Friday, September 4, 2015
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Union offers to return to work at KapStone — The union for striking KapStone pulp and paper workers (AWPPW) has sent the company an “unconditional offer” to return to work Saturday morning, essentially offering to call off its weeklong strike. KapStone says it will respond to the union proposal by the close of business today, according to the union. If KapStone accepts the union’s offer, union members would return to work 7 a.m. Saturday under the contract the company implemented in August. However, going back to work would not mean the union had ratified that contract, and the union might seek to go back to the bargaining table.
► In the (Longview) Daily News — Family Health Centers offers help to striking workers — Striking KapStone employees who have lost their health insurance can get assistance from the Family Health Center at all of its clinic locations in Cowlitz, Wahkiakum and Pacific counties.
► From KPLU — Labor groups petition Darigold, push for safety laws after dairy worker’s death — The death of a dairy farm worker in February is prompting a push for tougher safety laws and labor groups are asking the milk cooperative, Darigold, to meet to talk about improvements that can be made to protect workers. On Wednesday, protesters gathered outside Darigold’s Seattle headquarters. But the front doors were locked and no one would answer the doorbell.
ALSO at the Stand:
► From KIMA TV — Sunnyside woman speaks out after dairy farm death — A Sunnyside woman is still grieving, after feeling disappointed by the response from Darigold during Wednesday’s dairy workers’ protest in Seattle.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Pasco schools closed for fourth day Friday; court hearing on strike scheduled — The strike continues Friday, meaning the start of the school year has been delayed by four days for the district’s roughly 17,000 students. A Franklin County Superior Court judge is also scheduled Friday to consider a preliminary injunction filed by the district to force the teachers to go back to work.
► From AP — Teachers in tiny school district in Whidbey Island strike –The WEA says teachers in the four-school district walked out on Thursday. School is set to begin on Tuesday for the district’s nearly 1,500 students. But teachers were supposed to be in school on Thursday preparing for the year.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle teachers vote to strike if agreement isn’t reached — Seattle educators voted unanimously Thursday night to strike if the teachers union and school district fail to reach a contract agreement, which could delay the start of school next week. School is scheduled to start Wednesday. The strike would start that day.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — No teacher strike in Spokane; schools stay open after union, district reach tentative deal — After days of mediated negotiations the Spokane Education Association and Spokane Public Schools came to a tentative contract agreement Thursday afternoon, narrowly avoiding a districtwide strike.
► In the Tri-City Herald — Prosser teacher contract talks head to mediation — Negotiators for the Prosser School District and its teachers will use mediation in an effort to develop a new contract and avoid a teacher strike next week.
► In the Spokesman-Review — Why teacher strikes are illegal, yet happen anyway — Teacher strikes are not legal under Washington law. That doesn’t stop them from happening, although it sometimes stops them from continuing. The problem with that law, say Republican legislators who have pushed unsuccessfully to change it, is there’s no defined penalty for breaking it.
► From AFL-CIO Now — Join the Labor Day celebration near you — This Monday is Labor Day, when people across the country will come together at barbecues, festivals and other family events to recognize the incredible achievements of America’s working people and celebrate all those who make our country run.
ALSO at The Stand — Celebrate, rededicate at Labor Day events — Several of the regional AFL-CIO central labor councils across Washington state are planning Labor Day picnics and events on Monday, Sept. 7 to celebrate and honor the working men and women who are the foundation of this state’s economy. See the list!
► From KNDO/KNDU TV — People in Yakima protest against current minimum wage, hoping to increase pay to $15 — workers who make minimum wage have voiced their concerns over what they believe is unfair pay. Wednesday evening several people in the Yakima Valley came together, rallying for more money on their paychecks.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Puget Sound’s largest-ever cargo ship – longer than an aircraft carrier – just arrived in Seattle — The container ship Callisto arrived at Seattle’s Terminal 18 Tuesday. The ship is able to carry the equivalent of 11,400 containers, each 20 feet long, making it more than 40 percent larger than the average ship calling at the Northwest Seaport Alliance, recently formed by the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Panel gives green light to unfair labor practices case against Roe — A state commission has found that an unfair labor practices complaint can move forward against Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe. The complaint was filed by the Washington State Council of County and City Employees, AFSCME.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Cancellations leave Boeing with zero 747 orders in 2015 — The aerospace giant has seen only weak demand for its biggest airplane in recent years. Airlines have been wary of ordering big, four-engine passenger jets, and the air cargo market has very slowly recovered since being hit by the global recession in 2008.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — State attorneys are investigating Eyman’s use of initiative money — State attorneys went after Tim Eyman’s bank records Thursday as they investigate whether he allegedly helped move money among two initiative campaigns in 2012, earning tens of thousands of dollars in the process.
► In the Portland Tribune — Report: union decline ‘important part’ of Oregon income inequality — A new report from the Oregon Center for Public Policy concludes that a decline in unionization since the late 1970s coincides with a widening gap between the highest-income and all other workers in Oregon.
► From Bloomberg — OSHA is STILL working on silica — Since OSHA was created in 1970, workplace deaths have dropped by about two-thirds. But the agency’s fallen short of its founders’ ambitions, especially when it comes to substances that kill over time. Congress gave OSHA a “general duty” authority to address some known dangers, but that’s been hemmed in by courts. OSHA has a 48-step rule-making process that includes conducting health studies and soliciting public comments. Most of OSHA’s chemical rules, including the one governing silica, were adopted in 1971. “To enforce a standard, you have to set one,” says Rebecca Reindel, a senior health and safety specialist for the AFL-CIO.
► In the Peninsula Daily News — Kilmer discusses combating Citizens United at Port Townsend forum — U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) told a public forum he has introduced legislation to amend the U.S. Constitution and reverse the effects of a controversial Supreme Court decision regarding election funding.
► From the Hill — Economy adds 173K jobs in August; jobless rate down to 5.1 percent — The U.S. economy added 173,000 jobs in August, raising uncertainty over a looming Federal Reserve decision on whether to raise interest rates later this month.
► From Reuters — Walmart to reopen five U.S. stores at center of union complaint — Walmart said it would reopen in late October to early November five U.S. stores whose closure had prompted a union to file an NLRB complaint claiming the retailer was retaliating against workers for organizing.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Or, as CNN Money reports: Walmart will reopen five stores it closed to fix plumbing issues
► In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch — Future of Missouri ‘right to work’ bill uncertain — With less than two weeks until the September veto session, House Republican leaders still are not sure if they will try to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the controversial “right to work” bill.
► Happy birthday, Bubba Knight, leader of The Pips! Many of us old enough to remember watching you on TV — and yes, the Entire Staff of The Stand is that old — considered you and your cousins, Edward Patten and William Guest, to be the stars of the show. Sure, your sister could sing. But you guys had the moves! That’s why you weren’t 20 feet from stardom, they put you right up front with her on Soul Train. In fact, thanks to the short-lived but genius Richard Pryor Show, we got a glimpse of what it would be like with no Gladys at all.
Well, maybe it’s better that you stuck with her.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.