‘Aggressive’ pickets, aggressive fleecing, aggressive layoffs…



► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Feds target ‘aggressive’ picketing at Port of Longview — Accusing the local longshore union of unfair labor practices, a federal board is seeking an order to end “aggressive” picketing at the Port of Longview and allow trains to make deliveries to the new EGT grain export terminal. If the NLRB complaint is upheld, it could strike a huge blow against the union and allow EGT to end a eight-month labor dispute over the $200 million facility, which has yet to export its first bushel. Union officials in the ILWU’s San Francisco headquarters vowed Tuesday to fight the NLRB, blasting the accuracy of the allegations and blaming EGT for inciting violence at the terminal gates.

► In today’s News Tribune — Evergreen State College, workers reach tentative pact — More than 300 Evergreen State College workers will soon decide if they will be among the few university employees to take a pay cut. State and union negotiators came to a tentative contract deal Monday evening that would reduce the pay of most classified employees at the college by 3% for one year, in the form of unpaid time off. Union members will vote on ratification in September. Classified employees at a dozen community colleges, including Tacoma and South Puget Sound, also are voting on a 3%, one-year cut. Their counterparts at Central Washington University have approved a similar deal.

► In today’s Columbian — Vancouver Fire Station to reopen — In a last minute twist, the Vancouver City Council Tuesday night approved a labor contract with its firefighters’ union and agreed to accept a $2.3 million federal grant that will reopen Fire Station 6 on NE 112th Ave.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Bellevue teachers, district reach tentative agreement — After negotiating since April over a long list of items, the Bellevue Education Association and the school district have reached a tentative agreement. The 1,100 members will meet today to vote on the offer.

► In today’s News Tribune — Down to the wire: Tacoma teachers, parents talk — One night before the Tacoma teachers’ contract expires, the union representing them brought its budget analyst to a union-hosted public forum Tuesday to say the school district should save less and spend more.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Cuts in Spokane projects lead to layoffs — The city laid off 13 engineering technicians and more layoffs are pending following an across-the-board reduction in capital projects, but especially the completion this year of a 26-year sewer project in the Spokane Valley.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — City fears steeper reduction in funds — Local leaders are worried that a federal program that pays for roads, roofs, sidewalks, youth programs and a broad array of other services could face substantial cuts as Congress works to slash debt. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5th) told the Spokesman-Review that she strongly supports the programs, but she voted for a federal budget that would have slashed the block grant program by 62%.




► At AFL-CIO Now — Corporate offshore profits tripled since last tax amnesty — A loophole in our nation’s tax laws allows multinational companies and hedge funds to shelter enormous sums of money from taxes by creating offshore identities and using tax-haven banks. Corporate executives claim that if they are allowed to bring the cash into the U.S. without paying taxes on it, they can use the money to create badly-needed jobs. But a new report shows a tax amnesty would only be an incentive to stash even more money away overseas. The study  shows the  20 companies that brought the most offshore profits to the U.S. after Congress approved a tax amnesty in 2004 have almost tripled the amount of profits parked overseas to $426.5 billion in 2010.

► In today’s Washington Post — Some companies pay their CEOs more than Uncle Sam, study finds — It has become a bipartisan article of faith in some quarters that the income tax on U.S. corporations must be lowered. But of last year’s 100 highest-paid corporate executives in the United States, 25 earned more in pay than their company recorded as a tax expense in 2010. Those 25 firms reported average global profits of $1.9 billion. Among the 25 were Verizon, Bank of New York Mellon, General Electric, Boeing and eBay.

► In today’s NY Times — Charities struggle with smaller Wall Street donations — While Wall Street has returned from the depths of the financial crisis, nonprofit groups that have come to depend on the industry’s donations are still struggling. With the global market turmoil and the threat of a double-dip recession, many big banks are clutching their cash or rethinking their giving strategy to maximize their dollars.




► At Politico — State, local governments cut 200,000 workers — Cash-strapped state and local governments slashed more than 200,000 jobs last year. Analysts expect a report on Friday to show governments dropped another 30,000 jobs in August, marking the ninth consecutive month of contraction.

► At Politico — Report finds $60 billion in waste in Afghanistan, Iraq — As much as $60 billion — nearly one third of the total amount spent on contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan — has been lost due to waste and fraud from poor planning, ineffective oversight of contractors and payments to warlords and insurgents.




► In today’s NY Times — At NLRB, a flurry of acts for unions as chief departs –The agency on Tuesday released a decision that would make it easier to unionize nursing home workers, ruling that the United Steelworkers could organize just the 53 certified nursing assistants at a nursing home in Mobile, Ala., as part of one bargaining unit, without including the home’s 33 other nonprofessional workers, including janitors, cooks and file clerks.

► In today’s NY Times — AT&T plans to bring back jobs sent abroad — The company will announce today that it will bring back 5,000 call-center jobs that were outsourced abroad. AT&T also plans to commit to maintaining its and T-Mobile’s more than 25,000 call-center jobs in the U.S.

► But alas, today from AP — Government sues to block AT&T, T-Mobile merger

► In today’s Washington Post — What Steve Jobs could do for the U.S. working class (Harold Meyerson column) — Devoting a few billion to reshape and restart American manufacturing, even if it employs fewer people than in Henry Ford’s time and narrows Apple’s profit margins, could work wonders for exports and, just possibly, lead to Jobs’s most amazing invention of all: a newly vibrant American working-class. In America, we celebrate our great industrialists. We’re not likely, some years hence, to celebrate our great offshorers or the guys who built the companies with the most unexpended cash.




► In today’s LA Times — An undeserved attack on the ‘undeserving poor’ (Michael Hiltzik column) — Amid the crowd-rousing shorthand employed by some American politicians, surely one of the hardiest chestnuts is the notion of the “undeserving poor” who pay no income taxes. Let’s not forget what’s the real issue in the debate about non-taxpayers. It’s antagonism toward the government for helping out those in need. If anyone tells you anything else, that’s horsefeathers.


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.


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