Connect with us


$12 Later, expand Social Security, faux contractors…

Monday, July 13, 2015





► In the Skagit Valley Herald — Unions, labor leaders march to support Sakuma farmworkers — About 250 people marched west Saturday along Cook Road toward the Sakuma Bros. Farms processing plant in support of a campaign to allow farmworkers to negotiate a union contract. Members of the farmworkers labor group Familias Unidas por la Justicia were joined by national and international union leaders and labor rights activists. Once the group reached the entrance to the processing plant, several speakers gave comments of solidarity, including Jeff Johnson, president of the Washington State Labor Council.

ALSO at The Stand — “Hear us:” Sakuma farm workers, community call for contract (by Jeff Johnson)

► In the Skagit Valley Herald — Union leaders, labor activists rally for Sakuma Bros. farmworkers — Union leaders and labor rights activists joined farmworkers Friday morning in front of Sakuma Bros. Farms to support calls for the company to allow its workers to collectively bargain for better wages and working conditions.

strickland-marilyn► In the News Tribune — Tacoma mayor to propose $12 hourly wage issue for fall ballot — The Tacoma City Council is scheduled Tuesday to discuss a proposal to place a minimum wage measure on the November ballot to compete with the citizen initiative that qualified last month through signature-gathering. The initiative would raise the minimum wage in the city from the state’s current $9.47 per hour to $15 almost immediately. The alternative proposal by Mayor Marilyn Strickland would gradually raise the hourly wage to $12 by January 2018.

► In the News Tribune — Tacoma banned the box for city jobs. Now it’s time to do more. (by Matt Driscoll) — Last week the Tacoma City Council officially, and unanimously, “banned the box,” removing the question “Have you been convicted of a felony within the last 10 years?” from most city job applications… Now it’s time to do more — as seven states, the District of Columbia, and twelve cities and counties across the country have done. Tacoma should go beyond city government and extend ban the box-style hiring policies to private employers.




► In the News Tribune — Legislature adjourns after long, simmering session — After the longest single-year legislative session in Washington history, the state House and Senate adjourned Friday following passage of the final parts of the state’s first transportation package in a decade.

PSM-WFSE-contract-signing-front► In the Spokesman-Review — Legislature went deep into extra innings: Here’s the scorecard — WINS: Teachers and other school employees: They get a raise and a separate school year pay-bump from the state, and a promise that the Legislature will try to work out a better system than the current one, which often requires local school districts to dip into their property tax money to pay voter-mandated raises in years when the Legislature doesn’t. Good luck with that. State employees: They get raises, too.

ALSO at The Stand — Signed, sealed, delivered for state employees

► In the Oregonian — Oregon embraces free community-college tuition ahead of other states, outpacing Obama proposal — Oregon will almost certainly begin offering free tuition to some community-college students in fall 2016.




► In the Christian Science Monitor — Has U.S. desire for Asia trade deal trumped slavery with Malaysia’s ranking? — The State Department may have adjusted its evaluation of Malaysia’s track record on human trafficking in the interest of including the Southeast Asian economic powerhouse in the TPP.

social-security-front► From The Hill — Sanders, Democrats urging Obama to expand Social Security — In a letter to be delivered to the White House Monday, scores of Democratic lawmakers say evolving trends surrounding employer retirement packages have put a financial squeeze on the nation’s retirees. They want the president to fill the gap by expanding Social Security. The letter is spearheaded by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and a 2016 presidential contender, and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.). They join Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and 68 other House Democrats in endorsing the letter.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Rep. Jim McDermott is the only member of Washington’s delegation who signed the letter.

► From The Hill — Clinton wins major labor endorsement — The American Federation of Teachers has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

► From Al Jazeera America — Scott Walker’s war with unions a likely boon for fundraising in GOP race — The second-term Wisconsin governor has long enjoyed support from some of the most influential donors in Republican politics. And their support has everything to do with Walker’s signature issue: His successful campaign to limit the power of labor unions in his home state.

ALSO at The Stand — AFL-CIO’s Trumka reacts to Walker’s bid for presidency

► From CNN — OPM Director Katherine Archuleta steps down — Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta resigned Friday, a day after revealing that the recent data breach of government computers was vastly larger than originally thought.




UAW► From Reuters — Detroit Three, UAW will square off over wages, U.S. jobsThe Big Three U.S. automakers and the United Auto Workers union will kick off bargaining Monday for new contracts that would set how much more robust, post-recession profits the industry shares with workers, and determine union costs to win more U.S. jobs.

► In the Wall St. Journal — Truckers at Port of Los Angeles vote to unionize — Short-haul truckers employed by Eco Flow in the Los Angeles and Long Beach port complexes voted unanimously to unionize, but the Teamsters still face an uphill battle to organize the wider labor pool.




worker-misclassification► In the Philadelphia Enquirer — A growing way to cut pay: Companies treating workers as contractors — It’s difficult to know the exact number of misclassified workers nationwide, but state-level studies show that between 10 and 20 percent of employers misclassify at least one worker as an independent contractor, said a report published in June by the Economic Policy Institute. Studies also show the practice has been on the rise since the 1990s and is more prevalent in industries where workers’ compensation insurance is high and rising, like construction.


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

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!