Tuesday, October 28, 2014
► In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma council could consider paid sick-leave law by end of year — Workers would earn at least three paid sick days off a year under a tentative proposal from the mayor.
TAKE A STAND! If you live in the Tacoma area, show up at tonight’s City Council meeting: Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. at the Tacoma Municipal Building, First Floor, 747 Market St. Tell city leaders, Tacoma can do a lot better than the Mayor Marilyn Strickland’s proposal! See Say It Ain’t So, Mayor Strickland at from Healthy Tacoma for more information.
► At PubliCola — Poll: Eyman minimum wage repeal ‘below usual measure of viability’ — The poll found that Initiative 676 — an initiative to the legislature to prohibit local minimum wages from exceeding the state minimum wage filed by Fernando Neuenschwander with help from Eyman — is at 54 percent. Conventional wisdom says initiative ideas need to start out above 60 percent to weather a tough campaign.
► At KPLU — More than 100 Washington businesses urge state action on climate change — More than 100 Washington businesses are calling for action on climate change and urging others to join them. Companies including Microsoft, Foss Maritime, REI and Virginia Mason Medical Center have signed an open declaration, saying climate change is real and happening and that more action is needed to address it.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Question: Then why do these companies direct their campaign contributions to right-wing candidates who deny climate change is even a thing? Answer: Because paying lower taxes and wages is a bigger corporate priority than addressing climate change. Discuss.
► In today’s Columbian — Voters turn in ballots across Washington — Ballots for the Nov. 4 general election are starting to trickle in to elections offices in Clark County and around the state. As of Monday, about 10.6 percent of eligible voters had returned ballots.
ALSO at The Stand — Find your ballot, fill it out, and mail it in!
► In today’s Olympian — Complaints allege 2 PACs are hiding campaign donors in local races — A campaign finance complaint has been lodged against Working America, a group supporting several Democratic candidates, for failing to register as a political committee in Washington state and for not disclosing its top five contributors in its ads. Meanwhile, two other PDC complaints target Enterprise Washington, a pro-business group, for allegedly shuffling money between two political action committees to avoid disclosing its donors in TV ads opposing Green.
► In today’s Olympian — Twin groups fund ads praising, attacking Tim Sheldon — Does state Sen. Tim Sheldon “protect reproductive freedom?” Or is Sheldon “siding against our reproductive rights” and “trying to come between a woman and her doctor?” Those are the opposing views in fliers mailed to 35th District voters. It would be a typical campaign dispute except for one thing: The mail pieces are funded by groups with the same top leader and the same address. Each mailer appears to target a different segment of voters.
► In today’s NY Times — Trying to raise profile of climate change among Washington voters — The effort by a California billionaire named Thomas F. Steyer to bolster global climate change measures in Washington has turned the battle over the State Senate into one of the most expensive legislative elections in state history.
► At Politico — Why Dems are winning on minimum wage (by Timothy Noah) — For Republicans this year, the minimum wage is the wedge issue from hell. Even as Democrats lurch toward a potentially disastrous midterm election, support for raising the federal minimum wage is resonating with voters. In fact, it may be the only issue on which Democrats are winning: A Pew Research Center poll earlier this year found 90 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of Republicans favored raising the federal minimum to $10.10 from its current $7.25, as proposed by President Barack Obama.
► At AFL-CIO Now — ‘No to Fast Track’ campaign aims for returning ‘lame ducks’ — The AFL-CIO and its member unions launched a unique “station domination” ad campaign aimed at stopping possible congressional action on “Fast Track” trade authority legislation in the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress. Fast Track legislation shrouds trade deals in secrecy. It makes it nearly impossible for Congress to fix trade deals that harm our economy and environment. It prevents citizens from providing input to proposals while the deal is being negotiated. It makes you wonder what they’re trying to hide. (Sign the petition!)
► At Politico — Nurses union takes issue with ’60 Minutes’ Ebola segment — Sunday night’s CBS “60 Minutes” report on the nurses who dealt with the United States’ first Ebola patient overlooked the Texas hospital’s inability to stem the contagion of two nurses, a representative for the National Nurses United union said.
► From Reuters — Saturday Night Live interns settle NBCUniversal wage lawsuit — Thousands of former interns at NBCUniversal, including on the late-night TV show “Saturday Night Live,” have reached a $6.4 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit claiming they should have been paid for their work.
► In today’s NY Times — Living wages, rarity for U.S. fast-food workers, served up in Denmark — On a recent afternoon, Hampus Elofsson ended his 40-hour workweek at a Burger King and prepared for a movie and beer with friends. He had paid his rent and all his bills, stashed away some savings, yet still had money for nights out. That is because he earns the equivalent of $20 an hour — the base wage for fast-food workers throughout Denmark and two and a half times what many fast-food workers earn in the United States. “You can make a decent living here working in fast food,” said Mr. Elofsson, 24. “You don’t have to struggle to get by.”
► In The Onion — Four angels banished from heaven for attempting to unionize — Describing their behavior as insubordinate and disruptive, heavenly authorities banished four angels from the Kingdom of Eternal Life this week for attempting to unionize, sources from the hereafter reported. “These four hardworking angels are only being punished because they exercised their sacred right to organize and make their ethereal voices heard,” said archangel Jophiel, an advocate for celestial workplace rights who is representing the ousted cherubim and seraphim as they demand greater compensation, limits on the number of divine messages they can be required to deliver without pausing for a break, and a standard retirement age of 5,600. “For eons, it’s been the job of these eternal guardians to watch over every soul on earth, and it’s about time they had someone who watches over them.” At press time, God announced that any angels joining a union will be dismissed for eternity and replaced with strikebreakers called up from purgatory.
► In the American Prospect — The seeds of a new labor movement (by Harold Meyerson) — Over the past 15 years, no American unionist has organized as many workers, or won them raises as substantial, as David Rolf, the president of a Seattle-based long-term care local of the Service Employees International Union. Which makes it all the more telling that Rolf believes the American labor movement, as we know it, is on its deathbed, and that labor should focus its remaining energies on bequeathing its resources to start-up projects that may find more effective ways to advance workers’ interests than today’s embattled unions can.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.