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Spokane strike support, Eyman loses (again), politics gets personal…

Thursday, May 26, 2016





► From IAM Eastern WA Facebook pageSpokane labor movement backs Triumph strikers — The Spokane Regional Labor Council, AFL-CIO has voted to contribute $1,000 to striking Machinists at Triumph Composite Systems. The money will be used to bolster the strike fund at Machinists Union Local Lodge 86. In this photo, Spokane CLC Tina Morrison and members of the National Association of Letter Carriers join striking IAM 86 members on the Triumph picket lines.

► From Eater — Restaurant chains drop lawsuit against Seattle — In a win for workers this week, McDonald’s and other large chains formally withdrew their lawsuit against Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law.

► In today’s Olympian — Olympic Panel of Shelton will close at the cost of 217 jobs — The state has issued a WARN notice concerning loss of 217 jobs and the closure of Olympic Panel Products in Mason County.

► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Letter carriers collect big for Sequim Food Bank during Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive




► BREAKING from the State Supreme Court — Eyman’s I-1366 rule unconstitutional — “We affirm the trial court and hold that I-1366 violates the single-subject rule of article II, section 19, and that it is void in its entirety.”

► From WFSE/AFSCME Council 28:


► In today’s News Tribune — Six Washington charter schools get a second start — Six of Washington’s charter schools will get another lease on life under the state’s new charter law, after action by the Washington State Charter School Commission.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Stumbling toward the finish line in fully funding basic education (by Randy Dorn) — The Legislature pats itself on the back for doing little, the Supreme Court levies fines in futility, and the state’s students suffer; true leaders would get the job done.

finger-pointing► In today’s News Tribune — GOP blames ex-corrections chief Bernie Warner for early prisoner release — After thousands of prisoners were released early, a GOP-led investigation lays blame for the long-running problem almost exclusively at the feet of former Corrections Secretary Bernie Warner.

EDITOR’S NOTE — So… Senate Republicans spent $125,000 on an “investigation” that found nothing new from the independent investigation by two formal federal prosecutors. The only difference is they had their partisan political staff write this version, taking great pains to try to link Governor Jay Inslee to the problem — which, of course, was their intention all along. What a waste of time and money.

► In today’s Olympian — More Washington Democrats look to do away with caucuses after Clinton primary win — State Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) said Tuesday’s results highlighted how Washington Democrats’ system of holding both caucuses and primaries needs to go.




COPE-16-crowd► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Here’s proof that all politics is personal (by Jerry Cornfield) — An example played out Saturday when leaders of the Washington State Labor Council gathered in Seattle for the ritual of endorsing candidates in this year’s elections. By the time it ended, the state’s largest labor organization had decided not to publicly support the re-election of Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, who has championed nearly every cause of Big Labor in her tenure. But these same labor leaders did back Republican state Sen. Kirk Pearson, of Monroe, who has voted “correctly” with council positions 16 percent of the time in his legislative career. What gives? In Murray’s case, the reason is her vote in 2015 giving President Barack Obama “fast track” authority to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. The council wound up refusing to endorse all federal office-holders, Democrat and Republican, who voted for the fast-track bill.

ALSO at The Stand — WSLC delegates make 2016 election endorsements (includes statement by WSLC President Jeff Johnson regarding the endorsements and the TPP)

► In the Tri-City Herald — Benton, Franklin PUD leaders oppose carbon tax initiative — The Benton PUD Commission came out in opposition to the carbon tax initiative that will be on the November ballot in Washington state, with the Franklin PUD passing a similar resolution hours later.

ALSO at The Stand — WSLC opposes Initiative 732 carbon tax

► From AP — Trump reaches magic number to clinch nomination

EDITOR’S NOTE — Nation’s sphincter clinches in response.

trump-rtw► From The Hill — Trump: My GOP will be a ‘worker’s party’ — Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump predicted the Republican Party will become a “worker’s party” under his leadership.

EDITOR’S NOTE — This from the guy who supports “right-to-work” (for less), says Americans’ wages are “too high,” says the federal $7.25/hour minimum wage — which Republicans in Congress have kept frozen for nine years — should stay where it is because he says “having a low minimum wage is not bad for this country,” and has personally made millions by offshoring American jobs overseas.

► In the USA Today — AFL-CIO, unions target potential Trump voters — The nation’s industrial labor unions, led by the AFL-CIO, are beginning a major grass-roots effort to target members who are thinking of supporting presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

► From The Hill — Trump aide mistakenly emails Politico reporter for Clinton dirt




TSA-screeners► In today’s NY Times — Airport security delays won’t end soon, TSA chief says — Congress has authorized the agency to hire 768 additional screeners to handle the expected increase in passengers, which is estimated at 740 million this year, up from 643 million in 2013. But the number of T.S.A. screeners has declined to 44,942 this year from 47,147 in 2013. Some members of Congress and the T.S.A. attribute the decline in screeners over the years to budget cuts.




► From KPLU — We don’t know how many workers are injured in slaughterhouses. Here’s why. — In an update to a 2005 report criticizing safety conditions for workers in the meat industry, the GAO says injuries and illnesses are still common, and injuries in the meat industry are also likely to be underreported. The GAO found several situations that may keep reported numbers from packing plants lower than reality.

► In the WSJ — Verizon CEO: Strike may hit results — The strike, which began April 13, involves nearly 40,000 employees, primarily in its landline division. The carrier has been able to keep up with maintenance requests, but it is falling behind on new Internet and TV installations.

mcdonalds-robot► In today’s Washington Post — Ex-McDonald’s CEO says raising the minimum wage will help robots take jobs — “I guarantee you if a $15 minimum wage goes across the country you’re going to see a job loss like you can’t believe,” said Edward Rensi.  “It’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries.”




► From KUOW — Protests escalate in France as labor groups face off with government — A third of France’s gas stations have no fuel to offer drivers. The nation’s electricity supply has dropped — though not enough to cause worry, officials say. Smoke bombs are being tossed on the streets of Le Havre. But you might have trouble reading about the upheaval over coffee and croissants… there were no newspapers in Paris today. It’s all part of the ongoing dispute between labor groups and the French government over President Francois Hollande’s plan to overhaul the country’s labor policies.


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