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Growing unions ● Will 747+50 = 797? ● Foxxconned ● Snow’s very nice

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Friday, February 8, 2019

 


LOCAL

 

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Local unions seeing membership increase following statewide trend –According to the Washington State Labor Council, union members now make up 20 percent of the state’s workforce, making Washington the third most unionized state in the country, behind Hawaii and New York. “This is great news for all of Washington’s working families,” WSLC President Larry Brown said in a news release. “Union members earn more money, they boost our state and local economics and they lift working standards for everyone.” Shawn Nyman, former president of the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Labor Council and member of SEIU 925, said unions in Cowlitz County are seeing an upward “energy” after successful strikes and negotiations by teachers, secretaries and other union workers.

ALSO at The Stand — Union growth in Washington is good for all working people (by Larry Brown)

► In the Seattle Emerald — 1919 Seattle General Strike exemplified solidarity (by Teresa Mosqueda and April Sims) — The Seattle General Strike of 1919 exemplified strong solidarity from workers demanding change. For many, that strike and other notable labor events across the state – from the Spokane Free Speech Fight of 1909 to the Centralia Tragedy of 1919 to the Battle in Seattle WTO demonstrations – evoke a sense of pride in the change that unions have led. Recent union victories in the City of Seattle and the state continue to lead the way for worker protections across the country in the arenas of wage increases, hotel worker anti-harassment policies, paid family medical leave, and paid sick and safe time.

ALSO at The Stand — Seattle, 1919: Labor’s most spectacular revolt (by Cal Winslow)

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — 100 years ago in Spokane: Labor Council says local workers likely wouldn’t mount sympathy strike in support of Seattle general strike — William J. Coates, the president of Spokane’s Central Labor Council, did not see any reason for Spokane workers to go on a sympathy strike in support of Seattle’s general strike.

► In today’s Columbian — Laid-off Camas mill workers may get break (editorial) — Last year, officials at Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific — a subsidiary of Kansas-based Koch Industries — announced they would close their communications paper division due to dropping demand for printer and copier paper. Layoffs impacted about 300 employees — roughly half the mill’s workforce… The U.S. Department of Labor recently ruled that workers laid off from the Georgia-Pacific mill are eligible to apply for a federal program known as Trade Adjustment Assistance. Reversing a previous ruling, the labor department decided that Camas workers may seek retraining for new fields, employment-management services, relocation allowances and income support… We hope that workers who lost their jobs in Camas find gainful employment and remain in the community. But we also hope that big business is held accountable as a corporate citizen.

► In today’s Yakima Herald — ICE agents can no longer simply ask Yakima County Jail to put immigration holds on prisoners — In a settlement, the Yakima County jail has agreed to stop handing local inmates over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers merely at their request. The settlement could affect other jails that may be using the same practice.

► MUST-READ from Politico — How Howard Schultz left a bitter taste in Seattle’s mouth — Schultz tirelessly touts the benefits—health insurance, stock options, sick leave and vacation time—the company provides to part- as well as full-time Starbucks employees. He’s claimed credit for initiating them… But it’s a misleading or mistaken claim. Schultz did not bring health coverage for part-time workers to Starbucks. And Starbucks did not bring it to America. Part-timers at Starbucks’ roasting plant and warehouse secured that coverage, plus paid vacation and sick time, which fulltime employees already had, the year before Schultz took over the company in 1987. They won these by joining the UFCW and negotiating a contract, which Schultz inherited… Misleading information isn’t the only reason Schultz’s boasts about benefits rankle some in the city. Several people who negotiated with him over those very benefits remember him as being much less worker-friendly than he presents himself now. “Howard was anti-union from the beginning,” said then UFCW local president Joe Peterson. “He’s not unique in that. But he was incredibly difficult to deal with.”

 


BOEING

 

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — 50 years after the 747 first flew, a 797 is on the horizon — Saturday marks the golden anniversary of the first test flight of Boeing’s iconic jumbo jet. Since then, Boeing has produced more than 1,500, all of them built at the big factory in Everett… Could the non-celebration also indicate Chicago-based Boeing has bigger things on its mind this year than throwing a nostalgic party? There are at least two major events on the 2019 calendar. Boeing plans to test-fly the 777X this year, with commercial deliveries to start in 2020. And the big question Washington and other aerospace states are asking: Will Boeing build a new “mid-market” airplane, the so-called 797 — and where?

