Monday, September 21, 2015
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle teachers ratify contract — Members of Seattle’s educators union voted Sunday to approve their contract deal with Seattle Public Schools, officially ending a strike that began nearly two weeks ago. After the vote, union President Jonathan Knapp said he wanted to reiterate what a “groundbreaking and far-reaching contract this was.”
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Kelso teachers vote to defy court order and continue strike — Kelso teachers voted overwhelmingly (221-20) Sunday night to defy a court order to call off their strike. Nearly 300 teachers have been on strike since Wednesday, after a fourth round of mediated talks between the Kelso Education Association and district failed to reach an agreement on salary issues. The union and district will begin bargaining again at 10 a.m. Monday.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Why did KapStone employees end the strike? — Answers are elusive because the union has declined to discuss its strategy. But attorneys, bankers and labor studies professors speculate that several factors — the company’s ability to run the plant in spite of the strike, legal considerations, workers’ loss of health insurance — may have contributed.
► From the NW Labor Press — IBEW Local 125 authorizes strike at Pacific Power — Workers across Northern Oregon and Southeastern Washington voted overwhelmingly Sept. 1 to reject a contract offer and authorize the union bargaining committee to call a strike at Pacific Power. IBEW Local 125 represents 320 linemen, meter readers, substation wiremen and other workers at the electric utility, in a service area that extends from Astoria to Bend to Walla Walla. Pacific Power and parent company PacifiCorp are owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy.
► From the NW Labor Press — Union coalition reaches agreements at Clark County — Clark County has reached agreement on contracts with four unions (OPEIU 11, AFSCME 307, PTE 17 & LIUNA 335) covering 700 workers. The three-year agreements provide for across-the-board wage increases of 1.75, 2, and 2 percent and run from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018.
► In the Oregonian — Haggen says it’s working with Albertsons to help laid-off workers — In a memo to Haggen employees, the grocer now says it was working with Albertsons to waive the restriction on hiring Haggen workers. This would allow Albertsons to potentially hire some of the displaced workers.
ALSO in The Stand — Show Haggen employees respect they’re due
► BREAKING from #Not1More — Activists locked down outside Tacoma immigration detention center — Northwest Detention Center Resistance Coalition members locked down to protest deportations at the private facility. Protesting the criminalization and scapegoating of immigrants, the protest highlights the moral injustice of privately-run for-profit detentions centers and their collaboration with local police departments creating a road to detention, and call for an end to all immigrant deportations and detentions.
ALSO see coverage at Slog.
► From Politico — The odds of a shutdown spike — There is not enough time to reach a deal. Not only have none of the fiscal 2016 appropriations yet been signed into law, none have even passed both the House and Senate. With less than two calendar weeks (and far fewer days of potential legislative work) to go, the only way to keep the government from shutting down will be for Congress and the president to agree on a continuing resolution to fund the government for a short time while a larger deal is negotiated. Such a short-term CR will be very difficult for any number of reasons, but the controversy over Planned Parenthood is perhaps the biggest one.
► In today’s News Tribune — Budget showdown worries JBLM workers, could upend Boeing tanker contract — The latest budget impasse in Congress has civilian workers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord bracing for a possible government shutdown and the Air Force raising an alarm about a threat to a $51 billion tanker program Boeing is developing in the Puget Sound region. JBLM’s civilian workforce of up to 15,000 people would suffer most if Congress fails to pass a budget by its Oct. 1 deadline, triggering a government shutdown for the second time in two years.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Crucial Boeing tanker 1st flight follows China leader’s visit — It’s a big week for the Boeing Co., which will be on display for two of its biggest customers: China and the U.S. Air Force. Both are key cash sources for Boeing in coming years. Thousands of jobs in the area depend on the Chicago-based company keeping both customers happy.
► From House Democrats — Mukilteo Rep. Peterson’s statement to Boeing: Don’t send middle-class jobs to China — “Boeing is important to Washington, it’s part of our DNA and the fabric of our state’s history. But so far it hasn’t lived up to its promise to keep jobs here in exchange for lucrative corporate handouts in the form of tax breaks.”
