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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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WALeg Day 3: Shippers duck hearing on port problems

OLYMPIA – Shipping delays at West Coast ports are hurting a wide range of Washington businesses, a pair of Senate committees was told Wednesday. What the Legislature can do about those problems in the short term, however, appears limited.

Valley Hospital turns away nurses, others after strike

Valley Hospital has locked out at least 80 nurses and other employees in the aftermath of Wednesday’s one-day strike and the hiring of temporary replacement workers. The lockout will be lifted Saturday, but the problems dividing unionized staff and hospital administrators will linger. Nurses have been working under a contract that expired a year ago. Other health care workers at Valley and Deaconess Hospital who went on strike have been working without a contract for months.

Spokane County files labor complaint against deputies

More than two years of contract negotiations between Spokane County and its deputy sheriffs have been put on hold after the county filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the deputies. The county says the deputies association illegally changed its position on salary increases prior to binding arbitration that was scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Picket replaces symphony performance

Musicians of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra took to the picket lines Saturday instead of the stage. The musicians, who announced Friday night they were going on strike after months of contract negotiations with the Spokane Symphony Society, picketed outside Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox on Saturday evening.

Hertz fires 26 Muslim drivers in Seattle over breaks

More than two dozen Somali Muslim drivers for Hertz at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are being fired after refusing to clock out for daily breaks during which they normally pray, according to media reports Thursday.

Union: Documents show Boeing aimed to trump unions

Documents released today by a union in a high-profile labor dispute with Boeing Co. suggested the aerospace giant opened a new plant in South Carolina partly to escape its labor problems in Washington state.

NFL, team reps will meet

CHICAGO – Today in Chicago, two representatives from each NFL team are scheduled to attend what should be the most significant league meeting since the lockout began. But the meeting isn’t so significant that the result of it is expected to be the end of the lockout.

Lead negotiator says NFL proposed 10-year CBA

WASHINGTON – The outcome of the NFL’s first work stoppage since 1987 could be decided in court. The first hearing on the players’ request for an injunction to block the owners’ lockout was scheduled for April 6.

Registered Nurses Working Scared Letter Of The Week: From Jan. 25, 1997

Today was scary for many nurses at Sacred Heart. We used words like "picketing" and "strike." Over the years, we've bargained for benefits equal to those of other nurses at other major medical centers, but this year is different. We're frightened because we come to work too understaffed to adequately care for our patients. We're mad because nobody listens. We're lucky if nothing bad happens or we catch the change in the patient so nothing worse happens. We're expected to do it shift after shift. We punch out with a sigh of relief.

Nurse Struggles With Rising Burden Health-Care System Hurts Patient Care, Rn Says

FOR THE RECORD: 1-28-98 Nurse layoff correction: The licensed practical nurses laid off at St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute in August were not replaced by less-skilled personnel. A story in Sunday's paper indicated otherwise. Hospital belt-tightening concerns nurse Linda Fadeley. Photo by Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review

Railroad Workers Agree To Postpone Strike A Week

Amtrak management and railroad workers agreed Sunday to a cooling-off period of at least a week, averting a possible strike Wednesday that could have disrupted heavily traveled commuter operations up and down the East Coast. Rodney Slater, the secretary of Transportation, announced that both sides had agreed to continue talks over outstanding wages and working conditions. The union, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, has been negotiating for three years, and would have been free to strike at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. The new deadline is one week later.

Ups Pilots Reject Company’s Final Offer

United Parcel Service's pilots rejected the company's contract offer Wednesday, but both sides agreed no strike would be called this year, sparing consumers major holiday delivery tie-ups. The primary point of contention is salary. The company in its latest offer - which only 39 of the company's roughly 2,000 pilots voted to accept - agreed to raise the pilots' pay by 19.8 percent over five years. Under the company's offer, a UPS spokesman said, captains would be earning an average $202,000, co-pilots $132,000 and flight engineers $94,000 by 2002. The union has asked for a 21 percent increase over five years.

2,000 Kaiser Permanente Workers Ready To Strike

Some 2,000 service workers for Kaiser Permanente in Oregon and southwest Washington are ready to go on strike over wages and benefits. Negotiations between Service Employees International Union Local 49 and the health maintenance organization broke off and no new talks are scheduled, Kaiser spokeswoman Vicki Guinn said Monday.

Uaw Threatens To Strike Gm Plant

The United Auto Workers and General Motors Corp. are at odds again at another big parts plant where a threatened strike could cripple the No. 1 automaker's North American car and truck production. The union says it will strike the Willow Run transmission plant, with 5,320 hourly workers, and a smaller plant in Romulus if no local contract is negotiated by 11:59 p.m. EDT Friday. Both plants are southwest of Detroit. Negotiations continued Tuesday. GM has faced six strikes so far this year, four of them involving the UAW. Willow Run supplies front- and rear-drive transmissions and parts to virtually all of GM's North American assembly plants, some overseas GM plants and some non-GM customers. Labor troubles also were brewing at Ford Motor Co. Members of UAW Local 849 who work at a Ford parts plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., authorized their negotiators Monday to call a strike if talks over health and safety issues break down. The union would still have to give a five-day notice of its intent to strike before walking out.

Union Prepares For Strike; Ups Expects Agreement

No one wants a strike. But while the United Parcel Service expects contract negotiations to be settled in the next few days, the Teamster employees who work in Eastern Washington and Idaho say they are ready to walk. "We have the signs ordered," said Rick Stone, business representative with the Teamsters Local 690 in Spokane. "We're preparing and getting ready to do whatever comes down the road." The 650 UPS employees represented by Local 690 sort and deliver packages in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Of the UPS employees that work out of Spokane, 460 are Teamsters.

British Airways Ground Workers Talk

Ground workers at British Airways said Monday they would rather talk than strike to resolve a dispute over the airline's plans to sell its inflight catering operations. The ground worker's decision eased pressure on British Airways, which struggled Monday to rebuild a flight schedule disrupted by a three-day flight attendants' strike. The walkout ended Saturday but the fallout continues to hamper operations.