Monday, October 26, 2015
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Machinists plan to picket Everett aerospace supplier Cadence-Giddens — Members of Machinists union District Lodge 751 plan to picket Monday at Everett-based Cadence-Giddens. Workers at the aerospace supplier voted in May to join the IAM. Contract talks have been ongoing since July and the union has filed five ULP complaints against Cadence-Giddens management with the NLRB.
► In the News Tribune — Boeing becomes test case for worker-employee relations (by Bill Virgin) — Does it really matter if Boeing employees don’t feel loved or love their company? The authors of a book released last week, “Emerging From Turbulence: Boeing and Stories of the American Workplace Today,” suggest that it does matter. “Whether they are on the factory floor or at their desks, employees often have invaluable knowledge of workplace problems and insightful suggestions as to their solutions,” they write. It wasn’t just job preservation that led Boeing workers to question the company’s grand global-outsourcing strategy for the 787. Nor do many Boeing workers want to see that debacle repeated, weakening the company’s long-term competitiveness.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Lovick, Somers in fierce battle for Snohomish County executive — Snohomish County Executive John Lovick faces a tough re-election fight against the chairman of the County Council, Dave Somers. Somers edged Lovick in the primary and has received double the amount of campaign donations.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Lovick earned the endorsement of the Snohomish County Labor Council. See all the labor endorsements for this year’s ballot.
► From AP — Washington voters will weigh in on anti-tax measure — I-1366 opponents call it legislative blackmail, and say it will likely not pass constitutional muster if approved by voters. But initiative sponsor Tim Eyman, who has a long history of anti-tax efforts, insists he’s merely seeking to end the “tug of war on this policy.”
ALSO at The Stand — WSLC urges rejection of Tim Eyman’s I-1366
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Apocalypse Not: $15 and the cuts that never came (subscription required) — Many restaurant owners predicted a crash in their business when Seattle passed its groundbreaking $15 minimum wage law last year. Well, it’s been half a year since the law’s first pay raise took effect, and Seattle’s restaurant count has climbed — up and down the food chain. Some of the chefs who are opening restaurants at a dizzying pace are the ones who had issued dire warnings of empty tables and shuttered rooms as a result of the wage law.
EDITOR’S NOTE — And speaking of low-wage companies that made dire predictions/threats about voter-mandated minimum wage laws…
► In the Seattle Times — Alaska Air reports record profits from its busiest summer ever — Alaska Air Group reported a record quarterly profit of $274 million after the busiest summer in the airline’s 83-year history.
► From PubliCola — Seattle mayor Murray amends minimum wage law to meet union demand — Amending his legislative proposal last week to meet the demands of the UFCW Local 21, Murray has added what’s known as a “private right of action” to the proposed labor standards rule governing enforcement of the city’s new $15 wage laws.
EDITOR’S NOTE — What’s wrong with “at the request of…”? Guess it doesn’t sell has many clicks.
► In the Seattle Times — Microsoft declines union’s invitation to bargaining table — A union of temporary technology workers asked Microsoft to come to the bargaining table as a joint employer, the latest escalation in the union’s campaign to get better benefits. Microsoft declined the invitation. An earlier NLRB ruling in another case has raised union hopes that it could have a “joint employer” be part of negotiations over working conditions.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Microsoft cuts as many as 1,000 jobs in new round of layoffs — The Redmond company would not confirm the exact number of layoffs, how many Puget Sound jobs will be affected or whether the loss is related to the company’s troubled smartphone business.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Budget shortfall hits Yakima firefighters — For the first time since 2013, Yakima has fewer firefighters available at times to immediately respond to simultaneous major incidents, such as two house fires. The situation, which could last until the end of the year, was created when the city reduced staffing standards in order to cover a projected budget shortfall.
► In the Tri-City Herald — Regulation waiver might keep Hanford workers safer — Federal officials are proposing an exception to a federal waste disposition regulation that appears to be exposing Hanford workers to unneeded risk.
► In the Bellingham Herald — Building starts on housing for farmworkers in Whatcom County — Construction has started on a $10.3 million project to build housing for farmworkers and their families on West Bakerview Road. Catholic Housing Services of Western Washington is building the 50 residential units.
► From KPLU — Why does for profit hockey in Washington not have to pay players minimum wage? — The whole idea is that these young men are amateurs, not pros. But if you really look at it — are they? Even for fans going to the Everett Silvertips home opener, it’s kind of murky.
