Tuesday, March 1, 2016
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane City Council unanimously opposes Trans-Pacific trade deal — In a rare showing of legislative harmony, City Council President Ben Stuckart and Councilman Mike Fagan joined forces Monday night to pass a resolution opposing a massive, 12-country trade accord that President Barack Obama said would “open markets, protect workers and the environment, and advance American leadership in Asia.” The rest of the council joined them, voting unanimously to oppose the TPP. Stuckart said, “Now it is in front of Congress, and now is the time to weigh in. NAFTA was a disaster. This is NAFTA on steroids.”
ALSO at The Stand — Seattle City Council unanimously urges the rejection of TPP
► From FTV Live — Unions not welcome at TEGNA stations — The TEGNA owned KING-TV in Seattle has moved into a new station. While the building is great, finding parking is not that easy. KING told staffers that they would give them a parking subsidy to offset their costs of having to pay for parking. But it applies to all employees that are NOT in the union. Bill Behan, TEGNA’s Senior VP Labor Relations, in an email to a union staffer wrote:
“Concerning the issue of parking at the new Station facility, our position relative to the employees represented by IATSE is that those who wish to drive to the facility will locate and pay for parking on their own, and that the parking subsidy announced for general non-represented Station employees will not apply to them…”
TAKE A STAND! — The M.L. King County Labor Council is urging union members and supporters to let the King County Council know that KING5 is a community asset not a cash cow for Wall Street speculators. Make plans to attend the council’s meeting on Tuesday, March 8 at 9:30 a.m., 516 Third Avenue, 10th Floor, Seattle.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Alcoa hiring temporary employees for Ferndale smelter work — With dozens of employees opting for early retirement or finding other work, Alcoa is hiring temporary workers for the Intalco aluminum smelter to get through the end of June. Most of the temporary workers will be handling basic duties on the potlines, said IAM Local 2379 business representative Glenn Farmer. If the smelter were to remain open beyond June 30, the temporary workers could be hired on full time.
► From AP — Study: West Coast port slowdown cost businesses $770 million — ILWU spokesman Craig Merrilees said Monday he had not seen the report, but that economists have criticized previous studies trying to tease out such financial impacts as exaggerated and inaccurate.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle’s El Gaucho is latest restaurant to go tip-free — The Seattle steakhouse will institute a 20 percent service charge in place of gratuities starting March 21.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Tom Douglas going straight to $15/hour, adding 20% service charge at 3 restaurants
► In today’s Olympian — Time for legislative compromises is here again (editorial) — A legislative fight over using the state’s rainy day fund to pay for last summer’s emergency firefighting costs is a waste of time. But Gov. Jay Inslee and the Democrat-controlled state House find themselves once again pitted against a Republican-controlled Senate in a disagreement more distracting than it needs to be. Session ends March 10. The time to compromise is here.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Snohomish County Council picks Rep. Hans Dunshee to replace Somers — State Rep. Hans Dunshee (D-Snohomish) is preparing for a new stage in his lengthy political career after the Snohomish County Council appointed him Monday as its fifth member. Dunshee was scheduled to be sworn in at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, but cancelled to continue working on the state budget. He’s expected to keep his House seat through the Legislative session, which is scheduled to end on March 10.
► From AP — Inslee signs K-12 finance bill to answer state Supreme Court — Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that sets out a plan for finishing the Legislature’s work of reforming the way the state of Washington pays for K-12 education.
► From AP — Senate panel eyes former DOC head in early release probe — A Senate panel turned its focus to the former head of the Department of Corrections who stepped down last year, just two months before the erroneous early release of thousands of prisoners was made public. Bernie Warner left his job last October to work at a private company in Utah that runs prisons in eight states.
► In today’s NY Times — Obama to make case to Republican senators to fill Supreme Court seat — President Obama is to confer in the Oval Office on Tuesday with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) about filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. If everyone maintains previously stated positions, it might be a very short meeting.
ALSO at The Stand — Senate GOP: Do your job, work to fill Supreme Court vacancy
► From Politico — GOP senators aim to confirm judges — just not for SCOTUS — Even as Senate Republicans vow to block President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick until after the election, GOP leaders are quietly maneuvering to approve lower-level judicial nominees in the Senate pipeline, including several from conservative states who were recommended by Republican lawmakers.
► In today’s NY Times — New weapon in day laborers’ fight against wage theft: A smartphone app — After three years of planning, an immigrant rights group in Jackson Heights, Queens is set to start a smartphone app for day laborers, a new digital tool with many uses: Workers will be able to rate employers (think Yelp or Uber), log their hours and wages, take pictures of job sites and help identify, down to the color and make of a car, employers with a history of withholding wages.
► From Huffington Post — Alabama shuts down raises for 40,000 workers in Birmingham as minimum wage fight continues — The Alabama state legislature passed a far-reaching bill last Thursday preempting the right of cities and local governments to enact higher local minimum wages, and Governor Robert Bentley signed it into law less than an hour after it passed. Immediately, more than 40,000 of the lowest-paid workers in Birmingham will be denied the pay raises they were to receive under an ordinance enacted by the city to set a $10.10 per hour local minimum wage. Action on the preemption bill was extraordinarily swift. Put on a fast track ahead of all other legislative business by Republican leaders, it became law just two weeks after it was first introduced, without any public hearings.
EDITOR’S NOTE — “Not equipped.” It’s not just ALEC/Koch brothers-fueled greed at play here, it’s straight up racism.
► From Forbes — Why the next president should raise the minimum wage (by Roger Lowenstein) — Opponents say hiking the minimum wage would be fruitless and perhaps cost jobs. But while their arguments shouldn’t be taken lightly On balance, though, the critics are wrong. There is a strong economic and moral case for a slow and steady increase.
► From CNN — National poll: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders both top Trump — Both of the remaining Democratic candidates for president easily top Republican front-runner Donald Trump in hypothetical general election match-ups, according to a new CNN/ORC Poll.
► From The Hill — Poll: Trump commands 33-point lead nationally — Trump has 49 percent support among Republican voters in the new poll.
► In the Washington Examiner — Trump: ‘I like ‘right-to-work’ better — Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said he favors states with right-to-work laws because “it is better for the people” to not have to pay union dues if they don’t want to.
► From The Hill — Trump orders Secret Service to remove black students from rally — About 30 black students were told to leave the GOP front-runner’s event.
► In today’s Washington Post — Scuffle between Secret Service agent, photographer at Trump rally turned nasty — A Time magazine photographer was thrown to the ground after he tried to leave the press section to photograph Black Lives Matter protesters.
► In the Washington Post — Republicans face a moral choice: Will they oppose Trump’s bigotry? (by Dana Milbank) — Republican leaders had incorrectly gambled that ignoring Trump would make him disappear. Now it’s time for them to take sides.
► John Oliver takes on The Donald mystique/brand by revealing, and this is true, that the “Trump” family name was changed at one point from Drumpf. “So if you are thinking of voting for Donald Trump, the charismatic guy promising to ‘Make America Great Again,’ stop and take a moment to imagine how you would feel if you just met a guy named Donald Drumpf: a litigious, serial liar with a string of broken business ventures and the support of a former Klan leader who he can’t decide whether or not to condemn.” Watch and enjoy the takedown.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.