Monday, September 24, 2012
‘THE VOICE’ OF LABOR
► At AFL-CIO Now — Soulful Sheet Metal Workers advances on ‘The Voice’ — Mycle Wastman, a member of Sheet Metal Workers Local 66 in Seattle, certainly made his voice heard this week. In the “blind audition” portion of the NBC show, “The Voice,” his performance of the Al Green classic “Let’s Stay Together” drew a rousing ovation and a chance to go on to the next round.
EDITOR’S NOTE — As if you needed another reason to dislike Christina Aguilera…
► At HeraldNet.com — WTO and Boeing, SPEEA and the 777X — With a week to go before the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace vote on Boeing’s contract offer, the ugliness between the company and union continues. Union leaders are urging the company’s 22,765 Puget Sound area members to reject Boeing’s contract offer, which the company calls “market-leading.”
ALSO at The Stand — SPEEA: ‘Nothing worth accepting in Boeing offer’
► From AP — U.S. trade office bows to WTO on Boeing subsidies — The trade office claimed the U.S. had complied with the March WTO ruling by stopping select payouts to Boeing through NASA and the Pentagon, and by removing some beneficial tax and funding policies. It did not specify a cost of the measures.
► In the PS Business Journal — Boeing gets $1.9 billion ‘sub-killer’ contract — Boeing has received a $1.9 billion Navy contract to build 11 more P-8A Poseidon “sub-killer” planes that are mainly built in the Seattle area.
► From AP — Justices to weigh tax issue — The state Supreme Court is holding a hearing Tuesday on whether the two-thirds majority vote required in the Legislature for raising taxes or closing tax loopholes is unconstitutional.
► In the Seattle Times — It’s Tim Eyman vs. the Founding Fathers (by Danny Westneat) — As the state Supreme Court is about to hear arguments on initiative kingpin Tim Eyman’s voter-approved law that requires a two-thirds vote in the state House and Senate to boost taxes, rather than a simple majority as with most other laws, a young attorney says his research into Washington’s constitution has found “original evidence” that the core principle of Eyman’s push is unconstitutional.
ALSO at The Stand — Supermajority rule kills jobs, harms state, study finds
► In Sunday’s Seattle Times — Approve I-502: It’s time to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana (editorial) — Some people abuse it, just as with alcohol, but cannabis is less of a social problem than liquor, wine and beer. And society manages those as legal, commercial products. Marijuana prohibition does not work. The better policy is to legalize it, license it, regulate it and tax it. The Times editorial board supports Initiative 502 as a big step in that direction.
► At PubliCola — Rob McKenna squanders good relations with media — McKenna was supposed to be a new brand of Republican candidate. But his hostile blame-the-media approach shows the same disrespect for the electoral process that his embittered party brings to the race every year — one that the old Rob McKenna had spent years correcting. It’s a shame he’s forgotten about that.
► ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Join ‘McKenna for Rent’ events this Tuesday (tomorrow)
► In today’s Seattle Times — New arena heads for Seattle City Council approval today — City Council members this summer said they wouldn’t approve a $490 million basketball and hockey arena without knowing more about Chris Hansen’s business plan, his investors and how he would minimize the risk to taxpayers for up to $200 million in public bonds.
► In the PS Business Journal — Federal budget cuts could threaten health care jobs — With the prospect of unprecedented federal budget cuts around the corner, a new report paints a grim picture of job losses in the health-care industry, predicting that Washington state could lose nearly 10,400 jobs next year.
► In today’s Columbian — County workers pay at market rate, benefits better — Clark County wages are generally comparable to those offered by similarly sized counties and the private sector. But county employees pay less for benefits and enjoy more time off, according to a county analysis
► From Reuters — Republican voting laws may disenfranchise 10 million Hispanic U.S. citizens, study finds — New voting laws in 23 of the 50 states could keep more than 10 million Hispanic U.S. citizens from registering and voting, a new study has found, a number so large it could affect the outcome of the Nov. 6 election. Republican-led state legislatures have passed most of the new laws since the party won sweeping victories in state and local elections in 2010.
► At Politico — Trumka going after Brown’s union support in Mass. — AFL-CIO Richard Trumka will deliver a speech in Massachusetts today pleading with union members to back Elizabeth Warren’s Senate campaign and not vote against her “because she’s a woman or because she’s a college professor, or for any other superficial reason.”
► At Huffington Post — Romney cites emergency room as option for the uninsured — Downplaying the need for the government to ensure that every person has health insurance, Mitt Romney on Sunday suggested that emergency room care suffices as a substitute for the uninsured.
► At AFL-CIO Now — Letter Carrier heroes: A safety net of service — Charlie Rose, a 23-year NALC veteran member from Athens, Ohio, has sniffed out more than a dozen natural gas leaks in homes along his route, preventing what could have been deadly explosions. He was also the driving force behind the effort that convinced the city to replace more than 17,000 feet of aging gas pipeline and require carbon monoxide detectors in new rental units. For that, he was honored with the union’s Special Carrier Alert award. He was one of six NALC members recognized last week.
► In today’s NY Times — What do teachers deserve? In Idaho, referendum may offer answer— At least 20 state legislatures addressed teacher tenure this year, most of them shifting power from unions to districts. But Idaho’s track through the faculty lounge — closely watched by labor and education interests around the nation — is still a case apart in the magnitude of the changes and how they came to be.
► From AP — NFL replacement refs create chaos in Week 3 — Week 3 of the NFL produced more suspect calls during several games, and it also produced a meeting between the league and the locked out officials’ union. It was uncertain whether progress was made in an attempt to reach a new collective bargaining agreement, or when further negotiations would take place.
► In the NY Times — CEOs and the pay-’em-or-lose-’em myth — New research has found, contrary to the prevailing line, that chief executives can’t readily transfer their skills from one company to another. In other words, the argument that CEOs will leave if they aren’t compensated well, perhaps even lavishly, is bogus.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m.