WFSE Unity Events, inevitable I-1433, Bernie’s wake-up call…

Wednesday, June 29, 2016




► From WFSE — Big day today for more Unity Events — The Washington Federation of State Employees, AFSCME Council 28 is stepping up its public actions with events around the state Wednesday for a fair contract that addresses the pay gap between state employees and counterparts in other parts of the economy. Those events include:

  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. — DSHS CENTENNIAL BLDG, 1949 S State St, Tacoma, WA 98405
  • Noon – 1 p.m. — HOME & COMMUNITY SERVICES, 1737 Airport Way S, Seattle, WA 98134
  • 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. — EASTERN STATE HOSPITAL MEDICAL LAKE, 850 Maple St, Medical Lake, WA 99022
  • Noon – 1 p.m.   WESTERN STATE HOSPITAL, 9601 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98498

ALSO at The Stand — State employees show solidarity as WFSE bargains for real raises

► In today’s News Tribune — Corrections officer, suspect shot in Auburn — A state Department of Corrections officer and a suspect were shot and wounded Tuesday in Auburn, police said. Officer Kristoffer Rongen, 46, was shot in the leg as he and another officer returned fire on a suspect they were trying to arrest on a federal warrant.




► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — AWB official to Peninsula entrepreneurs: Prepare for minimum wage increaseAn increase in Washington state’s minimum wage to $13.50 is inevitable, a statewide business-group representative said Tuesday. Gary Chandler, vice president of government affairs for the Association of Washington Business, predicted voters this November will approve Initiative 1433.

ALSO at The Stand — Return your I-1433 petitions; volunteer July 4

► From The Stranger — Anti-trans signature gatherers show up at Pride — I-1515 signature gatherers are being instructed to “say as little as possible about the details” of the initiative and not to mention any of the proposed anti-trans ballot measure’s “controversial aspects.” The I-1515 campaign is being run by the same people who fought gay marriage in 2012, and the proposed ballot measure would repeal state human rights protections for transgender people in bathrooms and locker rooms.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The Washington State Labor Council strongly opposes I-1515.




► From KPLU — Community group inks deal with Pacific Lutheran University to buy KPLU — After 50 years of serving Western Washington under PLU, 88.5 is set to become an independent, community-licensed station… A whirlwind fundraising campaign saw Friends of 88.5 meet its $7 million goal by late May — over a month early – on the strength of 24,000 donations from more than 18,000 donors.

► From PubliCola — Don’t pause, double down on Seattle’s transportation progress (by Jon Orcutt) — The evidence is clear: Seattle is a city on the move, a city where transit improvement is both an immediate fact and a long-term public policy. Over the last five years, you’ve had the fastest-growing transit ridership of any large U.S. city. You’ve opened effective new rail extensions, reshaped bus networks to provide more frequent service, and designed streets to move transit more efficiently. Where most American cities–even growing ones–are shedding bus riders, Seattle is gaining them in droves. And of course, you are debating (and now scheduled to vote on) a funding plan that will shape the next several generations of transit investments and influence regional development for the remainder of this century.

► From the NW Accountability Project — Freedom Foundation goes to the Oregon Zoo — This past Friday, the anti-worker Freedom Foundation held a fundraiser at the Oregon Zoo featuring Steve Forbes, the failed presidential candidate who supported a tax plan that even Mitt Romney called “a tax cut for fat cats.” The irony of this fundraiser is not lost on us that this anti-worker extremist group would try to raise money to attack public employees while having their food prepared and served at a public facility by the very union workers they are targeting… Working families from around the state came out to greet the attendees, to remind them of who they were actually supporting: an out-of-state organization who have anti-LGBT and anti-worker beliefs. As you can see, Jeff Rhodes, Freedom Foundation managing editor and senior staff, greeted working families with a clear message.





► In the PSBJ — Boeing needs robotics engineers: New grant to prep 608 workers in Everett for future of manufacturing — As Boeing and many Puget Sound-area companies begin to automate manufacturing, they’re finding they need to develop a highly trained group of human workers to fix robots when they break or need maintenance.

► From AP — First made-in-China jetliner makes debut commercial flight — The first regional jet produced in China’s initiative to compete in the commercial aircraft market made its debut flight Tuesday carrying 70 passengers. The ARJ21-700 jet is one of a series of initiatives launched by the ruling Communist Party to transform China from the world’s low-cost factory into a creator of profitable technology in aviation, clean energy and other fields.




