Connect with us


Doing better, Lisa Brown done, McKenna sued…



► If you read just one item that we’ve linked to today, make it this one (and then “like” it and share it!) — At Huffington Post — We all do better when we all do better (by SPEEA’s Stan Sorscher) — The common theme once was: “We all do better when we all do better.” Lately, the public mood has gone the opposite way. Simply put, we are told that we will all do better when most of us do worse. We demonize workers, and we imagine which of our neighbors should make additional sacrifice. At the same time, top 1% executives believe they can move work offshore, lower wages, terminate pensions, shift health care costs, lay off workers and foreclose millions of homes. They don’t accept responsibility for hurting America. They believe they can take a free shot, and the rest of society will pick up the slack. Nobody is picking up the slack. That’s a straight path to a Lesser America.




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown won’t seek re-election— One of the state’s most powerful politicians shook Spokane’s political landscape and shocked her own party Thursday when she announced she won’t seek re-election to the Legislature. Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown has represented her central Spokane legislative district since 1992, first in the House and, starting in 1996, the Senate. A staunch Democrat, she has led the Senate for eight years, and her pending departure sent ripples through both sides of the partisan aisle.

► From AP — Whooping cough: State fees emergency money — Gov. Gregoire opens an emergency fund to help contain a spreading whooping-cough epidemic, and officials urged residents to get vaccinated against an illness that particularly threatens infants.




► In today’s Olympian — Women sue McKenna over health care law— Dozens of women on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Rob McKenna, alleging that his participation in legal action seeking to overturn the new federal health care law threatens access to comprehensive coverage for women.

► At — Insurance Commissioner: Statement on McKenna lawsuit — Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler: “We cannot afford to play politics with people’s lives. History shows that as a nation, we summon the will to try to address health care reform only about once a generation. Hundreds of thousands of uninsured Washington families need meaningful, affordable coverage now. If the court challenge by Mr. McKenna and his conservative colleagues unravels the entire health care reform law, it will be a travesty. Washington’s families cannot wait another 20 years.”




► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Harrison Medical Center considers outsourcing its records unit — The department employs about 50 people (UFCW Local 21) who manage patient records, including paperwork to release records, and translate records and other data into the hospital’s electronic-records system. No final decision has been made.

► In honor of Cinco de Mayo, a Recipe for Union-made Enchiladas (courtesy of the Pierce Council Central Labor Council’s Union Label Committee), which also includes a list of Union-made tequilas!




► At Huffington Post — Congress revolts on Obama plan that would ban ‘Buy American’ — A group of 68 House Democrats and one Republican sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Thursday urging him to reconsider an element of the controversial free trade agreement currently being negotiated by the administration. If approved in its current form, the pact would effectively ban “Buy American” policies in government contracting. Although the deal, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, has received relatively little media attention in the United States, it has sparked international friction among consumer groups and environmental activists who worry that terms demanded by the Obama administration will eliminate important public protections.

ALSO at The Stand — Sign petition to stop the secrecy on the latest round of trade talks (April 23)

► At AFL-CIO Now — Republicans attack Obama on jobs — from overseas call center — The Republican National Committee used a call center based in the Philippines to hold a media conference attacking President Obama’s economic record. The RNC didn’t help its image by pointing out that the call was run by Verizon.




► At AFL-CIO Now — Workers, allies barnstorm Verizon shareholder meeting — The Verizon shareholder meeting comes as the corporation is in negotiations with the CWA and IBEW. The corporation — which made $100 billion in profits last year — is asking its workers for givebacks amounting to as much as $20,000 per worker, while tripling the compensation of its CEO, Lowell McAdam, from $7.2 million to $23.1 million.

ALSO at The Stand — Tell Verizon to stop being so VeriGreedy

► At Huffington Post — 99% spring disrupts Verizon shareholder meeting six times(by Dave Johnson) — You’d be hard-pressed to find a better example of corporate greed than Verizon, a company making billions and tripling its CEO’s pay while demanding givebacks from its workers. Today the 99% Spring movement let Verizon know that 99% of us are trying to bring big corporations back under democracy’s control. Today’s Verizon shareholder meeting in Huntsville, Alabama was disrupted six separate times by members of the 99% Power coalition, part of the 99% Spring movement.




► In the WSJ — Democrats in a convention box — Democrats are struggling to raise money for the party’s national convention this summer in Charlotte, N.C., in part because they’ve barred corporations and lobbyists from contributing. Now, one set of donors the party was banking on — organized labor — says it won’t help pay for the event or will scale back contributions, partly because it is upset that the convention will be in a state considered unfriendly to unions.

► At — Wisconsin recall will have wider impact— When voters in Wisconsin decide whether to recall Gov. Scott Walker next month, they’ll also be shaping the dialogue going into the fall. Powerful forces are lining up behind the two sides in the debate over whether taxpayers should fund public worker unions’ collective bargaining rights.

► At Politico — Walker polls ‘freakishly fixed in place’ — Polls show a dead heat with hardened battle lines around Walker.




► From AP — Only 115,000 jobs added in April; jobless rate to 8.1% — The slight drop in the unemployment rate is due to the more than 300,000 unemployed people who gave up looking for work last month. At least 200,000 jobs would have had to be added last month just to keep up with the growth in the labor market.

► From Reuters — California pension fund sues Wal-Mart, alleges bribery — The second largest U.S. public pension fund said on Thursday it had sued current and former executives and board members at Wal-Mart Stores Inc, alleging bribery and a cover-up in the company’s expansion in Mexico.

► In the (Everett) Herald — S.C. governor wins appeal over anti-union comments — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has won a federal appeal in a lawsuit brought by the Machinists union over her anti-union remarks.

► In today’s NY Times — Plutocracy, paralysis, perplexity (Paul Krugman column) — Inequality is a major reason the economy is still so depressed and unemployment so high, and we have responded to crisis with a mix of inaction and confusion.




► The Clash performs “I Fought the Law.” Have a great weekend — brought to you by the Labor Movement!

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!