Connect with us


Alaska insources, we’re No. 5, secret repeal, our Amerika…

Thursday, March 2, 2017




► In today’s Seattle Times — Alaska Air, reversing course, will hire baggage handlers it outsourced — Alaska Airlines is taking its baggage-handling contract at Sea-Tac Airport away from Menzies Aviation and giving it to a new Alaska Air subsidiary, McGee Air Services. About 900 Menzies employees will be offered the opportunity to work for McGee and will now be unionized under the Machinists union. The move comes a dozen years after Alaska outsourced its baggage work to the nonunion firm Menzies, a switch that severely cut wages for its baggage handlers and eventually helped fuel the $15-minimum-wage movement in SeaTac. The initial wages at McGee will be unchanged, but the contract with the IAM will provide better benefits and incremental pay increases over the next six years.

► In the Olympian — Saint Martin’s University students, faculty hold one-day walkout — About 75 students, faculty members and union supporters rallied Wednesday in the Quad at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey. It was part of a day-long walkout organized by members of the SEIU Local 925, which represents the university’s contingent and adjunct faculty members.

► From The Stranger — Are those new surcharges on your receipts politically motivated? — While it is perfectly legal to charge extra for services, so long as that line item and its recipient is noted, some wonder if restaurant surcharges citing the city’s new higher minimum wage are a Seattle-style passive-aggressive guilt trip.

► In today’s Seattle Times — West Coast ports deliver strong results for 2016 (by Jon Talton) — Exports and import container traffic was strong, with a leading spot for the Northwest Seaport Alliance. But trouble looms as overall U.S. market share for the West Coast continues to decline.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — 100 jobs: Cargo company to occupy former Everett mill site — A cargo-handling company, North American Stevedoring, plans to set up shop at Kimberly-Clark’s former mill site on the waterfront. The company expects the site to support about 100 “family-wage” jobs when it is up and running.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Staunch supporter of Cherry Point coal project is Trump’s Interior secretary — Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke, a staunch supporter of a proposed coal terminal in Whatcom County, won Senate confirmation on Wednesday as President Donald Trump’s Interior secretary.




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing worker accidentally leaks info on 36,000 employees — A Boeing worker’s decision to email a spreadsheet home to his wife theoretically could cost the company more than $13 million. It also put thousands of his coworkers at risk of identity theft.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington is best West Coast state in new national ranking — and 5th overall — “The Best State Report” by U.S. News and World Report ranks Washington state as the fifth-best in the nation for how well states are serving their citizens. The ranking compared health care, education, infrastructure, crime and more. The report ranked Washington 8th in its “government” category.

ALSO at The Stand — Wash. Voting Rights Act passes House for 5th year

► From AP  — Group must pay legal fees in campaign finance case — A Thurston County Superior Court judge ordered the D.C.-based Grocery Manufacturers Association to pay $1.1 million in legal fees — on top after of the $18 million in fines the group was already ordered to pay — for violating state campaign finance disclosure laws with its 2013 opposition to I-522 on GMPO labelling.




► From TPM — What’s to hide? House GOP panel viewing Obamacare repeal bill in secret — Republicans on a House committee with jurisdiction over the Obamacare repeal legislation will be viewing the current version of the bill in secret in a basement room of a office building adjoining the Capitol on Thursday. GOP members and staff of the Energy and Commerce Committee will only be able to look at the legislation and will be prohibited from making copies.

► From AFL-CIO Now — Congress’s plan to tax your health benefits

► From Huffington Post — Republicans still think Trump will cut Social Security and Medicare — eventually — Donald Trump said repeatedly on the campaign trail that he would not cut Social Security or Medicare, and in his first budget as president, he is sticking to that promise. But congressional Republicans don’t believe Trump will stand by his pledge forever ― in fact, they’re counting on him to break it.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s proposed budget cuts make federal workers increasingly nervous — The math seems clear: To shrink the government by the $54 billion President Trump has called for, layoffs, furloughs and buyouts seem inevitable, with the EPA and State Department already on the chopping block.

► From Bloomberg — Overtime rule under Trump enters repeal and replace talks — One increasingly discussed scenario involves the DOL issuing a more modest rule, which could render the pending litigation moot. The signature wage-and-hour regulation of President Barack Obama doubled the salary threshold below which workers qualify for overtime wages to $47,476. Some Republicans and employers have discussed a new level in the $35,000 range as more appropriate.

► In today’s NY Times — What Trump gets right on trade (by Alan Tonelson) — Trump’s stance on trade is one of his most popular positions, but many economists and policy makers are skeptical: They say that rapid automation will negate any gains made in bringing manufacturing jobs back, while the tariffs and other policies he has suggested using will ignite disastrous trade wars. The doubters are wrong on both points.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Democrats, man up on illegal immigration and enforce it in the workplace (by Froma Harrop) — Donald Trump’s roundup of undocumented immigrants is cruel and racist in its execution. His plan to build a wall along the Mexican border would be a massive waste of at least 14 billion taxpayer dollars. But that doesn’t give Democrats a free pass to fudge on the issue of illegal immigration. Democrats must say outright that illegal immigration is not OK. It’s a problem, and the place to enforce the laws is the employment office, not the Mexican border.




► In today’s Washington Post — Sessions met with Russian envoy twice, contacts he did not disclose during hearing — One of the meetings was a private conversation between Jeff Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race.


► From Washington Post — Top Republicans call on Sessions to recuse himself from Russia investigation

► From The Hill — Sessions willing to recuse himself from Russia investigation

► From Huffington Post — Nancy Pelosi: Jeff Sessions lied under oath and must resign

► From Huffington Post — Bush’s ethics lawyer: Sessions may go to jail if he lied to Congress

► From The Stranger — The Incredible Hulk holds a town hall — SOMEONE FROM THE CROWD: “What about your close relationship with Russia?” [Crowd cheers.] HULK: “That am FAKE NEWS! And don’t bring up Black Widow to Hulk! [Sobs.] BLACK WIDOW BREAK HULK’S HEART!”




► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s handling of the Ryan Owens affair was contemptibly cynical. (by Paul Waldman) — The problem isn’t that Trump honored Carryn Owens at a moment of terrible grief, or that he spoke movingly of her husband’s death. All that was altogether appropriate. Rather, the problem is that he did this after trying to evade any responsibility for what happened, and after the White House cast any criticism of his handling of it as an insult to Ryan’s legacy. In this sense, the entire story raises serious doubts about Trump’s decision-making on matters of national security, and it may be a grim preview of what’s to come.


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

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!