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Valley Hospital lockout, $15 moves north, ALEC bleeds…

Thursday, December 5, 2013




sr-seiu1199nw-strike-13dec05► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Some striking workers locked out of Valley Hospital — The action comes following a one-day strike Wednesday at both Valley and Deaconess hospitals. Deaconess workers all returned to work today. Deaconess and Valley hospitals are owned by Community Health Systems, a for-profit chain based in Tennessee.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Railroads to add health benefits for same-sex spouses next year — The National Railway Labor Conference says big rail will start giving health-care benefits to same-sex spouses of employees next year, after two gay railroad engineers from Washington sued BNSF Railway.

► In today’s Daily News — Longview teachers’ union approves one-year contract — The union “overwhelmingly” approved a one-year contract, apparently ending a three-month labor dispute but leaving a major sticking point unsettled. The tentative contract now goes to the Longview School Board.

► In today’s Oregonian — Kitzhaber prods Port, unions, employers to keep Hanjin Shipping cargo vessels from abandoning Portland — The Oregon governor virtually knocked heads together during secret Nov. 22 talks in Portland’s World Trade Center, warning participants beforehand in a letter that Hanjin’s scheduled departure at year’s end would be “a severe blow to Oregon’s economic recovery, one that will produce effects throughout the state for years to come.”




► In today’s Seattle Times — Call for $15 minimum wage moves north to Seattle — Exactly one month after SeaTac voters narrowly approved a $15 minimum wage for some workers, supporters of the effort will march from there to Seattle City Hall on Thursday to urge the city’s elected officials to quickly pass a similar measure. Labor activists want to seize on the momentum of the SeaTac victory, along with the upset election to the Seattle City Council of socialist Kshama Sawant, who made securing a $15 minimum wage in the city a centerpiece of her grass-roots campaign.

ALSO at The Stand — SeaTac to Seattle march for $15 on Thursday


► In today’s Seattle Times — Don’t minimize the jobs that pay minimum wage (by Jerry Large) — Since the recession, it has become harder to get jobs that pay more than $15 an hour; low-paying jobs have grown as a percentage of all jobs. We have to change that or settle for a country of rich and poor with a small middle class and fewer opportunities for upward mobility. Countries that look like that don’t make good democracies. Better wages at the bottom will benefit all of us by helping to stem that kind of decline.

► In The Nation — Fast-food strikes hit 100 cities Thursday — Fast-food workers in New York City are expected to walk off their jobs Thursday, one year after their first strike, joining a 100-city strike wave. Organizers say actions will take place all across the country as part of the movement for $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation.

► Today from AP — Fast-food strikes return amid push for wage hike

► In today’s NY Times — $15 wage in fast food stirs debate on effects — Labor leaders, economists and industry officials continue to debate the potential effects of raising wages at companies that often assert that such increases would raise consumer prices and shrink the work force.

► At AFL-CIO Now — 7 ways SeaTac’s new worker-friendly law will change lives — 1. Allow employees to live closer to where they work and cut down on commute times; 2. Give employees with families more time with their loved ones…




boeing-NLRB► From Leeham News — Could Boeing face new NLRB complaint over 777X site search? (by aerospace analyst Scott Hamilton) — Could Boeing face a new complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, this time over where the 777X assembly site will be placed? A Cornell University labor professor thinks it possible.

► In today’s Washington Post — As Boeing charts plans for a new airliner, doubts arise about where to build it — In a decision with implications for the country’s top export industry, Boeing’s 777X is up for grabs, not just among competing states, but among countries such as Japan with the expertise to build the plane’s most sophisticated components.

► From AP — Missouri Senate OKs $1.7 billion in Boeing incentives

► From AP — Charlotte, N.C., preparing bid for plant to build 777X




► In today’s Seattle Times — Pedersen likely to fill Murray’s state Senate seat; Walkinshaw in line for House — State Rep. Jamie Pedersen will slide over to Murray’s Senate position, as he ran essentially unopposed at a meeting Tuesday night of the 43rd District Democrats. After a couple rounds of voting, the nod for Pedersen’s House seat went to Brady Walkinshaw, a program officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

► In today’s News Tribune — Jesse Young is Republicans’ first choice to replace Angel — Gig Harbor business consultant will vie with Adam Berman and Doug Cloud to fill out the remainder of Jan Angel’s term in state House.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — GOP has slim, but possible, chance to win House seat — As a newcomer, (the appointee to fill Democratic Rep. John McCoy’s seat) will be politically vulnerable. Any vote they take, bill they introduce, utterance they make could find its way into the campaign. As a latecomer, they will be unable to fund raise during the 2014 session, while any Republican challenger can.




obama-populist► In today’s NY Times — Obama presses case for health law, wage increase — President Obama left the White House on Wednesday for one of the capital’s working-class neighborhoods to talk about the economy, not simply to divert attention from the troubles of his Affordable Care Act but also to explain how that law, for all of its flaws, fits into his vision for Americans’ economic security and upward mobility.

► In today’s NY Times — The president on inequality (editorial) — Obama said in a speech on the economy and the widening gap in national income that he will devote the rest of his presidency to the crucial issue of social mobility.

► In The Hill — No deal after Paul Ryan, Patty Murray meeting — Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan met Wednesday as they try to hash out a multi-year budget deal, but no agreement was reached during the one-on-one session in the Capitol, according to multiple sources familiar with the talks. One sticking point is a GOP proposal to raise retirement benefit payments by federal workers, an idea that President Obama also suggested in his own budget plan. Democratic leaders overall have been lukewarm on that proposal, with some strongly opposed.




angel-jan-sen► At AFL-CIO Now — Internal documents show ALEC is bleeding members, corporate sponsors, money — Most disturbing is a draft agreement that would’ve required ALEC’s state chairs, who are senior legislators in each state, to put the interests of the organization above anything else. Such a requirement would have created a conflict of interest for legislators and would likely have violated oaths of office that legislators take. In many ways ALEC state chairs already live up that pledge.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Newly elected state Sen. Jan Angel (R-Port Orchard) is ALEC’s Washington state chair.

► In today’s Washington Post — ALEC stands its ground (by Dana Milbank) — At its annual “policy summit” this week in Washington, D.C., ALEC is keeping reporters from the rooms where the legislators are or are not receiving their marching orders from corporate patrons.

► From Reuters — Walmart is paying legal fees for big number of execs — Wal-Mart Stores Inc is paying for lawyers to represent more than 30 of its executives involved in a foreign corruption investigation, according to people familiar with the matter, an unusually high number that shows the depth of the federal probe.

wilbur-kirby► At Think Progress — Republican candidates, staffers are taking classes to learn how not to offend women — The National Republican Congressional Committee is offering tutorials to staffers of men up for election next year on how not to offend women. The classes are surely a response to a gender voting gap that favors Democrats, one that has been bolstered in recent years as male candidates use certain wording and language that offends female constituents.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Former Washington State Republican Chairman Kirby “Witches and Hags” Wilbur could’ve used that class.


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