Tuesday, February 7, 2017
► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Shipyard positions exempted from hiring freeze — The Department of Defense exempted shipyard positions from the federal hiring freeze after U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer introduced legislation that would prohibit the freeze from affecting shipyard positions. The Department of Defense outlined Thursday 16 categories of civilian jobs that are exempt from President Donald J. Trump’s 90-day hiring freeze.
ALSO at The Stand — Trump’s federal hiring freeze is killing jobs, hurting vets
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Cold cash may be well below minimum wage — If three men hired to help promote a local Albertson’s closing sale are accurate about their earnings, they are being paid well below the state’s minimum wage.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Ex-Port of Seattle CEO fires back, says illegal payouts weren’t his idea — Ted Fick, the former CEO of the Port of Seattle has denied some of the sharpest allegations made against him before his resignation last week, and said he largely blames the commissioners overseeing the Port for a pay bonus the state auditor has called illegal.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — State senator invites climate-change denier to brief committee while he’s away — Tony Heller is scheduled to give a presentation Tuesday to the Senate’s Environment, Energy and Telecommunications Committee run by GOP state Sen. Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale). Ericksen is splitting time between the state Senate and the EPA in Washington, D.C.
► In the News Tribune — Bills would ‘ban the box’ that asks job seekers to disclose criminal history — Additionally, the law would prohibit all employers from advertising jobs in a way that excludes people with criminal histories. Applicants could not be rejected for failing to disclose criminal information.
► In today’s Washington Post — Andrew Puzder will be a disaster for workers. I know: He was for me. (by JoAnn Wise) — I already know what Trump/Puzder economics look like because I’m living it every day. Despite giving everything I had to Puzder’s company for 21 years, I left without a penny of savings, with no health care and no pension. Now, while I live in poverty, Trump, who promised to fix the rigged economy, has chosen for labor secretary someone who wants to rig it up even more. He’s chosen the chief executive of a company who recently made more than $10 million in a year, while I’m scraping by on Supplemental Security payments.
People who work full days shouldn’t have to rely on government assistance to get by; allowing companies like Puzder’s to pay poverty wages and meager benefits that force families to rely on food stamps and Medicaid is allowing rich people like him to live large while tax payers pick up the slack for their underpaid workers. Enough is enough: Puzder should not be confirmed as secretary of labor, and the crisis of American wages and health care shouldn’t be allowed to continue.
EDITOR’S NOTE — PubliCola reports that, on Puzder’s confirmation, Sen. Maria Cantwell is a “likely no” and Sen. Patty Murray “has serious concerns.” CALL THEM until they answer just plain “NO.” Murray: 202-224-2621. Cantwell: 202-224-3441.
► From Huffington Post — Labor nominee Andrew Puzder has another problem: Undocumented help — President Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Department of Labor, Andrew Puzder, employed an undocumented immigrant as household help, Puzder has informed members of the administration and officials in the Senate involved in his confirmation process. Hiring undocumented workers has sunk nominees in the past, particularly when it reflects directly on the scope of the Cabinet position. But Trump transition officials told Puzder that the previous rules for vetting and strict ethics no longer applied.
► In today’s Washington Post — Federal appeals court decides to schedule a hearing on Trump travel
order ban — A federal appeals court will hear arguments Tuesday on whether to restore President Trump’s controversial immigration order, marking a critical juncture for the president’s directive temporarily barring refugees and those from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. The hearing, which will be conducted by telephone, is to review an order by a lower court judge to put Trump’s directive on hold.
ALSO at The Stand — WSLC proudly supported suit against Trump’s Muslim ban
► In today’s Seattle Times — Fight against travel ban does Washington proud (editorial)
► From AP — Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch has sided with businesses on labor issues — In a decade as a federal appeals court judge, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has criticized courts for giving too much power to government agencies that enforce the nation’s labor and employment laws. As a lawyer in private practice, he also backed curbs on some class-action lawsuits. His conservative approach could tip the balance in labor rights cases and other clashes that have split the high court.
ALSO at The Stand — Court nominee Gorsuch’s record on worker rights deeply troubling
► From The Hill — Republican lawmakers face rising anger at town halls — From California to Florida, liberal activists are bringing the fight to the doorsteps of GOP lawmakers, marching on the streets of their hometowns and making legislators’ lives miserable as they attend meetings and town halls with constituents.
► From Huffington Post — House GOP renews war on workers with ‘Right-To-Work’ bill (by James Hoffa) — This legislation does nothing to create jobs, grow the middle class or improve the lives of workers. It’s shameful that some members of Congress have chosen to prioritize big business interests over the demands of their constituents. The Teamsters Union is committed to improving the lives of working people by fighting against dangerous RTW.
ALSO at The Stand — Republicans push anti-union ‘right-to-work’ in both Washingtons
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