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Fast Track in doubt, Voting Rights Act, paid mothers’ days…

Monday, May 11, 2015




trumka-13► In the Washington Post — Will the TPP really protect workers? (by Richard Trumka) — Vietnam, Mexico, Brunei and Malaysia — all TPP countries — are notorious labor and human rights violators, currently out of compliance with the standards supposedly in the TPP. There is no known plan to withhold TPP benefits until these countries ­comply. This raises serious doubts about whether the TPP will create a level playing field for workers. History shows we have one chance to get this right. That is why we oppose giving the Obama administration “fast-track” negotiating authority that would limit Congress’s ability to influence a final deal. The administration should release the TPP text and let the public judge for itself whether this deal will truly raise labor standards and conditions for workers when similar language included in past deals has been ineffective. Anything less is irresponsible.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Mr. President, it is you who are wrong about Fast Track, TPP (by Jeff Johnson)

WA-congress-fast-track► From Politico — Trade bill fate in doubt as debate kicks off — A controversial trade bill is well shy of the votes needed to pass the House and faces a difficult vote in the Senate as the debate in Congress kicks off in earnest this week. Congressional sources say that fewer than 20 House Democrats currently back giving President Barack Obama increased powers to cut trade deals — a top priority of the White House and the business lobby. And with Senate Democrats vowing to stall consideration of Obama’s request for fast-track trade authority possibly for weeks, Republicans in both chambers face a high hurdle to get the measure through Congress.

TAKE A STAND — Call toll-free at 855-712-8441 to get patched through to your member of Congress and tell him/her: “Don’t be one of those 20 Democrats… Vote NO on Fast Track.”

► From Politico — Elizabeth Warren fires back at Obama… again — Sen. Elizabeth Warren hit back at President Barack Obama in an interview published on Monday, saying she is justified in her criticism of trade negotiations that she believes could undermine the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

► From the Oregonian — While Nike pushes trade pact, local footwear manufacturer has qualms — Rob Scofield said the pact poses a dangerous threat to his company. He worries that if operators in low-cost footwear hotbeds like Vietnam can sell their shoes without duties to the United States, it will be much more difficult for U.S. manufacturers like him to compete. New Balance the single big-name competitor in the athletic footwear business to retain some domestic manufacturing also has come out against the TPP.




WA-voting-rights-act► In today’s Seattle Times — Pass the state Voting Rights Act (editorial) — The Senate has shown leadership on the budget and on other major issues, including support for raising the gas tax to fund a transportation plan. So it should have no problem giving a meaningful civil-rights measure a full airing. Legislative action beats the alternative, which is more lawsuits and legal costs at the expense of taxpayers and, worse, disenfranchisement of a significant block of voters.

► In today’s Olympian — State budget negotiations underway, or are they? Lawmakers disagree — One-third of the way through an overtime session to decide a state budget, leaders in the state Legislature can’t seem to agree about whether or not they’re actually negotiating yet.

ALSO at The Stand — Radio ads remind all the “Public Service Matters”

► In today’s Columbian —Teachers poised for one-day walkout — The debate over school funding will hit home Wednesday when nearly 2,500 teachers walk off the job in a one-day protest that will shutter schools for about 38,000 students in the Camas, Evergreen, Hockinson and Washougal districts.

► In the Seattle Times — Wildly varying teacher salaries part of state budget debate — As lawmakers ponder how much to increase state spending for public schools, how much to pay teachers and where those dollars should come from are among the most hotly contested issues.

► In the Seattle Times — State in ‘weird place’ trying to alter reliance on school levies — A controversial “levy swap” plan has turned politics on its head in Olympia, with anti-tax activist Tim Eyman calling on Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee to save taxpayers from the GOP.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — GOP activist fills Fagan’s vacated 9th District seat — Mary Dye, longtime GOP activist from Garfield County, will represent southeastern Washington in the state House. Dye, 53, was named Friday  by commissioners from the district’s six counties to fill the seat left open a week ago when Susan Fagan resigned amid allegations of ethics violations. Dye and her husband operate a wheat farm near Pomeroy.




surge-soda-l► In the Seattle Times — Boeing will close 787 surge line to make way for producing 777X — The temporary extra assembly line in Everett used to build Boeing 787 Dreamliners will shut down at the end of this year and be converted for use in early production of the forthcoming 777X jet. Workers on the temporary line, known as the “surge line,” will transition to the other assembly line, which will step up production to match the rate from both assembly lines today. The company said the move will not result in any layoffs in Everett.




► In Sunday’s (Everett) Herald — Letter Carriers Food Drive helps replenish food bank shelves — Six semi-trucks were packed with food and other necessities to be delivered to those in need across Snohomish County this summer. The Letter Carriers Food Drive takes place every year on the second Saturday in May at post offices across the county.

ALSO at The Stand — Help hand-deliver IBEW 483’s peanut butter haul Wednesday

seiu1199nw► In the Bellingham Herald — Union, PeaceHealth continue to negotiate as strike day approaches — PeaceHealth and the union representing up to 900 workers at its hospital and labs in Bellingham are continuing to wrangle over a new three-year contract — days out from a 25-hour strike set to begin Wednesday, May 13.

► In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma needs a $15 minimum wage sooner, not later (by Alan Stancliff) — If you can’t run your business in a socially responsible manner, pay a fair price for labor power and operate legally, you don’t have a viable business plan… A $15 per hour minimum wage equates to $31,200 a year. That’s about what it costs to live quite modestly in Tacoma… It’s the bare minimum every working human in Tacoma requires for a life of some small dignity. If you work hard every day, don’t you deserve a living wage?




► In today’s Seattle Times — Longtime union activist helps organize Facebook’s shuttle drivers — Raised on the mean streets of Watts and East Oakland, Rodney Smith learned early on to stand up for himself. More recently, as a Bay Area union leader and Teamsters organizer, he’s also gotten pretty good at fighting for others.

► From AP — United Airlines outsources low-pay jobs to tax-aided SkyWest — United Airlines is outsourcing about 50 Boise operations and customer-service jobs to SkyWest Airlines at significantly lower wages. The move comes six months after SkyWest became the first business to win a new Idaho tax incentive worth $1.3 million, promising to bring 50 new high-paying jobs to Boise.




► From Last Week Tonight — In what is quickly becoming a regular Monday feature at The Stand, John Oliver takes on the issue of paid family leave and nails it. If you don’t have time to watch the whole thing (which you should), skip ahead to 9:57 to see America’s first realistic Mother’s Day commercial.


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

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