Tuesday, September 1, 2015
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — KapStone restarts largest paper machine — KapStone fired up its largest paper machine Monday as union members entered their fifth day of the strike. The length of strike might hinge on how much of the plant the company can run without its 800 union members by using salaried workers, contractors and replacement workers. Union leaders, in fact, questioned whether the No. 10 was really operational.
► In today’s Oregonian — Longview labor dispute heats up as picketer struck by car, Cowlitz County sheriffs investigate — The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a car driven by a worker who crossed picket lines on Sunday night struck Steve Blanchard, a 36-year-old St. Helens resident picketing outside the KapStone plant in Longview. Some 800 workers went on strike Thursday at the plant. AWPPW officials said Monday the mood over the weekend turned more dangerous as workers who crossed the picket lines started to swerve at picketers and accelerate as they left the plant.
► From KPLU — After farm worker’s death in manure pond, labor groups to protest at Darigold — Labor groups are planning a protest on Wednesday outside the Seattle headquarters of Darigold. They say the milk-processing company’s parent, the dairy farm cooperative known as the Northwest Dairy Association, needs to do more to improve employee safety after a young worker’s death earlier this year.
ALSO at The Stand — Rally to save dairy workers’ lives Sept. 2 at Darigold in Seattle
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Pasco teachers to strike, first day of school canceled — Pasco schools will be empty for the first day of classes today. Contract negotiations between the Pasco School District and its teachers union, the Pasco Association of Educators, remained at an impasse Monday evening as teachers, some wearing red shirts that read,“We Teach Pasco,” some wearing shirts identifying the school where they teach, met with their representatives. With no contract in place, a union vote held weeks ago to strike will take effect.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane school year begins amid fears of teachers strike — Last week, the Spokane Education Association voted to strike indefinitely, starting Friday, if the union and Spokane Public Schools can’t come to a compromise on a new contract.
► From KPLU– No contract yet for Seattle teachers as school start date approaches — Seattle teachers union leaders and school district officials did not meet for contract talks over the weekend, a union spokesman said, despite significant differences still dividing the two sides in negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Kelso teachers union gives leadership authority to call strike; threatens picketing — The Kelso teachers union announced Monday it will start informational picketing in a week or two if the school district does not return to the bargaining table immediately, but it isn’t calling a strike.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Franchises want more time to pay Seattle $15 minimum wage — A federal appeals court panel is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday from lawyers for a franchise association who say they shouldn’t have to meet the same deadline as large companies when it comes to implementing Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law.
► From Working WA — Supporters of franchise industry in Tuesday’s $15 court case are straight out of an ALEC convention — That’s probably no coincidence, because the right-wing lobby shop held an entire meeting earlier this year attended by some of these very groups to strategize around legal, public relations, and other efforts to try and derail local minimum wage laws.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Starbucks CEO tells baristas to be ‘sensitive’ to customers after stock market roller coaster — After the market tumbled last week, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sent a memo to the chain’s 190,000 employees telling them to be extra sensitive to customers.
► In today’s Olympian — House budget expert Ross Hunter named to lead state preschool effort — Gov. Jay Inslee named Hunter Monday to replace the retiring Bette Hyde starting Sept. 8. He has been chairman of the House budget committee since 2011. Hunter’s departure leaves majority Democrats in the state House in need of a new chief budget writer. They will also need a new point person on taxes if Seattle Rep. Reuven Carlyle moves to the Senate as expected. Carlyle wants to be appointed to a Senate seat, assuming Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles is elected to the King County Council this fall.
► In today’s News Tribune — Pam Roach, controversial GOP state senator, running for Pierce County Council — Roach is the first candidate to announce for the council seat being vacated next year by County Councilwoman Joyce McDonald, a Republican who can’t run again due to term limits. Roach didn’t rule out holding both positions at once.
► In today’s News Tribune — State Rep. Hans Zeiger announces state Senate candidacy — His announcement follows Sen. Bruce Dammeier’s (R-Puyallup) decision to run for Pierce County Executive in 2016.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — South Carolina outpaces Washington in growth of aerospace industry — South Carolina’s aerospace industry is growing faster than Washington state’s, but they still pale in comparison to the size and scope of the industry here in the Evergreen State.
► From Huffington Post — Republicans support outsider presidential candidates over the establishment, polls show — The current success of outsider candidates (Trump, Carson, Fiorina) comes against a backdrop of widespread disenchantment with the political system. The share of Americans who are unhappy with both political parties is at a more than 20-year high, according to Pew Research, in large part because a significant fraction of Republicans are currently unhappy with their own party.
► From AP — Scott Walker’s talk about Canadian border wall draws derision — Scott Walker’s suggestion that building a wall between Canada and the U.S. might be a “legitimate” idea prompted swift derision from fellow Republicans on Monday and an attempt by his campaign to clarify what he meant.
► The New Yorker’s Borowitz Report — Nation with crumbling bridges and roads excited to build giant wall — Across the U.S., whose rail system is a rickety antique plagued by deadly accidents, Americans are increasingly recognizing that building a wall with Mexico, and possibly another one with Canada, should be the country’s top priority.
► From The Onion — Ted Cruz worried all the good countries to wall off taken by other candidates — “Sheesh, the rest of the guys snatched up the best countries right away and now all that’s left to barricade ourselves off from are a few crummy islands,” said Cruz.
► From Huffington Post — Walmart cutting back some employees’ hours after raising wages — At a meeting this month, Walmart regional executives told managers to cut back on expenses by trimming worker hours beyond those allocated to their stores based on sales projections. If the goal is making employees better off overall, it’s useless for companies to increase wages while simultaneously cutting hours for individual workers.
► In today’s NY Times — Manipulating the work schedule to keep worker pay low (editorial) — The fundamental problem is that as scheduling has become a tool for higher profits, it has also generated unfair practices. Then, too, there is abuse of overtime, in which a company shifts work from hourly workers eligible for time-and-a-half pay to salaried workers who are ineligible for overtime pay.
► From Think Progress — California passes nation’s most robust equal pay law — The bill has a number of provisions, but the piece that stands out the most is one that requires employers to pay men and women the same for “substantially similar work,” not just the exact same job, unless differences are based on productivity, merit, and/or seniority.
► From NBC San Diego — New legislation seeks to close wage theft loopholes in California — The bill would allow California’s Labor Commissioner to go after businesses that are not paying wages owed to overworked and underpaid employees.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.