Monday, September 19, 2016
► From Working WA — TODAY: Seattle to make labor history with final vote to pass secure scheduling legislation — Today, almost exactly a year after local baristas first went public in September 2015 with the call that “our time counts,” Seattle City Council is set to change the lives of tens of thousands of people with a final vote on a secure scheduling ordinance which ensures coffee, food, and retail workers have advance notice of their shifts, a right to rest, access to additional hours, and more.
From The Calendar® at The Stand™ — The Seattle City Council is scheduled to take its final vote on the historic Secure Scheduling ordinance at 2 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19 at City Hall, 600 4th Ave.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Machinists pass bill of rights to reassert member control — Delegates to the Machinists union’s international convention overwhelmingly passed a members’ bill of rights that, proponents say, increases transparency and empowers workers. Machinists from Puget Sound led the campaign to amend the union’s constitution. The new language explicitly states what many members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) assume: That they have the final say over accepting or rejecting a contract proposal, said Jon Holden, head of the union’s District Lodge 751, which represents about 35,000 workers in Washington. The vast majority of its members work for Boeing around Puget Sound. Prior to the IAM’s Grand Lodge Convention earlier this month in Chicago, the union president had wide authority to negotiate with employers, schedule contract votes, and even approve a contract proposal that workers rejected.
► ICYMI last week (like we did)… from KOMO News — Registered nurses picket Children’s Hospital for better wages, benefits — Hundreds of registered nurses held an informational picket outside Seattle Children’s Hospital on Tuesday to fight for better wages, better benefits and paid family leave. They claim short staffing has forced some patients to get care someplace else.
► From KNKX — Legal clinic for workplace issues opens in Columbia City — Employees who think they’re being treated unfairly at work can now find free legal advice in King County. The Fair Work Center in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood has opened the county’s first legal clinic specializing in workplace issues like pay, safety or discrimination.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Whatcom County firefighters are raising money to buy children’s coats — For the fourth year, Bellingham and Whatcom County firefighters (IAFF) are raising money for Operation Warm, a nationwide effort to buy American-made winter coats for children in need.
► In the Spokesman-Review — Knezovich blasts Rep. Matt Shea podcast that links sheriff’s office to triple murder — A Republican state legislator’s claim that a fiery triple homicide north of Spokane is connected to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office drew a furious rebuke by Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. Rep. Matt Shea’s assertions — based on rumors and writings by critics of the sheriff — prompted Knezovich to call on fellow GOP officials and political hopefuls to disavow the controversial Shea.
ALSO at The Stand — It’s up to Republicans to hold Rep. Matt Shea accountable — A Republican legislator from Washington state was assisting rabid anti-government extremists actively engaged in criminal activity in Oregon. But don’t hold your breath awaiting any ethics investigation, discipline or accountability for this embarrassment of a legislator. That is, unless the Republican Party decides to stop turning a blind eye to the crazy, indefensible actions of its own.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Dubious voter-turnout claims in heated race for secretary of state — Washington’s voter-turnout rate, which has lagged in recent years, is playing a major role in the race for secretary of state, with Democratic challenger Tina Podlodowski charging that Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman has not done enough to make it easier for people to cast a ballot.
► From AFL-CIO Now — How Hillary Clinton stood up for union workers — Dave Falletta, who represented utility workers in upstate New York as business manager of IBEW Local 97, faced tough negotiations with his company. It wanted massive cutbacks and threatened to lock him and his co-workers out if they didn’t agree. But then, Sen. Hillary Clinton stepped in and helped win utility workers a fair contract.
► From The Hill — Supreme Court fight colors battle for the Senate — Senate Democrats say Hillary Clinton should ignore pressure from liberals who want her to make a younger, more progressive pick for the Supreme Court than Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee. Democrats facing tough races in the next cycle don’t want Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, to spend her political capital on a messy fight over the court — and the hot-button social issues under its jurisdiction — during her first 100 days in office.
► From AP — Congress struggles to finish Zika aid, prevent shutdown — Congressional negotiators on Monday pressed to wrap up a must-do spending bill to prevent an election-season government shutdown and finally provide money to battle the threat of the Zika virus, but numerous sticking points remain.
► In the NY Times — Sour surprise for public pensions: Two sets of books — The crisis at Citrus Pest Control District No. 2 in California illuminates a profound debate now sweeping the American public pension system. It is pitting specialist against specialist among the elite professionals who crunch pension numbers for a living. But more important, it raises serious concerns that governments nationwide do not know the true condition of the pension funds they are responsible for. That exposes millions of people, including retired public workers, local taxpayers and municipal bond buyers — who are often retirees themselves — to risks they have no way of knowing about.
► In the NY Times — Coming soon, economists hope: Big spending on roads, bridges and ports — The presidential candidates’ agreement, combined with growing accord among economists that increased spending on infrastructure could invigorate the American economy and raise overall living standards, has led to a cautious optimism that some sort of big public works push is coming, regardless of who is elected.
► In the NY Times — Some Republicans acknowledge leveraging Voter ID laws for political gain — Deep in a trove of leaked documents made public this week was the latest example of Republican candor over voter ID laws — this time in Wisconsin.
► From Time — Labor leaders: We must protect refugees’ rights (by Tefere Gebre and Sharan Burrow) — In the coming days, leaders from across the globe will meet in New York to determine the future of millions of vulnerable people. What happens there should not be lost in the noise of a presidential election… Dealing with this (refugee) crisis is both a moral imperative and a life or death proposition. The root causes of displacement — including disastrous trade and economic policies, crushing poverty, climate change, war, instability and violence — are pushing asylum seekers from the Middle East, Africa and Asia to board unsafe vessels bound for Europe or Australia. Central American children are being forced to undertake life-threatening journeys alone through North America.
Meanwhile, in Europe and the U.S., anti-immigrant, xenophobic sentiments are on the rise and opportunistic politicians are exploiting the real pain of working people by scapegoating immigrant families. The labor movement rejects these tactics and calls on our governments to welcome immigrants and refugees while directly addressing both the root causes of displacement and the lack of decent work in origin and destination countries.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.