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Washington women make $12,000 less per year than Washington men — In Washington, D.C., women make almost the same amount as men: the gap is only 10 cents on the dollar. In the other Washington, though, women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. It puts our state No. 35 in pay equality — behind states such as South Carolina and Kentucky — and lower than the national average.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This year, the Democrat-controlled House passed the Equal Pay Opportunity Act (HB 1646), sponsored by Rep. Tana Senn (D-Mercer Is.), empowering workers to combat wage discrimination based on gender by prohibiting employers from retaliating against employees who discuss or compare their wages. But the Republican-controlled Senate killed it without allowing a vote. Apparently, Republicans don’t want women to find out how much less they’re making than men.
► In today’s Olympian — It’s a great day to register to vote (editorial) — The pool of voters grows when more people register. That makes National Voter Registration Day — celebrated Tuesday with registration drives in 50 states — important. Register online at vote.wa.gov, by going to the elections office at your county courthouse.
► In today’s Columbian — Rep. Liz Pike files write-in candidacy for county chair — Rep. Liz Pike (R-Camas) filed Friday afternoon as a write-in candidate for Clark County council chair. She says she will give up her House seat if elected.
► From HA Seattle — Initiative 1185 signature firm paid Tim Eyman $308,000 (by Goldy) — Ever since he emerged on the scene Eyman has gone to great pains to deny that he earns anything off his initiative campaigns. At first, he just plain lied about it. Then, he concocted this byzantine web of campaign committees and vendors and private corporations to cover up the money trail. Of course, as long as you disclose it, it’s neither illegal nor unusual to pay oneself to run an initiative campaign. So why does Eyman hide it? I’m guessing because if his backers knew he was skimming 25 percent right off the top, they might have the common sense to cut out the middleman. And that would mean the end of Tim Eyman’s lucrative “volunteer” career.
► In the Yakima H-R — Group seeks to broaden climate change conversation at Monday forum — What do you think Washington should do about climate change? The Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy wants to know. The relatively new coalition of faith, labor, social justice and health organizations, along with environmental groups, wants to bring more perspectives and more diversity to the state’s conversation about climate change concerns and solutions. To that end, its leaders embarked on a statewide listening tour and they’ll be in Yakima on Monday evening for what they are calling a “community conversation.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Join the conversation at 6 p.m. tonight at the UFCW Hall, 507 S. Third St. in Yakima. RSVP to Micaela Razo at email@example.com.
► In the Providence Journal — Even Tom Brady needed a union (by Rhode Island AFL-CIO President George H. Nee) — If you have a Roger Goodell in your workplace, you can stand up to him and do what Tom Brady and millions of other American workers have done and join a union. Having a union provides workers with a voice on the job, dignity on the job and respect on the job, as well as a path to the middle class. As President Obama said at a Labor Day breakfast in Boston: “Even Brady’s happy he’s got a union. They had his back. You know if Brady needs a union, we definitely need unions.”
► From ABC News — Archbishop Cupich defends unions, criticizes ‘right to work’ — Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich defended labor unions and criticized politicians pushing for “right to work” laws in Illinois on Thursday at Plumbers Hall in the West Loop.
► In the Business Insider — U.S. auto workers could be getting their first raise in a decade — The UAW succeeded at clawing back some of the major concessions made in order to help the Detroit Three carmakers survive the 2008 financial crisis.
► In the L.A. Times — UFW wins key ruling in decades-long fight with grower — An administrative law judge dealt the state’s largest grower of peaches and nectarines a key labor setback, ruling that a worker vote that sought to decertify the United Farm Workers union should be nullified.
► From Huffington Post — America’s collapsing trade initiatives (by Robert Kuttner) — Chinese president Xi Jinping will be in Washington, D.C. this week on an official state visit. President Obama had hoped to impress Xi with an all but sealed trade deal with major Pacific nations called the Trans-Pacific Partnership to demonstrate that America is still a force to be reckoned with in China’s backyard. But Obama’s trade policy is in tatters. The grand design, created by Obama’s old friend and former Wall Street deal-maker, trade chief Mike Froman, comes in two parts — a grand bargain with Pacific nations aimed at building a U.S.-led trading bloc to contain the influence of China, and an Atlantic agreement to cement economic relations with the European Union. Both are on the verge of collapse from their own contradictory goals and incoherent logic.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.