Thursday, August 18, 2016
► From The Stranger — Secure scheduling is Seattle’s next big labor fight — Here’s the thing about $15, the revolutionary minimum wage Seattle passed in 2014, setting off a domino effect across the country: If you aren’t getting enough hours of work every week, then even at a higher minimum wage, you may still not be able to make ends meet. And if the hours you are getting are so unpredictable that you can’t hold down a second job or attend school, you’re even more stuck. Welcome to Seattle’s next big labor fight.
LEARN MORE about this proposed ordinance here. #OurTimeCounts
► In today’s Seattle Times — Which Uber drivers will get to vote on unionization? Neither mayor nor council wants to decide — Mayor Ed Murray and the City Council are playing hot potato with a key aspect of Seattle’s first-in-the-nation ordinance allowing taxi and Uber drivers to unionize.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle area’s jobless rate edges down as statewide unemployment is stubbornly high — Washington’s east-west divide may help explain why the state unemployment rate has stayed so steady over much of the past year, stubbornly remaining almost a full point above the national jobless rate even as the Seattle area’s job picture improves.
► In today’s Columbian — Mediator joins Evergreen schools contract talks — With less than two weeks until school begins, a state-appointed mediator is joining contract negotiations between the Evergreen Education Association and Evergreen Public Schools on Thursday.
► From KPLU — Look for the union label on recreational marijuana — Perma, a Tacoma-based cannabis grower and processor, is the first recreational pot processor in the county to unionize. The workers have joined the UFCW Local 367.
ALSO at The Stand — Look for that union label — on your cannabis
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Inslee, Bryant spar over Trump, minimum wage in debate — The first debate between Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee and Republican challenger Bill Bryant on Wednesday produced testy exchanges on the minimum wage, Donald Trump and the incumbent’s record… Inslee said he is “fully supportive” of Initiative 1433 saying it will give people a living wage and benefit the economy as those workers will have more money in their pockets to spend. Bryant said he is opposed.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Secretary of State candidates tangle in debate — Democrat Tina Podlodowski repeated her criticism that voter turnout during Republican Kim Wyman’s tenure has been terrible. The key to reversing that is voter education and engagement, she said.
► From The Stranger — What Reuven Carlyle got wrong in his critique of Sound Transit Phase 3 (by Rich Stolz, Executive Director of OneAmerica) — Sen. Reuven Carlyle’s arguments create a false choice that our communities cannot afford to make. Washington state cannot fund education at the expense of other vital services, including transit. This kind of thinking invites other legislators to hack away at the social safety net in lieu of raising sustainable, progressive revenue for a long-term solution to our education funding crisis.
ALSO at The Stand — We can build great transit AND fully fund schools (by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon)
► From Yahoo News — New chief of Clinton’s transition team is a strong backer of TPP and free trade — On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton announced that Ken Salazar, a former U.S. senator and secretary of the interior, would serve as the chairman of her transition committee. He brings with him one inconvenient policy position: outspoken support for TPP.
► From The Hill — AFL-CIO urges GOP senators to ‘renounce’ Trump — “It is important that our members know which senators have aligned themselves with Trump’s radical agenda and demand better,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement. “The petitions call on each senator to put country before party and renounce Donald Trump as dangerous and unfit to be president.”
► From The Daily Show with Trevor Noah — On Monday night’s episode, members of the United Steelworkers who work for Carrier appeared to discuss Donald Trump’s history with working people.
IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM, CHEAT ‘EM
► MUST-READ from U.S. News & World Report — Denying democracy’s promise (by MaryBe McMillan and Phil Neuenfeldt) — North Carolina and Wisconsin have vastly different histories, laws and people, but our states share one thing in common: Our politics in recent years have been dominated by divisive politicians who preyed on economic insecurity to pursue a starkly corporate agenda… Nowhere has the assault in our states been more fundamental than in the sweeping measures to deny hundreds of thousands of legally registered voters access to the ballot. Make no mistake, voter identification laws are about suppressing the vote, not protecting it.
► In today’s NY Times — Voting rights success? not so fast. (by Deuel Ross) — In Texas, Michigan, North Carolina and elsewhere, federal courts in recent months have struck down one discriminatory voting law after another in a series of major victories for voting-rights advocates. But these victories, though significant and hard-won, concern only major state-level voting laws. They obscure a more pernicious problem: In towns, cities and counties across the country — particularly throughout the Deep South — many discriminatory voting changes have been made at more local levels. Because officials don’t always have to give notice in advance about such changes, voters may learn of them only when they show up at the polls.
► Case in point, today from TPM — Smoking gun memo reveals GOP voter fraud bamboozlement in North Carolina — On the heels of appeals court ruling that restored a week’s worth of early voting in North Carolina, the executive director of the state’s Republican Party emailed a memo to members of local elections boards urging them to push for “party line changes” that cut back on early voting hours.
► In the Seattle Times — The case for comprehensive immigration reform (by Mike Gempler and Maud Daudon) — It’s time to recognize the contributions that immigrants bring to Washington state, and reject shortsighted political posturing that threatens to weaken our economy. The case for humane, common-sense immigration reform has never been more clear nor timely.
► In today’s Wall St. Journal — Pay gap between public-school teachers and similar workers is wider than ever — Public-school teachers last year made 17% less in weekly wages than other workers with similar education levels and years of experience, compared with just 4% less in 1996, according to the study published by the Economic Policy Institute.
► In the NY Times — Salary negotiations often preclude women from equal pay (by Nicole Porter) — Employers often rely on what I have called “market excuses.” One of those market excuses is when employers rely on what an applicant was making in a prior job in order to set that applicant’s pay. Because women have historically been paid less than men (for reasons both lawful and unlawful), that pay disparity perpetuates itself when employers base current salary on prior salary. So Massachusetts’s new law is an important step in ending the reliance on this market excuse.
► In the LA Times — What the questionable treatment of the ‘Sausage Party’ animators says about the industry at large — Some artists who worked on “Sausage Party,” a computer-animated comedy that is a surprise hit, have alleged that they were denied overtime pay, pushed to hit unrealistic production goals and stripped of their credits for complaining about work conditions at Vancouver, Canada-based Nitrogen Studios in order to meet the movie’s thrifty $19-million budget.
► In today’s NY Times — The courts begin to call out lawmakers (by Linda Greenhouse) — In the face of spurious explanations for public policies that would foreseeably inflict real damage on identifiable groups of people, judges and justices are abandoning the traditional diffidence of the judicial role and expressing a new willingness to call out legislatures for what they are really doing, not just what they say they are doing.
► In today’s NY Times — Debt. Terror. Politics. To Seattle Millennials, the Future Looks Scary. — Again and again, life has taught Jillian Boshart, and others in her generation, that control can be elusive. In the dot-com crash of the early 2000s, her family lost the college savings they had been putting aside for her. Her father, a nurse, was laid off after 35 years on the job. Her sister and brother-in-law lost their house in the throes of the Great Recession. And very little in the world around Ms. Boshart has led her to feel a sense of comfort and ease: not the soaring costs of living in Seattle, not the whirlwind roar of reinvention in the tech world, certainly not the barbed clamor of national politics. Even for someone who seems to have drawn one of her generation’s winning hands, it feels like a daunting time to be coming of age in America.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.