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Register to vote, ready for Boeing, deadbeat corporations…

Tuesday, September 27, 2016




register-to-vote_front► From AFL-CIO Now — It’s National Voter Registration Day: Care about your community? Register to vote! (by Patricia Watson) — With less than seven weeks to go before Election Day, young union activists are taking to the streets to register our friends, family and co-workers all across the country.

► In today’s NY Times — An ugly campaign, condensed into one debate (editorial) — The word “debate” loses its meaning when one candidate is serious and the other is a vacuous bully.

ALSO at The Stand — There’s no debate who deserves our vote (by Jeff Johnson)

► From CNBC — Trump brags about not paying taxes: ‘That makes me smart’ — Donald Trump said he’s “smart” by not paying income taxes — and argued that if he did, the money would be “squandered.” Trump’s jaw-dropping statements came after Hillary Clinton launched a fiery attack on the Republican presidential nominee for breaking a four-decade tradition of White House aspirants releasing their federal income tax returns.

ALSO at The Stand — Tax-free Trump says his returns are ‘none of your business’

cafe-affogato-spokane► From KXLY — I-1433 drawing mixed reaction from business owners — Walk into Cafe Affogato, and you won’t find yourself ordering any ordinary cup of coffee. The business prides itself on offering an authentic Italian coffee you can’t find anywhere else. Owner Shahrokh Nikfar also prides himself on providing quality benefits to his employees. “Restaurant business usually suffers from a higher rate of turnover. I don’t,” said Nikfar. “My employees have mostly been here from the beginning.” Nikfar pays his employees above minimum wage and offers five days of paid sick leave. He says it’s why he’s so successful, and why he supports Initiative 1433.

► In today’s Olympian — Gov. Inslee a fixer or a mess maker? Candidates for governor debate — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee sought to cast his record as one of fixing problems Monday, while his Republican challenger Bill Bryant aimed once again to convince voters they need a new leader. “We’re also fixing problems for families,” the governor said, needling Bryant for his opposition to raising the statewide minimum wage.

EDITOR’S NOTE — We thought about linking to The Seattle Times coverage of the gubernatorial debate, but frankly, they’ve called their own journalistic integrity into question with their decades-long quest to put a Republican into the governor’s office. The Times twice endorsed Republican Dino Rossi for governor in 2004 and 2008 because “Democrats have been in control of the governor’s mansion a long time.” Then in 2012, the Times took it a step further, not only endorsing Republican Rob McKenna for governor, but also actively campaigning for him by giving him free advertising space. So we’ve decided to steer clear of their coverage of this race.




IAM-rally-13Nov18-undivided► MUST-READ from Forbes — Union to Boeing: We’re ready for you next time — It’s assumed that Boeing will use the new middle of the market aircraft, which it calls the New Mid-range Aircraft (NMA), to leverage the Machinists union into more concessions and give backs in return for a pledge to assemble it at the Everett plant. This time, the union will be ready. Major changes recently in the IAM’s Constitution eliminates the ability of the International to run roughshod over the locals and deal directly between the International’s leadership and the company.

IAM District 751 President Jon Holden expects Boeing will return to the union for new concessions and givebacks, along with another contract extension, if and when it decides to launch the New Mid-range Aircraft. This could happen as early as next year, or in 2018, for entry into service in 2024 (when the current contract expires) or 2025. Extending the contract beyond these dates well in advance will provide for stability and assurance to customer the NMA won’t get caught up in a new strike. Says Holden:

holden-jon-iam751“It would be foolish [to think] that Boeing would not take any future program and dangle it over our heads. But it won’t be secret. The membership will decide whether to reopen contract and choose a date that doesn’t disenfranchise people. We all believe we will face this again… We feel this is historic change for our union. A lot of people were involved. It’s certainly a turning point for our union.”

► From Bloomberg — Airlines back climate plan that could cost them $24 billion — Trade groups representing United, Boeing and other industry leaders are pushing nations to support the United Nations proposal, which would require companies to offset their emissions growth by funding environmental initiatives.

ap-air-france-shirts-off► From AP — Air France workers on trial over ripping off bosses’ shirts — Fifteen current and former Air France workers went on trial Tuesday for alleged violence during a union protest last year at the airline’s headquarters that saw two company executives flee over a fence with their shirts ripped off.




► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Faculty strike looms at Bellingham Technical College amid contract negotiations — Classes at Bellingham Technical College could be canceled about a week after they started if contract negotiations between the faculty union and the college don’t gain traction. The union, the Bellingham Education Association, voted on Sept. 13 to begin striking if a resolution with the college was not met by the end of Tuesday, Sept. 27. Fall classes at the college began Sept. 20. At the center of the talks are three concerns union members have: teachers’ workloads, classroom safety and compensation.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Microsoft contractor laying off workers in unionized unit — The Temporary Workers of America said 15 of about 20 unionized employees of Lionbridge Technologies will be laid of this week, with the rest of the jobs cut at the end of October.

► From The Stranger — State AG charges Trump fanboy Tim Eyman over ‘shoddy accounting,’ improper reporting — Eyman’s group, Voters Want More Choices, has created multiple political committees to advocate for initiatives limiting taxes. In an announcement of the charges Monday, Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office said those committees’ “shoddy accounting practices” and improper disclosure their funding and spending violated state law.




mcconnell-mitch-stop► From The Hill — Shutdown risk grows over Flint — Lawmakers are edging closer than they ever imagined to forcing a second government shutdown in four years. The Senate will vote Tuesday on a bill to keep the government funded through Dec. 9, but the measure is widely expected to fail, with Democrats demanding that aid to help Flint, Mich., be added to the package.

► In today’s LA Time — Wells Fargo faces ‘top-to-bottom’ Labor Department review for possible workplace violations — The Labor Department has launched a “top-to-bottom review” of how Wells Fargo & Co. treated employees as it pushed the aggressive sales quotas that led to the bank’s fake-accounts scandal.

► In today’s NY Times — Wells Fargo workers claim retaliation for following rules — As the bank deals with the fallout of its fake account scandal, two lawsuits claim workers were fired or demoted for acting ethically when they fell short of unrealistic sales goals.




► From Reuters — Chicago teachers’ union votes to authorize strike — The Chicago Teachers Union said on Monday that its members voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, setting the stage for a potential work stoppage as soon as mid-October.

► From AP — Greece’s unions rail against powerful new privatization fund — Greek labor unions are organizing strikes and protests against a plan to place major state assets under the control of a new privatization fund that will be headed by bailout creditors.




low-corporate-taxes-chart► From EPI — Corporate tax chartbook — A new study by the Economic Policy Institute and Americans for Tax Fairness finds the in recent years, corporate profits have reached record highs, and so too has the amount of untaxed profits U.S. corporations have stashed offshore: $2.4 trillion. And it is estimated corporations could owe as much as $700 billion on those profits. In short, corporations are dodging more and more of their tax responsibilities. Among the other findings:

Corporate profits are way up, and corporate taxes are way down. In 1952, corporate profits were 5.5 percent of the economy, and corporate taxes were 5.9 percent. Today, corporate profits are 8.5 percent of the economy, and corporate taxes are just 1.9 percent of GDP.

Corporations used to contribute $1 out of every $3 in federal revenue. Today, despite very high corporate profitability, it is $1 out of every $9.

As of 2015, U.S. corporations had $2.4 trillion in untaxed profits offshore. Another study, looking at S&P 500 companies, found they held $2.1 trillion as of 2014. This roughly five-fold increase from $434 billion in 2005 stems largely from anticipation of a tax holiday.

Nadella-MicrosoftJust 50 companies hold over 75 percent of untaxed offshore profits. Ten companies hold 39 percent of these profits. Just four companies — Apple, Pfizer, Microsoft, and General Electric — hold one-quarter of all untaxed offshore profits.

The U.S. Treasury will lose $1.3 trillion over 10 years — about $126 billion a year — due to the deferral of taxes on offshore profits.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, we can’t afford to have clean water in Flint, to hire more airport security personnel to reduce lines, to repair/replace crumbling roads and bridges, to provide accessible health care for our veterans… and the list goes on. Remember that the next time the local media fawns all over Microsoft for donating a couple million dollars for STEM education (to train their workforce). You and I are being forced to pick up their slack and pay higher taxes because, like Donald Trump, they are cheating America and refusing to pay their fair share.


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