Tuesday, June 28, 2016
► From KPLU — Rest breaks are one big issue in negotiations between Tacoma General nurses and MultiCare — Nurses at Tacoma General Hospital held an informational picket on Monday before heading back to the bargaining table with MultiCare this week. The union, the Washington State Nurses Association, said one of its big issues is ensuring adequate care for patients while nurses take rest breaks.
SEE MORE PHOTOS at the Nursing Strong Tacoma General Facebook page.
ALSO at The Stand — Join MultiCare Tacoma General nurses at June 27 picket, rally
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Pacific Topsoils pleads guilty in death of 19-year-old worker — An Everett-based company has pleaded guilty to violating worker safety regulations resulting in the death of a Lake Stevens teen. Bradley Hogue, 19, died on July 7, 2014. He was crushed by rotating augers in a landscaping bark truck on his second day of a new summer job with Pacific Topsoils. His death is the first workplace safety case to be criminally prosecuted in the state of Washington in two decades.
► From Public News Service — Nearly 2,000 Portland janitors approve strike — Nearly 2,000 janitors in the Portland metro area have authorized a strike over low wages and a lack of access to affordable health care. SEIU Local 49 says five of the city’s biggest cleaning companies have offered to increase janitorial wages by 20 cents an hour over the next year but that’s not enough to cover the rising cost of living in the city.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington must fix culverts that block salmon from habitat, court rules — The Department of Transportation had estimated the cost of repairing more than 800 culverts within the case area at $1.9 billion over the course of the 17-year schedule. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s finding that the department greatly overestimated both the cost and the number of culverts that need to be corrected within that time frame. The state also can expect funding from the federal government for culvert repairs it must make anyway.
► From KPLU — Inslee directive targets more LGBTQ inclusive workplaces for state agencies — The governor has issued a directive to promote LGBTQ inclusion practices and policies into state government.
► From AP — State Sen. Hill of Redmond says his lung cancer has returned — Sen. Andy Hill, 53, the key budget writer for Senate Republicans in Washington state, says he is battling a recurrence of lung cancer.
► From PubliCola — Jayapal scores progressive endorsement — State Sen. Pramila Jayapal (D-Seattle) has scored an important endorsement in the race to take retiring U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott’s (D-7th) seat: lefty group Fuse.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington State Labor Council delegates have already voted to endorse Jayapal in this race.
► In today’s NY Times — Clinton, Warren take aim at Trump — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a towering political figure among today’s liberal Democrats, brought her energy, folksy appeal and populist roar to a candidate not known for energizing crowds.
► From TPM — White nationalists involved in bloody Calif. rally will be at GOP Convention — Members of a prominent white nationalist group have pledged to provide some unsolicited protection to supporters of Donald Trump at next month’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
► In today’s Washington Post — Big labor makes peace with Hillary Clinton on trade — Under pressure from the left in the Democratic primaries, Hillary Clinton announced opposition to the TPP even though she was a chief proponent while serving as U.S. secretary of state in Obama’s first term. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he believed her position is sincere. “She’s against TPP,” he said. “She supports our position. What else can she do? Say, ‘I’m really against it?’ ”
► From Reuters — Trump, AFL-CIO’s Trumka to give dueling trade speeches Tuesday — “Donald Trump talks a good game on trade, but his first and only loyalty is to himself,” Trumka will say.
► In the NW Labor Press — At a Boeing contractor in Portland, workers vote whether to go union — About 180 nonunion workers who paint commercial aircraft at the Portland airport will vote July 7 and 8 on whether to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
► In today’s NY Times — A single senator stymies Export-Import Bank — Thanks to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), it has been a full year since the 82-year-old Export-Import Bank could approve deals exceeding $10 million, a limit that rules out high-dollar deals on airplanes, power generators, heavy equipment and nuclear reactors. In turn, giants like General Electric and Boeing are shifting more operations and jobs abroad… A Boeing official at its facility in Alabama publicly criticized Shelby, saying he was putting local jobs and suppliers at risk.
► From Law 360 — BREAKING: High court won’t rehear public union fee challenge — The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a bid by nine California public school teachers for a rehearing of their challenge to California public-sector unions’ union fee requirement when a ninth justice takes a seat on the bench. In a one-line order, the high court rejected the teachers’ April 8 petition for rehearing, which came about a week after the justices issued a 4-4 per curiam opinion affirming a Ninth Circuit ruling in favor of so-called agency fees for members and nonmembers of public employee unions.
► From Reuters — Supreme Court won’t consider labor board power over Indian casinos — In deciding to stay out of that fight, the court let stand a pair of federal appeals court rulings that gave the NLRB authority over casinos on Indian land. Those rulings boosted unions’ ability to organize workers in the tribal casino industry.
► In today’s NY Times — House Benghazi report finds no new evidence of wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton — Ending one of the longest, costliest and most bitterly partisan congressional investigations in history, the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its final report on Tuesday, finding no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead.
► In today’s Washington Post — Democrats on Benghazi committee: Panel ‘squandered millions of taxpayer dollars’
► From Reuters — United clinches long-sought deal with flight attendants union — United Continental Holdings Inc. has reached a deal for the first labor contract in its history that covers all flight attendants at the company, their union and the airline said on Friday, a breakthrough after workers’ protests and years of talks.
► From Huffington Post — Another city just enacted a $15 minimum wage — District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser signed legislation Monday that will gradually hike the city’s minimum wage to $15, the latest in a string of victories for the union-backed Fight for $15 campaign.
► From Huffington Post — This Walmart worker threw away food on the job. Then went home hungry. — When David Alvarez worked at a Walmart in Tampa, Florida, he regularly chucked unsold tomatoes, potatoes and bananas into compost bins behind the store. Meanwhile, the food on his own table was much less fulfilling — sandwiches, ramen noodles, milk. It was all he could afford, he said. Alvarez felt like he was “starving to death,” he said. “I’d been on food stamps the whole time I’d been out there at Walmart, because you just cannot make it on what they pay.” (Alvarez was fired in March, he said, for speaking at a rally in support of a $15-an-hour minimum wage.)
Alvarez’s story is startlingly common. One in seven American households don’t have steady access to healthy meals, yet roughly 40 percent of all the food in the U.S. goes uneaten. Some of this food is composted or turned into animal feed, but most of it winds up in landfills
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.