Thursday, July 23, 2015
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Kapstone workers reject offer — KapStone union workers (AWPPW) rejected the company’s latest contract offer, union officials announced Wednesday night. About 68 percent of the voting members rejected the offer. Two previous offers were rejected by 99 percent. It was not clear whether the action will cause a walkout, but union officials cautioned before the count that rejection of the offer would not automatically trigger a strike.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Boeing CEO Muilenburg promises ‘mutual respect’ for union workers — After a decade of former Boeing CEO Jim McNerney’s sometimes-cocksure relations with labor groups, new CEO Dennis Muilenburg suggested Wednesday he may take a different tack. “I had a chance to start with Boeing 30 years ago in Puget Sound, so I have a very deep appreciation of our workforce there,” he said. “This idea of mutual appreciation and partnerships, and investment in our people is very important to me, and will continue to be important.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — In wake of tanker write-down, new Boeing CEO outlines his priorities — After the debacle that was the introduction of the 787 Dreamliner and now the stumbles on the tanker, Muilenburg said Boeing would focus its attention on improving performance on new development programs, which also include the 737 MAX, 787-10 and 777X commercial airliners.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Lawmakers OK report to Supreme Court about school funding — State lawmakers Tuesday approved their report to the Supreme Court detailing what they did and what they must still do to adequately fund public schools by a 2018 deadline. What the 39-page analysis doesn’t say is whether lawmakers think their accomplishments are sufficient to get out from under a contempt order, and thus avoid getting sanctioned.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Inslee should stick to transportation deal made with GOP (editorial) — With the ink on his transportation bills signatures barely dry, Gov. Jay Inslee is reportedly close to signing an order that would wipe out more than $700 million in bicycle, pedestrian and other non-vehicular projects the bill funds. Inslee should accept the deal he wrung from Republicans, who had to swallow hard accepting an 11.9-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase that will fund construction.
► From AP — Cost of fighting Washington wildfires nearly $35M so far — The cost of fighting large wildfires in Washington state has hit nearly $35 million so far this year, as 29 large wildfires have scorched brush, grass and timber.
► In today’s Olympian — Legislative aide accused of stealing money from state Sen. Ranker — A former aide to state Sen. Kevin Ranker is facing criminal charges after she allegedly stole more than $2,000 from the senator’s checking account.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Sen. Patty Murray pushing to expand overtime pay rules — After becoming the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in January, Sen. Patty Murray is among the leading backers of a White House plan to expand overtime pay for nearly 5 million Americans.
► From Huffington Post — 2015 trustees’ report confirm expanding Social Security is fully affordable (by Nancy Altman) — The Social Security Board of Trustees has just released its annual report to Congress. The most important takeaways are that Social Security has a large and growing surplus, and its future cost is fully affordable.
ALSO at The Stand — GOP tees up 19% disability cuts for Social Security
► In the National Journal — House Democrats to counter Republican moves on Social Security — Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra, chairman of the Democratic Caucus and ranking member of the Ways and Means subcommittee on Social Security, will introduce a bill that combines the program’s retirement and disability funds.
► From Roll Call — Capitol food service workers bring income inequality to Congress’ doorstep — For the third time in the past eight months, food-service workers at the Capitol have gone on strike to push for higher wages and union representation, a rare example of a national issue — income inequality — hitting close to home for Congress.
► In the Guardian — I work at the U.S. Capitol and KFC. Colonel Sanders pays me more than Uncle Sam. (by Sontia Bailey) — Even though I work full-time at the US Capitol, I only earn $10.59 an hour. Because the federal contractor that operates the cafe pays me so little, I had to pick-up a second job at KFC to make ends meet. It may be hard to believe, but Colonel Sanders actually pays me more than Uncle Sam does: I make $11 an hour at my fast food job… When I had a miscarriage, I couldn’t even afford to grieve — I had to get back to work so I could pay for a decent funeral for my son.
► From AP — Higher minimum-wage proposals gain ground on both coasts — The push for a higher minimum wage gained momentum on both sides of the country Wednesday, with New York embracing an eventual $15 an hour for the state’s 200,000 fast-food workers and the huge University of California system announcing the same raise for its employees.
► From AP — Oregon group offers $13.50 minimum wage proposal — A group of labor unions and liberal activist groups said Wednesday it will push to raise Oregon’s minimum wage to $13.50, opening a divide with an existing group that’s been pushing for a $15 wage floor.
► From Huffington Post — Why progressives must stay united (by Robert Reich) — It’s impossible to overcome widening economic inequality in America without also dealing with the legacy of racial inequality. And it is impossible to overcome racial inequality without also reversing widening economic inequality… It would be a terrible mistake for the progressive movement to split into a “Black lives matter” movement and an “economic justice” movement.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.