Tuesday, August 4, 2015
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Ballots due today for primary election
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Kapstone declares impasse, will implement contract unilaterally, union says — A union leader called Kapstone’s move “a huge mistake” as word of the company’s move spread among union members who were staging rallies around the community Monday. KapStone officials made the announcement during scheduled bargaining talks Monday with AWPPW Local 153. The two sides have been negotiating, sometimes with assistance from a federal mediator, since spring 2014. The previous contract expired that May.
ALSO at The Stand — ‘Justice Caravan’ visits Kapstone customers to save workers’ healthcare
► In today’s Columbian — EPA: Oil terminal plan doesn’t pass muster — A plan to build the nation’s largest oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver does not comply with the federal Clean Water Act, and should not be granted a key permit until its impacts are fully addressed, according to a letter the EPA sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Condon sues to keep Envision’s Worker Bill of Rights off ballot — Spokane Mayor David Condon is trying to block the Worker Bill of Rights from appearing on the November ballot just a week after the City Council approved the measure for the ballot. The latest measure put forth by Envision Spokane would amend the city charter to require large employers to pay workers a “family wage,” ensure equal pay for equal work regardless of gender or race, and make it more difficult to terminate workers.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — A new outpost for jet engineers in Seattle — and it’s not Boeing — The Puget Sound region took a step beyond Boeing on Monday, with the opening of engineering offices for Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. America Inc. By the time they’re full, the new offices will house 100 U.S. engineers, plus another 50 from Japan.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Inslee’s carbon cap won’t happen soon — The governor directed the Department of Ecology to begin developing a hard limit on emissions using his rule-making power under existing state laws. But the man leading the effort says it could take twice as long because of the complexity and controversy enveloping the issue.
► In the (Everett) Herald — We need more than tuition cuts (by Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self) — The debate was never about whether we should lower tuition. The debate was over how to pay for tuition cuts, while also addressing the need of financial aid for under-served students. Reducing tuition costs hundreds of millions of dollars depending on the size of the cut. If the state is going to lower tuition for students, we must backfill those lost dollars through direct support to the colleges and universities.
► From CNN — Negotiations stall on biggest free trade deal ever, the Trans-Pacific Partnership — President Barack Obama will have to wait longer to announce the biggest free trade deal in history. TPP negotiators wrapped up their most recent round of talks in Hawaii on Friday without reaching an agreement on what would be a 12-country pact that encompasses some 40% of the world’s economy. Together, they vowed to continue the talks — but didn’t set a date for their next round of negotiations, indicating the deal’s future remains uncertain after two years of claims that its conclusion is near.
► From Reuters — Obama administration faces criticism over human trafficking report — Several U.S. politicians sharply criticized the Obama administration on Monday over an annual global report on human trafficking in response to a Reuters article chronicling how senior U.S. diplomats had watered down rankings of more than a dozen strategically important countries.
ALSO at The Stand — Smoothing way for TPP, Obama upgrades Malaysia on slavery
► From The Hill — Shutdown talk creeps into debate over Planned Parenthood funding — Republican senators are tiptoeing around talk of a government shutdown in October after a failed vote Monday on defunding Planned Parenthood.
► From Bloomberg — Why unions aren’t uniting around Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders — “(AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka) is trying to actually do what he did in trade, and that is to keep the unions together, to use their most effective voice collectively,” National Nurses United Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro said. But given the autonomy of the individual unions, she said, “He’s got the power of persuasion — that’s the only thing he has.”
ALSO at The Stand — Sanders to attend Social Security, Medicare event Aug. 8 in Seattle
► From The Onion — Bernie Sanders clearly in pocket of high-rolling teacher who donated $300 to his campaign — “He might have the reputation of being the people’s candidate, but when your candidacy is effectively bankrolled by the multi-hundred-dollar donation of a fourth-grade teacher, it’s clear who’s really pulling the strings,” said political analyst Peter Mathews, who noted that when a check arrives with a handwritten note that says “Behind you 100 percent, Bernie!” it comes with certain expectations.
► From Think Progress — Christie wants to punch female-dominated teachers unions ‘in the face’The predominately female workforce has had many confrontations with the New Jersey governor.
► From The Hill — Trump widens lead in new national poll — Donald Trump has a more than 2-to-1 lead over the next closest contender in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to a new poll. Trump takes 26% support, followed by Jeb Bush at 12%.
► From AP — U.S. wage and benefit growth at slowest pace in 33 years — Wages and benefits for American workers grew in the spring at the slowest pace in 33 years, stark evidence that stronger hiring is not lifting paychecks much for most Americans. The slowdown also likely reflects a sharp drop-off in bonus and incentive pay for some workers.
► From Reuters — Verizon’s workers say no strike for now, union talks continue — Verizon Communications and the unions representing its wireline unit employees on the U.S. East Coast said work will go on and talks continue after their current contract expired. Since June, the unions have been in talks with Verizon over the company’s plans to cut healthcare and pension-related benefits. Last week, the CWA and IBEW, which represent over 37,000 wireline employees, said they had voted to go on strike, if needed, after their contract expired on Aug. 1 at midnight. During the last round of contract negotiations in 2011, talks ended in a strike.
► From Think Progress — The financial collapse of the private immigrant detention industryAs more immigrant detainees get released, some privately owned prisons are starting to default on their debts.
► In the LA Times — Tech industry’s persistent claim of worker shortage may be phony (by Michael Hiltzik) — The mismatch between Qualcomm’s plea to import more high-tech workers and its efforts to downsize its existing payroll hints at the phoniness of the high-tech sector’s persistent claim of a “shortage” of U.S. graduates in the “STEM” disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
► From Think Progress — The restrictions journalists agreed to in order to attend the Koch brothers’ conference — “Freedom Partners” demanded that reporters “not report on anyone’s attendance at the event unless you are specifically granted an interview request or they are a part of the formal program,” that they “treat their attendance as off the record unless otherwise discussed and approved prior to an interview,” and that “interview requests should only be made through the Freedom Partners communications team.” It also noted that media attendees would have to “stay off-site,” and only be granted access “on-site during the general program hours.”
► From Huffington Post — Mainstream media won’t name Koch donors, but we will (by Lauren Windsor) — Nine news outlets, including Politico and the Washington Post, have been given access to the Koch brothers donor fest on the condition that they not report on the identities of donors without their permission. The Undercurrent has been on-the-ground in Dana Point covering the retreat, and was not granted any special access. Additionally, one of Undercurrent’s photographers was threatened by a guest who did not like having his picture taken. This man got out of his car and shouted angrily, “You don’t know who you’re f*cking with!” To his point, no, we don’t, and we need your help. The Undercurrent and its sponsor, American Family Voices, are committed to doing what the mainstream media won’t: exposing Koch donors.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.