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Scabs hit picketers, 496 new 737s, NLRB rhetoric…



► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Union protester arrested following altercation at EGT picket line — An ILWU union protester was arrested Monday outside the EGT grain terminal gates at the Port of Longview for allegedly damaging a contractor’s vehicle driving inside. Another vehicle driven by employees of subcontractor General Construction Co. (members of IUOE Local 701 in Portland) first struck two ILWU members who were protesting peacefully as it was driven through the picket line. The Cowlitz County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing whether to file additional charges against the driver of the vehicle.

► In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma teachers waiting, watching on contract talks — Some members of the Tacoma Education Association sound doubtful that their union and the Tacoma School District will be able to come to a contract agreement by Wednesday. That’s when the teachers’ three-year contract expires, and that’s when teachers will gather again to decide their next step. That could range from a strike to an agreement to start school on time Thursday and allow bargaining to continue.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, the Washington Policy Center, a corporate-funded right-wing think tank with ties to the Koch brothers-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, has placed an op-ed in today’s News Tribune that says Tacoma’s teachers are deliberately trying to harm their students and blame Olympia’s budget cuts. Hey, Microsoft, Wells Fargo Bank, Brown Bear Car Wash, Silver Cloud Inns & Hotels, and the rest of you local companies, why do you hate teachers?

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Rep. Larsen hears Whatcom farmers’ fears about worker verification system — U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen says he will vote against a proposed law that would force farmers and other employers to use a computerized immigration status check system before they hire workers, unless that law is modified to include a system to provide the legal labor that farms need.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Consultant urges merger of North Kitsap, Poulsbo fire departments — The consultants’ rather bleak prognosis involves at least seven job cuts and elimination of one of the two chiefs positions.

► In the NW Labor Press — Starbucks settles with fired pro-union worker — Starbucks has settled an unfair labor practice charge filed by a fired Portland barista. Hannah Fredrickson, 22, was fired Dec. 17 from her $11.79-an-hour job at Starbucks — several weeks after she stood up for the right of her and co-workers to take breaks and to have a properly stocked first aid kit.

► In today’s LA Times — In Seattle, work starts on ‘greenest’ office building — The Bullitt Center is billed as the first commercial building designed to carry its own environmental weight. It’ll be six stories, but expectations are sky-high.




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing launches 737 with commitments for 496 jets — Boeing’s board of directors has signed off on the company’s plan to re-engine its popular 737 jet. Five airlines already have agreed to place orders for 496 of the updated 737, the company said Tuesday.

► At — Boeing says it’s putting new engines on 737 — Boeing executives have not decided whether to assemble the new airplane at the current 737 site in Renton or somewhere else, spokesman Marc Birtel said Tuesday. He said that will become more clear in six to eight months.




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — State WorkSource program helps workers, employers — Kennewick’s Center for Pediatrics is open today because of a little-known program offered by the state Employment Security Department. Dr. Ronald Wojnas says that the Shared-Work Program is what helped him keep the clinic open after Medicaid cuts.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Most lawmakers pass on pay cut — Fifteen of 21 local legislators have not asked for a pay reduction, and some note they’re saving taxpayers more money in other ways, such as not participating in the pension plan.

► At Slog — WA leads nation in Republican candidates who fail to acknowledge WA leads nation in new business creation — Republican candidates like Reagan Dunn and Rob McKenna sure do love to bad-mouth Washington’s business climate. Which makes me wonder if they would be surprised to learn that Washington’s 8,315 net new businesses last year ranked us first in the nation in new business creation?




► In today’s NY Times — Leaving NLRB, exiting leader responds to critics — “The criticism is grossly out of proportion to what has happened and what has been done,” said Wilma Liebman. She said that under the Obama administration, the Democratic-controlled board had reversed only a handful of rulings made by the Republican-controlled board appointed by President Bush. “The perception of this agency as doing radical things is mystifying to me,” she said. “The rhetoric is so overheated.” In her view, a major reason for all the venom is that many people have never accepted the National Labor Relations Act, and its embrace of unions and collective bargaining.




► From AP — August is deadliest month for U.S. in Afghanistan — A record 66 U.S. troops have died so far this month, eclipsing the 65 killed in July 2010.  This month’s death toll soared when 30 Americans — most of them elite Navy SEALs — were killed in a helicopter crash Aug. 6. They were aboard a Chinook shot down as it was flying in to help Army Rangers who had come under fire in Wardak province.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Earlier this month, delegates to the Washington State Labor Council’s 2011 Convention voted for a resolution that, among other things, calls for “a significant drawdown of military personnel from Afghanistan this year, setting a firm end date for total withdrawal as soon as that can be accomplished, but in no event later than the 2014 timeline previously announced by President Obama.”

► At TPM — CWA escalates campaign against GOP push to weaken unions on threat of FAA shutdown — This week, the union will launch direct mail and robocall campaigns against the GOP’s top transportation policy maker, and about two dozen other House GOP members — including Washington’s Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-3rd) — over the party’s push to make it harder for rail and airline workers to unionize.

► In today’s NY Times — Down and out at the Post Office (editorial) — Neither rain nor snow may stop the United States Postal Service, but will the abysmally divided Congress? The service is reeling toward default and urgently needs the Capitol’s help to modernize and pay its bills.

► In today’s NY Times — UAW urges automakers to raise entry-level pay — Contract talks between the United Automobile Workers and the Detroit carmakers are entering a more intense phase, with the union pressing for wage increases for entry-level workers as a critical part of a new national labor agreement.

► At AFL-CIO Now — Labor Rights Week kicks off with historic pact on immigrant workers’ rights — The ambassadors of El Salvador, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic joined Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis on Tuesday to sign an historic partnership to protect the labor rights of migrant workers from these countries who are employed in the United States. The signing kicks off National Labor Rights Week, Aug. 29-Sept. 5.

► From Bloomberg — Trucking industry faces serious driver shortage, higher pay — Trucking companies may face a 30 percent surge in wages by 2014 as rising demand for freight shipments threatens to push the industry’s driver shortage to the longest on record.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Oh, no! Higher wages?!

► At The Onion — Tea Party congressman calls for tax breaks to put out raging wildfire in his district — “This fire has already burned hundreds of square miles and left thousands of helpless families with only one hope: across-the-board income tax cuts and a sharply lower corporate tax rate,” said Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), stating that broad-based tax relief would spur investment and extinguish the towering flames that grow larger by the minute.




► In today’s Washington Post — On jobs, time to be bold (Eugene Robinson column) — Obama should go big, not small, with his jobs plan. It is hard to overstate how apprehensive most Americans are about the future. Boldness from the president may or may not get the nation’s mojo working again. Timidity surely won’t. House Republican leaders would immediately declare any such ambitious program dead on arrival. The president should welcome their opposition — and campaign vigorously against it. He can offer voters a choice between a pinched, miserly vision of the country’s prospects on the one hand and an optimistic, expansive view on the other. He needs to demand what’s right, not what the other side is willing to give. We know Obama can be rational, realistic and eminently reasonable. Right now, he needs to be anything but.

► And at Politico, the unfortunate context, assigning the L word (the other one) to bold action on jobs — Will Obama go bold on jobs plan? — Liberals are pressing the president to shoot big, urging a dramatic infusion of cash and warning against a Republican-lite proposal that fails to boost the economy or his reelection prospects. But so far, Obama and his senior aides are describing the package in more down-to-earth terms, as a “reasonable” set of proposals that Republicans will be hard-pressed to reject.


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