Tuesday, April 29, 2014
► In today’s P.S. Business Journal — Machinists union lands contract with Boeing supplier — About 280 workers at Boeing supplier AIM Aerospace in Sumner have ratified their first union contract with a 75 percent yes vote. The contract brings to nine the number of Washington aerospace companies to be represented by Seattle-based Machinists District Lodge 751. “We are organizing new companies each year,” said Jon Holden, District Lodge 751 president. “We’re successfully doing that, and bargaining new agreements that have nothing to do with Boeing.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — Kshama Sawant has already won the Seattle $15 wage debate (by Jonathan Martin) — Mayor Ed Murray is expected to release his plan to raise Seattle’s minimum wage as soon as today. No matter what happens in the $15 wage debate, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant has already won. If the Seattle City Council passes a $15 wage in the coming months (as appears likely), Sawant will appropriately get credit for coming out of nowhere to commandeer the city’s political agenda.
► At TPM — U.S. Senate to vote on minimum wage hike; GOP filibuster expected — Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has set up a procedural vote in the Senate for Wednesday to advance a bill hiking the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, a central campaign issue for Democrats ahead of the 2014 congressional elections. Sixty votes are needed to break a filibuster, and Democrats are unlikely to get there because not a single Republican senator is on board.
► In today’s Detroit Free Press — What a higher minimum wage would mean for me (guest commentary) — I have worked as a tipped server for 15 years and, not counting tips, I still make only $2.65 an hour. I’m a divorced mother with three kids. I need to put food on the table. I need to put clothes on their backs. I need to make sure they have what they need for school. I want to make sure they can have a successful future.
► At HA Seattle — How common is wage and tip theft? Even U.S. Congressmen do it! — Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R), a second-term congressman from Staten Island, was indicted on federal fraud charges for underreporting the wages and payroll while running an Upper East Side restaurant, concealing the actual payroll in a separate set of computer records.
► In today’s Columbian — I-5 Bridge replacement project focus of new coalition effort — Two Republican lawmakers, Rep. Liz Pike (R-Camas) and Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center), recently sent a letter to a handful of Oregon and Washington lawmakers, asking them to be part of the “bipartisan, Bi-State Bridge Coalition,” or BBC. The letter invites lawmakers to a June 4 meeting, closed to the public and press, to “address transportation corridors between the states of Oregon and Washington and specific to the regions of Southwest Washington and the Portland metro area.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — Insurance chief OKs ‘no surprises’ rule for health-plan networks — Despite criticism from both insurers and hospitals, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler adopted a new rule Monday that spells out what health insurers must do to make sure their networks of hospitals and doctors can provide covered benefits to patients. “In the end, it’s my responsibility to make sure we protect consumers, and I have the tools to do it,” Kreidler said.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Bertha’s bogged down, but Brenda to begin Northgate-to-UW tunnel — Sound Transit held a dedication ceremony Monday for tunnel-boring machine Brenda, which will depart Northgate to dig a southbound train tube in June. The drill will pause at the Roosevelt and U District stations, then reach the University of Washington Station next to the Montlake Cut — a two-year journey through soft soil. Another drill is to embark in September to create the northbound tube just a few yards away.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane offers up tax plan — Spokane voters likely will see two big tax measures on the November ballot, but city leaders say they will be part of a refinancing package to fix streets and renovate Riverfront Park and won’t cost them anything more than they’re already paying.
► In today’s NY Times — Lawmakers return to Congress with a modest agenda — When members of Congress are campaigning for re-election in their districts, they are calling for legislation to address big problems with immigration, taxes, health care, worker pay, climate change and the country’s aging infrastructure. But as they return to Washington on Monday after a two-week break, there is almost no prospect for new legislation in those areas until after Election Day.
► In today’s Washington Post — Trucking used to be a ticket to the middle class. Now it’s just another low-wage job. — It’s the skewed economics of the trucking trade that prompted port truckers to go on strike in Los Angeles on Monday as part of a union-backed campaign to regain some of the pay, benefits and respect they say they’ve lost after three decades of decline.
► In today’s Washington Post — Postal Service faces potential leadership void as executives near retirement — The U.S. Postal Service faces a leadership succession problem due to pending retirements among executives, but many of those in line to take their places aren’t far from retirement eligibility themselves, a report issued Monday said.
► In today’s NY Times — Justices appear willing to give fired public worker only half a victory — The Supreme Court will decide whether the First Amendment rights of a public employee were clearly established when he was fired after testifying in a corruption trial.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.