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NLRB safe for now; more EGT unrest; deal for teachers…

Today’s news links:



► At Politico — GOP’s NLRB funding move rejected — Split down the middle, the Senate Appropriations Committee narrowly rejected a GOP amendment to deny funding for the NLRB to pursue any order threatening Boeing’s new non-union 787 line in South Carolina. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) joined 14 Republicans on the 15-15 vote, which failed for lack of a majority after a strong push by labor.

► At TPM — Unions breathe easier after GOP assault on NLRB fails — “If the Graham Amendment were to become law, it would be the first time since the passage of the Taft Hartley Act more than 60 years ago that Congress voted to curb the NLRB’s ability to protect working people, their rights and their jobs — all to protect one corporation,” wrote the AFL-CIO.




► From AP — Union conflict flares, shipment blocked at Longview terminal — Longshoremen returned to the railroad tracks near a Columbia River grain terminal with union members’ wives and mothers Wednesday, blocking a shipment and facing more arrests in their battle for jobs.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Local ILWU president among those arrested at EGT terminal — Among the arrested were local longshore president Dan Coffman, who sat on the tracks with nine women, all wives and mothers of union members. Two other longshore union leaders, Byron Jacobs and Kelly Muller, also were arrested. They were pepper-sprayed by police as they scuffled with officers when one of the protesters complained police injured her while arresting her. After a brief delay, the mile-long unit train proceeded into the terminal. Later in the day, ILWU Local 21 leaders urged members not to retaliate by walking off other jobs or damaging the grain terminal.

► In today’s Daily News — Longshore protester suffered shoulder injury during arrest — A 57-year-old longshore union protester said she suffered a torn rotator cuff when law enforcement officers arrested her on the railroad tracks. Phoebe Wiest, whose son is a longshoreman and brother a retired longshoreman, said an officer forced her arm behind her back even though she told him she had a previous shoulder injury. “I said, ‘No, I have a dislocated clavicle.’ And he used foul language on me.”

Also at The Stand – Here’s why Longshore workers are so angry (Sept. 8)




► In today’s News Tribune — Teachers reach tentative deal; vote at noon; school could resume Friday — Tacoma teachers will vote midday today on a tentative agreement reached by negotiators for the teachers union and the school district in Gov. Chris Gregoire’s office Wednesday. Details of the agreement were not released Wednesday night. But in a news conference about 10 p.m., Gregoire praised the agreement as “pretty impressive” and said it could serve as a model for school districts across the state.

► In today’s News Tribune — Program steps up during strike — About 20 Tacoma teachers and other striking staff members joined volunteers Wednesday to prepare sandwiches for kids who depend on free- or reduced-price meals at schools they’ve not attended for several days.




► In today’s Olympian — Gregoire to call special session — Gregoire budget director Marty Brown said that the governor is still finalizing details of the session but will make a formal announcement this morning. It’s likely to begin at the end of November — after the state gets a new revenue forecast. State officials projected last week that Washington faces a $1.3 billion shortfall in the current budget cycle.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Governor to call 30-day special session

► In today’s Olympian — DSHS filing error could cost state millions — Agency officials say they’re sending supplemental cash to 34,000 chronically unemployed disabled residents without children – payments that were supposed to be trimmed early this summer.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Census: More residents sinking into poverty — Household income — in Washington state and across the country — declined in 2010, while the percentage of people living in poverty increased, as did the numbers of people without health insurance, according to data being released Thursday by the Census Bureau.

► In today’s (Ellensburg) Daily Record — Protesters march to Suncadia during business summit — About 100 protesters marched to Suncadia this morning as the Association of Washington Business hosted a policy summit at the resort. Security was tight at the event, and Gov. Chris Gregoire was scheduled to speak at 12:30 p.m. The protests were organized by the Washington Community Action Network and called on corporations to do more to fix the economy. Signs carried by protesters read, “Balance our budget, stop corporate loopholes,” and “True patriots pay their fair share.”

