Friday the 13th of May, 2016
► From FiveThirtyEight.com — Americans don’t miss manufacturing — they miss unions (by Ben Casselman) — When politicians pledge to protect manufacturing jobs, they really mean a certain kind of job: well-paid, long-lasting, with opportunities for advancement. Those aren’t qualities associated with working on a factory floor; they’re qualities associated with being a member of a union.
► From KPLU — Folk singer John O’Connor to perform stories, songs about the Wobblies in Washington state — On Saturday, folk singer John O’Connor will tell the story of the anarchist labor union Industrial Workers of the World, also known as the Wobblies, and perform songs from that time. He’ll perform his show “Hold The Fort: Stories And Songs Of The Wobblies In Washington State” at the Seattle Union Hall of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. On Friday night, he’ll perform his own music at Keystone Church in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Check out The Stand’s calendar for more MayWorks events this weekend and the rest of the month.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Letter carriers primed for annual food drive Saturday — Letter carriers throughout Snohomish County [and the rest of the state] are gearing up for Saturday’s annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive, with a goal of collecting 250,000 pounds of food. Some, like Everett-area letter carriers Michelle Decker and Linda Kielland, are coming in on their days off or taking a vacation day to help out. Retired letter carriers will join some 125 volunteers from United Way of Snohomish County, the Snohomish County Labor Council and community groups Saturday to help pack up the food.
ALSO at The Stand — Participate in Letter Carriers Food Drive this Saturday, May 14
► In today’s Seattle Times — Hundreds of UW students protest lack of progress on race issues — Hundreds of students walked out of classes at the University of Washington’s Seattle campus midday Thursday and then briefly took over the UW’s regents meeting, protesting what they see as systemic institutional racism at the UW. Their list of demands includes asking the UW to divest its holdings in major national hedge funds and banks that hold investments in the private prison industry. Students say these companies are benefiting from mass incarceration policies and harsh prison sentences that have devastated minority communities.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Party at UW, Capitol Hill light-rail stations cost taxpayers $858K — Sound Transit spent more than $20 per passenger on planning, crowd control, entertainment and souvenirs celebrating the March 19 opening of two new light-rail stations.
► In the News Tribune — FedEx hiring more than 300 part-timers for Fife site — FedEx Ground is hiring more than 300 part-time package handlers for a Fife warehouse opening this summer. Those hired can expect physical labor and a rough first week in the fast-paced world of package sorting. Pay starts at $12.05 per hour and depends on the shift.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Low pay. Few hours. No benefits. (Because, why else are they hiring 300 part-timers and no full-timers, unless they aim to avoid providing health benefits?) Sounds like FedEx should be getting a big state tax break for being such a great job creator!
► In today’s P.S. Business Journal — Boeing goal: Snag bigger chunk of $2.8 trillion aircraft upgrade, repair business — The bad news locally? Boeing Commercial Airplanes last year moved headquarters of a sub-unit, Boeing Customer Support, from Puget Sound to Southern California. But many parts of the activity, including Boeing’s huge central parts warehouse near Sea-Tac International Airport, remain in Western Washington.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This is a good reminder that not all of the Boeing job “shifts” out of Washington state are going to lower cost or low-wage states, as recent newspaper editorials (including the one blow) state. In addition to the above-mentioned Boeing Customer Support jobs, the company shifted more than 1,000 engineering jobs to California since passage of the historic multi-billion tax break approved in 2013. The Golden State can hardly be considered a low-cost or low-wage state.
► In the Columbian — Disclosure valuable (editorial) — The interpretation of disclosures about state tax breaks for Boeing and other corporations is open to debate. But the benefits of having those disclosures available to taxpayers and lawmakers are indisputable. Quantifying the tax savings provided by corporate welfare will be essential for lawmakers and taxpayers in assessing such deals both now and in the future.
► From the BNA — GOP recruiting Democrats for bill to block overtime rule — A Republican senator is searching for Democrats to join his legislative challenge to a controversial overtime regulation, days before the Labor Department is expected to finalize the rule. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), one of the Republicans who introduced a bill in March to block the rule, told Bloomberg BNA May 11 he must find Democrats to support the bill before it’s moved to the floor. “I’m looking for a bipartisan coalition,” Scott said.
EDITOR’S NOTE — So far, Sen. Scott’s “bipartisan coalition” includes 36 co-sponsors of the bill — all Republicans.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Schools superintendent Dorn decides not to run for governor — The outgoing state schools chief said Thursday he won’t run just days after insisting he would run as an independent and focus the campaign on the incumbent’s failure to ensure public schools are adequately funded.
► From Huffington Post — Clinton embraces progressive Fed reforms — Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton came out in favor of changes to the Federal Reserve that would reduce the number of bankers in key central bank positions on Thursday, marking a major coup for national progressive groups championing reform.
► In today’s NY Times — Mr. Ryan warms up to Mr. Trump — Donald Trump spent part of their private meeting declaring his openness to Republican policies he’d disagreed with a day before. For a time it seemed that Paul Ryan might take a stand against Trump. Now it appears that he will wind up embracing a candidate who repudiates some Republican policies while also personifying many of the party’s most retrograde views. Few should be surprised. For years, Republican politicians, focused solely on winning the next election, have issued coded appeals to nativists and racists in the base, while abandoning the party’s most desperate voters. In Congress, they have accommodated extremists determined to lay waste to basic federal government functions.
► From the Hill — Trump: Anything I say now ‘is a suggestion’ — He now says his proposed ban on Muslims entering the country was “just a suggestion.”
► From The Hill — Trump: My tax rate is ‘none of your business’ — Leaders from both parties have called on Trump to release his tax returns.
► In today’s NY Times — Donald Trump and the art of the tax loophole — He said there was nothing to learn from his tax returns, but I’ll bet we’d learn plenty about how real estate moguls game the system.
► From TPM — Trump gets Kochy (by Josh Marshall) — Start taking the establishment money and you’ll start taking the establishment policy positions soon enough.
► From Think Progress — How a giant restaurant conglomerate teamed up with banks to stiff its workers — The struggling corporate giant behind The Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, and other national restaurant chains is forcing tens of thousands of workers to effectively pay rent on their own money. Workers at Darden Restaurants chains are routinely told they must accept prepaid debit cards instead of paychecks, according to a new report. A quarter of workers surveyed said they asked to be paid some other way and were told the cards are their only option. The practice puts an expensive barrier between workers and their money.
► In today’s L.A. Times — Chicken workers in diapers — more evidence of the high cost of cheap meat (by Marial Garza) — Chicken is so cheap these days that it was not a complete surprise to read the Oxfam America report about how poultry workers in U.S. plants are run so ragged that they are denied bathroom breaks. As a result, some say they have resorted to using diapers while on a shift.
► From Quartz — U.S. employers are officially barred from requiring service workers to be happy on the job — Some service workers can be unpleasant to deal with, but employers can’t demand that they perk up. U.S. labor laws protect workers’ right to be grumpy on the job. The NLRB has ruled that employers cannot force employees to always be cheerful, as much as they might want to. Wireless carrier T-Mobile tried to do so, but CWA objected and the NLRB agreed.
► Happy 50th Birthday to Darius Rucker! After fronting the underrated (probably because of their name) rockers Hootie & the Blowfish in the 1990s, he became a country singer. In 2008, his first solo country single “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” made him the first black artist to reach No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs charts since Charley Pride did it 25 years earlier. The next year, he became the first black artist ever to win the Country Music Association’s New Artist of the Year award. But the Entire Staff of The Stand still likes his Hootie years, so here he is revisiting one of those oldies. Enjoy!
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.