► In today’s Seattle Times — Kucinich draws cheers at state labor council convention — The Ohio congressman returned to the state again this week at the invitation of the Washington State Labor Council, which gave him two prime speaking slots at its annual convention in SeaTac. Although he says he hasn’t decided on his political future, the enthusiastic reception he received at the union gathering Thursday suggests that, despite party leaders’ wishes, he has developed a core of supporters who would back a run here.
► In the NW Labor Press — Longshore union goes “all in” at Longview grain terminal — The struggle pits members and supporters of the ILWU against EGT, a multinational consortium that built a $200 million grain terminal here, largely with nonunion, out-of-town labor, and now seeks to operate it without employing ILWU members, in violation of its lease. Instead, EGT has hired a contractor that has hired members of IUOE Local 701 out of Portland. “This is part of EGT’s plan,” said Local 21 President Dan Coffman. “They want to sit off to the side and let the working classes fight it out. Our fight should be against corporate America that’s taking collective bargaining rights from everybody. They’re sitting back laughing at us. That’s what they want us to do is fight amongst each other.”
► At IAM 751’s blog — IAM 751 President Wroblewski: More to union than Boeing dispute — The high volume of noise that surrounds Machinists Union relations with the Boeing Co. is drowning out news about the important work being done by the union on behalf of workers at other companies.
► In today’s Olympian — 2012 health insurance rates for state workers on rise — Final health insurance rates for state employees jelled this week, and 2012 premiums for the state’s most popular plan – the Uniform Medical Plan – are up by more than one-third. But actual rates that workers pay for coverage after Jan. 1 could drop, depending on the plans they choose.
► In the Tri-City Herald — Digging starts at Hanford burial ground — Digging is under way on one of the most hazardous waste burial grounds near the Columbia River at Hanford. Excavation at the 618-10 Burial Ground has started with its 12 trenches. In excavating the trenches, workers already have uncovered about 30 55-gallon drums that enclose pipes surrounded by concrete. The concrete-lined drums typically were used to dispose of radioactive liquids.
► At Crosscut — Paid sick leave in Seattle: Study shows the need (Roger Valdez column) — During another debate, about banning smoking in restaurants, a study found surprisingly high rates of hospitality workers on the job with pain or illness, especially among women. The results have meaning for the sick-leave discussion.
► At the Slog — Anti-paid-sick-leave Nazi accuses proponents of “Nazi slapping” — Pro-business front group spokesman decries paid sick leave as an attempt to “legislate morality” and repeatedly warns that the ordinance would “unjustifiably redistribute income from business to low income earners.” Heaven forfend! It’s the kinda rhetoric you’d expect from a guy who, when confronted by a successful businessperson like Jody Hall of Cupcake Royale, responds by saying that Hall does not represent “the real business community.”
► In today’s News Tribune — Solution for illegal farm labor: Legalize it (editorial) — Make the H-2A visas workable for farmers and farm workers, then start cracking down on those who continue to break the laws against hiring illegal workers. And don’t wait on the political class to stop its bickering about border fences, E-Verify, Arizona, drug-running, anchor babies and whatnot. Farmers need legality now.
► In today’s NY Times — FAA impasse that hit 4,000 ends, for now — The Obama administration has reached a patchwork agreement with Congressional leaders to end a 13-day partial shutdown of the FAA. The agreement signals an end, at least for a few weeks, to a standoff over policy issues that had left 4,000 agency employees out of work, idled tens of thousands of workers at hundreds of airport construction projects and cost the federal government more than $350 million in lost taxes.
► In today’s NY Times — Public disapproval rate of Congress hits 82% after debt talks — The debate over raising the debt ceiling, which brought the nation to the brink of default, has sent disapproval of Congress to its highest level on record and left most Americans saying that creating jobs should now take priority over cutting spending.
► Today from AP — Unemployment rate dips, economy adds 117,000 jobs — Hiring picked up slightly in July and the unemployment rate dipped to 9.1%. The modest improvement may quiet fears of another recession a day after Wall Street posted its worst losses in nearly three years.
► From Reuters — House Democrats wary of “path” to trade deals — Two senior Democrats on Thursday reacted warily to a Senate deal to ensure passage of three long-delayed free trade agreements, saying they wanted an absolute guarantee that a retraining program for displaced workers would also be approved. “The path forward in the House as well as the Senate must be ironclad in its assurance that TAA will be renewed,” Reps. Sander Levin and Jim McDermott said in a joint statement.
► In today’s NY Times — End the debt limit (editorial) — The debt limit is not necessary, or good for the economy, and is now a political hand grenade.
► At NYTimes.com — Labor’s decline and wage inequality — The decline in organized labor’s power and membership has played a larger role in fostering increased wage inequality in the United States than is generally thought, according to a study published in the American Sociological Review this month. The study found that the decline in union power and density since 1973 explained a third of the increase in wage inequality among men since then, and a fifth of the increased inequality among women.
► In today’s NY Times — The wrong worries (Paul Krugman column) — The economy isn’t recovering, and Washington has been worrying about the wrong things. It’s now time — long past time — to get serious about the real crisis the economy faces. The Fed needs to stop making excuses, while the president needs to come up with real job-creation proposals. And if Republicans block those proposals, he needs to make a Harry Truman-style campaign against the do-nothing G.O.P. This might or might not work. But we already know what isn’t working: the economic policy of the past two years — and the millions of Americans who should have jobs, but don’t.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m. Make this electronic “clip service” your first stop each morning! These links are functional on the date of posting, but sometimes expire.