Wednesday, August 13, 2014
► In today’s Columbian — Tentative agreement in NW grain terminal dispute — A bitter two-year labor dispute that engulfed everyone from Vancouver police and Washington’s governor to state and federal agriculture officials may have ended, as the ILWU and Northwest grain terminal operators have reached a tentative contract agreement.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Tentative deal reached to end grain lockout
► In today’s Columbian — Inslee, Leavitt, others praise tentative grain deal — State grain inspectors entered United Grain Corp.’s Vancouver facility Tuesday afternoon for the first time since refusing to cross the picket lines out of fear for their safety. Gov. Jay Inslee, who had decided to no longer allow Washington State Patrol officers to escort grain inspectors through picket lines, said the prospect of a new contract was “outstanding news.” In pulling the escorts, the governor said it was clear after eight months of police presence, “keeping WSP escorts in place was not leading to productive negotiations, as intended.”
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Delayed farm workers get visas, headed to Valley — The first buses that will bring 500 foreign workers needed to help harvest apples will arrive in the Yakima Valley and Tri-City area. The Washington Farm Labor Association H-2A program is helping state farmers hire more than 5,000 foreign workers for this year’s harvest season.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Washington state would see biggest gain from Pacific pact, U.S. trade chief says — U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman visited Seattle on Tuesday to promote the controversial proposed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.
If the TPP is so great, why is it being kept secret from Americans and from our elected representatives in Congress? About 600 reps from America’s most powerful corporations are allowed to see it, but not us? From the bits and pieces that have leaked out and your track record of negotiating trade deals that have clearly failed to benefit the 99% and our communities, you’ll understand our skepticism.
The Entire Staff of The Stand
► In today’s Olympian — Plaintiffs in school funding case ask — again — for lawmakers to be held in contempt of court — The people who sued the state in a landmark school funding case still want the state Supreme Court to hold the Legislature in contempt, despite pleas from several former governors last week that the court give lawmakers more time.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Hollywood producers snubbing Seattle; here’s why — The deciding factor? “Tax credit essentially,” says one producer who chose to film a Seattle-based story in Vancouver, B.C. Washington lags behind other states in this department. A film office director from another state said its relatively low cap on tax credits is reasons 1-100 why so little major production work comes to Washington.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Delegates representing the affiliated unions of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, approved a resolution last month that the WSLC “support legislation ensuring that the State commit to funding Washington Filmworks at a level that increases the competitiveness of Washington State’s motion picture industry and ensures job creation and economic development opportunities across the state.”
► At Crosscut — Boeing and its older workers: The brewing confrontation — During the implementation of 2,500 layoffs in the past year, a handful of whistleblowing managers alerted SPEEA of possible bias, according to Roy Goforth, executive director of the union. In addition to those layoffs, the company announced in April that it will be laying off another 1,000 people in the Puget Sound area by the end of 2015 as part of a shift of some engineering work to Southern California. But age discrimination cases can be notoriously difficult to prove, experts say, and the experiences of former Boeing employees elsewhere in the country bear that out.
► From Reuters — Boeing 787 output hiccups reemerge at assembly sites — Boeing has pushed some factory work on the 787 to the uncovered tarmac outside its assembly plant in Washington state in an effort to keep churning out the popular plane at a rate of one every three days.
► In today’s NY Times — On immigration, GOP starts to embrace Tea Party — A legislative year in which Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio set out to publicly marginalize the more vocal right-wing members of his conference ended with them emboldened, and with new leaders ready to bring the right back into the fold.
► In today’s NY Times — More than 300,000 must prove eligibility or lose health care — More than 300,000 people who bought subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act could lose it next month if they do not provide proof that they are living in the United States legally, the Obama administration said Tuesday.
► From Moms Rising — Schedules that work for workers (by Liz Shuler) — Millions of hourly workers struggle under the burden of last-minute, unpredictable work scheduling practices. If you’re a full-time salaried employee, try to imagine finding out a day or two ahead of time what your work hours for the week will be. Now imagine you have no control over that schedule, whether your shift gets canceled unexpectedly and there is no way to make adjustments so you can manage care for your children, take care of a parent or make your own medical appointments. This is the reality for too many working families, especially those with jobs in retail, food service and cleaning. And part of the reality is that the vast majority of these jobs are held by women. If we want families to succeed — a goal endorsed, without exception, by policy makers of every stripe — workers need schedules that work for their families.
► In the NY Times — The trucking industry needs more drivers. Maybe it needs to pay more. — The American Trucking Associations has estimated that there was a shortage of 30,000 qualified drivers earlier this year, a number on track to rise to 200,000 over the next decade. Trucking companies are turning down business for want of workers.
► At HA Seattle — You can’t distort a labor market that doesn’t exist — Adjusted for inflation, truckers are now earning 6 percent less, on average, than they did a decade ago. And yet trucking executives would rather leave business on the table than raise pay to attract more truckers. “It takes a peculiar form of logic to cut pay steadily and then be shocked that fewer people want to do the job,” observes the New York Times’ Neil Irwin. So much for supply and demand.
► In The Hill — Interest in economy falling, poll finds — The public is less concerned with economic issues than at any time since 2008, according to a Gallup poll. The survey finds that 38 percent of adults cite economic issues as the most important problem facing the country, down from over 70 percent two years ago. Dissatisfaction with government, cited by 18 percent of adults, outweighs any single economic issue.
► From Time.com — Fewer groceries for today’s minimum wage worker
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.