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Boeing cuts, immigration reality, unions saving jobs…

Monday, March 6, 2017




► In the Seattle Times — In latest Boeing job cuts, about 1,800 union workers take buyouts — More than 1,800 union members will soon leave Boeing under a buyout plan offered last month, the first step in a continuing company job-cutting effort that’s expected to include layoffs later this year. The Machinists union said 1,500 of its members applied for a buyout and were approved to leave the company. SPEEA said 305 of its members were approved and are expected to leave the company in April. Boeing declined to release any figures, so the number of nonunion job cuts is unknown. These cuts are just the beginning, with more to follow through the year. Boeing slashed almost 7,400 jobs in the state last year.

ALSO at The Stand — Boeing spent our tax breaks investing in other states, nations (by John Burbank)




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Drugmakers need to show costs behind drug prices (editorial) — Pharmaceutical companies are correct that research and development have driven innovation in new medications, devices and treatments, but a lack of transparency that obscures the reasons for price increases fuels the public’s suspicion and resentment. The information that the federal and state legislation seeks would allow the public, governments, health care providers and the health care insurance industry some clarity on costs and better leverage for negotiating fair prices for medications.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Bill seeks prescription drug price transparency to manage costs

► In the Tri-City Herald — Hanford ill worker compensation bill passed by state House — State legislation that could allow ill Hanford workers to more easily get workers’ compensation claims approved has been passed by the House. SHB 1723 is modeled after similar protections given to firefighters in Washington who develop serious illnesses because of their hazardous occupation. It was introduced by Rep. Larry Haler (R-Richland), a former Hanford nuclear reservation worker.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Lawmakers ready to hunker down on school funding — Eight legislators, two from each of the four caucuses, will meet Wednesday for the first of several scheduled meetings this month to hammer out an approach that can pass muster with the Supreme Court and win backing of a majority in the Legislature, plus the governor. Participants are careful to not raise expectations. But they say it’s time to end partisan carping on deficiencies in proposals approved by the House and Senate, and to start substantive conversations on bridging the gaps between them.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Sound Transit in crosshairs of lawmakers who want changes — Fix it or we’ll fix it for you. That’s the message Sound Transit is hearing from incensed lawmakers who blame the use of an outdated formula setting vehicle values for driving up the cost of car tabs to help pay for a $54 billion expansion of light rail.

► In today’s Columbian — Time to talk about bridge (editorial) — A vague plan floated in Oregon Legislature has issues, but it may start a needed conversation.

► In the Bellingham Herald — Hundreds turn out for Ericksen town hall to talk D.C. gig, Whatcom jobs, more — The two-hour event came on the heels of a failed attempt to recall Ericksen, with those behind the effort saying he can’t do his job as a state senator alongside a temporary job at the EPA for Trump’s transition team… Ericksen said his absences (in Olympia) simply came down to scheduling conflicts, which drew another round of boos.




► From the Seattle P-I — Trump proposal: Slash Puget Sound cleanup money by 93 percent — A draft Trump administration plan, proposing deep cuts in the EPA, would slash the agency’s budget for Puget Sound cleanup by an astounding 93 percent. During the current fiscal year, the EPA will have spent $28 million on restoration and monitoring of the Sound. The money has been spread among local governments, Native American tribes and nonprofits. The spending has been driven by a longtime bipartisan goal on putting Puget Sound at the same priority cleanup level as Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, the the Great Lakes. The Trump EPA proposal would cut that spending to $2 million.

► In the (Ellensburg) Daily Record — Shipping disruptions a bigger factor than TPP for hay exporters — The end of U.S. participation in the TPP had little effect on the hay industry in Kittitas County, but growers and exporters continue to face other challenges closer to home. Shipments being delayed due to road closures at Snoqualmie Pass from weather conditions, backed up freight lines at the Port of Seattle, and recently the Hanjin bankruptcy.




► In the News Tribune — ‘Go back to your own country,’ shooter tells Kent man before firing — A Kent man was shot in his driveway late Friday by a man who allegedly told him to “Go back to your own country.” The victim is a 39-year-old follower of the Sikh religion. He described the suspect as a 6-foot-tall white man with a mask covering the lower half of his face.

► In today’s News Tribune — No more growth at Tacoma federal detention center (editorial) — Trump’s aggressive stance on immigration gives us reason to believe the U.S. is headed for a new prison boom, but it need not happen in our backyard in the Tacoma Tideflats.

► In today’s Washington Post — Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws — Tens of thousands of immigrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were forced to work for $1 day, or for nothing at all — a violation of federal anti-slavery laws — a lawsuit claims. The lawsuit, filed in 2014 against one of the largest private prison companies in the country, reached class-action status this week after a federal judge’s ruling. That means the case could involve as many as 60,000 immigrants who have been detained. It’s the first time a class-action lawsuit accusing a private U.S. prison company of forced labor has been allowed to move forward.

