as a vocal supporter of the MLBPA’s efforts and has been helpful on Twitter for fans confused about the lockout. On Tuesday, he spoke to 710 Sports and clearly outlined what the players are fighting for and why it matters.

Goodell gets grilled: Jim Trotter of NFL Media (the NFL’s in-house media company) spoke truth to commissioner Roger Goodell about the Brian Flores lawsuit and the NFL’s painful inability to hire Black executives and coaches in a league that’s 70% black. Goodell replied with an old family recipe word salad.

Local media hub hubbub: As Matt mentioned in Slog AM yesterday, 70 Seattle Times workers signed a petition this week demanding the reinstatement of sports reporter Marisa Ingemi, who was abruptly and conveniently fired two weeks before her union contract would begin protecting her. When the Times posted a listing for the position on Wednesday, they were rightly dunked on for it in the comments.

In better news, workers at the local nonprofit Grist newspaper have decided to unionize, and on Wednesday they asked management to voluntarily recognize them.

Some in government appear to be vaguely less anti-worker: This week, the White House released a report from its Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, which is another strong signal from an administration who is big on sigs. NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo spoke to More Perfect Union about her efforts to protect workers and to curb union busting.

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries fined three companies operating out of the same warehouse in Lewis County a total of over $285,000 after failing to protect workers from COVID, resulting in 250 employees contracting the virus.

Dolly continues quest for sainthood:

Peloton does not: VICE reports the early pandemic’s hottest star laid off 2,800 employees without notice and tried to soften the blow by giving their unemployed workers a free 12-month membership to their little virtual classes. Now that they’re out on their asses they can tighten them up, I guess. Oof.

Apple does weird cruel thing: When workers leave Apple, the tech giant apparently changes their job title to “Associate,” which has led to offers being rescinded, says the Washington Post. Seems like a petty company policy.

Here’s some more weirdness: As Forbes reported this week, an Alaska Airlines executive did a weird stare-down thing to striking pilots, who have been asking for better working conditions for nearly three years. I do not want to fly on a plane with a sleepy pilot, thank you.

Please do not throw eggs at billionaires! Folks, I just can’t say this more clearly. Do not read this Curbed article that outlines how best to throw eggs at billionaires and their superyachts. Don’t even think about it! That would NOT be a worker conquest, nor exactly the type of direct action that changes things.

Legislative aides need your help: Time is running out for HB 1806, which gives legislative workers the right to unionize. The bill is now sitting in the Rules Committee in the State Legislature and needs to be passed off the floor by Tuesday. If you think these folks deserve better working conditions, then call your reps!

Some inflation is bullshit: Here’s a helpful thread on how companies are hiking prices just because they can.

Curious about unions? Why not learn about it from a cat?

Got a tip? Send ‘er on over labor@thestranger.com!

Let’s give the last word to Saint Dolly. Have a great weekend, folks!