Wednesday, July 10, 2013
► In today’s Columbian — Longshore workers ask Port of Vancouver to take a stand — Local members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, locked out of United Grain Corp. at the Port of Vancouver for nearly five months, took their protest to port commissioners Tuesday. A union leader urged the port to stop being neutral in the dispute and to explain its recent actions, including having workers “that they have known for 20 years” arrested “for standing quietly outside a gate holding a picket sign.”
“It’s time to start supporting American workers” over a foreign corporation’s profits, said Cager Clabaugh, president of ILWU Local 4. “It’s time to stand up for the men and women of this community who pay their taxes to this port in hopes that their families and neighbors will benefit from their investment.”
► In the Maritime Executive — Oregon AFL-CIO votes to support locked-out longshoremen — Longshore workers who are locked out by a foreign corporation at the Port of Portland recently got a boost of solidarity from fellow union members across the state. The Oregon AFL-CIO executive board unanimously voted to pass a resolution during its June 21 meeting that says:
The Oregon AFL-CIO Executive Board supports the ILWU in its struggle to secure a fair contract with Marubeni-Columbia Grain and Louis Dreyfus Commodities, and calls for Marubeni-Columbia Grain to immediately cease its lockout of ILWU Local 8. It further calls on its affiliate unions to take all necessary actions to support the ILWU in its struggle with the grain conglomerates.
ALSO at The Stand — Tell the Washington State Labor Council what to do; submit resolutions for 2013 Convention (which will be held July 25-27 in Vancouver).
► In today’s News Tribune — Washington National Guard furloughs to begin at Camp Murray — Mandatory furloughs for Defense Department civilian employees are taking a bite out of paychecks on both sides of Interstate 5. About 850 employees of the Washington National Guard – headquartered at Camp Murray in Lakewood – are scheduled to take 11 unpaid days off from this week through the end of September, just like their counterparts at Joint Base Lewis-McChord on the other side of the freeway.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Arbitrator orders reversal of firing of prison officers — An arbitrator has ordered the state Department of Corrections to reverse the firings of three Monroe Correctional Complex officers and the demotion of one sergeant after the 2011 murder of officer Jayme Biendl. The department must offer the officers their former jobs back, officials said Tuesday. The individual employees then will decide if they want to return. They will receive back pay either way.
ALSO today at The Stand — Arbitrator orders DOC to reinstate 4 Monroe correctional employees
► In the News Tribune — Rep. Maxwell leaving House for education post with Inslee administration — State Rep. Marcie Maxwell put out a statement Tuesday saying she is resigning her seat in the Legislature to take a senior education-adviser role in Gov. Jay Inslee‘s executive policy office later in July. The resignation is late enough in the year that any appointed replacement would not face election until fall 2014.
► In today’s Columbian — Local legislators cool to Rodney Tom’s fine proposal — Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom has proposed fining each legislator $250 a day during overtime legislative sessions, but local legislators from both parties say it’s a bad idea. “I think it’s a great tool for the rich to again screw the poor and middle class,” Rep. Jim Moeller said. “All they have to do is run out the clock. What’s the incentive for them to get done when they have their own personal wealth to see them through?” Tom, who has a real estate background, lives off investments and owns a $5 million waterfront home.
► At Politico — Immigration reform heads for slow death — Republicans walked away from their 2012 election debacle hell-bent on fixing their problems with Hispanics. Now, they appear hell-bent on making them worse. In private conversations, top Republicans on Capitol Hill now predict comprehensive immigration reform will die a slow, months-long death in the House. Republican leaders will huddle with their members Wednesday afternoon to plot their public strategy. But after holding countless listening sessions, it is clear to these leaders that getting even smaller, popular pieces of reform will be a tough sell. The House plans a piecemeal approach: a border-security bill this month, maybe one or two items a month in the fall.
► In The Hill — White House touts economic benefits of immigration reform — The White House early Wednesday released a new report touting the economic benefits of immigration reform. It looks to build off a Congressional Budget Office projection that estimated enacting the Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill would increase gross domestic product by 0.3 percentage points over the next 20 years. According to the analysis, the Senate bill would encourage more job creation and job growth, decrease budget deficits and help counterbalance the strain the Baby Boomers will put on Social Security.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Immigration reform leader to speak in Yakima — As the U.S. House gears up for debate on immigration reform, one of its leading advocates will be in Yakima on Saturday to drum up support for a bill passed by the Senate in June. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., will speak to supporters at what organizers expect to be a capacity crowd of 300 at the Unitarian Universalist Church.
OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
► At Politico — Why the NLRB matters: Clarence’s story — Under the watch of a Democratic President and a Democratic majority in the Senate, the NLRB is in danger of being completely stripped of its authority. The protections that workers fought and died for, already diminished by legislation and court decisions, will soon disappear if the Senate fails to confirm the president’s nominees before its summer recess.
TAKE A STAND! — By enforcing labor laws, the NLRB protects more than 80 million private sector workers. It’s time for the Senate to confirm the three Democrats and two Republicans who have been nominated to the NLRB so that workers’ rights are protected and labor law is fairly enforced. CLICK HERE to sign a petition saying, “Give Us Five.” All workers deserve the protections of the law!
► At AFL-CIO Now — 201 House Democrats join workers to support NLRB nominees — Members of Congress gathered with workers Tuesday to deliver a letter signed by 201 House Democrats to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The letter urged him to allow a vote and end attempts to shut down the board and strip it of its ability to enforce our country’s labor laws.
► In today’s NY Times — The decline of North Carolina (editorial) — Every Monday since April, thousands of North Carolina residents have gathered at the State Capitol to protest the grotesque damage that a new Republican majority has been doing to a tradition of caring for the least fortunate. Nearly 700 people have been arrested in the “Moral Monday” demonstrations, as they are known. But the bad news keeps on coming from the Legislature, and pretty soon a single day of the week may not be enough to contain the outrage.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Health reform tweak: Bill would redefine full-time work as 40 hours a week — The Affordable Care Act requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide health coverage for workers who put in at least 30 hours a week. A new bipartisan bill would redefine full time as 40 hours, rather than 30 hours.
► In today’s NY Times — Thousands gather to honor 19 Arizona firefighters — Over the parched mountains from where the Granite Mountain Hotshots died a little more than a week ago while battling what became the deadliest wildfire since the 1930s, thousands of firefighters and family members packed an arena on Tuesday for a two-hour memorial to honor their bravery.
► In today’s Washington Post — Walmart says it will pull out of D.C. plans if city mandates ‘living wage’ — The world’s largest retailer delivered an ultimatum to District lawmakers Tuesday, telling them less than 24 hours before a decisive vote that at least three planned Wal-Marts will not open in the city if a super-minimum-wage proposal becomes law.
► In today’s Hollywood Reporter — Striking ‘Fashion Police’ writers slam Joan Rivers: ‘We were shot down’ — “She was completely nonreceptive to it. None of the producers was receptive to it. We were essentially told that if we tried to unionize, we would lose our jobs,” says one writer.
► In The Atlantic — Two Supreme Court cases that could put a dagger in organized labor — During the last half century, private sector unionism has endured a rather brutal death march. Almost every year, we learn once again that the percentage of private sector workers who are union members has declined to a new record low. For the most part, the decline has been a gradual affair, with private sector unions slowly suffocating under America’s uniquely terrible labor laws. In the coming year, however, this slow demise could hasten considerably, courtesy of the Supreme Court. Amid the ruckus over its voting rights and gay marriage rulings, the justices quietly accepted a pair of cases that could make it nearly impossible for private sector unions to organize new members.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.