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More Boeing layoffs, stale stalemate in Olympia, Cathy goes small…

Tuesday, April 18, 2017




► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing plans hundreds of layoff notices for engineers this week — Job cuts at Boeing keep on coming: The company told staff in a memo Monday that “hundreds of engineering employees” in Washington state and other company sites — but not in North Charleston, S.C. — will receive layoff notices Friday… SPEEA is trying to get further information from the company about the planned layoffs.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing says it plans to lay off hundreds of engineers — The company continues slashing its workforce as it seeks to hold off market pressure and make good on promises to shareholders. More cuts could come later this year.

PREVIOUSLY at The Stand:

Why are we paying Boeing billions to send jobs away? (by John Burbank — April 6, 2017)

Hold Boeing accountable for state tax breaks (WSLC Legislative Update — March 13, 2017)




► From KUOW — Washington lawmakers unlikely to finish on time — In what has become the new normal, state lawmakers are expected to go into an overtime session because they’ve been unable to agree on a state operating budget or a plan to fully fund public schools… Both the Democratically-controlled Washington House and the GOP-led state Senate have already passed their own budget proposals. But negotiations on a final, bipartisan deal have yet to begin in earnest. Senate Republicans have said negotiations can’t begin until House Democrats pass their proposed $3 billion tax package — something Democrats say they have no intention of doing until there’s a final budget deal. The stalemate shows no signs of resolving in these final days of the session.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Lawmakers should not pick and choose what education to fund (editorial) — Washington state needs high quality preschool, excellent K-12 schools and a well funded higher education system. All three, not one of the above.

ALSO at The Stand — House budget is the clear choice for UW, higher ed (by Monica Cortes Viharo)

► In today’s Columbian — I-5 Bridge bill passes, heads to governor — A measure addressing one of the region’s most divisive topics — how to replace the 100-year-old Interstate 5 Bridge — passed the Senate in Olympia on Monday and will head to the governor’s desk.




► In the (Aberdeen) Daily World — Monte mill brings back 29 jobs, forecasts more — About a year ago the owners of Montesano’s Mary’s River lumber mill on SR 107 announced it would close. As a result, 38 people lost their jobs, the city lost revenue and the facility basically went idle. Now, the revived mill under Fox Lumber is employing 29 people, including some returning workers.

► In the Peninsula Daily News — Former Nippon cogeneration plant down; fewer than 30 employees retained — The former Nippon Paper Industries USA cogeneration plant has been shut down and eight of its workers laid off as the paper mill breathed its last breath — in its present form — for up to 18 months, a McKinley Paper Co. spokeswoman said.




► “Profiles in Courage” from today’s Spokesman-Review — McMorris Rodgers speaks to small group in Spokane; no town halls planned for recess — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers told a group of eight Eastern Washington residents at a downtown Spokane restaurant Monday she would hold town halls again but preferred small-group discussions about policy. But she does not plan to hold one before Congress reconvenes April 24… Roundtable participants Monday pressured McMorris Rodgers on her support for repealing the Affordable Care Act, with a pair of Spokane eye doctors imploring the congresswoman not to remove protections under the law for those with pre-existing conditions.

ALSO at The Stand — Which members of Congress are playing hide-and-seek at recess? — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has declined an invitation to attend a constituent-led town hall in Spokane, so organizers will have it without her from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 20 at Moran Prairie Library, 6004 S. Regal St. Details here.

► In today’s Washington Post — Sorry, Republicans, but most people support single-payer health care (by Catherine Rampell) — Despite the rise of the tea party and unified Republican control of government, one decidedly anti-free-market idea appears ascendant: single-payer health care. And it’s no wonder, given that a record-high share of the population receives government-provided health insurance. As a country, we’ve long since acquiesced to the idea that Uncle Sam should give insurance to the elderly, veterans, people with disabilities, poor adults, poor kids, pregnant women and the lower middle class. Many Americans are asking: Why not the rest of us, too?




