Friday, April 29, 2016
► From KPLU — Contracts covering 30,000 grocery workers in the Puget Sound area are up for a vote — Grocery store workers in the Puget Sound region came very close to going on strike in late 2013, but recent contract negotiations have gone more smoothly and workers are voting this week on a tentative agreement, with results expected today. The contracts cover about 30,000 workers at big grocery chains such as QFC, Fred Meyer, Safeway and Albertsons around the Puget Sound area. Employees at independent grocery stores such as Metropolitan Market are also covered. They’re represented by Teamsters 38 and Locals 21 and 367 of United Food and Commercial Workers.
EDITOR’S NOTE — The unions expect to announce the results of the vote at 10 a.m. this morning. The Entire Staff of The Stand is all over it, and will report on the outcome.
► From KPLU — State employees upset about Freedom Foundation’s requests for their birth dates — Tens of thousands of state workers in Washington are the target of unusual public records requests from an anti-union group asking for their birth dates. The requests came from the Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Olympia that’s targeting public sector unions. On its web site, the group says it wants to “reverse the stranglehold public-sector unions have on our government.” But many state workers don’t want their birth dates released out of privacy concerns, according to Tim Welch, spokesman for the Washington Federation of State Employees. “Our members are outraged by this,” Welch said. “They don’t know why any group would need that information.”
TAKE A STAND — Click here to take action and tell legislators that they need to change the law to prevent such invasions of privacy.
► From KUOW — Western State Hospital strikes deal with feds to suspend termination order, maintain funding — This means the troubled state mental hospital will no longer face a termination order and will maintain its federal funding. Western State has been under scrutiny for serious repeat violations that have put staff and safety at risk.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Former exec Reardon fined for ‘egregious’ campaign violations
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — 12 Hanford workers checked for chemical vapor exposure — Work to empty a Hanford tank with an interior leak has been stopped after several workers reported suspicious odors that may have been from chemical vapors on Thursday. A total of 12 workers were taken for on-site medical evaluations.
► In today’s Seattle Times — CEO makes fiery emails about Muslims part of the workday — Long before Electroimpact President Peter Zieve sent postcards to Mukilteo residents about a planned mosque, he was drawing strong reactions from some of his 800 employees with messages about “terrorist savages,” sterilization, procreation and more.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Higher taxes: Make businesses pay for more Seattle cops, says Ed Murray
► MUST-READ in today’s NY Times — Working-class fraud (by Timothy Egan) — Donald Trump is a traitor to the class he professes to speak for. He “loves the undereducated.” He’s a working-class hero to the angry white masses who flock to his rallies. Of all the parts Trump has been playing, this one is the phoniest. With Trump, you can be sure of one thing: He will betray those people. We know this because he already has. Wage stagnation is the most glaring symptom of a declining middle class. Trump’s solution? He believes that “wages are too high.”
► In today’s NY Times — Trump, Clinton gear up for a race defined by gender — Donald J. Trump has already proved willing to attack Hillary Clinton in ways that many women find sexist and consider out of bounds.
► From Think Progress — Faith leaders issue statement condemning Trump’s rhetoric as ‘racist, bigoted, and hateful’ — A group of high-profile Christian leaders has published a lengthy statement passionately condemning Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, calling his campaign message “contrary to our Christian values” and condemning his bombastic rhetoric as “racist, bigoted, and hateful.”
► From CBS News — Dying to work: 150 job-related fatalities every day — A farm worker overcome by fumes while loading pig manure onto a truck in Ohio; a convenience store clerk shot during an attempted robbery in New Jersey. Both men are among the 150 job-related fatalities in the U.S. every day, many of which federal regulators say are preventable.
ALSO at The Stand — WSLC’s Johnson on Worker Memorial Day: Never forget the fallen — Washington State Labor Council President Jeff Johnson’s remarks at the annual Worker Memorial Day ceremony conducted at the headquarters of the state Department of Labor and Industries in Tumwater
► From Think Progress — Republicans shoot down rule that bans financial advisers from scamming retirees — The DOL has finalized rules that require financial advisers who help people make investments for retirement to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own. On Thursday, the Republican-controlled House voted to approve a resolution blocking the new rules, which require advisers to adhere to a “fiduciary standard.” Obama says he will veto it if the Senate passes it.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington Republican Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dave Reichert, Jaime Herrera Beutler, and Dan Newhouse (pictured here) all sided with Wall Street investment firms and voted “yes” to block the rule. All of Washington’s Democrats sided with working people hoping to one day afford to retire and voted “no.”
► In the Wall Street Journal — Workers sue over Alabama wage law, citing civil rights — Fast-food workers and civil rights groups in Birmingham, Ala., are mounting a constitutional challenge to a recent state law that bars cities from setting their own higher minimum wages, alleging the law violates the workers civil rights.
► In this Year the Music Died, the Entire Staff of The Stand today wishes a very happy 83rd birthday (and many more) to this guy. He isn’t letting his age hold him back from continuing to perform with real emotion, holding back the tears on this song. And check out the miles on Trigger, Willie’s acoustic guitar. In his book, The Tao of Willie: A Guide to Happiness in Your Heart, he described the influence of the guitar in his style:
“One of the secrets to my sound is almost beyond explanation. My battered old Martin guitar, Trigger, has the greatest tone I’ve ever heard from a guitar. … If I picked up the finest guitar made this year and tried to play my solos exactly the way you heard them on the radio or even at last night’s show, I’d always be a copy of myself and we’d all end up bored. But if I play an instrument that is now a part of me, and do it according to the way that feels right for me … I’ll always be an original.”
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.