Friday, October 25, 2013
► From AP — Grocery workers to vote on pact next week — Ratification votes are scheduled next week on a tentative contract agreement that averted a strike by 21,000 grocery workers at four major grocery chains in the Puget Sound region. A UFCW Local 21 spokesman said Thursday that voting opportunities are scheduled Oct. 29 at five locations around the sound and Oct. 30 at three other locations, and results should be available Oct. 31.
ALSO at The Stand — Tentative agreement averts Puget Sound-area grocery strike
► In today’s Wenatchee World — WSD employees win back pay over unfair labor practice — A group of 17 Wenatchee School District secretaries and teaching assistants will receive back pay totaling about $50,000 after winning an unfair labor practices lawsuit against the district.
► From AP — Seattle tunneling machine digs out of launch pit — The machine boring a new Highway 99 tunnel under downtown Seattle has finally dug itself out of its own launch pit.
► From AP — Pension lawsuit goes before State Supreme Court — The state Supreme Court on Thursday heard arguments over legislative action in recent years to end some pension benefit increases for state and local government employees. At issue are two actions taken by lawmakers. In 2007, the Legislature repealed pension “gain-sharing” that benefited retirees when the markets were doing well. Then in 2011, lawmakers ended cost-of-living increases for pensions for public employees enrolled in two older pension plans. Lawsuits were filed by various unions and others opposed to the changes.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Court urged to toss ‘raw deal’ on pensions
► In today’s Columbian — PDC exempts Benton from some disclosure rules — State Sen. Don Benton (R-Vancouver) can skip disclosing most of the top clients of his sales consulting business, the Public Disclosure Commission ruled Thursday. The PDC requires state elected officials to disclose financial information on an F1 report so the public can see whether they have any potential financial conflicts of interest. Benton has omitted a list of his top clients from his F1 reports since 1999.
► From Reuters — Boeing gets $20.7 billion worth of 737 Max commitments from China — The Boeing Co. has secured commitments for around 200 of its 737 Max aircraft, the upgraded variant of its best-selling short-haul planes, from multiple Chinese customers, said two sources familiar with the deals.
► In The Hill — Reid rules out ‘grand bargain’ — The Senate Majority Leader ruled out the possibility that a budget conference committee convening next week will reach a “grand bargain” that would cut Social Security or Medicare benefits, raise taxes and reduce spending. Instead, he suggested negotiators should focus on a replacement for sequestration and forget “happy talk” about a grand bargain.
► At Politico — How (the other) Washington is killing the economy — The latest round of fiscal drama has sputtered to a temporary close, but the routine crises have one clear victim: the U.S. economy, which is once again losing altitude. And for the third year in a row, Washington gets much of the blame.
► In today’s NY Times — In search of Republican grown-ups (editorial) — The Republican Party will have to do much better than avoiding default to earn back the public’s trust after their disastrous and juvenile shutdown stunt.
► In today’s NY Times — Obama urges House Republicans to act on immigration reform — President Obama on Thursday renewed his call for an immigration overhaul, telling an audience of activists at the White House that the fate of a bipartisan Senate bill now rests with Republicans in the House.
► In The Hill — GOP comfortable ignoring Obama pleas for vote on immigration bill — Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has repeatedly ruled out taking up the comprehensive Senate bill, and senior Republicans say it is unlikely that the party, bruised from its internal battle over the government shutdown, will pivot quickly to an issue that has long rankled conservatives.
► At Truthout — Growing clash between immigrant rights activists and Washington power brokers (by David Bacon) — This fall, when Congress couldn’t pass immigration reform bills – even ones deeply unpopular among many immigrants themselves – one of the most important responses came from Oaxaca. In the capital of this southern Mexican state, a representative of a Silicon Valley union sat down with a state agency and an organization of indigenous migrants and signed an agreement for mutual cooperation… In addition to objecting to increased enforcement, immigrant community activists have questioned the drive toward contract labor programs, like those that are major elements of Congress’ reform bills. Like deportations, this too has become a policy question not just debated in Washington but fought out on the ground. In this case, the fight is taking place in the fields of Sakuma Berry Farms, one of the largest strawberry, blueberry and blackberry growers in Washington state.
► At Salon — McDonald’s tells workers to get food stamps — An audio recording released by labor activists Wednesday afternoon captures a staffer for McDonald’s’ “McResources Line” instructing a McDonald’s worker how to apply for public assistance.
► At WSJ — ‘Captain Phillips’ helps union make its budget pitch — The International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots was hoping a couple dozen members of Congress would turn up at a Washington, D.C. , movie theater to watch Tom Hanks portray one of their own, Captain Richard Phillips, and overcome Somali pirates in “Captain Phillips.”
► From CNN — Explosion in Mexican candy factory kills 1, injures 40 — A powerful blast rocked a U.S.-owned candy factory in northern Mexico, killing one person and injuring more than 40 as rescuers searched for any other victims, officials said.
► At Union Plus — Union-made Halloween treats — See the list of candy products made by members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM); snack foods by members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW); or fruit and nuts from members of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW).
► Right now, we are urging Washington’s working families to get out and vote in support of their own economic interests. So we hesitate a bit to share actor-comedian Russell Brand’s message urging people not to vote. But it’s just too damned good. Watch the whole thing and see how a passionate argument eventually silences even the most cynical newsman. Don’t have 10 minutes? Skip ahead and watch the end starting from about 8:30. (Hat tip to Gawker: Russell Brand may have started a revolution last night)
► Ever wonder what Bonnie Raitt might sound like if she had a better band with Stax-style horns? (Who hasn’t?!) Well, wonder no longer. The Entire Staff of The Stand™ presents the first single from an excellent new album by the Tedeschi Trucks Band, as performed this week on Conan. Enjoy!
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.