Connect with us


Senate FAA vote, WFSE backs Inslee, things are not OK…



► At TPM — Are Senate Dems about to cave on GOP union-busting? — Senate Democrats and organized labor have reached a make or break moment over House-passed legislation that will make it harder for transportation workers to unionize. One labor official said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Commerce Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) had “sold out” workers.

EDITOR’S NOTE — On Friday, the House voted 248-169 to pass the FAA “compromise” that includes language making it harder for railway and airline workers to form unions (see Feb. 3 story at The Stand). Washington’s delegation voted on party lines, with Democratic Reps. Inslee, Larsen, Dicks, McDermott and Smith voting “no” and Republican Reps. Herrera Beutler, Hastings, McMorris Rodgers and Reichert voting “yes.” A Senate vote could happen as soon as Monday afternoon or Tuesday. So please call Sens. Cantwell and Murray and/or send them an email using this IAM Legislative Action Center. Also, sign a petition to President Obama urging him to veto the bill should it get to his desk.




► In Sunday’s Seattle Times — Even unused tax breaks tough for legislators to plug— Lawmakers have talked for years about plugging holes in the state budget by paring back the dizzying number of tax breaks. But the political reality is, they can’t even get rid of ones that aren’t being used.

► In today’s Olympian — State pension changes flounder— A proposal to trim future outlays for state-funded pensions ran into a storm of criticism from retiree and labor groups last week, and the concept is in trouble at the Legislature.

► In today’s News Tribune — Government purchasing might be merged under 1 set of rules — A consolidation sought by Gregoire would give new authority to oversee contracts and discipline contractors. The largest state-employee union says it would deter abuse by contractors that don’t do their jobs and leave it to state workers to redo projects.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Lawmaker says Medicaid payment system is broken — Sen. Holmquist Newbry wants to shift the state’s “pay-and-chase” way of paying Medicaid claims first and then looking for fraud to what she says is a “prevention and detection” model.

► In the Seattle Times — Bill would reshape how state teachers evaluated — A host of proposals for changing how teachers are evaluated contain only a few differences, but they concern major issues — including the use of evaluations in hiring decisions.

► In today’s Columbian — Deadline hits most committees, winnowing out this year’s measures — By the end of last week, several SW Washington lawmakers had to face the reality that some of their bills had died.




► At — WFSE endorses Jay Inslee for governor— The Olympia-based union announced the decision by its executive board Saturday, saying it was done in order to give WFSE a position before next Thursday’s Washington State Labor Council endorsement convention.

ALSO at The Stand — WSLC delegates to consider early election endorsements Feb 9

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Same-sex marriage opponents begin drive to put issue on ballot — Fervor against the legislation is particularly strong in areas east of the Cascades, such as the Yakima Valley, where tea party activists and conservative religious groups are discussing how they’ll attack the measure.

► In the Olympian — Denny Heck kicks off campaign for Congress, says he’d work for jobs— Democrat Denny Heck pledges to work for a “Chevy truck economy — built to last” in America.



► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing finds another 787 manufacturing problem — Boeing has discovered a manufacturing error causing delamination in the plastic-composite aft fuselage section of some 787s. The aft fuselage section is manufactured in Charleston, S.C., at the former Vought plant that Boeing took over in 2009.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Aerospace conference to focus on production increases — What will jet production increases mean for aerospace suppliers? Companies hope to find out Monday when the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance annual conference in Lynnwood opens.



► Friday on KING-TV — Hundreds of truck drivers walk off job at Port of Seattle —  An estimated 300 to 400 port truck drivers walked off the job this week, complaining that conditions make their trucks unsafe. Lawmakers are deciding if they need to take action as the impact is being felt by some Puget Sound businesses

ALSO at The Stand — Truck drivers shut down Port of Seattle to expose jobs’ dangers (Feb. 2)

► In the Peninsula Daily News — Union decries formed Olympic Medical Center contract, hints at possible legal action — SEIU HealthCare 1199NW is prepared to take legal action against the hospital’s board for approving a labor contract not endorsed by its membership.

► In today’s Columbian — Herrera Beutler may try to block CRC light rail — If local voters say they don’t want to pay for light rail operations and maintenance, the Camas Republican said she’ll do her best to make sure the Columbia River Crossing is redrawn without it.

► In today’s News Tribune — Debate grows in Tacoma over big-box retailers— Now that Wal-Mart surprised Tacoma with its plans, the City Council wants to tighten the rules to make sure the next one fits in the neighborhood.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — County’s correctional officers’ contract goes to arbitration— The collective bargaining agreement between Kitsap County and its Correctional Officers Guild expired in 2009 and has yet to be renewed.

► In the Wenatchee World — Waterville teachers plan to ax union affiliation — The district’s 20 teachers will petition soon to end their affiliation with WEA with plans to enlist with Northwest Professional Educators.




► In The Hill — CBO score could blunt momentum for Senate Postal Service reform — The bill would allow USPS, after two years, to scrap Saturday delivery and to use a surplus in a federal retirement fund to ease thousands of employees into retirement. But a recent Congressional Budget Office cost estimate found it would lose $6.3 billion over a decade, so supporters are pushing back.

► At Politico — Payroll tax cut splinters GOP— Should they extend the tax break for workers and blunt Obama’s campaign plan to tag them as out-of-touch, intransigent do-nothings? Or should they stiffen their collective spine and end a tax cut that many of them consider fundamentally bad policy?

► In The Hill — Speaker Boehner faces tough test on $260 billion transportation bill — The bill, which would authorize new domestic drilling for oil and gas to pay for highways, rails and bridges, is being framed as the House GOP’s jobs bill. Boehner will probably have to pass it with only Republican votes, and many conservatives are skeptical the nation can afford it.

► In The Onion — Congressman hurt to discover lobbyist not really his friend




► In today’s LA Times — Latinos, hit hard by job losses, are making a comeback — As the economic rebound picks up a bit of steam, Latinos are scoring bigger job gains than most other demographic groups and proving to be a bright spot in the fledgling recovery.

► In today’s Washington Post — The Citizens United catastrophe (E.J. Dionne column) — We have seen the world created by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, and it doesn’t work. Oh, yes, it works nicely for the wealthiest and most powerful people in the country, especially if they want to shroud their efforts to influence politics behind shell corporations. It just doesn’t happen to work if you think we are a democracy and not a plutocracy.




► In today’s NY Times — Things are not OK (Paul Krugman column) — Friday’s jobs report was, in fact, much better than expected, and has made many people more optimistic. But there’s a real danger that this optimism will be self-defeating, because it will encourage and empower the purge-and-liquidate crowd.

We should never forget that the persistence of high unemployment inflicts enormous, continuing damage on our economy and our society, even if the unemployment rate is gradually declining. Long-term unemployment — the percentage of workers who have been out of work for six months or more — remains at levels not seen since the Great Depression. So this encouraging employment report shouldn’t lead to any slackening in efforts to promote recovery.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m. These links are functional at the date of posting, but sometimes expire.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!