 

ALSO at The Stand:

Washington #1 state (by far) to build new Boeing jet, study says (June 7, 2018)

Washington ranked #1 (again) for aerospace manufacturing (Sept. 13, 2018)

► In today’s Seattle Times — For Boeing, juggling cash flow often means “another ‘Houdini moment’” — Cash flow is the all-important measure by which Wall Street judges Boeing. Despite any setbacks, the company typically manages to exceed analysts’ estimates with maneuvers that can move around hundreds of millions of dollars.

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► In today’s Washington Post — Rocky restart after government shutdown: Many workers still haven’t received back pay — Thousands of employees who have experienced delays or anomalies with paychecks at the federal agencies that went dark. Many say they initially received half of what they were owed after working without pay or being furloughed. Others were stunned by what appeared to be excessive tax withholding. And some — the exact number has not been provided by government officials — had received no pay as of Thursday afternoon.

ALSO at The Stand — Pay issues lingering long after shutdown

PLUS — Tell your Representative to support H.R. 824

► From Politico — GOP border security negotiator: Chances of another shutdown are ‘nil or next to nil’ — A Republican member of the bipartisan conference committee responsible for reaching a deal on border security said Friday that there is “no appetite” in the Capitol for a second government shutdown this year.

► In the NY Times — Democrats unite to begin push to protect pre-existing condition coverage — Democrats, claiming a mandate from voters, opened a legislative campaign on Wednesday to secure protections under the Affordable Care Act for people with pre-existing medical conditions… In a federal court case, filed by Texas and 19 other states, the Trump administration has refused to defend provisions of the Affordable Care Act that protect people with pre-existing conditions.

► From The Hill — Former Rep. John Dingell dies at 92

► And then there’s this…

 


NATIONAL

 

► From Bloomberg — Inside Wisconsin’s disastrous $4.5 billion deal with Foxconn — “This is the Eighth Wonder of the World.” So declared Trump onstage last June at a press event at Foxconn’s new factory in Mount Pleasant, Wis. He was there to herald the potential of the Taiwanese manufacturing giant’s expansion into cheesehead country. He’d joined Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou and then-Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to celebrate a partnership he’d helped broker — “one of the great deals ever,” Trump said. In exchange for more than $4.5 billion in government incentives, Foxconn had agreed to build a high-tech manufacturing hub on 3,000 acres of farmland south of Milwaukee and create as many as 13,000 good-paying jobs for “amazing Wisconsin workers” as early as 2022…

Interviews with 49 people familiar with Foxconn’s Wisconsin project, including more than a dozen current and former employees close to its efforts there, show how hollow the boosters’ assurances have been all along. Insiders describe a chaotic environment with ever-changing goals far different from what Trump and others promised. The only consistency, many of these people say, lay in how obvious it was that Wisconsin struck a weak deal. Under the terms Walker negotiated, each job at the Mount Pleasant factory is projected to cost the state at least $219,000 in tax breaks and other incentives. The good or extra-bad news, depending on your perspective, is that there probably won’t be 13,000 of them.

► And the beat goes on, from Reuters — U.S. Steel wins tax breaks from one of America’s poorest cities — Last year, Gary, Indiana, harbored hopes for a revival after Trump imposed tariffs on steel imports and the company planned a $750 million investment to modernize Gary Works, its largest North American plant. But it’s now clear those hopes will not translate into new steel jobs, even after the city and state offered the firm a $47 million tax break package.

► From The Hill — Illinois Senate passes bill raising minimum wage to $15 — If approved by the Democratic-controlled House, it would increase the state’s $8.25-an-hour minimum wage every year by $1.75 until 2025, when the hourly wage reaches $15.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Look what you did, SeaTac.

► In the SF Chgronicle — California workers waiting ‘on call’ must be paid, court rules — Employees who are required to stay “on call” before the start of a possible work shift — phoning their employer two hours before the shift to learn whether they’re needed — are entitled to be paid for that two-hour period regardless of whether they’re called in to work, a state appeals court ruled Monday.

► From Splinter — One of the world’s most iconic craft breweries is unionizing — Workers at San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Company have announced a drive to gain union recognition on Thursday, according to members of the organizing committee. If successful, the maker of the iconic Anchor Steam beer will be the first craft brewery in the country to become a union shop.

► In today’s WSJ — Another Virginia official has a yearbook with blackface photos — A top Republican Virginia lawmaker was forced to defend his role editing a college yearbook with photographs of students in blackface, as the state’s political crisis spread to both parties Thursday.

 


T.G.I.F.

 

► As Snowmageddon 2019 bears down on western Washington, The Entire Staff of The Stand presents Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in a former building of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan. Very nice. Great success.

 


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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