ILWU prez on trial, SCOTUS redux, “Knee Deep”…
Friday, June 29, 2012
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — ILWU president’s trial over Port of Longview protests begins — Testimony begins in the trial of the highest-ranking longshoreman arrested in last year’s dispute over hiring practices between union dockworkers and owners of the EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview. Robert McEllrath of San Francisco, international president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, is charged with obstructing a train Sept. 7. He is accused of standing on rail tracks with about 300 other protesters blocking a train carrying grain from entering the terminal. The trial is expected to conclude today. The trial is being attended by dockworkers from Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and the United Kingdom, as well as all over the United States.
PREVIOUSLY — Here’s why longshore workers are so angry (Sept. 8, 2011)
– Ports go silent as ILWU president surrenders to Cowlitz cops (Sept. 27, 2011)
And while we’re at it – “Hire local labor” rally TODAY at Port of Kalama
► In today’s News Tribune — JBLM civilian staff to hold union vote — Civilian employees at a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker maintenance site are holding a vote to unionize today after several months of campaigning in which they allege Stryker manufacturer General Dynamics compelled them to attend “anti-union” meetings. General Dynamics made some concessions to the complaints and in a letter to Rep. Adam Smith said it wanted the employees to understand the “potential burdens that can accompany the collective bargaining process.” Organizers for IUOE Local 286 expect a close vote among the 120 or so workers who can join the union. Supporters want better health care and retirement options, as well as a boost in wages.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — WorkSource makes connecting veterans to jobs easier– Employers and veterans should have an easier time connecting because of changes made by the Employment Security Department to the WorkSource website.
► In today’s Columbian — Boeing Dreamliner tour stops in Portland
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Ruling has local health providers bracing for more demand — For hospitals, that means continuing down a path to provide care earlier to save cost later. It means connecting people excluded from receiving health care with family doctors, before their conditions fester and they end up in expensive emergency rooms. It means giving hospital patients better care so they aren’t immediately readmitted.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Local health-care providers cheer ruling , look forward to changes — “This is a great day,” said Anita Monoian, CEO of Yakima Neighborhood Health Services. “This … marks the day when all Americans can look forward to having health-care coverage. That is huge.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — Relief for families with high medical expenses — The Affordable Care Act’s ban on insurance companies imposing lifetime limits on care is a big help for many families faced with long-term treatment that can run up against health-insurance expenses.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Ruling means Washington state can move quickly — Now the plan is to move quickly to start bringing a good part of the state’s 1 million uninsured onto health insurance, either public — through a major expansion of Medicaid — or private.
► In today’s News Tribune — Local health-care leaders say ruling will help patients– Elected officials and industry leaders reacted swiftly and sometimes passionately Thursday following news of the Supreme Court decision to uphold affordable the Affordable Care Act.
► In today’s LA Times — Economists say ruling gives businesses clarity — That clarity might help businesses finally make some personnel and other moves, giving the economy a much-needed kick and President Obama one more thing to brag about, economists say.
► In today’s NY Times — GOP vows to take battle over health care law into November — Mitt Romney and Congressional Republicans pledged to intensify their efforts to repeal it, an argument that will be a crucial element of the party’s quest to galvanize conservative activists and win control of the White House and the Senate.
► In today’s Seattle Times — McKenna accepts health care law after losing lawsuit he was part of — Attorney General Rob McKenna, who signed onto the lawsuit seeking to overturn the federal health-care law, said Congress shouldn’t try to dump the statute in the wake of Thursday’s ruling.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Another twist in the already twisted saga of Attorney General McKenna suing to repeal ACA in its entirety, while candidate McKenna claimed he only wanted to get rid of part of it. Now, he can “accept” it. If only he would have accepted it when Washington said, “Not in our name, not on our dime!”
► At Crosscut — Health-care supporters celebrate in Seattle — A crowd gathered to cheer the Supreme Court ruling and criticize Washington’s attorney general.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Supreme Court decision a victory for Washington families (by Bob Crittenden) — The truth is, the Affordable Care Act is the result of years of work by Republicans and Democrats, doctors, nurses and hospitals, and businesses, labor and patients working together here to find solutions to our intractable health problems — soaring costs, poor outcomes and terrible inequities. We need to move forward, stop the political bickering and implement this law.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Health care law’s ‘tax’ is money well spent on nation’s children (by Lynne Varner) — The genius of the new health-care law is that its expansion of Medicaid could unite parents and their kids into one health-insurance program. That includes the 35,000 Washington residents currently on the Basic Health Plan.Thousands more who rely on the Disability Lifeline program will be folded into Medicaid.
► In today’s NY Times — The real winners (by Paul Krugman) — There will, no doubt, be many headlines declaring this a big victory for President Obama, which it is. But the real winners are ordinary Americans. Unless you belong to that tiny class of wealthy Americans who are insulated and isolated from the realities of most people’s lives, the winners from that Supreme Court decision are your friends, your relatives, the people you work with — and, very likely, you. For almost all of us stand to benefit from making America a kinder and more decent society.
► At Huffington Post — Starbucks CEO issues open letter, calls for job creation — “Millions of Americans are out of work,” Schultz declares in his letter. “Many more are working tirelessly yet still unable to adequately care for their families… Meanwhile, in our nation’s capital, our elected leaders are continuing to put ideology over real solutions. I love America, but we all know there is something wrong, and that we are better than this. The deficits this country must reconcile are much more than financial. Our inability to solve our own problems is sapping our national spirit.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Agreed. But this message from the Northwest’s highest paid CEO ($65 million in 2011!) is tainted by his aggressive opposition to Americans’ freedom to choose unionization to seek better wages and standards of living. And then, there’s the whole Sonics thing…
► In The Hill — Conservative groups rev up opposition to highway bill — Conservative groups are pressuring lawmakers to vote against an agreement between the House and Senate for a $120 billion transportation-spending bill. The lower chamber is expected to hold a final vote on the measure today.
► Today at TPM (no, not The Onion) — Conservatives look for way to blame Obama for Colorado wildfires
► The entire staff of The Stand presents “Knee Deep” by the Zac Brown Band (featuring Jimmy Buffett). Great song, although we think they may have gone too heavy on the tequila when they came up with the concept for this video. Enjoy, and have a great weekend — brought to you by the Labor Movement.
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