Thursday, April 14, 2016
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — A consensus is growing that Boeing tax breaks need teeth (by Jerry Cornfield) — Bob Martinez, the new IAM international president, is publicly backing efforts to redo the deal to tie the tax breaks with Boeing employment levels in Washington. And Gov. Jay Inslee told members of IAM District Lodge 751 last week that he will work on the issue with them in 2017 — presuming he’s still governor. It’s quite a climate change since November 2013, when Inslee summoned lawmakers into a special session to approve a deal waiving billions of dollars in future tax payments by the company if it built the new 777X jetliner in the state.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — New Ferndale smelter energy deal made to benefit both BPA, Alcoa — The new power agreement proposal could extend the smelter operations through at least Feb. 14, 2018, and possibly through the end of the energy contract in September 2022.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Potential Cherry Point coal terminal customer files for bankruptcy — Peabody Energy, a major supporter and potential customer of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday. Coal opponents lauded the bankruptcy filing as a “final nail in the coffin for the troubled Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal.”
► From The Stranger — Money from Washington state is funding anti-trans attacks in North Carolina — M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, one of the largest charities in the Pacific Northwest, gave $375,000 this year to a right-wing legal group that supports North Carolina’s anti-transgender legislation… Two of the trust’s three current trustees are Oregonians: John Castles and Lynwood Swanson. The third, Jeffrey Grubb, lives in Vancouver. He’s an executive vice president and senior managing director in the Portland Wealth Management Group of banking giant Wells Fargo.
ALSO at The Stand — AFSCME, IBT decry right-wing funding by Wells Fargo exec (Feb. 17, 2016)
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Head of key Boeing supplier linked to anti-mosque mailings — One of the key players opposing plans for construction of a mosque in Mukilteo is Peter Zieve, president and owner of Electroimpact Inc.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Latino leaders call off boycott of Columbia Center over Bob Parks’ Facebook postings — Latino Civic Leaders called off a planned boycott of Kennewick’s Columbia Center mall after the city made tentative plans to create a diversity commission to address issues raised when Councilman Bob Parks’ Facebook posts inflamed the community.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — McMorris Rodgers’ Glamour op-ed contradicts voting record on equal pay — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers penned an opinion piece this week for Glamour magazine outlining ways lawmakers could push for gender equality in pay. But the fourth-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives has voted against legislation that addresses the issues listed in her op-ed. At least two of the proposals she touts in her op-ed are present, in some form, in the Paycheck Fairness Act, which has been proposed by a Democratic sponsor in every session of Congress since 1997. As a member of the House of Representatives, McMorris Rodgers twice voted against that legislation, in July 2008 and January 2009, joining a majority of Republicans opposing the bill.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Sen. Patty Murray meets with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland — Murray said they discussed privacy, campaign-finance laws and the politicization of the courts. She said the nation deserves to hear Garland’s thoughts on those and other subjects and renewed calls for Senate Republicans to grant a public hearing and vote.
► From The Nation — Hundreds of people were just arrested outside Congress — The opening day of “Democracy Spring,” which is aimed at eliminating the impact of big money on politics and lowering barriers to voting, was one of the biggest single-day acts of mass civil disobedience ever to occur inside Washington, though it received relatively fleeting mainstream-media attention.
► From Huffington Post — This study shows how low Corporate America’s taxes really are — Every year from 2006 to 2012, some two-thirds of U.S. corporations did not pay federal income tax, according to a GAO study released Wednesday. In 2012 alone, 42.5 percent of businesses that the GAO defines as large did not pay federal taxes, including 19.5 percent of big corporations that posted a profit.
► In today’s NY Times — The real welfare cheats (by Nicholas Kristof) — No need to fret so much about welfare abuse in the inner city. The big problem of welfare dependency in America now involves entitled corporations. The U.S. tax code is rigged to give America’s biggest corporations a free ride. So let’s help those moochers in business suits pick themselves up and stop sponging off the government.
► From Huffington Post — Panama Papers offer more evidence that free trade isn’t really free — Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch: “The Panama Papers just show once again how entirely cynical and meaningless are American presidents’ and corporate boosters’ lavish promises of economic benefits and policy reforms from trade agreements… [I]nvestor protections and official U.S. stamp of approval made it safer to send dirty money to Panama.”
► From the Washington Fair Trade Coalition:
► From Think Progress — Meet the workers walking off the job today in the biggest low-wage strike yet — On Thursday, low-wage workers across a number of industries walked off the job in a record 320 cities as part of the latest action from the Fight for 15 movement demanding a $15 minimum wage and the right to form unions.
ALSO at The Stand — “Raise the Alarm” for workers Thursday in Seattle, statewide
► In today’s NY Times — In Verizon strike, blue-collar stress hits the sidewalks — The roughly 36,000 Verizon workers who went on strike Wednesday as a contract dispute entered its ninth month have brought into sharp relief one of the most fundamental questions facing the United States: Can an economy in the throes of dizzying technological change be a source of new middle-class jobs for blue-collar workers? The company, which is seeking rule changes that would make it easier to outsource work, seems to cast some doubt on that proposition, through its actions if not its words. It argues that technological change and shifts in consumer demand have rendered self-defeating many of the promises made to workers a generation or two ago.
TAKE A STAND — Click here to sign a petition telling CEO Lowell McAdam that you stand with Verizon workers.
► In today’s Washington Post — Two-cent price cut could mean $2 billion headache for Postal Service — While the two-cent cut won’t save individuals much money, APWU President Mark Dimondstein said “ultimately, it will undermine service and weaken a great national treasure.”
► From The Nation —The solution to higher ed’s bad pay is unions — A comprehensive analysis of public-regional-university faculties calculates the difference a union makes: about $21,000 annually in pay and benefits. Average salaries of unionized full-time teachers are approximately 15 percent higher, adding some $11,000 to annual earnings, compared to non-union peers. Their benefits bring in an additional $10,000 on average, roughly a third more than non-union counterparts.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Contact a union organizer today!
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