► In the News Tribune — Why does DSHS tolerate Western State offenses? — The Department of Social and Health Services would never allow any private care facility it regulates to get away with what it tolerates at Western State Hospital… It is dumbfounding that an implicit state endorsement of the human toll (quite apart from financial toll) from this state neglect has persisted for so long.
► In the Seattle Times — Still no health insurance? Open enrollment starts Nov. 1 — The state’s uninsured rate has dropped 40 percent since the provisions of the Affordable Care Act took effect, boosting coverage to about 91 percent of residents. But reaching those who still lack health insurance remains a big job, officials say.
► In the (Aberdeen) Daily World — J.D. Rossetti named next rep for 19th District — Rossetti, 34, a Democrat who most recently served as a member on the Longview School Board and an aide for Rep. Brian Blake, was appointed to Dean Takko’s House seat on Thursday after the the 11-year House veteran accepted an appointment to the Senate to replace Brian Hatfield.
► In the Yakima H-R — Local tree fruit officials waiting for Trans-Pacific Partnership specifics — Generally speaking, fewer tariffs are good things for the state’s vaunted tree fruit industry. That’s what most industry officials say about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. However, because many details of the proposed sweeping trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim nations remain under wraps and final passage is far from certain, most endorsements are dampened with a tone of caution. “There’s all sorts of games that get played,” said Ray Keller, co-owner of Apple King in Gleed.
► From Bloomberg — European trade deal flips script on labor issues — As worker advocates and some Democrats continue to criticize a pending Pacific-rim trade deal over labor protections in participating countries, it is U.S. labor policy that’s likely to come under a microscope as negotiators hammer out a separate agreement with the European Union. Critics of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which U.S. and EU representatives are continuing to negotiate in Miami this week, say they fear that the U.S. could actually drive a “race to the bottom” because the country’s wage, benefits and organizing protections are generally considered more lax than those in much of Europe.
► From CNN — AFSCME endorses Hillary Clinton — AFSCME, the largest trade union of public employees in the United States, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president Friday. The endorsement, a key for Clinton, came after the 35 person member-elected board representing AFSCME councils and affiliates from around the country voted to back the former secretary of state. The national endorsement does not mean that AFSCME state chapters are compelled to endorse Clinton, but the national endorsement is the only backing that comes with organization and money, according to union spokespeople.
► From The Hill — GOP voters: Trump most electable — Republican front-runner Donald Trump is viewed as the strongest contender in the general election among GOP voters, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Donations roll in for DelBene’s re-election campaign — She raised nearly $240,000 in the three-month period ending Sept. 30 and had $508,203 on hand, according to FEC reports. Her Republican opponent, state Rep. Elizabeth Scott, took in $27,468 in the same period and reported $23,529 on hand.
► From the Hill — Poll: Tea Party support hits new low — Americans’ support of the Tea Party is at its lowest point since the movement’s inception, according to a new poll. Support for the Tea Party is at 17 percent, Gallup found, down 15 points from its high.
► From AP — United Auto Workers, General Motors reach contract agreement — The UAW said the agreement was reached at 11:43 p.m. Sunday, 16 minutes before the deadline it had set to either reach an agreement or call a strike at GM’s U.S. plants. Details of the proposed contract weren’t immediately available.
► From BuzzFeed — A potentially racist drug test could become standard for truckers — The trucking industry wants to use hair tests instead of urine tests to determine drug use among commercial truckers and bus drivers. But some experts say the tests are flawed and more likely to be contaminated by factors other than drug use, especially when testing black Americans.
► From Politico — Meet the ‘tax extenders’ — This fall, a strange-looking package of tax breaks is likely to come before Congress. If the past is any indication, it’s going to be pushed through at the very last minute, just as lawmakers are getting ready to leave for their Christmas recess. There’s a break for Puerto Rican rum, one for NASCAR tracks and another that rewards corporate research and development spending. And one of them — this is not a typo — is an exception to an exception to an exception to a tax rule. It benefits multinational banks.
Insiders call them the “tax extenders,” a knot of handouts large and small that moves totally separate from the tax code and has become an illustration of just why the federal budget is so hard to manage — or even to understand. This year’s batch, which the Senate wants to renew for two years, is projected to cost more than $85 billion. Though tax experts scoff at many of the provisions, they’re rubber-stamped with minimal scrutiny or debate. And though they’re considered temporary, they’re rarely allowed to die.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.