Monday, December 5, 2016
► From IAM 751 — Buffett-owned plant in Kent accepts workers’ right to organize — An aerospace supply company owned by billionaire Warren Buffett has agreed to a settlement with the NLRB in a case that accused company managers of repeated violations of federal labor law. As part of the settlement, the general manager of Protective Coatings Inc. in Kent will read aloud a letter to his employees promising to recognize their rights under federal law to form a union, and promising that his managers won’t do things to interfere with them exercising that right — including threatening them with taking their jobs away for supporting a union.
► In the News Tribune — Union strong: Union leaders are here to stay (letter by Jerry Beckendorf) — President-elect Donald Trump appears to have little regard for workers or the unions that represent them. Like the workers on the Verona 100 years ago, union leaders and their supporters must tell Trump and his surrogates that the union community is not going away without a fight.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington lawmakers should hold off tinkering with Boeing tax break (editorial) — Washington may eventually have to modify its aerospace-retention plan to help the U.S. comply with WTO trade agreements. But the state should wait to tinker until appeals are complete and there’s more clarity about what, if any, changes are needed.
EDITOR’S NOTE — The part that the Times is arguing may eventually need “tinkering” is the language that ensures the 777X will be built here in Washington state in exchange for billions in state subsidies. When advocates for Boeing employees have sought to amend the tax breaks to guarantee wage and employment levels amid Boeing layoffs, the Times and other Boeing sycophants argued the tax breaks are inviolable and cannot be changed. Apparently, a deal’s a deal — unless our WTO overlords tell us differently.
► From The Stranger — Who will replace Pramila Jayapal in the Washington State Senate? — Nine candidates are in the running: Rebecca Saldaña, executive director of Puget Sound Sage; Rory O’Sullivan, an attorney with the Housing Justice Project; Sheley Secrest, a vice president of the Seattle King County NAACP; Juan Cotto, El Centro de La Raza board president; Jesse Wineberry, a former state representative; Shasti Conrad: John Stafford: Chukundi Salisbury: and Jessica McKercher.
EDITOR’S NOTE — The WSLC has endorsed Rebecca Saldaña for this position.
► In the News Tribune — Possible Senate replacements surface after Roach elected to County Council — Roach said during her campaign that she did not plan to hold both offices simultaneously, although she has not yet announced when she plans to resign. So far, two GOP politicians have publicly said they’re interested in being appointed to Roach’s Senate seat: Pierce County Charter Review Commission Chairwoman Sharon Hanek and state Rep. Drew Stokesbary.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Protect students from immigration politics (editorial) — Angry populism has overtaken reason on immigration, and Trump has stoked and leveraged that for political gain. But if he follows through on his anti-DACA pledge, nobody else wins… Dreamers are not the criminals Trump says he wants to corral. They would be ineligible for DACA status if they were. They couldn’t apply for state aid. Rescinding their status would only make America mean again.
► From USA Today — DOT approves contested Norwegian Air flights — The Transportation Department agreed Friday to allow Norwegian Air International to fly to the U.S., in a decision that domestic airlines, their unions and some lawmakers opposed as unfair competition.
ALSO at The Stand — Norwegian Air permit decision ‘slap in the face’ to U.S. workers
► From NPR — Obama administration appeals Texas judges ruling on overtime pay — The Department of Labor and its co-defendants filed a notice of appeal at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Thursday, the same day that the rule was set to take effect before the temporary injunction was issued… Even if the Obama administration wins its appeal, the incoming Trump administration has already threatened to scrap the measure.
► In the Kent Reporter — Murray wants Trump to support new OT protections — Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) joined other Senate and House Democrats to address the immediate need to implement the Department of Labor’s overtime rule:
“(Trump) made promise after promise on the campaign trail about helping workers, and he’s going to have to decide whether to he’s going to follow through. Will he stand with millions of working families—those who voted for him, and those who didn’t—and make sure they get the pay they’ve earned? Or, will he side with special interests and millionaires like himself, who put profits first every time.”
► In today’s NY Times — How to help working people (editorial) — Worker pay has lagged for a very long time. The Obama-era reforms help to make up lost ground. If Trump wishes to act in the interest of all working people, he will preserve those reforms.
► From Think Progress — Trump’s deal with Carrier is a shell game. Keep your eye on federal contractor rules. — We know the president elect is willing to use implicit threats to shut the multi-billion-dollar contracting faucet in individual cases when it will score him political wins and media accolades. But the Obama labor orders – which are much further-reaching, cracking down on systematic wage theft and labor abuses at taxpayer expense — will let Americans know if Trump is more interested in keeping his jobs promises or appeasing Republican tribalism.
► In the Seattle Times — Don’t fall for Donald Trump’s Carrier con (by Jon Talton) — This is exactly the kind of corporate welfare-blackmail scheme that Trump railed against during the campaign, calling them “dumb” and “crazy”… This is cheap symbolism, not a policy shift, much less a vision about how the nation could rebuild its base of manufacturing jobs (the Hoosier state has lost about 20 percent of it factory jobs since 2000). Indiana coffers will suffer, and hence education, infrastructure and building advanced industries — things that would actually help the state’s economy. More companies will get the message, that the welfare office is open even longer hours to play desperate states against each other and against countries.
► From AP — Trump voter lost home, blames incoming Treasury secretary — “I just wish that I had not voted,” said Teena Colebrook, 59. “I have no faith in our government anymore at all. They all promise you the world at the end of a stick and take it away once they get in.”
► In the NY Times — Seduced and betrayed by Donald Trump (by Paul Krugman) — Millions of Americans have just been sucker-punched. They just don’t know it yet.
► From the PSBJ — Trump taps former Boeing CEO Jim McNerney for business advice
EDITOR’S NOTE — Oh, the humanity.
► In today’s Washington Post — Man fires assault rifle in D.C. restaurant at center of fake-news conspiracy theories — Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, of Salisbury, N.C., told police that he traveled to Comet Ping Pong to investigate “pizzagate,” a false conspiracy theory related to Hillary Clinton that spread online during her campaign and resulted in death threats against the restaurant’s owner and staff.
► From Time — Rebuilding the dignity of work (by AFL-CIO’s Damon Silvers) — Most people spend the majority of their conscious lives engaged in work—though we often fail to recognize all the kinds of work people do around the globe, not just in factories and offices, but in fields and forests and mines, and on the sea, and most of all, in homes. But today we live in a world where the labor share of the global economy is declining—which many economists point to as the underlying driver of stagnant global growth and rising inequality. This has, in turn, contributed to an unstable and increasingly ugly political climate globally… At the heart of these problems lies a more central problem: the deterioration of social solidarity as an economic and social force in global labor markets. There are five areas where the need for action is urgent…
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.