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Davis Wire, DelBene vs. MamaPAC, when cities privatize…

Wednesday, July 18, 2012




► At — Community rallies in support of striking Davis Wire workers — Striking workers were joined by their families, labor leaders, elected officials, and community partners for a community rally at the facility to mark two months since the start of the strike.  An estimated 300 people turned out for the event. “Workers at Davis Wire have taken bold, courageous steps to challenge an unjust employer.  Their fight for human dignity and respect on the job is an inspiration to working families across the country who struggle every day to make ends meet,” said Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer Tracey A. Thompson.

► From KOMO TV — Coverage of Tuesday’s Davis Wire strike actions

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Who wins when cities privatize? (by Shawn Vestal) — A new report on the privatization of most city services in Indianapolis finds that the talk of savings far exceeded the walk. Some savings here, some costs there, and at the end of the day the budget stayed the same or got a little bit bigger. Whether citizens benefit from privatization, though, it’s certain that certain companies and politicians do. And those benefits can flourish over time, nourished by mutual relationships and the revolving door.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle gets shorted on fees from H-1B visas — The area doesn’t receive anywhere near its share of the money generated by H-1B visa fees, which are supposed to be used to train the local workforce to perform similar jobs, according to a new study.




► In today’s Seattle Times — DelBene faces tougher fight than expected in 1st District race — Suzan DelBene and her four Democratic rivals are battling in the top-two primary to likely face the sole Republican in the race, John Koster. DelBene’s style — a technocrat in the mold of Sen. Maria Cantwell — may not be dynamic on a stage. She describes herself as a “workhorse, not a show horse.”

► At — Take down attack ad Ruderman tells “MamaPAC” — U.S. House candidate Laura Ruderman has called on an “independent” SuperPAC financed by her mother to take down an attack ad against fellow Democrat Suzan DelBene that began airing Tuesday on Seattle television.

► At — Latest big gift to charter schools initiative: $600,000 from Walmart heiress — Alice Walton, the daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, donated $600,000 last week to an initiative to allow charter schools in Washington state, helping to bring the effort’s fundraising to $3.3 million.

► A related story at Huffington Post — Wal-Mart heirs worth same amount as bottom 40% of all Americans — The Walton family was worth $89.5 billion in 2010, the same as the bottom 41.5% of U.S. families combined. That’s 48.8 million American households in total.

► At AFL-CIO Now — Meet Mr. 1% — Mitt Romney made a wad of cash — $255 million — by laying off American workers and shipping U.S. jobs overseas. Now he wants to give millionaires and billionaires more tax cuts they don’t need — tax cuts that didn’t create jobs the first time around — while hurting the rest of us. Meet Mr. 1% is the AFL-CIO’s new website with infographics and a video you can share on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.




► In today’s NY Times — Gloomy forecast for states, even if economy rebounds — The fiscal crisis for states will persist long after the economy rebounds as they confront rising health care costs, underfunded pensions, ignored infrastructure needs, eroding revenues and expected federal budget cuts, according to a new report by a task force of respected budget experts.

► In today’s NY Times — The rush to abandon the poor (editorial) — In the name of fighting health reform, a growing number of states are ignoring their obligations to the neediest citizens.

► At Politico — Obama’s jobs panel is MIA— President Barack Obama’s Jobs Council hasn’t met publicly for six months, even as the issue of job creation dominates the 2012 election. At this point, the hiatus might be less awkward than an official meeting, given the hornet’s nest of issues that could sting Obama and the council members if the private-sector panel gets together.

► At Politico — DISCLOSE Act dies again — Senate Democrats’ second attempt in less than 24 hours to advance the campaign finance bill failed Tuesday — even after at least 16 senators held the floor for six hours Monday night in support of the measure. On a strictly partisan 53-45 vote, it fell short of the 60 votes needed to break a Republican filibuster.

► At AFL-CIO Now — IATSE members ratify Hollywood agreement — Theatrical Stage Employees and the union’s 14 Hollywood locals approved a new three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.




► In today’s NY Times — Unions’ past may hold keys to its future— History offers some clues about how the labor movement — once again on the mat, pummeled into insignificance by economic forces beyond its control — might recover its relevance to American workers and society. The precedent of the 1930s — when workers organized in droves — offers perhaps a hint of a path for organized labor as the economy works its way forward from the Great Recession, a role that perhaps better fits the nation’s corporate makeup. The future labor movement may have to give up organizing work site by work site. Its biggest political fight in the last few years — pushing a law (EFCA) to make it easier to organize a workplace — may be irrelevant. And fighting to create new barriers to foreign competition is probably a lost cause. Instead of negotiating for their members only, unions might do better pulling for better wages and conditions for all workers.


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