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Support the CRC, stop the sequester, say the word ‘union’…

Tuesday, February 12, 2013




col-columbia-river-crossing► In today’s Columbian — Commissioners consider anti-CRC resolution today — Clark County commissioners will consider a resolution opposing the Columbia River Crossing project at 10 a.m. today at the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The SW Washington Central Labor Council urges all CRC supporters to attend the commissioners’ meeting today in Vancouver. If you cannot attend in person, feel free to email the commissioners at

► In the Kitsap Sun – Bremerton home care provider faces scrutiny from labor board — The NLRB issued a complaint against Kitsap Tenant Support Services last summer based on two charges filed by the WFSE. The complaint alleges a KTSS manager made coercive statements to employees active in union organizing in late 2011. It alleges the same manager terminated four employees because of their union activity.

► In today’s Daily News — Teachers union declares no confidence in school facilities process — The Longview teachers union on Monday passed a resolution of no confidence in the process that led a citizens committee to recommend that the city’s two high schools be merged.

► In the News Tribune — Tacoma couple to be sentenced in workers’ comp case — Jaime Beroth, 63, and her husband, Lawrence Beroth, 67, falsely claimed more than $223,000 in workers compensation benefits while continuing to run their drywall business in University Place, according to charging papers.

EDITOR’S NOTE — If you suspect workers’ compensation fraud by workers, businesses or health care providers, call L&I’s fraud hotline at 1-888-811-5974 to report it.




► In the (Everett) Herald — 787 finishes second test flight — On Monday, Boeing wrapped up a short 787 test flight, the jet’s second since federal authorities grounded Dreamliner commercial flights on Jan. 16. Dreamliner pilots called both flights “uneventful.”

► From Reuters — Tiny ‘fibers’ may have played role in 787 battery failure, NTSB says — The NTSB is investigating whether tiny fiber-like formations, known as dendrites, inside lithium-ion batteries could have played a role in battery failures on two Boeing 787s last month.

► In today’s NY Times — Airline industry at its safest since dawn of jet age — Flying on a commercial jetliner has never been safer. It will be four years on Tuesday since the last fatal crash in the United States, a record unmatched since propeller planes gave way to the jet age more than half a century ago.




sack-sequester► In The Hill — Senate Dems aim to have sequester bill ready by Thursday — The bill would include tax increases and spending cuts, and it would replace the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts known as the sequester. With both houses of Congress scheduled to be out of Washington next week, Senate Democrats hope producing a package this week would allow them to sell their measure to constituents back home during the recess and pressure Republicans to act to prevent the sequester cuts, one aide said.

► In today’s Washington Post — Furloughs likely would exceed 1 million; feds feel ‘undervalued, unappreciated’ (by Joe Davidson) — On Friday, the White House again warned that across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester would cause “hundreds of thousands” of furloughs. Yet, with the Pentagon saying that 800,000 employees in the Defense Department alone could be furloughed, expect the government-wide total to well exceed 1 million.

► In today’s NY Times — Slower growth of health costs eases U.S. deficit — A sharp and surprisingly persistent slowdown in the growth of health care costs is helping to narrow the federal deficit, leaving budget experts trying to figure out whether the trend will last and how much the slower growth could help alleviate the country’s long-term fiscal problems.

► From Reuters — Obama rules out raising Medicare eligibility age to cut spending — Republicans in Congress have said they want to see the eligibility age raised to 67 from the current age of 65, but many Democrats have opposed the idea vehemently. “The president’s made clear that we don’t believe that that’s the right policy to take,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.




► From AP — All senators back $544 million for schools — The State Senate voted unanimously Monday to authorize $544 million in bonds for school construction projects, including $10 million for security upgrades spurred by the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

► In today’s Olympian — Pot revenue unsure, but spenders are ready — Twenty-eight House members signed on to a proposal that would put as much as $182 million a year in marijuana tax revenue toward a major expansion of publicly funded preschool for the needy.

► At AFL-CIO Now — State lose $40 billion a year to offshore tax havens, report finds — A new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group reveals that state governments lost $39.8 billion in revenues because corporations and wealthy individuals are using offshore tax havens to avoid paying their statutory tax rates.




USPS-save-saturday-delivery► In today’s Washington Post — The collateral damage of cutting the Postal Service (by Katrina vanden Heuvel) — While done in the name of making the USPS solvent, this is death by a thousand cuts. As the American Postal Workers Union President Cliff Guffey noted, “USPS executives cannot save the Postal Service by tearing it apart. These across-the-board cutbacks will weaken the nation’s mail system and put it on a path to privatization.”

ALSO at The Stand — Congress broke U.S. Postal Service, now must fix it

► In today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — Contentious work stoppages have declined over several decades — The country hasn’t seen a rash of major strikes in more than 30 years now. Last year, 19 work stoppages put 148,000 workers on the street for a combined 1.1 million days.

► At AFL-CIO Now — State of the Union 2013: Shared priorities for President Obama, working people — On Tuesday, President Obama will give the first State of the Union Address of his second term in office and working families are happy to hear the focus will be jobs and the economy. This year’s address comes after an election in which America’s families made a clear choice between very different visions for the country.

► From Reuters — Obama to announce withdrawal of 34,000 troops in Afghanistan — President Barack Obama is expected to announce Tuesday night that he’ll withdraw 34,000 more troops from Afghanistan over the coming year, the latest big move in his plan to transfer responsibility for the war to Afghanistan’s homegrown soldiers and police.




gerard-leo► At Huffington Post — The president must speak the word ‘union’ loudly (by USW President Leo Gerard) — President Obama demonstrated his gutsiness in recent months by speaking so many words that craven politicians contend cannot be spoken. These are hot-button words like same sex-marriage, immigration reform, gun control and climate change. Fighting words. Taking on any one of these issues, let alone all of them at once, illustrates the audacity of the guy. That’s good because another inflammatory word must be placed on his to-say list: Union. Radical Republicans and the multinational corporations that fill their moneybags are brazenly attacking labor unions, attempting to deny all workers the right to collectively bargain. President Obama must forcefully condemn this malicious campaign to undermine the American middle class. He must proclaim to the whole country, not just to labor union members, that he will protect the right of workers to use the power of collective action to secure equitable wages.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

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