► In today’s NY Times — Here’s the reality about undocumented immigrants in the United States — There may be no more powerful symbol of how fixedly Americans associate illegal immigration with Mexico than the wall President Trump has proposed building along the southern border. But many of the unauthorized are not Mexican; almost a quarter are not even Hispanic…

To hear many liberals and immigrant advocates tell it, most undocumented immigrants are productive, law-abiding members of society, deeply rooted in communities all over the country, working hard, living quietly, paying taxes and raising families. Statistics show that many of the undocumented fit this profile. About 60 percent of the unauthorized population has been here for at least a decade, according to the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute. A third of undocumented immigrants 15 and older lives with at least one child who is a United States citizen by birth. Slightly more than 30 percent own homes. Only a tiny fraction has been convicted of felonies or serious misdemeanors.

ALSO at The Stand — Undocumented immigrants pay billions in taxes every year




► From The Hill — This week: GOP tries to move ahead with ObamaCare repeal — House Republicans who have so far kept a tight lid on their plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare could move forward with the first public markups on their proposals this week.

► From McClatchy — GOP’s Obamacare repeal would steer more financial help to affluent — Republican plans will ultimately steer more of its financial assistance up the income ladder and away from lower middle-class workers, experts say. Doing so would represent a fundamental break from the original intent of Obamacare: to make individual health insurance more accessible and affordable to millions of Americans who need it, but can’t pay for it.

► In today’s NY Times — ‘Really sick and really scared’ voters temper action on health law — Animated by full control in Washington, Republicans have chosen a partisan route to remaking the law, in which 218 votes in the House and a mere 50 in the Senate are needed to repeal and replace it. While much of the focus has been on the potential for hard-line conservatives to act as spoilers with their opposition to anything but a bare-bones replacement, there is increased wariness among Republican senators who have the opposite concerns.

► In today’s NY Times — Repeal of health law faces a new hurdle: older Americans — AARP and its allies are objecting as House committees plan to vote on a Republican bill that could leave people in their 50s and 60s with large premium increases.

► MUST-READ in today’s NY Times — A party not ready to govern (by Paul Krugman) — The broader Republican quagmire — the party’s failure so far to make significant progress toward any of its policy promises — isn’t just about Trump’s inadequacies. The whole party, it turns out, has been faking it for years. Its leaders’ rhetoric was empty; they have no idea how to turn their slogans into actual legislation, because they’ve never bothered to understand how anything important works.




► From the ACLU — The Senate is voting on Monday to destroy Obama’s fair pay and safe workplace rules — It’s mind-boggling that we’re even having this fight. The rules ensure that companies who want to do business with the federal government are complying with workplace safety laws, sexual harassment laws, anti-discrimination laws, and minimum wage and overtime laws. The House voted in February to eliminate the rule by a vote of 236-187 and the Senate vote is happening Monday.

EDITOR’S NOTE — All four Washington Republicans voted to repeal this rule.

► From Politico — Supreme Court showdown about to get real — As Neil Gorsuch awaits his fate, one swing vote, Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine, sends some encouraging signals at a town hall Sunday.

► In the Washington Post — Trump suggests ignoring WTO in major policy shift — The Trump administration on Wednesday announced a sharp break from U.S. trade policy, vowing it may ignore certain rulings by the World Trade Organization if those decisions infringe on U.S. sovereignty. The new trade approach, which was sent to Congress Wednesday, suggests the United States could unilaterally impose tariffs against countries it thinks have unfair trade practices — paving the way for a more adversarial relationship with China and other trading partners — and punish companies that relocate overseas and then attempt to sell products on the U.S. market.

► In today’s Washington Post — Inside Trump’s fury: The president rages at leaks, setbacks and accusations — At the center of the turmoil in the White House is an impatient president frustrated by his administration’s inability to erase the impression that his campaign was engaged with Russia, to stem leaks or to implement any signature achievements. Interviews with 17 insiders offer a look at the tumultuous recent days.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Trump’s alt-headline: “Post has at least 17 sources inside White House”

► In today’s NY Times — A conspiracy theory’s journey from talk radio to Trump’s Twitter — President Trump’s allegation that the Obama administration wiretapped his phones began as a rant on conservative talk radio and then spread to Breitbart News.

► In today’s NY Times — When one president smears another (editorial) — Donald Trump has tweeted himself into a corner.

► From The Onion — Paul Ryan mentally logs 4,613th missed opportunity to put stop to all of this




► From Fortune — AT&T-CWA deal in the south reverses outsourcing of 3,000 jobs — Amid several more contentious labor negotiations, AT&T and its biggest union announced they had struck a tentative four-year contract deal for some 20,000 workers in the company’s wired telephone, cable, and Internet business in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. A key piece of the deal, which still must be approved by the workers, is a promise by AT&T to hire 3,000 people locally for jobs that have been previously outsourced, mostly overseas.

ALSO at The Stand — Join AT&T Mobility workers at rally Thursday in Seattle

► From AFL-CIO Now — Union activism saves 700 jobs at Red River in Texas — When the jobs of more than 700 mechanics and technicians were about to disappear, NFFE-IAM Local 2189 at the Texarkana Red River Army Depot did not wait for the U.S. Army to save those jobs. Instead, they took matters into their own hands.


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