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Waste Management sabotage, ‘Mitt the Twit,’ the Prefab Four…

Friday, July 27, 2012




► At — Waste Management continues to sabotage bargaining process — The Union agreed to take down picket lines on Monday if the company demonstrated a willingness to engage in meaningful bargaining on Saturday. Waste Management would not commit to bargain in good faith. The company also attached conditions to Saturday’s meeting with the Union, including a demand that workers immediately forgo their lawful right to picket and provide a seven-day notice before resuming any picketing activity. “In our last two meetings, Waste Management committed to bargaining in good faith and failed to do so,” said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “We’re supposed to trust them now and take down the pickets? Before relinquishing our rights, we need a full-fledged commitment from the company to bargain in good faith.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Teamsters, Waste Management tussle over picket lines — As garbage sat uncollected for a second day, Waste Management and its recycling and yard-waste drivers argued in competing news releases Thursday about whether picket lines would need to come down before labor negotiations could resume.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Teamsters add accurate about worker fatalities — Teamsters Local 117 says in a newspaper advertisement that four Puget Sound recycling workers have been killed on the job since 2005. That is true.

ALSO at The Stand — How to support Waste Management strikers




► In today’s Yakima H-R — Farmworkers’ suit alleges unfair firing — At least 10 farm workers from the Lower Valley are alleging their former employer fired them for complaining that a foreman brandished and fired a handgun to intimidate workers.

► In today’s Wenatchee World — Mayor says union rejects last-minute effort to save city jobs— A last-ditch effort to save two city employees from layoffs next week failed Thursday when an employees’ union voted against changes in their current health care benefits.




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Border booze business gets boost — The two Post Falls liquor stores saw a 58% sales increase in June compared with June 2011, reports the Idaho State Liquor Division. The eight liquor stores just across the border, from Lewiston to Oldtown, are up 33% overall.

ALSO at The Stand — Liquor privatization’s false promises already exposed




► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee, McKenna set two more gubernatorial debates — They’ll meet in Vancouver on Aug. 29 in a debate hosted by local civic, business and government groups. And they’ll debate in Yakima on Oct. 2 in an event sponsored by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and KCTS-TV.

► At — McKenna: An endorsement outside the box — The Boeing Aerospace Machinists are backing Democrat Jay Inslee for Governor, but the union’s former political director — Linda Lanham, who now heads the Aerospace Future Alliance (AFA) — stood front and center Thursday as the consortium of aviation businesses made a first-ever endorsement of Republican rival Rob McKenna.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Linda Lanham is the AFA, and the AFA is Linda Lanham. Its office is her home and she is its sole employee. She is funded primarily (if not exclusively) by Boeing. Her job is to lobby for the state’s aerospace companies during the session, and in the interim, to host breakfasts and lunches featuring speakers who advocate for aerospace interests.




► At — Walmart punishes its workers — As Wal-Mart celebrates its 50th anniversary this summer, it has faced a new wave of resistance from its “associates” — the company’s corporate-speak for employees. Last month, a delegation of Wal-Mart workers brought their grievances to the company’s shareholder meeting, including low wages and understaffing. In interviews yesterday, three workers at the forefront of the campaign told Salon the company has punished them for their activism. Critics say that the world’s largest private sector employer is playing dirty once again.

ALSO at The Stand:

Walmart’s threat to our food, freedom and democracy (Part 1 of 3)

Modern-day shackles in Walmart’s global supply chain (Part 2 of 3)




► At Politico — Congress nears year-end funding deal — There’s already movement to avoid the fiscal cliff. House and Senate leadership Thursday approached a deal to fund the government for six months — a move that would avert a Sept. 30 shutdown, and keep the federal government operating through March.

► At TPM — GOP’s Social Security cuts could cost taxpayers billions, actuary says — Cuts proposed by House Republicans to programs designed to weed out waste and abuse within Social Security could end up costing taxpayers more in the long run than the spending cuts themselves are designed to save, according to the program’s chief actuary.

► In The Hill — Boehner: House to vote next week on Senate Democratic tax bill — House Democrats will have a chance next week to vote on the Senate-passed middle-class tax bill, Speaker John Boehner says.

► At AFL-CIO Now — AFL-CIO: Pass the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2012 — The federal minimum wage ($7.25 an hour) hasn’t increased in three years. This bill would incrementally increase it to $9.80 over three years, and then be indexed to inflation.

► At AFL-CIO Now — Con Ed lockout ends — Up against Con Ed’s billions, union members from across New York City and the state joined together to support the 8,500 workers and their families who were forced to the street.




► In The Hill — Romney stumbles in London — Mitt Romney stumbled on the first day of his foreign trip Thursday when the Republican candidate appeared to question London’s ability to host the summer Olympics.

► From AP — British media hammer Romney on Olympics comment — “Mitt the Twit,” declared The Sun tabloid, condemning Romney as a “wannabe president.” The Independent headlined their take on Romney’s trip, “Romneyshambles” — accusing him of not only committing a diplomatic gaffe but later “the cardinal sin of U.S. politics, flip-flopping” on his criticism. Even the conservative Daily Mail slammed Romney as “devoid of charm, offensive and a wazzock.”

► At TPM — Romney’s central foreign policy attack against Obama unravels — Mitt Romney has repeatedly attacked Obama over the idea that the president has ruined the U.S.’s reputation overseas. But when his own gaffes took center stage, Romney’s campaign insisted foreign opinions don’t matter.

► In today’s NY Times — Romney’s fundraisers in London draw banking crowd — Participants included some of the top American financiers working in London from firms running the gamut from private equity funds, hedge funds and big investment banks like Goldman Sachs and J. P. Morgan.




► Continuing with the British theme, here’s one of the greatest bands to ever come out of Liverpool… Dirk, Stig, Nasty and Barry… The Rutles! Enjoy, and have a great weekend — brought to you by the Labor Movement.


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