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St. Martin’s vs. human dignity, Trump vs. workers, DOT vs. NAI…

Tuesday, July 5, 2016




st-martins-univ-olympia► In the Olympian — Saint Martin’s University fights faculty unionization efforts — Saint Martin’s University is asking the NLRB for a stay in the certification of a recent unionization vote by members of its non-tenured faculty (seeking a religious exemption from federal labor law). On June 17, Saint Martin’s adjunct and contingent faculty members voted to unionize and join SEIU Local 925 in Seattle. Of 125 faculty members who were eligible to vote, 64 voted yes, 33 voted no, and 28 didn’t cast a ballot.

ALSO at The Stand — Seattle U’s union avoidance contrary to Catholic teachings (May 2, 2014) — The U.S. Conference of Bishops has written, “Workers, owners, employers, and unions should work together to create decent jobs, build a more just economy, and advance the common good” and “no one may deny the right to organize without attacking human dignity itself.”

tnt-bridges-statue► In today’s News Tribune — As cast in bronze in Tacoma: Longshore leader Harry Bridges — Bridges, revered by the West Coast dockworkers as founder of the ILWU, is the subject of a statue being sculpted by Key Peninsula artist Paul Michaels. “People forget what the past has done for them,” said Tacoma maritime historian Ron Magden at a recent preview of a clay model of the Bridges sculpture.

► From AFL-CIO Now — Oregon AFL-CIO to turn its HQ into worker housing — If all goes as planned, the Oregon Labor Center will meet a wrecking ball in mid-2017 to make way for a four-story development combining union office space with underground parking and up to 120 units of affordable housing. Union pension funds would pay for it, and union workers would build it. And unlike most residential apartments going up in inner southeast Portland today, these would be priced at rents affordable to working people.

► In today’s Oregonian — Univ. of Oregon reaches agreement with graduate teachers’ union




boeing-bidding-777x-front► In the Seattle Times — Lofty optimism at Boeing hints at more work in Washington state — Boeing leaders — putting the nightmare of the 787’s birth behind them — are talking about developing another all-new airplane. They also hinted that the colossal new 777X wing center in Everett will be a vital part of the plan for that future jet — an encouraging sign for the region… Rehearsing his Farnborough pitch, [Boeing’s Mike] Delaney spoke of a potential launch around the end of the decade, which implies the need before that for some fateful decisions for this region on how and where the plane will be built.

► In the (Everett) Herald — State, Inslee risk jobs by going back on word to Boeing (by Sen. Mark Schoesler) — Two weeks after the Legislature adjourned this year, the governor said it is “fitting” to consider adding “some measure of accountability” to the package of aerospace tax incentives. While Boeing is upholding its commitment concerning the 777X, it has downsized other areas of its Washington operations. This is all the excuse some of our liberal friends need to try to force the state to go back on its word.

EDITOR’S NOTE — As he tries to manufacture an election issue in the governor’s race, Ritzville Republican Sen. Mark “She’s Racist” Schoesler forgets that 74% of the state’s general election voters, and 81% of Democratic primary voters, support changing the law so the amount of tax breaks Boeing and other aerospace companies receive is tied to keeping jobs in the state.




► In the News Tribune — Despite telling state they didn’t need the money, Pierce health care giants seek public funds for new psychiatric hospital — MultiCare and CHI Franciscan told state regulators in 2014 that they had the money and the intention to pay to build a badly needed psychiatric hospital in Tacoma. Since then, the health systems have embarked on a campaign to raise as much as half of the facility’s $40.6 million projected construction costs from outside sources, including from cash-strapped local governments.

► In the Seattle Times — Sen. Pam Roach’s fundraising, expenses and a meeting at Applebee’s draw FBI scrutiny — The FBI inquiries have involved Roach’s political fundraising, expense reimbursements and efforts to discourage a GOP state House hopeful in her legislative district from competing with her preferred candidate.




perez-thomas-L► From The Hill — Labor chief: ‘I’m proud of the work’ done on TPP — Labor Secretary Tom Perez in an interview Sunday touted his work as part of the Obama administration on the TPP, but avoided saying directly whether or not he personally supported the agreement.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s anti-trade rhetoric rattles the campaign message of Clinton and unions — For Hillary Clinton, the risk is not necessarily losing support directly to Trump but rather not inspiring enough enthusiasm among rank-and-file union workers — whose turnout and ground-level organizing have traditionally been crucial for Democrats — at a time when Trump has co-opted the traditional labor message about the perils of free trade and globalization.

trump-rtw► In the NY Times — Trump, trade and workers (by Paul Krugman) — What’s important is that voters not mistake tough talk on trade for a pro-worker agenda. If we want to be a middle-class nation, we need policies that give service-sector workers the essentials of a middle-class life. This means guaranteed health insurance — Obamacare brought insurance to 20 million Americans, but Republicans want to repeal it and also take Medicare away from millions. It means the right of workers to organize and bargain for better wages — which all Republicans oppose. It means adequate support in retirement from Social Security — which Democrats want to expand, but Republicans want to cut and privatize. Is Trump for any of these things? Not as far as anyone can tell.




