Monday, May 23, 2016
► From SeattlePI.com — Labor pains: Unions refuse to endorse Murray, 3 Democratic House members — The Washington State Labor Council, angry at a pending trade agreement, has denied its endorsement to Sen. Patty Murray and Democratic U.S. Reps. Suzan DelBene, Derek Kilmer and Rick Larsen. The four federal officeholders, all up for re-election this year, are being punished for their votes last year in favor of giving President Obama “fast track” authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP is a 12-nation trade agreement fervently opposed by labor unions.
SATURDAY at The Stand — WSLC delegates make 2016 election endorsements (includes statement by WSLC President Jeff Johnson regarding the endorsements and the TPP) — “Because Washington is a trade-dependent state, our elected officials here often willfully ignore the clear connections between decades of globalization under these bad trade deals, the growing crisis of climate change, and an out-of-balance U.S. economy that has decimated the middle class. Voters are justifiably angry, which is why all of the remaining presidential candidates now say they oppose the TPP. It’s time for a new economic era. That’s why we need to commit to stopping the TPP, go back to the bargaining table, and get it right. This is not a choice between trade and protectionism. This is a choice between bad trade policies and good trade policies. And today, Washington’s working people sent a clear message to our congressional delegation that this issue is too important for them to ignore.”
► A related story from The Hill — Obama confident TPP will pass Congress — Obama is looking to reassure Asian nations that the deal is still on track for passage despite growing political opposition to it in the U.S.
► From AP — Secretary of State could face tough test in re-election bid — Kim Wyman, a republican who narrowly won her election four years ago, is facing another potentially tough fight against a Democrat this year as she seeks a second term: Tina Podlodowski, a former Microsoft manager who served on the Seattle City Council for one four-year term in the 1990s and who most recently served as an adviser to current Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in 2014.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Tina Podlodowsaki earned the endorsement of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO at its COPE Convention on Saturday.
► In today’s Oregonian — Backers of initiative to raise corporate taxes turn in signatures for ballot — If certified, IP 28 is widely expected to be one of the most controversial measures placed before Oregon voters in years. The measure would increase the corporate minimum tax for businesses with annual Oregon sales exceeding $25 million. The $5 billion raised every two years by the tax would be earmarked for K-12 education, health care and seniors.
► In the News Tribune — In final caucus round, Bernie Sanders remains clear winner among Washington Democrats — Democrats throughout Washington met Saturday for congressional district caucuses that finalized how the state’s delegates will be split between the party’s two presidential candidates.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington state GOP convention backs Cruz over Trump — Donald Trump may be the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, but Washington state’s GOP convention awarded 40 out of 41 elected delegate slots to Ted Cruz.
► In today’s Washington Post — Stop freaking out, Democrats. The party will unify. Probably. (by Greg Sargent) — Will Bernie Sanders burn it all down on the way out? While it is still always possible that things could get very contentious and destructive among Democrats, all the way to the convention and beyond, new data points out this morning suggest that he might not.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Green River College faculty to strike over program cuts — Faculty at Green River College will go on strike for three days, starting Monday, to protest plans by the college to eliminate 11 programs and courses. Under the proposed cuts, five tenured faculty and one tenure-track faculty member at the Auburn community college could lose their jobs, along with an unknown number of adjunct instructors. The college faculty have been in a long-running dispute with President Eileen Ely, and three times — most recently, this month — voted they have no confidence in her leadership. They say she is using state cutbacks as a way to gut the college’s United Faculty union, which is a chapter of the American Federation of Teachers Washington.
ALSO at The Stand — 3-day strike begins today at Green River College — Find out what you can do to show your solidarity.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Bremerton reaches agreements with police, Teamsters — Police officers, employees represented by the Teamsters union and other city managers will get bumps in pay under contracts approved Wednesday night by the Bremerton City Council.
► In Sunday’s tri-City Herald — State labor negotiations need revamping (editorial) — Lawmakers need to find a way to open up state employee contract talks and take back the fiscal authority they gave away 14 years ago.
► From WFSE — Tri-City Herald got it wrong in its editorial attack on state employees — (The Herald editorial above) is a thinly veiled attack on state employees that ignores the facts and exposes The Herald as a mouthpiece for two self-serving special interest groups… Shame on the Herald Editorial Board. It should spotlight reality, not serve as the echo chamber for self-serving special interests like the Washington Policy Center and the Freedom Foundation.
