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Principled Heck, reject I-732, teachers 403(b)ware…

Monday, October 24, 2016




heck-denny► From the WA Fair Trade Coalition — Heck opposes TPP: Trade should be about people — Congressman Denny Heck announced has announced he will vote against the TPP, calling it one of the most important decisions of his career. “The presidential campaign is highlighting deep dissatisfaction with globalization as we’ve managed it,” says Stan Sorscher, President of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition. “We are very pleased that Congressman Heck’s decision opens space for a larger discussion of what a true 21st century trade policy should look like.”

ALSO at The Stand — Heck: NO on TPP, time to rethink trade deals — WSLC President Jeff Johnson: “On behalf of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO and our 450,000 members, I want to thank Congressman Heck for taking such a principled position.”

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Baggage handler group serving airlines at Sea-Tac Airport join union — Workers employed by Air Serv Corporation, a contractor at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, have organized and won recognition for their union. More than 275 Air Serv workers at Sea-Tac will now become members of SEIU Local 6 and will begin negotiating a new contract.




► In the (Everett) Herald — Boeing announces layoff warnings around Puget Sound –Boeing issued advanced layoff notices to about 180 employees across the aerospace company, including 56 in Washington, according to a state filing.The number of workers actually laid off could be lower if some land in other jobs in Boeing, retire or otherwise voluntarily leave the company, said a company spokesman.

► In today’s Seattle Times — As airlines slow orders, Boeing’s output at risk — A Boeing 777 production rate cut looks inevitable, with few deliveries scheduled after 2017. Growing pressure on the industry may also curtail production of other jets, affecting jobs in Everett and Boeing’s cash flow.

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Bombardier’s 7,500 job cuts could provide Boeing workers to replace retirees — The sweeping cuts offer Boeing an opportunity to swoop in and poach scarce engineering and machinist talent as it faces labor shortages in a few years due to thousands of imminent employee retirements.




732-no-front► In the Seattle Times — Reject I-732 and its carbon tax (editorial) — I-732 poses a risk to state finances at a critical moment. Lawmakers are overhauling the state’s tax system to fully fund basic education, mental health and other pressing needs. I-732 would cut taxes for corporations and others, adding significant complexity to a task that’s hard enough… To tackle climate change and avoid tangling state tax reforms needed for education in 2017, voters should say no to I-732 — and yes to Hillary Clinton.

ALSO at The Stand — NO on 732: It’s a giant misstep on climate policy (by Jeff Johnson)

► From PubliCola — A carbon tax should confront environmental inequity not affirm it (by Josh Feit) — While a tax on carbon has been a longstanding goal of progressives, this  version misses the point. Rather than using the  revenue, as I-732 would do, as on offset on sales taxes, the idea of a carbon tax should be to raise costs on polluters and use the money to support a shift to a green economy. By way of analogy, raising prices on parking doesn’t get people out of their cars if you don’t simultaneously do things such as improve transit service. Any plan to tackle climate change, in other words, needs to take a comprehensive approach to the system it’s trying to reform.

► In today’s NY Times — Washington state’s ambitious carbon tax proposal (editorial) — Even if voters reject this particular initiative, the idea of putting a price on carbon is still one of the most straightforward, economy-friendly ways to deal with climate change.

► From AP — State minimum wage campaign: Is initiative best way to hike pay? — Danielle Mendoza, a 25-year-old cashier who’s trying to support three children while making 10 cents an hour more than the state’s $9.47 minimum. Mendoza is one of 730,000 workers in Washington who backers say would see their pay jump if voters approve Initiative 1433, which would raise the hourly minimum wage by roughly $4 over three years, to $13.50.

politicians-minimum-wageEDITOR’S NOTE — As for the question posed in this curious headline, state lawmakers have repeatedly had the opportunity to raise the state minimum wage — including in smaller increments — but obstinate Republicans in the State Senate killed those efforts. Last year, the Democratic-controlled House passed HB 1355, a bill supported by Governor Inslee to raise the minimum wage to $12 over four years. But leaders of the Republican-controlled Senate killed the bill in committee without allowing a vote. So if you are wondering why the people are taking this matter into their own hands, look no further than intransigent Republicans who control the State Senate — for now.

► In The Inlander — More than a quarter of all Spokane County jobs fall below the I-1433 minimum wage threshold

► In the Olympian — Let’s stay the course with state Supreme Court (editorial) — Chief Justice Barbara Madsen, Justice Charles Wiggins and Justice Mary Yu have done well on major issues of the day, showing courage in the McCleary case that dealt with the state’s unconstitutional overreliance on local school levies to pay for K-12 basic education.

vote-16-primary-supreme-courtALSO at The Stand — Support three incumbent state Supreme Court justices — Rather than focusing on improving school funding, the Washington State Republican Party and their billionaire financiers are actively campaigning to unseat Supreme Court justices whose rulings attempt to hold legislators accountable for underfunding public schools. By voting and supporting three labor-endorsed incumbent Justices Mary Yu, Barbara Madsen and Charles Wiggins, voters can turn away this brazen political attack against the Supreme Court and re-elect justices with a proven record of making sure our constitution and laws are applied fairly for all Washington citizens.




► In today’s NY Times — Hillary Clinton presses her advantage over a struggling Donald Trump — Clinton moved aggressively on Sunday to press her advantage in the presidential race, urging black voters in North Carolina to vote early and punish Republican officeholders for supporting Donald Trump, even as his party increasingly concedes he is unlikely to recover in the polls.

► In today’s NY Times — It’s Trump’s party (by Paul Krugman) — Everyone who endorsed Trump in the past owns him now; it’s far too late to get a refund. And voters should realize that voting for any Trump endorser is, in effect, a vote for Trumpism, whatever happens at the top of the ticket.

► In today’s NY Times — Justice Dept. to have fewer watchdogs at polling placesA decision to send observers to only four states worries civil rights advocates, but officials say their hands are tied by a Supreme Court ruling.




► From Huffington Post — Dems brace for immigration battle — Clinton has promised to send a comprehensive immigration reform bill to Congress within her first 100 days in office if elected, and Hispanic groups plan to make sure she keeps her word.




teacher-pensions► In today’s NY Times — Think your retirement plan is bad? Talk to a teacher — The people who do the most good in the world, spending their careers helping others in exchange for modest paychecks, often get the worst retirement plans. In fact, millions of people who save in 403(b) plans may be losing nearly $10 billion each year in excessive investment fees, according to a recent analysis by Aon, a retirement consultant… Many 403(b) accounts are riddled with complicated, expensive investment products that can cost their owners tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, over their careers. The 403(b) accounts that many workers contribute to are not subject to the more stringent federal rules and consumer protections that apply to 401(k) plans.

► From New York Magazine — Women in unions are closer to equal pay than women who aren’t — Working women in unions are paid 89 cents for every dollar paid to unionized working men; nonunionized working women are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to nonunionized working men, according to a new study.




► On Last Week Tonight — John Oliver nails it again, this time ripping into the pharmaceutical industry for years of shady and deceptive practices that he said got Americans hooked on drugs.


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

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