► In today’s NY Times — Trump’s unreleased taxes threaten yet another campaign promise — President Trump’s promise to enact a sweeping overhaul of the tax code is in serious jeopardy nearly 100 days into his tenure, and his refusal to release his own tax returns is emerging as a central hurdle to another faltering campaign promise.

ALSO at The Stand — AFL-CIO calls for tax reform that works for working people

► In today’s LA Times — Enough excuses. Release your taxes, Mr. President (editorial) — Does he have business entanglements overseas that might affect his foreign policy decisions? Does he owe money to Russian lenders? How much does he give to charity? Does the nation’s convoluted tax system mean Trump pays taxes at a lower rate than middle-class Americans? In what years did he pay no taxes at all, and why? What other conflicts of interest exist that we can’t even guess at? … Especially with a major tax reform proposal on the way. How can the public trust the president’s motives on a tax overhaul without knowing whether he will profit from it?

► From Think Progress — Republican senator raucously booed for defending Trump’s decision to not release his tax returns — “As far as I’m aware of the president says he’s still under audit,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), prompting the crowd to erupt in boos.

► In today’s Washington Post — After a series of flip-flops, Trump prepares to deliver on a key pledge — The president is expected to sign an executive order that the White House said will make it harder to replace American tech workers with foreign labor and give U.S. firms an advantage in bidding for government contracts.

► In today’s Cleveland Plain-Dealer — Sen. Sherrod Brown, unions want trade deals that don’t harm workers — After meeting with area labor leaders, Brown said:

“I want to figure ways to push the president to live up to his promises on trade. He’s done what we asked on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, (by) pulling out of that. We have yet to see what renegotiating NAFTA means. I have written him very specific letters. I have spoken with him about Buy American — personally. We have not seen any real progress there… I want more trade. The problem with these trade agreements is that they have cost jobs and they have pushed workers’ wages down. It is one of the reasons that we have seen a quarter of a century of stagnant wages, where workers that used to be close to joining the middle class are sinking in that way.”

► From The Hill — Dems look for Trump rebuke in Georgia special election — A dream scenario for liberals would be a knockout blow in which Democrat Jon Ossoff clears 50 percent in Tuesday’s primary battle with 17 other candidates — including 11 GOP candidates — to replace Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price in the seat and win a district Republicans have held for decades. It’s more likely that Ossoff, 30, will fall short of the 50 percent threshold, meaning that he’ll face a Republican candidate in a June runoff to determine a winner.

► A shocker from KNKX — Nonprofit working to block drug imports has ties to Pharma lobby — The Partnership for Safe Medicines, a nonprofit organization that has orchestrated a wide-reaching campaign against foreign drug imports has deep ties to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, the powerful lobbying group that includes Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Bayer.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Wow. Who saw that coming?




► From BuzzFeed — Women Ironworkers will get six months of paid maternity leave — The membership of the 130,000-strong Ironworkers union is an overwhelmingly male crowd, but the approximately 2,100 women just won a benefit that would be prized by working women across the country: Six months of paid maternity leave. The leave, designed to be taken prior to delivery, complements six to eight weeks of post-delivery leave.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Union YES! Find out how YOU can organize one.

► From Vox — Europe could have the secret to saving America’s unions — The future for traditional unions looks so bleak that a growing number of labor scholars and activists are coming to the conclusion that the U.S. approach is dead and can’t be revived. The solution, SEIU 775 President David Rolf and others have come to believe, is to look to strategies that work for unions in Europe.Most European countries still have far greater levels of union coverage than the U.S. As of 2013, more than two-thirds of workers in Denmark, Sweden, and Finland were union members. In France and Austria, a minority of workers are in unions, but 98 percent are covered by collective bargaining contracts… Unions there bargain not at the company level but at the sector level — negotiating for all workers in an entire industry rather than just one company or workplace.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Hollywood writers’ strike (the sequel) may be coming soon to a screen near you — Familiar script: TV and movie writers vote this week on authorizing a walkout if they can’t reach a deal with Hollywood studios by May 1. A strike would ripple across California’s economy, while possibly bolstering streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.


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