► From AP — Washington’s wildfire season gets off to abrupt, early start — Washington’s wildfire season got off to an abrupt and early start this month when two separate blazes tore through dry, steep forest less than 70 miles from Seattle. The blazes fueled worries about what lies ahead.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Lovick favored to fill 44th District seat vacated by Dunshee — John Lovick, ex-Snohomish County executive, sheriff and former state lawmaker, is one of three nominees to fill the state House seat vacated by Hans Dunshee when he joined the County Council. Lovick received the most support of Democratic Party officers at a special meeting May 19.
► In today’s Columbian — Benton out 2 jobs, but retirement pay awaits — The state does not disclose details of specific retirement accounts, but it does share the formula for determining the benefits. The pension formula is 2 percent of the highest five years’ earnings multiplied by the years of service. For Benton, that could equal out to about $45,029 a year.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Conner: New 777X composite wing center is proof of Boeing’s commitment to Puget Sound region — Speaking to a group of hundreds of Boeing workers and dignitaries, he focused on the workers. “We’ve built an amazing building that’s going to do amazing things,” he said. “Buildings are great, but buildings don’t make airplanes, people make airplanes.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing wins $11.3 billion order for 100 planes from Vietnamese airline — Boeing won an order for 100 jets from VietJet Aviation valued at $11.3 billion in list prices as Vietnam’s only private airline expands fleet amid a surge in travel. Delivery of the Boeing 737 Max 200 planes will run for four years beginning in 2019.
► From Politico — The holes in the overtime rule — Behind the headline was a strange fact about the U.S. job market that the rule largely left unchanged: A huge list of American jobs are specifically exempt from overtime. They include airline employees, truckers, and railroad workers, as well as farm laborers, home-based wreathmakers (really) and rural elevator operators. The administration’s overtime regulation estimates that up to 4.5 million workers fall into these categories, including up to 2 million Americans in transportation and 900,000 in agriculture work.
► In the (Everett) Herald — Larsen is trying to keep field level (letter by Cpt. Chris Notaro) — Rep. Rick Larsen is defending fair competition for Boeing’s and all U.S. aviation workers by championing legislation that directs the U.S. Department of Transportation to require foreign airlines to live up to the U.S. transport agreements they sign before it allows airlines to benefit from them.
ALSO at The Stand — Deny NAI: We must protect open, fair aviation competition
► From Reuters — Uber deal shows divide in labor’s drive for role in ‘gig economy’ — The Machinists Union trumpeted an agreement reached earlier this month to represent New York Uber drivers, saying it “gives organized labor an opportunity to shape the new economy in a way that supports and values workers and their families.” But not everyone in the U.S. labor movement is cheering.
► In today’s LA Times — Tesla accident highlights the need to ensure worker visas aren’t abused (editorial) — A work-site accident at a Tesla Motors auto plant in Fremont last year has spotlighted an uncomfortable reality: The B1/B2 visa system is subject to manipulation and fraud that perverts its intent and undercuts American businesses and workers.
But seriously, folks. You NEED to set aside 15-20 minutes at some point and read this mic-drop of a column by Matt Taibbi, our favorite political columnist in all the land. All the way through.– Sincerely, The Entire Staff of The Stand
► From Rolling Stone — R.I.P. GOP: How Donald Trump is killing the Republican Party (by Matt Taibbi) — One could say this was just a calamitous strategic misread on the part of the Koch-brothers types. But another way to look at it is that this was the inevitable consequence of the basic dynamic of the party, which by the end was little more than a collection plate for global business interests that were, if not foreign exactly, certainly nationless. There was a time in this country — and many voters in places like Indiana and Michigan and Pennsylvania are old enough to remember it — when business leaders felt a patriotic responsibility to protect American jobs and communities. Mitt Romney’s father, George, was such a leader, deeply concerned about the city of Detroit, where he built AMC cars.
But his son Mitt wasn’t. That sense of noblesse oblige disappeared somewhere during the past generation, when the newly global employer class cut regular working stiffs loose, forcing them to compete with billions of foreigners without rights or political power who would eat toxic waste for five cents a day. Then they hired politicians and intellectuals to sell the peasants in places like America on why this was the natural order of things. Unfortunately, the only people fit for this kind of work were mean, traitorous scum, the kind of people who in the military are always eventually bayoneted by their own troops. This is what happened to the Republicans, and even though the cost was a potential Trump presidency, man, was it something to watch.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.