► From AP — 10 arrests in protests against corporate tax breaks — Demonstrators across Washington have called on lawmakers to end tax breaks on corporations to help fix the state’s budget woes. About 100 people demonstrated Wednesday outside a Chase bank in Seattle, blocking traffic for more than 20 minutes. Seattle police say 10 were arrested for pedestrian interference and failure to disperse.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Atlas Air cancels orders for three 747-8s — A second Boeing customer announced Wednesday it has rejected the earliest models of Boeing’s new 747-8 freighter aircraft “due to delays and performance considerations.”

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Everett’s proposed 2012 budget spares workers — Nobody should lose their jobs, but up to a dozen vacant positions will go away — permanently. As employees leave next year, many of those positions will remain unfilled, too.




► In today’s LA Times — U.S. firms expect healthcare costs to rise at slowest rate since 1997 — Healthcare expenses for U.S. employers are expected to increase next year at the lowest rate in more than a decade, but the cost of benefits for workers is likely to outpace the growth of their earnings, a national survey has found.

► In today’s NY Times — Young adults make gains in health insurance coverage — Young adults, long the group most likely to be uninsured, are gaining health coverage faster than expected since the 2010 health law began allowing parents to cover them as dependents on family policies.




► In The Hill — Bickering over Post Office rescue escalates — With the USPS perhaps just days away from insolvency, lawmakers sparred at a House Oversight subcommittee markup over what is needed to clean up the agency’s finances. Approved by the panel in an 8-5 vote, the GOP bill would, among other steps, allow the agency to move to five-day delivery and move away from door-to-door delivery in some instances. But Democrats slammed the bill’s treatment of postal workers.

Also at The Stand — Rallies across state, nation Sept. 27 to save USPS

► From AP — Nurses at dozens of Calif. hospitals set to strike — Tens of thousands of nurses at nearly three dozen hospitals in Northern and Central California are set to go on strike in a labor dispute that has hospital managers moving to call in replacement workers and reschedule surgeries. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will be on the picket lines at Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley.

► In today’s Washington Post — House GOP leaders rebuked on spending — The surprise defeat in the House of a special funding measure to keep the federal government functioning past Sept. 30 was a sharp rebuke of the GOP leadership and a testament to the fragility of the majority itself. The rejection resurrected the specter of a government shutdown and suggested that the heated confrontations that dominated Washington in the spring and early summer are likely to return this fall.

► In today’s NY Times — Taxes, deficit and the economy (editorial) — Obama is calling for a broad tax reform that raises $1.5 trillion over a decade but allows for lower rates on businesses and individuals by cutting tax breaks and loopholes for special interests, and that restores some fairness to a system in which millionaires and billionaires pay lower tax rates than middle-class families. Republicans want to close the entire budget gap by slashing government spending. The president’s balanced approach protects vital services and growth

► In today’s NY Times — UAW shelves Chrysler talks, turns to Ford — The union said its next target for reaching a new labor agreement would be the Ford, signaling that it was having difficulty coming to terms with Chrysler.




► In today’s Washington Post — GM is back, thanks to Uncle Sam (E.J. Dionne column) — Yes, this was socialism — or, perhaps, “state capitalism” — because the government temporarily took substantial ownership in the companies when no one in the private sector was willing to put up enough capital to prevent them from going under. Today, the companies are thriving. More than that: The auto industry exemplifies how unions can do their best to protect the interests of their members while also ensuring the prosperity of the companies that employ them.

The larger lesson is that there are two ways to approach the problems capitalism inevitably runs into. One is to pretend that there are iron rules prohibiting us from doing anything at all. We are supposed to have faith that an invisible hand will eventually put matters right; in the meantime, we must accept any slap in the face the invisible hand might deliver. Once human beings throw off the chains imposed by the idea that all economic laws are “natural,” they discover the capacity to change things and can use the tools of democratic government to do so when all else fails.




Surging U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts tells it like it is: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.”

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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