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UnAmerican Airlines, Rossi’s return, Mumford & Daughter…

Friday, June 15, 2012




► From AP — Judge blocks American Airlines union election — U.S. District Court Judge Terry R. Means said the airline was likely to win a lawsuit seeking to stop the election among nearly 10,000 passenger-service agents to be represented by CWA, so he granted a temporary restraining order. American argued that under a law enacted in February, the union didn’t get enough workers to sign cards calling for a union-representation vote. It sued to block the election. The CWA claimed that it filed a request for an election in December under old rules that required 35% support. Congress raised the minimum support to 50% in an aviation bill signed into law on Feb. 14.

► At AFL-CIO Now — Judge says 10,000 American Airlines workers can’t hold union vote

EDITOR’S NOTE — THIS is why 19 labor unions urged Democrats not to agree to this “compromise” with the aggressively anti-union Republicans who had taken FAA funding hostage back in February. The bar for railway and airline workers to get a fair election on union representation has been raised significantly. The 50% threshold makes it much easier for workers who haven’t signed cards and have no opinion on unionization to prevent a vote from ever happening.

Then-Rep. (and now labor’s endorsed candidate for governor) Jay Inslee joined the rest of our state’s House Democratic delegation in voting AGAINST the FAA funding bill with this anti-labor language in it. But the Senate Democrats who had the numbers to block the legislation, including Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, voted to pass it.

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► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Public vs. private sector: What would Scoop say? (by Julie Muhlstein) — In a piece published on The Herald’s Opinion page, Richard S. Davis of the Washington Research Council argues that private-sector workers chafe at paying taxes to support generous retirement and health benefits for public workers. I’m puzzled by all the political sniping over which employers are and aren’t job creators. The city of Spokane, the UW and the media companies for which I have worked are all job creators. They created my jobs. Many of us have worked for both government entities and profit-making businesses. Most of us, in the end, will have benefited from government programs.

EDITOR’S NOTE — And speaking of corporate shill Richard Davis, I wonder if the patrons of his little right-wing think tank — which include Boeing, Puget Sound Energy, Liberty Mutual, Alaska Airlines, Weyerhaeuser, and more of Washington’s most powerful corporations — support his partisan agenda of stirring up resentment toward public employees. You know, like the ones who pulled a man from his burning home in Richland yesterday.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Yakima mail processing move put off until January 2014 — The Yakima, Pasco and Wenatchee sorting centers were scheduled to relocate to Spokane this July. However, the USPS announced a new timetable that would move Pasco and Wenatchee by February 2013 and Yakima in January 2014.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing makes changes to 2013 health care for nonunion workers — The company is offering no contribution plan, which Boeing believes will be the most cost-effective plan for many people. Boeing will increase employee contributions on other offered health plans.

► From AP — Fred Meyer parent company more upbeat after loyal customers boost 1Q — For the quarter, Kroger said revenue at stores open at least a year rose 4.2%, the 34th straight quarter of growth.




► In today’s NY Times — With justices set to rule on health law, two parties strategize — House Republicans are not waiting for the Supreme Court verdict on the new health care law to plot their strategic response. If the measure is not thrown out entirely, House leaders plan to force a vote immediately to repeal the law to reinforce their deep opposition to the legislation, opposition that has become central to their political identity.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, in his attempt to portray himself as a “moderate,” Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna will say this is not what he wanted when he signed onto the lawsuit to repeal — in its entirety — the Affordable Care Act.

► At Huffington Post — A back door to the public option (by Robert Reich) — If the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the least popular part of Obamacare — the individual mandate — it will inevitably bring into question one of its most popular parts — coverage of preexisting conditions. And in so doing, open alternative ways to maintain that coverage, including ideas like the public option that were rejected in favor of the mandate.




► In today’s Olympian — WEA joins ballot-wording fight on charter schools — Ballot-wording fights are common for voter initiatives — and sometimes shed light on the semantic attacks each side will take in the subsequent campaigns. Backers of I-1240 (including Bill Gates who donated $200,000) already have challenged the ballot title because they want the ballot title to say the initiative “allows” charter schools rather than “authorizes” them.

► In today’s News Tribune — Dino Rossi a possible fill-in for Pflug — Dino Rossi may go back to public office, and he won’t need to get elected to do it. Republicans are considering recommending the three-time unsuccessful statewide candidate for a temporary appointment to his old state Senate seat, which GOP Sen. Cheryl Pflug vacates June 30. He would serve just 18 weeks in the Legislature, and wouldn’t even take part in a session.

► At Politico — Inside the Koch World convention — The Koch brothers’ political operation has increasingly come to resemble its own political party — and later this month in San Diego, it will hold what amounts to its most ambitious convention to date. Many of the dozens of rich conservative invitees are expected to write huge checks to a pool of cash distributed among Koch-approved groups, potentially boosting the Kochs’ 2012 spending plan beyond their historic $395 million goal.




► At Salon — Trans-Pacific Partnership: Larger than NAFTA? — Consumer groups and unions are particularly outraged over the Obama administration’s plan that would allow corporations from TPP countries to bring suit before a multinational tribunal when laws or regulations in another member country harm their profits.

TODAY at The Stand — Tell Congress: No backroom trade deals for the 1%!

► In the Business Journal — Business loses bid to stop NLRB from approving micro-unions — Business groups today lost a chance to stop micro-unions from popping up at workplaces. On a 15-15 vote, the Senate Appropriations Committee failed to adopt a spending bill amendment that would curb the powers of the National Labor Relations Board. The amendment would prevent the NLRB from allowing unions to represent subsets of an employer’s work force, instead of having to win majority support from all of the workers.

► At TPM — Obama policy will grant immunity to young immigrants — President Barack Obama will order his administration to stop deporting younger illegal immigrants and granting them work permits. The policy will apply to immigrants younger than 30 who arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16, have been in the country at least five years, have no criminal history and graduated from high school, earned a GED or served in the military. The decision could affect as many as 800,000 immigrants.

► From AFP — UAW to get seat on Chrysler board — The appointment of Eric Perkins comes at the request of a trust fund set up to cover the health care costs of retired unionized workers that holds a 41.5% stake in Chrysler.

► At Huffington Post – Wal-Mart ‘spy’ fired for posing as reporter at union event — An employee of Walmart’s Los Angeles public relations firm was fired Thursday for pretending to be a news reporter at an event staged by a labor union trying to organize the retail giant’s warehouse workers.




► In today’s NY Times — The clown and the cop (by Timothy Egan) — For every bureaucrat living in a McMansion while doling out vouchers for people in leaky trailers, there are honest cops, hardworking teachers, gutsy firefighters and tireless enforcers of laws that protect our air, water and public lands. In Mitt Romney’s view, these public servants are dishonorable, and maybe even less American. “We have 145,000 more government workers under this president,” Romney said in Colorado last month. “Let’s send them back home and put you back to work.” This is simply not true. Under Obama, public sector employment has fallen by more than 600,000 workers. Obama has tried to increase these rolls — adding teachers, cops and firefighters under federal grants used for the last 50 years — but has been stymied by a Congress that wants to end his presidency by sabotaging the economy.




► The entire staff of The Stand dedicates today’s T.G.I.F. video to our favorite girl in all the land, who turns 13 years old today (on the last day of school!), and whose devotion to this band has inspired her to take up the banjo. We present an acoustic performance of “White Blank Page” by Mumford & Sons. Enjoy, and have a great weekend — brought to you by the Labor Movement.


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