Triumph strike support, victory at Verizon, broken promises…

Tuesday, May 31, 2016




Washington State Labor Council Secretary Treasurer Lynne Dodson visited Gary Swartz of Machinists Union Local Lodge 86 on the picket line at Triumph Composite Systems in Spokane, where the Machinists’ strike continues after three weeks. The WSLC donated $1,000 to the union’s strike fund.

ALSO at The Stand — Machinists strike at Triumph in Spokane (May 11, 2016)

Labor and community back Triumph strikers (May 16, 2016)

► In today’s Yakjima H-R — Five farm workers wounded in ‘negligent’ shooting in Zillah orchard — Five orchard workers were injured Sunday afternoon when they were hit in the legs with shotgun pellets near Zillah. Authorities believe whoever fired the shots was actually aiming at birds.




► In the Seattle Times — Boeing tankers will be delivered to Air Force late — and incomplete — The Air Force said Friday that Boeing’s KC-46 tanker program, already late and over budget, faces a further serious delay of six months for initial tanker deliveries — and an additional nine months beyond that to achieve fully operational tankers.




► In the Olympian — Democrats crowd race for Public Lands Commissioner — This fall’s race for Washington’s Commissioner of Public Lands — an office that oversees the state’s largest firefighting force and 5.6 million acres of land — is hotly contested since no incumbent is on the ballot. (King County Councilman Dave Upthegrove has earned the endorsement of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.)

► In the Cleveland P-D — AFL-CIO unleashes attack on Donald Trump — Organized labor is launching an attack on Donald Trump. “Donald Trump: Dangerous. Divisive. Unfit to be president,” reads the headline on fliers the Ohio AFL-CIO will begin circulating among 2,200 local unions this week.

► In today’s Washington Post — Texas Voter ID chicanery (editorial) — Everyone is clear on the voter-ID games that have been played in Republican-controlled state legislatures in recent years. In the name of preventing ballot fraud — of which there is virtually no evidence — GOP lawmakers have enacted restrictive bills, whose purpose and effect are to disenfranchise a certain number of reliably Democratic-leaning citizens: African Americans, Latinos and low-income voters. The most over-the-top example of voter suppression is legislation adopted in 2011 by Texas, which three federal courts have struck down. Zombie-like, it refuses to die, owing to the unembarrassed determination of Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republicans in Austin intent on resurrecting Jim Crow-style obstacles to the ballot by any means they can finagle through the judiciary.




► In today’s Washington Post — The federal insurance fund protecting millions of pensions is running out of cash — One of the nation’s largest multi-employer pension funds said that it is out of ideas for ways to save itself from an impending failure. After the Treasury Department rejected its Hail Mary proposal, which would have substantially cut benefits for some retirees, the Central States Pension Fund has little choice but to turn to a federal insurance program that is supposed to offer a lifeline to troubled pension funds. But there’s one major problem — that program is expected to run out of money, too.

► From The Hill — Geopolitics moves to center stage of Obama trade deal push — Proponents are arguing that passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will demonstrate U.S. leadership in the region and will define future economic relationships that assure the long-term stability of the Pacific Rim.




► In today’s NY Times — Verizon strike to end as both sides claim victory on key points — Verizon reached a series of tentative agreements with unions representing nearly 40,000 striking workers over the holiday weekend, retreating on some of the major points of contention, including pension cuts and greater flexibility to outsource work.

ALSO see the CWA statement on the deal.

► From The Hill — Striking Verizon employees heading back to work — Striking Verizon workers will head back to work on Wednesday after finalizing a tentative new contract with the telecom company. The proposal for a four-year contract announced over the holiday weekend includes a 10.9-percent raise as well as other compensation boosts. The company had proposed a much lower figure.

► In today’s NY Times — For assistants in prestige fields, overtime rule may alter career path — The change presents more than an economic challenge for the companies that rely on the willingness of young, ambitious workers to trade pay and self-respect for a shot at a prestige job down the road.




► In today’s NY Times — Top retailers fall short of commitments to overseas workers — After more than 1,100 deaths exposed dangerous labor conditions in Bangladesh in 2013, brands like H&M, Walmart and Gap were among the most powerful companies that pledged to improve the safety of some of the country’s poorest workers. But human rights groups say that three years later, those promises are still unfulfilled, and that safety, labor and other issues persist in Bangladesh and other countries where global retailers benefit from an inexpensive work force.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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