Cultivating dignity, 8.29 strike, giving labor a wedgie…
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Farmers, workers and cultivating dignity (by the Revs. Josefina Beecher and Paul Benz) — This season a few hundred workers at Sakuma Bros. Farms stood up and spoke out about harsh treatment, poor living conditions and the threat of more guest workers being invited into the county, which threatens to disrupt their already precarious livelihoods. As part of the faith community, we call on both sides to negotiate in good faith, respecting the opinions of all the affected workers and respecting the farm owners just as they expect to be respected. We support the struggle for a living wage. We hope both parties can reach an agreement that will allow workers and their families to work for the remainder of the season.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Sometimes, less means less (editorial) — Today’s employment scene would be unrecognizable to the leaders who crafted the current minimum-wage law in the mid-60s. It has been mangled by out-sourcing and off-shoring, burgeoning immigration, and a great recession (which was triggered by big banks but cruelest to the lowest paid and least secure workers). Who worked for minimum wage during the recession? Often it was employees capable of doing more, but desperate for paychecks of any kind. Now, with the country stirring from the recession, battle lines are forming over the minimum wage.
► In today’s (Ellensburg) Daily Record — Labor pact OK’s with Kittitas County deputies — Kittitas County commissioners recently ratified a new, four-year collective bargaining labor contract with Teamsters Local 760, which represents 28 county sheriff’s deputies.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Pam Roach for state GOP chair? — The Republican state senator from Auburn stood with other candidates Sunday at a GOP meeting in Pierce County and answered questions as though she is running for the job.
► In today’s Olympian — Letter explains why state won’t contract out interoffice mail — The state “determined through requests for proposals issued by DES that mail delivery services… cannot be delivered at a reduced cost and with greater efficiency than the private sector.”
► In the Washington Post — Fast-food workers call for nationwide walkout on Thursday, Aug. 29 — Emboldened by an outpouring of support on social media, low-wage fast-food and retail workers from eight cities who have staged walkouts this year are calling for a national day of strikes Aug. 29. The workers are calling for a wage of $15 an hour and the right to form a union. Organizers of the walkout say cashiers, cooks and crew members at fast-food restaurants are paid a median wage of $8.94 an hour.
MORE INFO at the “Low Pay Is Not OK” Facebook page.
► At Huffington Post — Head Start cuts services for more than 57,000 children due to sequestration — Head Start, the federal pre-K education service for low-income families, has eliminated services for more than 57,000 children in the coming school year as a result of the federal budget reductions known as sequestration.
► From Reuters — Bus drivers reject deal that averted San Francisco-area strike — Bus drivers who threatened to strike a key San Francisco-area transit system earlier this month have voted to reject a tentative contract deal and to send labor negotiators back to the bargaining table, their union said.
► At AFL-CIO Now — SF Chronicle op-ed scapegoats BART workers, ignores real problem — This infuriating opinion column asserts that workers like those at BART are not deserving of the middle-class wage their unions negotiate. To make their point, they use an argument that’s all too common today — private sector workers are suffering so public sector workers should too.
► In the Wall Street Journal — Christie lays out plan for GOP revival — Gov. Chris Christie used a speech to Republican Party leaders to argue that his electoral success in New Jersey offers the GOP a model for how to win support from women, minority and blue-state voters. He contrasted his long-running feuds with the state’s public-sector unions with his friendliness toward the private-sector unions, noting that he had won the endorsement of 24 building-trade unions. “We have an opportunity as a party to drive a wedge in the union movement,” he said.
► In The Hill — Rep. Issa tops list of Hill’s wealthiest — House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chief inquisitor of President Obama’s White House, is now Congress’s richest man.
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