Friday, April 15, 2016
TAKE A STAND — Click here to send a message to your state legislators urging them to protect our state employees’ privacy.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — State Republicans’ prison probe is hopelessly partisan (editorial) — The Senate majority caucus billed its fact-finding mission as a “truly independent” alternative to Inslee’s DOC investigation, but it has now become hopelessly mired in election-year squabbling.
► In The Stranger — ‘FACE of Amazon’ group says it’s starting a unionization drive for Amazon workers — FACE is changing its enigmatic name to something more concrete: the Amazon Employees Internationally Organized Union, or AEIOU. The group writes, “Amazon is great from A to Z for its customers, so we’re going to force it to fill in the gaps in employment quality for our fellow mistreated employees through the formation of AEIOU.” AEIOU is collecting signatures for their unionization drive online.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Premera has laid off about 165 employees in strategic reorganization — Premera has cut about 165 employees since November in a strategic reorganization of the Mountlake Terrace-based insurance company.
► From Think Progress — Hillary Clinton widens her embrace of $15 minimum wage — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stated a new position on the debate stage in New York on Thursday night: If Congress were to pass a bill mandating a $15 minimum throughout the country, as president she would sign it. While rival Bernie Sanders has come out strongly in favor of a national $15 minimum wage, Clinton has previously said she supports cities and states that pass $15 minimum wages, but has said she thinks the federal level should be lower, at $12 an hour.
► From TPM — Blown budget deadline shows Ryan’s got a Boehner-sized problem — Just months after being elected as speaker with the promise he’d return the House to what is called “regular order,” Ryan will miss an April 15 deadline to pass a budget even as he still seeks to find consensus around one.
► From TPM — What Scalia’s death means for SCOTUS’ blockbuster immigration case — All eyes at Monday’s oral arguments will be on Chief Justice John Roberts to gauge how he will navigate his court through an already hyper-political case that the vacant seat further complicates.
ALSO at The Stand — Verizon strikers standing up for all workers
► In today’s Washington Post — California appeals court upholds teacher tenure, a major victory for unions — A California appeals court on Thursday upheld the state’s laws regarding teacher tenure, dismissal and layoffs, handing a major victory to teachers unions. The ruling overturns a lower court’s 2014 decision that found after a 10-week trial that job-protection statutes for teachers had created illegal inequalities.
► From Huffington Post — Mississippi jails are losing inmates, and local officials are ‘devastated’ by the loss of revenue — County officials across Mississippi are warning of job losses and deep deficits as local jails are being deprived of the state inmates needed to keep them afloat. The culprit, say local officials, is state government and private prisons, which are looking to boost their own revenue as sentencing and drug-policy reforms are sending fewer bodies into the correctional system.
► From Workday Minnesota — Labor movement pledges to challenge bigotry, bridge racial divisions — With the country facing serious questions of racial justice – and bigoted political rhetoric intended to divide people – the labor movement hopes to foster dialogue and solidarity, leaders of the AFL-CIO and affiliated unions said Thursday.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This should come as no surprise in a nation that, for decades, has embraced policies that actively suppress wages and encourage/subsidize offshoring. For many Americans, buying cheap foreign stuff is their only option. As this article notes, “Nearly three in four say they would like to buy goods manufactured inside the United States, but those items are often too costly or difficult to find.”
► From AFL-CIO Now — Bangladesh: Garment workers, unions demand justice on anniversary of activist’s murder — Four years after the tortured, lifeless body of Bangladesh garment worker–organizer Aminul Islam was discovered in a ditch, his killers have yet to be arrested. Yesterday, Bangladesh workers and unions demanded that authorities find and bring Aminul’s killers to trial.
► Paul McCartney is performing at Seattle’s KeyArena on Sunday. The Entire Staff of The Stand loves Sir Paul, but it’s not a $250-per-ticket kind of love, so we won’t be there. (Those of you who will, please rattle your jewelry.) The… most experienced… among you may be amazed to spot yourselves in this clip from 40 years ago at the Kingdome, in which Paul pioneers the mullet. Enjoy!
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.