Friday, January 3, 2014
► TODAY at The Stand — Boeing Machinists rally to reject contract — Hundreds of rank-and-file members of Machinists District 751 and their supporters rallied Thursday night at their Seattle union hall to urge their fellow IAM 751 members to vote against Boeing executives’ proposed contract extension that freezes their pensions and seeks other concessions. That vote is happening today. See a round-up of all the news coverage.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Long-term jobless voice fears as unemployment checks end — Weekly unemployment checks are stopping because Congress didn’t renew emergency aid that had stretched the normal 26 weeks of state benefits by additional 37 weeks. Benefits for 25,000 Washington residents and 1.3 million people around the country ran out on Dec. 28. As a result, only about a quarter of out-of-work Americans are receiving unemployment benefits, the smallest share since such federal record-keeping began in 1950, according to the National Employment Law Project.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Renewing jobless benefits the right thing to do (by Amy Goodman) — Is this really how we want to start the new year, by denying unemployment benefits to more than a million Americans who have lost their jobs? The long-term unemployment rate is at the highest it has been since World War II, while the percentage of those receiving the benefits is at its historic low. Meanwhile, Wall Street bankers are popping the corks, celebrating a banner year for the stock market. As brokers await their bonuses, many more of the unemployed will head for the breadlines.
► At AFL-CIO Now — SeaTac minimum wage hike goes into effect, yet many are left out — A judge in the King County Superior Court last week suspended the part of the law that would cover 4,700 people who work within the airport itself, saying that the airport is technically a separate jurisdiction belonging to the Port of Seattle, even though those workers were major proponents of the measure. As it stands now, the law covers 1,600 people who work at hotels and car services outside the airport.
TODAY at The Stand — Tell Alaska Air CEO: Stop pushing poverty wages in SeaTac
► In the P.S. Business Journal — SeaTac wage activists will appeal to state Supreme Court — The SeaTac Committee for Good Jobs, which supports a higher minimum wage, plans to file an appeal to the state Supreme Court seeking to reinstate a voter-approved SeaTac city ordinance raising some hospitality and transport workers’ wages to a minimum of $15 per hour.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Adam Kline to retire, ending long career in State Senate — Adam Kline, an unabashed liberal firebrand and civil-liberties advocate who has represented South Seattle in the state Senate for 17 years, announced Thursday he will not seek re-election in November. Kline said in an interview he still loves the Legislature, but at 69, is ready “to move on.”
► In today’s NY Times — The Obamacare we deserve (by Michael Moore) — Now that Obamacare has finally arrived, liberals can stop defending its flaws and argue instead for universal health care.
► MUST-READ at Salon — The “middle class” myth: Here’s why wages are so low today — The argument given against paying a living wage in fast-food restaurants is that workers are paid according to their skills, and if the teenager cleaning the grease trap wants more money, he should get an education. Like most conservative arguments, it makes sense logically, but has little connection to economic reality. Workers are not simply paid according to their skills, they’re paid according to what they can negotiate with their employers. And in an era when only 6 percent of private-sector workers belong to a union, and when going on strike is almost certain to result in losing your job, low-skill workers have no negotiating power whatsoever.
► Ella Yelich-O’Connor, the 17-year-old New Zealand singer-songwriter better known as Lorde, delivers an anti-bling sentiment that the Entire Staff of The Stand hopes permeates pop culture this year. Let 2014 be the year that musical artists finally decide to reject the “love affair” many of them have with flamboyant wealth and conspicuous consumption. And twerking.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.