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Anacortes rally, $15 victory, SU delays again, #soybeanwind…

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

 


REFINERY STRIKE

 

tesoro-anacortes-rally-15Mar21-flier► From Reuters — U.S. refinery deal hits roadblocks at 8 striking plants — A tentative national agreement to end a six-week strike at twelve U.S. refineries has struggled to win ratification at eight plants as workers and companies struggle to settle local issues, according to union officials. The deal reached on Thursday by the United Steelworkers (USW) and lead industry negotiator Royal Dutch Shell Plc to end the biggest walkout of its kind in 35 years is showing signs of quick passage at just four plants.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The Tesoro refinery in Anacortes is one of those plants where unresolved local issues — including the company’s effort to take over the workers’ health care plan — have kept the pickets up and the strike in place. Show these strikers that the community has their backs! Attend the Solidarity Rally with Tesoro Anacortes workers this Saturday at 1 p.m. Download the flier, or click here for more details.

 


MINIMUM WAGE

 

15-Seattle-council-vote-balloons► In today’s Seattle Times — Judge rejects franchises’ bid to stop part of Seattle minimum-wage law — A federal judge has rejected a request from franchises to temporarily prevent part of Seattle’s minimum-wage law from taking effect next month. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones, filed late Tuesday, means locally owned franchisees in Seattle are still on the same fast track as large employers toward reaching $15-an-hour pay for their workers within two to three years.

► From AP — Supporters of higher minimum wage hail judge’s ruling — “This is a great day for Seattle’s fast food franchise workers,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement Tuesday night. “This ruling ensures that on April 1st, the minimum wage will go up for everyone in our city.”

► At PubliCola — Restaurateurs say $15 had nothing to do with closures; more restaurants opening — The FoxNation website got way ahead of itself yesterday when they published an article titled “Seattle Eateries Closing As $15 Minimum Wage Approaches.” Rather than getting the facts on why the restaurants are closing, the Fox-linked blog Hot Air blog (plus the local conservative think tank the Washington Policy Center) got the story backwards. The four recent restaurant closures that are cited may actually represent how vibrant Seattle’s economy is.

EDITOR’S NOTE — We now know where KIRO Radio talk show host Dori Monson gets his “facts.” He gets called out by Goldy for regurgitating the same falsehoods. Even the $15-hatoin’ conservatives at the Times concede it ain’t so…

► In today’s Seattle Times — Is $15 wage dooming Seattle restaurants? Owners say no — Conservative pundits say recent Seattle restaurant closures may have been linked to the city’s new $15 minimum wage. We find that claim to be false.

 


LOCAL

 

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle University files appeal to stop union vote count — Seattle University has filed a second appeal to try to block attempts by its adjunct faculty members to form a union. The appeal comes after the National Labor Relations Board’s local office issued a ruling earlier this month that appeared to clear the way for union votes cast last summer to be counted.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Louisa Edgerly, Instructor of Communications and Journalism at Seattle University, said:

We are disappointed that Seattle University has decided, yet again, to waste time and money appealing a ruling by the Regional NLRB, especially since they have lost every appeal so far. We expect the national NLRB to reject SU’s appeal quickly, which would allow our ballots to finally be counted. Once we have won our election, we look forward to negotiating a fair union contract with the administration.

ALSO at The Stand — NLRB orders Seattle U.: Count the adjuncts’ ballots! (March 4)

col-madore-david► In today’s Columbian — Madore accused of ‘union-busting’ — Labor union members filled the seats at the Clark County council meeting on Tuesday, protesting two proposed resolutions many called “union-busting” efforts by Councilor David Madore. About 10 people spoke against the resolutions Madore introduced during board time two weeks ago, while many more who attended wore clothes and buttons expressing their support of labor unions.

ALSO at The Stand — Clark County’s Madore pushes divisive, costly union measures

► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing tanker may be further delayed by two months — An Air Force official said he’s ‘not comfortable’ saying the tanker’s first flight will happen next month, but he expects it before the end of June.

 


STATE GOVERNMENT

 

► In the (Everett) Herald — Should Boeing tax breaks be revoked if jobs are cut? (pro by Rep. June Robinson) — If Boeing took the tax break and turned around and created the promised jobs, those jobs would have more than repaid the people of Washington for their generosity. Instead, Boeing cut an estimated 7,000 jobs and sent them out of state while still collecting on all those tax breaks. This isn’t fair to employees and it isn’t fair to you and me, the taxpayers of Washington.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Make sure you take the online poll at the end!

ALSO at The Stand — Boeing had 16 job-cutting efforts under way when it took massive state tax break

zombie-attack-leg-1► In today’s News Tribune — Zombie lobby descends on Capitol to support film tax breaks — Supporters of Washington state’s film and television industry staged a mock zombie apocalypse at the Capitol on Tuesday as part of their lobbying efforts on a measure to expand a tax-incentive program designed to lure more projects to the state.

