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USPS protests, Tri-Cities transit unrest, Prince shreds…



► In today’s Seattle Times — Postal workers rally to send message about looming USPS cuts — Protesting threatened cuts that could eliminate Saturday mail delivery and shutter many post offices and mail-processing centers across the country, about a hundred postal workers rallied in downtown Seattle Thursday afternoon. Joined by Congressman Jim McDermott and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, the postal workers marched and chanted in front of the Federal Building and called on Washington Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to vote against legislation they say would devastate the postal service.

► In today’s Columbian — Letter Carriers protest in Vancouver — The National Association of Letter Carriers union protested against U.S. Senate Bill 1789. The legislation would limit mail delivery to weekdays only and change door-to-door delivery to “cluster” delivery, in which neighbors would get mail from a centrally located cluster of mailboxes.




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Ben Franklin transit union critical of bosses — Ben Franklin Transit employees packed the board of directors meeting Thursday night to announce a vote of no confidence against the management and to suggest improvements. Employees expressed concerns about the wage disparity between drivers and their supervisors and said management issues have created the “worst morale among the workers in the history of Ben Franklin Transit” and called the transit “one of the most corrupt public agencies in the Tri-Cities.”

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Federal aid to help 570 K-C mill employees find work — Hundreds of mill workers who lost their jobs at Kimberly-Clark are about to get more help finding new work. The U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday approval of a $1.79 million workforce emergency grant to provide assistance to Kimberly-Clark workers trying to find new jobs. The grant is expected to help 570 workers. More than 700 people lost their jobs, many right around the holidays, after Kimberly-Clark announced it would shut down its pulp and paper operations in Everett. The last of the workers are expected to clock out Sunday.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — CH2M Hill plans up to 400 job cuts before late September— The layoffs will come in two phases with the first reduction in late June and the second in late September. Now CH2M Hill and its main subcontractors employ 1,807 people.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle Community College is right to scrap protest restrictions (editorial) — SCC is one of the most diverse two-year-college systems in the country. No way its students, many of whom fled countries where speech is hindered, would support limiting speech here.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Sullivan asks Reardon to move on garbage contract— The Snohomish County Council has grown increasingly frustrated with County Executive Aaron Reardon’s office over negotiating a long-term garbage contract.




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Gregoire reading the fine print — The governor said she would sign the “reforms” included in a negotiated package of legislation that came together at the last minute. But legislators stuck special projects into the supplemental budget “at a fevered pitch” in the final discussions, she said, and she’s having staff comb through the 280-page document. “I didn’t agree to every dotted ‘i’ and crossed ‘t’ in that budget. I’m sure there are things in there that I will veto. I want more in the ending fund balance.”

► From AP — Attorney closer to filing suit over GOP Sen. Roach’s return— In a demand letter sent to the Senate last week, a senior Republican attorney wrote that all of the restrictions on Sen. Roach’s access to staff were lifted “solely for political reasons.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Those political reasons were for Roach to provide the 25th vote needed to seize control of the Senate and pass a doomed-from-the-start Republican budget that slashed education funding and safety net programs.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — BC, WA ferry official explore benefits of working together — A proviso to the supplemental transportation budget aims for meetings between Washington State Ferries and BC Ferries to explore jointly buying 144-car vessels both systems can use.




► In today’s NY Times — Smokeless in Seattle (by Dominic Holden) — A momentous ballot initiative to legalize marijuana use for all adults in Washington State would wrest profits from murderous cartels while helping the beleaguered state budget.

► At PubliCola — Ferguson laps Dunn in fundraising for AG’s race

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Rep. Goodman ends bid for U.S. House seat in 1st




► At AFL-CIO Now — Spotlight on ALEC grows, some big corporations drop membership— After a nationwide petition effort to persuade major corporations to drop their support of ALEC, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft Foods, Intuit, Wendy’s and McDonald’s have severed their ties with the right-wing conservative group

► At TPM — Cantor’s JOBS Act drives wedge between labor, Obama — Unions objected strongly before the legislation was enacted, and several weeks later, they’re continuing to air grievances.

► In today’s NY Times — Cannibalize the future (Paul Krugman column) — America used to be a country that thought big about the future. Major public projects, from the Erie Canal to the interstate highway system, used to be a well-understood component of our national greatness. Nowadays, however, the only big projects politicians are willing to undertake — with expense no object — seem to be wars.


► At Politico — John Mellencamp to Gov. Walker: Hey, I’m liberal — Liberal rocker John Mellencamp wants Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to know he supports collective bargaining and union rights and says Walker should be aware of that before using his song “Small Town” on the campaign trail.




► With all due respect to Mr. Mellencamp, watch/listen as Prince shreds the second guitar solo during “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Dhani Harrison, et al. We’re not sure about “greatest ever,” but pretty awesome.

Have a great weekend — brought to you by the Labor Movement!



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