Wednesday, August 1, 2012
WASTE MANAGEMENT STRIKE
► In today’s Seattle Times — Striking recycle drivers face replacement threat— Waste Management announced Tuesday that it would begin hiring permanent replacement workers to take the jobs of striking recycle drivers, while Seattle and Federal Way geared up to levy hefty fines against the company for any missed pickups. A spokeswoman for Teamsters 117 said striking workers have filed multiple unfair-labor-practices charges against the company. If even one of those charges is upheld, she said, the company would be barred under federal law from replacing the strikers permanently.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Trash, gripes pile up as strike enters second week
► At SeattlePI.com — Striking trash haulers take campaign to customers
ALSO at The Stand — How to support Waste Management strikers
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — CH2M Hill to lay off 95 at Hanford, and cuts not over yet— The Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council has been notified that 67 workers it represents will lose their jobs at Hanford as a result of a planned layoff by CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. In addition, 28 people responded to a request for volunteers for layoffs. The layoffs have been expected. CH2M Hill announced in April that it would cut up to 400 union and nonunion positions in two phases. In the first phase, 58 employees were laid off in June. That leaves up to about 340 layoffs possible in September, when the second phase of the job reduction will occur. The potential 340 layoffs include the 95 workers represented by HAMTC.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — City of Yakima could face $4M budget hole — The city of Yakima faces annual deficits ranging up to $4 million through 2016 unless it revises expectations over expenditures and services, the City Council heard Tuesday.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — McKenna plan would give schools $1.25 billion more — The Republican gubernatorial candidate says he’d pay for it by imposing hard limits on what every department spends, pay less of the health care tab of state workers and not fill every vacant government job. He’s also counting on state revenues climbing 9% per biennium.
► In today’s Seattle Times — McKenna plan for schools gets an ‘A’ for effort, but… — To do this, he would impose a spending cap on all else the state does — such as health care, prisons or state-worker salaries. It’s Eymanesque in its appeal. But that means it’s probably too simplistic to be true. ” McKenna won’t stick to it,” predicts Sen. Ed Murray, a Democrat who likely will continue to be the state Senate’s chief budget writer if McKenna enters office next year. “He won’t be able to sit in that office and cut breast-cancer screening for poor women, or cut nursing-home care for the disabled elderly, just to stay under his artificial 3 percent cap. He won’t morally be able to do it.”
► In the Pittsburgh P-G — Prominent names are among voters with faulty ID — The list of 99,115 voters in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County who don’t match with PennDOT records include county councilman and United Steelworkers official John DeFazio, county Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s wife, Cathy, county Judge Michael Della Vecchia and city Councilman William Peduto. All of those political names are Democrats.
► At Huffington Post — Florida voter purge: DOJ claims process violates Voting Rights Act — Florida’s voter purge efforts are facing a fresh federal challenge. The Justice Department has filed court papers alleging that the Sunshine State’s actions violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
► In today’s NY Times — Tea Party favorite wins Texas runoff — Ted Cruz, an insurgent backed by the Tea Party, easily defeated the candidate favored by Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday in a runoff election for the Republican Senate nomination.
► From Bloomberg — Faulty 787 engine to be dismantled — Boeing is pulling an engine off a new 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina and trucking it this week to GE’s facility in Cincinnati, where it will be dismantled to find out why it spewed debris over the weekend. A visual inspection showed that damage was limited to the back end of the engine and doesn’t indicate a fleetwide problem, said a GE spokesman.
► In today’s Washington Post — Postal Service set to default on payment— The U.S. Postal Service, facing a $14.1 billion loss this fiscal year amid plummeting mail volume, will default for the first time Wednesday, on a congressionally mandated $5.5 billion payment to the U.S. Treasury. The Postal Service has not used taxpayer money to fund its operations since the 1970s, but it is regulated by Congress, which controls many of its strategies to prop up its finances. Postal unions say that if Congress would relieve the Postal Service of its payments to the retiree health fund, deep cuts to jobs and service are unnecessary. “The pending ‘default’ is not primarily the result of a bad market or even bad operations, but of bad legislating by Congress,” said NALC President Fredric Rolando.
► In today’s NY Times — As default looms, Postal Service sees deeper woes — The Postal Service, on the verge of its first default on Wednesday, faces a cash shortage of $100 million this October stemming from declining mail volume that could balloon to $1.2 billion next year, newly available documents show.
► In today’s NY Times — A campus built by labor is going on the block — Faced with diminishing membership and revenues, the AFL-CIO is selling the site of its accredited institution of higher learning, the National Labor College, on 47 prime acres ripe for development just off the Capital Beltway in Silver Spring, MD. The college has been running annual deficits of more than $6 million. The AFL-CIO has heavily subsidized the college to keep it running, making the potential revenue from the sale a welcome financial shot in the arm for the labor federation.
► In today’s NY Times — Leaders reach deal on spending to avoid fight before Election Day — House and Senate leaders on Tuesday, with little fanfare and no drama, said they had reached a tentative agreement that would pay for federal government operations through next March, averting the prospect of another messy shutdown debacle.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m.