ALSO at The Stand — Zombies attack to keep films, jobs in state

► From KUOW — Even zombies may not scare Inslee into expanding film tax credit — “It does create a lot of jobs,” Inslee admitted. But Inslee said it’s also a matter of priorities. Expanding tax breaks for the film industry is a tough sell given the state is in contempt of court over school funding. “But I’m open to ideas,” the governor said. “So I’ll look forward to talking with our zombie friends.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — State agencies to plan for a government shutdown — OFM has directed several state agencies to update their contingency plans in case a budget showdown sparks a partial government shutdown.

► In today’s Seattle Times — GOP to Democrats: Show us the money — House Minority Leader Rep. Dan Kristiansen (R-Snohomish) said Tuesday he wants Democrats to produce revenue bills alongside their spending plan.

EDITOR’S NOTE — “You go first.”

 


FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

 

► From AP — Pelosi embraces tough questions about Obama’s trade agenda — President Barack Obama’s bid for a new trade deal didn’t get easier Tuesday when the House’s top Democrat said her caucus embraces a dozen demands that may be tough to meet.

ALSO at The Stand — Wary of TPP, Seattle City Council panel opposes Fast Track

► In today’s NY Times — House Republicans propose budget with deep cuts — House Republicans called it streamlining, empowering states or “achieving sustainability.” They couched deep spending reductions in any number of gauzy euphemisms. What they would not do on Tuesday was call their budget plan, which slashes spending by $5.5 trillion over 10 years, a “cut.”

WA-GOP-uninsured► From The Hill — Eyeing 2016, Republicans adopt new ACA strategy — They plan to pass a deficit-reduction package that repeals it. Republicans believe they will benefit politically if they can force Obama into a veto.

► From Reuters — House Republicans take aim at Dodd-Frank in budget plan — Their plan would gut regulators’ authority to manage the collapse of big banks and give Congress direct control of the U.S. consumer finance bureau’s budget.

► In today’s Washington Post — House Republican budget departs from both economic, political reality (by Jared Bernstein) — The policies put forth in this document suggest that America’s main problem is that the poor have too much and the wealthy, too little. The budget plan “corrects” this perceived imbalance by deeply cutting programs that help low- and middle-income people, and cutting taxes on those with high incomes, capital gains, multinational corporations and “pass through” business income.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Which brings us to…

► In today’s NY Times — Taxes take away, but also give back, mostly to the very rich — Of the $540 billion in tax subsidies for housing, education, retirement and savings in 2013, the top 1 percent received more than the money received by the bottom 80 percent combined.

 


NATIONAL

 

Next-Up_Young-Workers-summit► From AFL-CIO Now — Can’t be at Next Up? Here’s how to follow the action — The AFL-CIO’s Next Up Young Worker Summit kicks off Thursday, when more than 1,000 young union members, students and community activists meet in Chicago to map out strategies to create an economy that works for young people, including tackling crippling student debt, low and stagnant wages, discrimination in the workplace and a host of other issues that young workers face on the job. You can follow the summit on Twitter with the hashtag #1uNextUp and on the Next Up Facebook page here.

► From AFL-CIO Now — Education company Pearson spies on students’ social media accounts — Ostensibly to prevent cheating, education publishing and testing giant Pearson has been spying on the social media accounts of students and reporting activity they find as questionable to local school administrators.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Sign the AFT petition urging Pearson to stop!

► At Think Progress — Wisconsin schools plan massive layoffs after Walker guts funding — Wisconsin kicked off a series of hearings on Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget, which would slash about $300 million from the University of Wisconsin system over two years, funnel hundreds of millions to build a pro-basketball stadium, and cut deeply from funds for health care and food stamps. College campuses across the state are already preparing for the worst.

nj-gov-chris-christie► In the Int’l Business Times — Chris Christie officials sent pension money to subsidiary of donor’s foreign firm — In May 2013, Christie’s administration chose to invest pension funds into a subsidiary of U.K.-based foreign financial conglomerate Prudential plc. Weeks later, a Hong Kong-based executive director and board member of Prudential plc delivered a maximum $3,800 contribution to Christie’s campaign, followed by a maximum $32,400 donation to the RNC, which was about to launch a get-out-the-vote effort for Christie.

 


TODAY’S MUST-SEE

 

► March Madness is upon us and John Oliver points out, “There is something slightly troubling about a billion-dollar sports enterprise where the athletes aren’t paid anything.” Watch as NCAA CEO (and former UW boss) Mark Emmert repeatedly stresses the fact that unpaid athletes are students and not employees. Except all of these students are required to abide by all the rules in a 440-page manual and sign a piece of paper declaring they are amateurs waiving their right to payment. Emmert says their compensation is an education at America’s finest universities, which Oliver calls “the only currency more difficult to spend than Bitcoin.” Also, meet the Clemson coach getting paid more than $3 million a year who doesn’t want college athletes to be paid because “there’s enough entitlement in this world as it is.” #soybeanwind

 


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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