► MUST-READ in today’s NY Times — Democrats need to wake up (by Sen. Bernie Sanders) — The global economy is not working for the majority of people in our country and the world. This is an economic model developed by the economic elite to benefit the economic elite. We need real change… The notion that Donald Trump could benefit from the same forces that gave the Leave proponents a majority in Britain should sound an alarm for the Democratic Party in the United States. Millions of American voters, like the Leave supporters, are understandably angry and frustrated by the economic forces that are destroying the middle class. In this pivotal moment, the Democratic Party and a new Democratic president need to make clear that we stand with those who are struggling and who have been left behind. We must create national and global economies that work for all, not just a handful of billionaires.

► In today’s Pittsburgh P-G — Labor leaders, Dems tackle Trump prior to his speech on trade — In the hours leading up to a speech on trade by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, labor leaders and one prominent Democrat took swipes at Trump’s record of making products overseas. “Trump embodies everything that is wrong with our current trade policies,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said.

► From Bloomberg — AFL-CIO official calls Trump ‘complete fraud’ on trade — Donald Trump’s rhetoric on U.S. trade “doesn’t match the record” because the mogul’s own business practices contradict his promises to protect workers from overseas competition, says an AFL-CIO spokesman.

► In today’s NY Times — ‘Brexit’ gives GOP opening to tilt from Donald Trump on trade — House Speaker Paul Ryan, a longtime and vocal proponent of free trade, suggested that the United States and England needed to make a bilateral trade agreement once the country formally separated from the European Union.




► From TPM — Paul Ryan issues warning shot: He ‘will not tolerate’ another Dem sit-in — House Speaker Paul Ryan said he “will not tolerate” another sit in on the floor of the House of Representatives like the one Democrats staged on gun control last week.

► From Huffington Post — Republicans aren’t even pretending they want to confirm judges anymore — Hardly any GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee showed up to a hearing this month to vote out a batch of Obama’s court picks. There were so many missing members the committee didn’t have the 11 people it needed to reach a quorum, which meant no one could do anything. That left the eight Democrats and two Republicans who did show up just sitting there, looking at each other.




► From AP — Labor unions file lawsuits challenging West Virginia’s ‘Right-to-Work’ law — Eleven state labor unions have filed petitions in Kanawha Circuit Court challenging the state’s new “right-to-work” law as an illegal taking of union property and resources.

► In the Wichita Eagle — Teen fired after asking for the same pay as her male co-worker at a pizza shop — A manager of Pizza Studio at the Legends fired 17-year-old Jensen Walcott of Kansas after she compared her salary to that of her guy friend and discovered that she was making $8 an hour — 25 cents less an hour than him for doing the same job with the same amount of work experience. When Walcott called the shop back to ask about the discrepancy, she got canned because, the manager told her, discussing wages is against company policy.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The Equal Pay Opportunity Act, HB 1646 sponsored by Rep. Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island) would have made this illegal in Washington state by simply empowering co-workers to discuss their pay without fear of retaliation. It has twice passed the Democratic-controlled House and twice been killed by Senate Republicans.

► In today’s NY Times — A sea of charter schools in Detroit leaves students adrift — Michigan leapt at the promise of charters 23 years ago, betting that more competition would improve public education. Instead, old problems grew worse.

► In today’s NY Times — Corporate fraud demands criminal time (by Robert H. Tillman and Henry N. Pontell) — Volkswagen cheated on emissions tests because the chances of getting caught were low. Let’s change the calculus of corporate crime.




► From the Nation — The Republican war on voting is working In addition to the voter-ID law, since 2011, Wisconsin’s GOP-controlled legislature has cut the early-voting window from 30 days to 12, eliminated night and weekend voting, banned straight-ticket voting, made it more difficult both to register to vote and to cast an absentee ballot, and tightened residency requirements. It has also disbanded the widely respected nonpartisan agency that oversees state elections and was supposed to educate the public about the voter-ID law… Wisconsin and and neighboring Minnesota have clashed sharply in recent years, becoming case studies in the difference between Democratic and Republican rule. Whereas Wisconsin elected Scott Walker and a GOP legislature in 2010, Minnesota narrowly elected Mark Dayton, and two years later a Democratic legislature. Minnesota raised taxes on the wealthy, invested in public education, expanded health care, and boosted unions, while Wisconsin did the opposite. Now Minnesota is winning the border war, with faster job growth, higher wages, and lower unemployment.


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

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