The Stand

‘Listen and understand’ ● The price of safety ● Newsrooms go union

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

 


LOCAL

 

► In today’s Seattle Times — Starbucks holds its first annual meeting without Howard Schultz — (There was) no shortage of controversy, with United Farm Workers activists protesting outside the meeting, while inside civil-rights leader the Rev Jesse Jackson pressed Starbucks to support the farmworkers who produce the dairy products the company uses for its lattes and other beverages… During the question-and-answer period at the end of the meeting, speaker after speaker peppered (CEO Kevin) Johnson and Rosalind Brewer, Starbuck’s chief operating officer and group president, with questions and complaints about the plight of the farmworkers on local dairy farms. Several times Johnson acknowledged the dispute, and agreed to have company officials meet with United Farm Workers “and listen and understand.”

ALSO at the Stand — Starbucks must hold Darigold accountable

► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Peninsula College to lay off staff — Peninsula College officials plan to lay off some staff as the college works to overcome an $800,000 deficit that officials attributed to declining enrollment. Peninsula College President Luke Robins did not say how many positions will be cut, but said the cuts do mean that the majority of continuing education offerings will be suspended.

► From KUOW — Rob Johnson will leave Seattle City Council in April — Johnson’s announcement means the council will have 20 days to appoint a replacement.

 


BOEING

 

► In today’s Seattle Times — FBI joining criminal investigation into certification of Boeing 737 MAX — The FBI has joined the criminal investigation into the certification of the Boeing 737 MAX, lending its considerable resources to an inquiry already being conducted by U.S. Department of Transportation agents. The federal grand jury investigation, based in Washington, D.C., is looking into the certification process that approved the safety of the new Boeing plane, two of which have crashed since October.

► In today’s NY Times — Doomed Boeing jets lacked two safety features that company sold only as extras — As the pilots of the doomed Boeing jets in Ethiopia and Indonesia fought to control their planes, they lacked two notable safety features in their cockpits. One reason: Boeing charged extra for them. For Boeing and other aircraft manufacturers, the practice of charging to upgrade a standard plane can be lucrative. Many airlines, especially low-cost carriers like Indonesia’s Lion Air, have opted not to buy them — and regulators don’t require them.

► From Reuters — Ethiopia crash captain did not train on airline’s MAX simulator

► From Politico — IG investigating Shanahan over Boeing comments — The Pentagon’s inspector general has begun an investigation into Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan’s reported Boeing bias, the IG’s office said Wednesday. “The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General has decided to investigate complaints we recently received that Acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan allegedly took actions to promote his former employer, Boeing, and disparage its competitors, allegedly in violation of ethics rules,” DoD IG spokesperson Dwrena Allen said… Before coming to the Pentagon, Shanahan worked for Boeing for 31 years.

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► From the AP — Revenue forecast brings good news for Washington lawmakers — Washington lawmakers received updated revenue numbers Wednesday that give them more money to work with as they prepare to unveil their two-year state budget proposals. The numbers released at a meeting of the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council showed state revenues look to increase by about $861 million more than expected through the middle of 2021.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington’s teacher diversity numbers for 2019 are in — and they haven’t changed much — Although students of color are quickly approaching nearly half of the state’s public-school population, people of color make up only 11.7 percent of their teachers, according to new data. Though there are more teachers of color now than ever, that divide is slightly wider — less than half a percentage point — compared to last year, continuing a decades-long pattern.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Could hemp be Washington’s next cash crop? Lawmakers eye new system amid CBD boom, marijuana expansion — Hemp is back, and Washington lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are pushing to make it easier for farmers to plant the long-outlawed cousin of marijuana in time to reap this fall.

► From KNKX — Analysis: Democrats leverage legislative majority in favor of environmental policy

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From Bloomberg — Labor groups petition FTC to prohibit noncompete clauses — The Federal Trade Commission finds itself under increasing pressure to ban noncompete clauses, with unions, advocacy groups and politicians complaining that the agreements hobble workers’ rights and fair competition. The AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union, and Public Citizen, among other organizations, are urging the agency — in a petition — to issue a new rule prohibiting employers across industries from requiring that their workers sign agreements limiting them from going to work for a competitor.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Override Trump’s wall emergency (editorial) — Trump claims he’s done more for the military than any recent occupant of the White House, but this stunt will hurt the military, which is already struggling with a $116 billion backlog of facility improvements. It will also hurt the communities that have grown up around bases.

ALSO at The Stand — Rep. Heck decries potential cuts of state military projects for wall

► In today’s Washington Post — Congress is finally realizing that it’s given the president way too much power (editorial) — Something positive has come out of the otherwise troubling situation in which Trump has managed — so far — to thwart the will of Congress and allocate funds to his proposed border wall. There is an increasing awareness on Capitol Hill that Trump is taking advantage of past lawmakers’ excessive delegation of power to the executive branch. Whether legislators override Trump’s veto of their termination of his emergency declaration or — as seems far more likely — fail to override it, the legislative branch needs to take back its legitimate powers.

► From the AP — Redistricting edge saved GOP from deeper midterm losses — Democrats won more votes, regained control of the U.S. House and flipped hundreds of seats in state legislatures during the 2018 elections. It was, by most accounts, a good year for the party. Yet it wasn’t as bad as it could have been for Republicans. That’s because they may have benefited from a built-in advantage in some states, based on how political districts were drawn, that prevented deeper losses or helped them hold on to power, according to a mathematical analysis by The Associated Press.

 


NATIONAL

 

► From Neiman Reports — Why newsrooms are unionizing now — As this union wave grew, journalists at about 30 websites unionized and so did journalists at the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The New Yorker, New York magazine, and The New Republic. And newsrooms are still continuing to unionize; the Hartford Courant, the Virginian-Pilot, the Allentown (Pa.), Morning Call,Refinery29, Fast Company, and WBUR in Boston have unionized in recent months, and workers at BuzzFeed  and podcasting startup Gimlet Media have asked for union recognition. The legacy newspapers that have unionized recently have done so largely because of accumulated anger about downsizing, years without raises, and ever-worsening health benefits. Digital news sites generally unionized for different reasons: to lift the salary floor, win or improve basic benefits, and provide some cushion to the industry’s volatility.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The Stand has been unionized since its inception nearly eight years ago. Why not form a union in your newsroom! (Or wherever you work.) Get more information here about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

► In the NW Labor Press — Fast food workers announce union at Little Big Burger chain — A new fast food union launched publicly March 16 when a group of Little Big Burger employees — accompanied by over 100 picket-sign-wielding supporters — presented a letter seeking union recognition to a restaurant manager at the company’s 930 NW 23rd Ave location in Portland.

► In the Buffalo News — Steelworkers official sees history behind union drive at Tesla — Tesla’s solar panel factory stands on the site with historical significance to the United Steelworkers union, as the long-ago home of a Republic Steel complex. The USW and the IBEW have launched an effort to organize hourly workers at Tesla’s South Buffalo facility.

► In the Seattle Times — Amazon and union at odds over firing of Staten Island warehouse worker — A former employee at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island is accusing the company of firing him in retaliation for speaking out about what he says are difficult working conditions there. “Instead of firing Rashad, Amazon should have listened to him and addressed the specific issues that he and other warehouse workers have raised,” said Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

 


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

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