I went on a journey today. Ethan Miller / GETTY
Pilots have been working for Alaska Air without a contract for three years, so no wonder the company ends up needing to cancel 120 flights on occasion, as it did this morning. According to the Seattle Times, the airline blamed a shortage of pilots after some pilots picketed at a hotel near the airport. The union blamed the cancelations on the bosses for failing to plan for “increased travel demand.”
I know that Conor already mentioned the historic win achieved by Staten Island Amazon workers in his labor column, but it’s worth saying a little more. This piece in The City tells the incredible story of Chris Smalls and Derrick Palmer forming the Amazon Labor Union after bosses fired Smalls and called him “not smart or articulate.” The independent union had a little bit of help from Unite Here and UFWC, but otherwise Smalls, Palmer, and other organizers worked to unite the nearly 6,000 workers at the warehouse without institutional help. Organizers “rallied workers on TikTok, bus stops and during picnics and pizza parties ahead of the vote last week,” and they overcame a $4 million union-busting campaign that included bosses calling the cops to arrest them for delivering lunch to workers on break. Incredible stuff.
The moment Amazon workers at the JFK8 warehouse declared victory in their vote to form the first Amazon union in the United States pic.twitter.com/Fr92Wz1LIN
— Kei Pritsker (@KeiPritsker) April 1, 2022
The win for Amazon workers is already setting off a chain reaction: The Seattle Times reports on other workers in Seattle who have decided to start unionizing, partially in response to the organizing going on at Starbucks and Amazon.
Sit down, Jim Cramer: The guy famous for screaming about a stock and then pushing a button with a bear or a bull on it thinks bosses cannot tell unionized workers when they can and cannot work. This dumb statement only proves that rich people and owners don’t know how their businesses actually run, offering yet another reason for giving workers a seat at the table.
Corporate America is spooked by the prospect of Amazon workers unionizing.
CNBC’s @JimCramer argued it would be “dreadful.” Amazon must be able to “tell your employees when they work.”
I went on an unexpectedly long and winding Dua Lipa journey today: This morning Stranger editor Chase Burns said a source told him that the English pop star stopped by the Crescent Lounge, the city’s best and queerest karaoke joint, on Wednesday, the night before her big “sweaty” show at the Climate Pledge Arena. That source heard the star did not leave a tip. But who did the singer allegedly fail to tip? What was she drinking? How did she know about the Crescent? And, most importantly, did she sing????
Chase fished around and a person who said they were waiting in the bar line behind Lipa and her crew that night added to the story. That person said Lipa’s crew crowded the bar area, holding up the line, which apparently frustrated the bartender, at which point a member of the Lipa crew said something to the effect of “baby girl, we just put a thousand bucks in your pocket, chill,” which prompted the bartender to check their pockets. That bartender, who was not tipped a thousand bucks, then made their lack of a windfall no secret.
I checked in with Lipa’s PR people about all of this, which prompted a woman named Kathy Riley to call me and chew me out for like five minutes. Riley claimed the pop star stopped by the Crescent to wish a member of her crew a happy birthday, wasn’t even there an hour, and drank a glass of water her assistant gave her. She didn’t buy anything, so she couldn’t have not tipped. She then told me this wasn’t a story, told me The Stranger had no business publishing any of this, demanded to speak to my editor, claimed the bar was spreading this rumor for publicity, and then claimed she said she was saying all of this off-record, which was not true. After going back and forth about the off-record thing, she asked what the matter with me was, and I didn’t respond. Then she asked if I was going to answer her question, and I told her that I was not because I took it as an insult. Then she hung up on me.
A few moments later I received an email from another of Lipa’s PR people telling me I could attribute the following information to a source from the crew: Dua stopped by the Crescent to wish someone on her crew a Happy Birthday. She did not have a tab and was drinking water. She also did not sing on stage.
My response to all of this? Gaga would have sang.
Body found in the woods: “Someone” found a decomposing human body about 100 feet into the woodline off Martin Way in Olympia on Thursday, KIRO reports. Cops are investigating. Classic, freaky, suspicious, sad PNW stuff.
There’s a show on Netflix where contestants must create cakes that look like different objects, and it’s nearly successful. I want to see one of them try this:
People who wear sleep masks are doing it right: A study of 20 sleepers found that even just a little bit of light during sleep — either from a TV or the sun — has “adverse effects on cardiovascular and metabolic health,” according to NPR.
North Carolina cops pick up Hope Solo on multiple charges, including DUI, resisting arrest, and misdemeanor child abuse. The former Reign soccer star’s lawyer said “the story is more sympathetic than the initial charges suggest, and that she looks forward to her opportunity to defend these charges,” according to the Seattle Times.
Ukraine updates: The Red Cross nixed evacuation efforts in Mariupol after it “judged the exodus too dangerous,” the New York Times reports. Russia accused Ukraine of using a helicopter to blow up a fuel depot in Belgorod. Ukraine wouldn’t confirm or deny, but US intelligence thinks Ukraine did it, and a Russian spokesperson said he didn’t see how the “escalation” would help peace talks, according to the Washington Post. President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed Russian soldiers in the north planted mines as they turned away from Kyiv, which would make a return to the capital an explosive and deadly proposition, according to the New York Times.
Ghislaine Maxwell still guilty of helping Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenagers: Her lawyers tried to get a judge to toss her case after one of the jurors “failed to disclose his personal history as an abuse survivor on a questionnaire during the jury selection process,” Politico reports. The juror said he only skimmed the questionnaire.
The 2022 World Cup kicks off in Qatar in November: The US shares Group B with England, Iran, and Wales/Scotland/Ukraine, according to the BBC. We’ll play England on November 25. England’s manager, Gareth Southgate, told the outlet that the matchup with the US is “intriguing” since we have “some very good players.”
I’m still on an MF Doom kick, sorry!