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Grocery strike votes, $15/hour Seattle, Cruzing ‘a road to ruin’…

Wednesday, September 25, 2013




► In today’s News Tribune —  Thousands of area grocery workers to take strike authorization vote — Grocery workers from throughout the region are meeting to authorize a strike against Safeway, Fred Meyer, QFC and Albertsons.

ALSO at The Stand — No progress: Puget Sound-area grocery unions set strike votes — Votes are scheduled today in Tacoma.

hernandez-carlos-interview► At — Seattle Subway worker says he was fired over fast-food strikes — A Seattle fast food worker plans to file a federal suit against Subway, claiming the sandwich chain retaliated against him for participating in a rally to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Fast food workers and Seattle City Council members are expected to add their support to a suit against a Subway franchisee — and the national chain — for firing employee Carlos Hernandez.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Picket shuts down Seattle Subway over firing

► At Slog — Two people (including one employee) trespassed from Subway restaurant during protest — Officers told Caroline Durocher, “You’re not allowed to go in there, it’s trespassing.” She says she explained to the cops that she actually works there. That didn’t seem to matter.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Bellingham Technical College strike could last a week — A Bellingham Technical College faculty strike could continue for a week after a court commissioner declined to issue an injunction Tuesday to force teachers to return to work. After a weekend of contract negotiations that continued late into the night Monday, representatives for the Bellingham Education Association faculty union and BTC, along with mediators from the state Public Employment Relations Commission, could not reach an agreement. As a result, the faculty went on strike Tuesday as about 2,500 students were scheduled to start the first day of fall quarter classes.

► In today’s News Tribune — PLU wins right to appeal Labor Relations Board decision — A new decision from the National Labor Relations Board allows a contentious case regarding union representation of contingent faculty members at Parkland’s Pacific Lutheran University to proceed to appeal.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Murray plugs $15-an-hour wage for Seattle; McGinn dismissive — State Sen. Ed Murray says he’d push for a $15-an-hour city minimum wage if elected mayor of Seattle. But Murray says his plan would move slowly and with buy-in from business and labor groups.

► In today’s Washington Post — Is Seattle headed for a $15 minimum wage? — Washington State already has the nation’s highest minimum wage. But if the leading contender to become Seattle’s next mayor gets his way, the state’s largest city could raise the bar even higher.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Cowlitz County offers buyouts to some employees — Cowlitz County is offering early retirement and separation buyouts to employees as officials work to bridge a $4 million budget gap for 2014.

► In today’s News Tribune — Pierce County Council cuts jail budget, laying off 16 corrections deputies — The Pierce County Council approved a $3 million jail budget cut Tuesday, laying off 16 corrections deputies despite objections from jail guards.

► From AP — DOE: Clean up Hanford in phases — The federal government is recommending a phased start to treatment of radioactive waste now held in underground tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state.




WSLC-agenda-investing► In today’s Yakima H-R — Valley residents voice concerns over transportation budget woes —  About 150 area residents showed up at the Yakima Area Arboretum on Tuesday night to offer their opinions on legislative proposals to reform and fund the state transportation system. It was the latest in a statewide tour of elected and appointed public officials to discuss a possible transportation revenue package. Most who supported a revenue package spoke less to a potential gas tax increase than projects in the region that have stalled for lack of funding and will continue to fall behind without legislative action. “You had two special sessions to get it done last year and we ask you now to get it done,” said Jeffrey Bohlinger, president of the Yakima South Central Labor Council, a union group.

ALSO at The Stand — Citizens to legislators: Keep our state rolling! — The next forum: Thursday night, Sept. 26 in Pasco. Also, the Senate has created a new website to submit feedback. Visit and urge them to approve a robust transportation funding package.




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Lawmakers focus on smaller players in aerospace industry — Sen. Paull Shin (D-Edmonds), along with Reps. Larry Springer (D-Kirkland) and Bruce Chandler (R-Granger), took part in the discussion centering on what lawmakers accomplished for aerospace firms this year and what they might pursue in 2014.

AP-china-comac-jetliner► From AP — Delivery of first China jetliner delayed again — The delivery date of China’s long-delayed first commercial jet airliner has been pushed back again, the manufacturer said Wednesday, the latest setback for China’s ambitions to challenge market leaders Boeing and Airbus. Originally promised for 2007, the plane was most recently expected late this year, but Comac Chairman Jin Zhuanglong said it will now be ready in mid-2014.




► From AP — Despite Cruz, Senate heads toward Obamacare vote — Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz’ all-night talkathon to dismantle President Barack Obama’s health care law surpassed the 21-hour mark Wednesday with a harsh reality looming — a test vote the tea party conservative was sure to lose.

cruz-ted► In today’s NY Times — The embarrassment of Senator Ted Cruz (editorial) — Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the public face of the aimless and self-destructive Tea Party strategy to stop health care reform, began an endless floor speech on Tuesday with the theme of “make D.C. listen.” But even his Republican colleagues had long since stopped paying attention to his corrosive bombast, tired of his pious insults to his own party and unimpressed with his eagerness to shut down the government in pursuit of an ideological dream.

► In today’s Washington Post — Ted Cruz’s futile, counterproductive battle against Obamacare (editorial) — Mr. Cruz’s extreme path is a road to ruin, for Republicans but, more important, for the country.

► In today’s NY Times — Poll shows disapproval of threat of government shutdown — Eight in 10 Americans find it unacceptable for either President Obama or members of Congress to threaten to shut down the government during budget negotiations in order to achieve their goals, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

► In today’s Washington Post — What is the cost of a government shutdown? — It may sound counter-intuitive, but experts say closing down would definitely come with a price tag.

Boehner-House-GOP► At Politico — House GOP may attach Obamacare delay to budget resolution — The House Republican leadership is seriously considering attaching a one-year delay of Obamacare’s individual mandate to the Senate bill to avert a government shutdown, according to senior GOP aides. If House Republicans decide to go this route, it would all but provoke a government shutdown, since Senate Democrats might not even schedule a vote on a bill that includes that provision, Senate leadership staffers say. Even if the Senate schedules a vote, there might not be time to move the legislation through the slow-moving chamber.

► In today’s Washington Post — New debt limit deadline is Oct. 17 — Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned congressional leaders Wednesday that he will exhaust emergency borrowing measures “no later than Oct. 17,” leaving him with less than $30 billion on hand to pay the nation’s bills.




► At TPM — Final word on Obamacare coverage: Cheaper than expected — Though there will be variations across the country, most Americans will be able to choose from multiple health insurance plans and pay lower-than-expected premiums for coverage on the Obamacare health insurance marketplaces, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


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