► From PubliCola — Washington Democrats counting on Trump factor to take back State Senate — “I think that you’re going to see that no Republican is safe from Trump’s down ballot disaster,” says Jamal Raad, communications director for the Washington State Democratic Party. “You’re naive if you think this won’t affect state level races.”

► In the Seattle Times — State sees fastest growth in liberal-voting counties — Republicans already struggle to win statewide elections here — and it looks like it will only get harder going forward. That’s because the blue-no-matter-who Seattle area has more electoral weight to throw around than ever, according to new demographic data from the state.

ventrella-tony► In today’s News Tribune — Ex-sports anchor Tony Ventrella drops out of congressional race — His withdrawal from the race comes too late, however, to remove his name from the August primary ballot — and possibly the general election lineup as well.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The WSLC endorsed Alida Skold in the 8th CD race.

► BREAKING from AP — FBI Director: Agency won’t recommend criminal charges in Hillary Clinton email investigation — The FBI won’t recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while secretary of state, agency Director James Comey said Tuesday, lifting a major legal threat to her presidential campaign.

► From Huffington Post — Coal baron promises huge layoffs, then tells workers to vote Trump — Robert Murray, owner of the country’s largest private coal company, announced plans earlier this week to lay off as many as 4,400 workers, or 80 percent of his workforce. Their only hope for their jobs, he told workers, lies in electing “friends of coal” like Donald Trump.




► From USA Today — DOT deals setback to Norwegian Air, but broader battle remains — The Transportation Department on Thursday rejected an application from Norwegian Air United Kingdom to serve the U.S. But the dispute isn’t over yet, as the department noted in saying that the application rejected on procedural grounds had many overlapping issues with a broader, earlier application from Norwegian Air International.

ALSO at The Stand — U.S. must stop NAI flag-of-convenience plan

scared-donkey► From The Hill — Obama leaves Clinton with a Democratic Party moving left — On hot-button social issues from gay marriage to gun control to immigration, the Democratic Party has been transformed during Obama’s eight years in office. The leftward shift is ongoing, with liberal activists pressing Obama and Clinton to move in their direction on trade and the expansion of entitlement programs such as Social Security.

► From Politico — Immigration reformers eye Gang of 8 revival — Some are eyeing a revival of the Gang of Eight, the bipartisan group of senators that shepherded a sweeping immigration bill through the Senate three years ago only to watch it stall in the House a year later. Propelled by a Republican establishment eager to make inroads with minority voters after losing them by steep margins in the 2012 election, it was the closest Congress came in a generation to overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.




home-care-worker► In the NY Times — Home-care workers can finally claim victory (editorial) — The Supreme Court ensured that millions of working people would get fairer treatment when it decided last week not to consider Home Care Association of America v. Weil. That case was the last attempt by home care employers (mostly for-profit agencies) to avoid paying home care workers (mainly women of color) the minimum wage and overtime pay. By declining to hear the case, the court has confirmed that there is no legal rationale for denying basic labor protections to home care workers, who care for the elderly and disabled in the clients’ homes. The court’s action also marks the end of a long and shameful era in labor law.

► From Think Progress — Scott Walker thought his business tax break would stimulate the economy. The early returns aren’t good. — In 2011 — the same year Scott Walker became governor — Wisconsin enacted a Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit meant to stimulate the state economy by providing tax relief for those who use property for productive purposes. A new study indicates it’s providing lots of tax relief for the rich but not much economic stimulus for anybody else.




corporate-revolving-door► From Politico — The lobbying reform that enriched Congress — Their attempt to make good on a promise to end the “culture of corruption,” the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, was embraced by both parties as a historic breakthrough. Instead, it made things worse. Nine years later, the result of the law is very nearly the opposite of what the American public was told it was getting at the time. Not only did the lobbying reform bill fail to slow the revolving door between Congress and the influence industry, it created an entire class of professional influencers who operate in the shadows, out of the public eye and unaccountable.


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