Judge blocks SeaTac vote, Berkey dies, unions and the ACA…

Tuesday, August 27, 2013




► At — Judge: SeaTac petition for $15 minimum wage invalid — The proposed ordinance was placed on the November ballot by the SeaTac Council, but on Monday a King County Superior Court judge ruled that it did not have the adequate number of signatures to be on the ballot after duplicate signatures were removed.

PREVIOUSLY at The Stand — Alaska Airlines loses attempt to block SeaTac ‘Good Jobs’ vote (July 22)

Backers of SeaTac Good Jobs Initiative turn in petitions (June 6)

► At — Seattle, South Kitsap school teachers vote to reject contracts — Several thousand educators that work for the Seattle School District, and South Kitsap School District rejected their new contract in a vote Monday evening. There was no strike vote for Seattle teachers on Monday, but that could come at a membership meeting the day before school starts. Meanwhile, in South Kitsap, 446 teachers voted overwhelmingly to reject the district’s offer. If no agreement is met by August 31, teachers will strike September 1.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — State says Hanford vit deadline missed — A court-enforced deadline to substantially complete construction of the Hanford vitrification plant’s Analytical Laboratory by the end of 2012 has not been met, according to the state Office of Attorney General. The Department of Energy notified the state in January that it believed the deadline had been met.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Bus drivers’ petition says stress getting worse — The recent downtown shooting aboard a King County Metro Transit bus is just one symptom of a work environment that creates unacceptable stress, bus drivers said Monday.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Northwest apple harvest begins, big crop expected — The Washington apple crop is estimated at 4.8 billion pounds this year, second only to last year’s crop.

► In today’s News Tribune — Labor Council posts invitation to Labor Day memorial, picnic — The Pierce County Central Labor Council will host a pair of events on Labor Day, Sept. 2.

ALSO at The Stand — Click here for details of Labor Day events statewide




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Former legislator Jean Berkey dies at 74 — Jean Berkey, a longtime Everett resident whose political activism began with work on the presidential campaign of Henry “Scoop” Jackson and included terms in the state House and Senate, has died. She was 74. She died Aug. 21 at her home on Fidalgo Island near Deception Pass after a brief illness. Although Berkey served for 10 years in the Legislature, her primary election campaign in 2010 ended in both a political loss and controversy over the involvement of a Seattle consulting firm and a coalition of labor unions, trial lawyers and progressive groups that worked for her defeat.




► In the Seattle Times — Unions, the Affordable Care Act and the Middle Class (by UNITE HERE Local 8’s Erik Van Rossum) — We are strong supporters of affordable health care for all Americans. Sadly, however, the promise made to us is under threat. Unintended consequences of the ACA are poised to shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40-hour workweek that is the backbone of the American middle class… The government needs to make changes to the ACA so that it works for everyone.




► In today’s LA Times — Some L.A. truck drivers go on strike, push to unionize — At least 15 port truck drivers with a Carson-based trucking firm went on a 24-hour strike scheduled to culminate in a Tuesday rally, alleging their employer is trying to thwart their efforts to unionize.

► In the LA Times — Two unions wage turf battle over oil refinery workers — Oil companies and the United Steelworkers (USW) are accusing a rival labor group of trying to grab control of thousands of union jobs at California’s 13 refineries. The spat between USW and the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, which represents a number of craft unions, is playing out in the Legislature, and labor-friendly, majority-party Democrats are conflicted.

► At Politico — Barbara Boxer pushes $10 minimum wage — Sen. Barbara Boxer thinks minimum wage should be raised to be about $10 an hour to help close the ever-growing gap between the working poor and the rich and to promote a healthy nation.

► At Politico — Obama’s big voting rights gamble — Whatever President Barack Obama says at the March on Washington ceremony on Wednesday, his administration has already sent a loud message of its own: ramping up its push on voting rights by way of a risky strategy — and pledging more tough moves to come.

► In The Onion — Let me explain why Myley Cyrus VMA performance was our top story Monday morning (by CNN Managing Editor Meredith Artley) — There was nothing, and I mean nothing, about that story that related to the important news of the day, the chronicling of significant human events, or the idea that journalism itself can be a force for positive change in the world. For Christ’s sake, there was an accompanying story with the headline “Miley’s Shocking Moves.” In fact, putting that story front and center was actually doing, if anything, a disservice to the public. And come to think of it, probably a disservice to the hundreds of thousands of people dying in Syria, those suffering from the current unrest in Egypt, or, hell, even people who just wanted to read about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. But boy oh boy did it get us some web traffic. Which is why I, Meredith Artley, managing editor of, put the story in our top spot.




► In today’s NY Times — Older workers: Set back by recession, and shut out of rebound — In September 2012, it appeared that the world was John Fugazzie’s frozen oyster. He was in charge of dairy and frozen foods for the A&P supermarket chain, making $125,000 a year. But one morning last October, just before his 57th birthday, he was laid off and, carrying a box of belongings from his office, driven home in a car service hired by the company. In the 10 months since, he has applied for more than 400 positions and had 10 interviews, but still has no job.

He and his family are living in his 88-year-old mother’s home, and last month he awoke at 4:30 a.m., sweating profusely, in the midst of a heart attack. As happens to many Americans, when he lost his job, he lost his health insurance. He now owes $171,569.44 for the six nights he spent at the hospital. And so on the evening of Aug. 15, at a meeting of a job club he himself started in New Jersey two years ago — a volunteer networking organization with 28 chapters across the state serving 1,200 unemployed — he told the others he was just like them. “I need a job,” he said. “I need to make money now.”


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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