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Concrete contract, pressing Trump, voters to decide Missouri RTW

Monday, August 21, 2017




► In the Seattle Times — Concrete driver strike that slowed Seattle construction ends with labor deal — The strike by local concrete delivery truck drivers that slowed construction projects across King County is coming to an end following a labor agreement reached Friday. More than a quarter of King County’s union concrete truck drivers had walked off the job a week ago, and the rest were getting ready to join them. The local Teamsters union representing the 300 drivers said it has reached a deal with the five cement suppliers that employ the workers. The union said 92 percent of drivers voted to ratify the new contract.

ALSO at The Stand — Concrete strike ends with ‘rock solid’ deal

► In the Spokesman-Review — Triumph Group will keep Spokane factory; sale plans abandoned — Triumph Group no longer plans to sell its West Plains aircraft parts factory. In a memo to employees, Triumph Group said the right buyer didn’t emerge for its aircraft interiors business. As a result, Triumph will keep its Spokane factory and seven similar facilities in the U.S., Mexico and Europe.

► From PubliCola — Q&A with Nicole Grant: Why MLKC Labor Council endorsed Durkan — Said Grant: “I think that Seattleites, including our members, want business and labor to mix in this city in a way that’s progressive, and we’re defining progressive America right now in contrast to the horror that’s happening all over our country.”

► From The Stranger — Tech workers join calls for Amazon to improve working conditions for security guards — More than 150 Seattle tech workers have joined an ongoing call to improve working conditions for security guards who protect Amazon’s South Lake Union campus. Over the last year, security guards who work for Security Industry Specialists (SIS) have complained of unfair treatment at work and said they haven’t received pay raises in five years. With support from Service Employees International Union 6 Property Services Northwest, they’ve demanded pay raises and a union.

ALSO at The Stand — Amazon security officers, supporters stage sit-in at company HQ

► From KNKX — One final hearing on nation’s largest proposed oil terminal In Vancouver — The public has one last chance to comment on a proposal to place the nation’s largest terminal for oil-by-rail in Vancouver, Wash.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Is there enough protection for foreign farmworkers in the U.S., including in Whatcom? — Few Whatcom County farmers are hiring foreign farmworkers through the H-2A visa program, which allows them to employ seasonal ag workers.

► A related story from NPR — They got hurt at work — then they got deported

► From AP — Trump won places drowning in despair. Can he save them? — In Grays Harbor County, Wash., the collapsed logging economy has been replaced by despair, homelessness, drugs and alcohol. Some Trump voters here maintain confidence in him; others are afraid.





► In the News Tribune — State officials think they fixed school funding. Tacoma, Olympia area districts say it’s not true — State lawmakers say they passed a school-funding plan that finally meets the state’s education obligations. But some school districts — including in Tacoma and Olympia — say it’s not enough money.

► In today’s Seattle Times — With principals in ‘crisis mode,’ new Washington state law taps into thousands of potential teacher recruits — The Legislature this year agreed to help principals struggling with a teacher shortage — especially in special-education classrooms — by tapping into a deep recruiting pool of thousands of paraeducators who already work with at-risk students.




► From the AFL-CIO — Trumka leaves Presidential Business Council — Last week, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka resigned from President Trump’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. The move came after Trump responded to the racist terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. In resigning from the Initiative, Trumka said, “His response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville was the last straw. We in the labor community refuse to normalize bigotry and hatred. And we cannot in good conscience extend a hand of cooperation to those who condone it.”

ALSO at The Stand — Charlottesville: Only two sides on racism, right and wrong (statement by Jeff Johnson)

► In the NY Times — Why I quit Trump’s business council (by Richard Trumka) — Unfortunately, with each passing day, it has become clear that President Trump has no intention of following through on his commitments to working people. More worrisome, his actions and rhetoric threaten to leave America worse off and more divided. It is for these reasons that I resigned yesterday from the president’s manufacturing council, which the president disbanded today after a string of resignations.

► From EOI Online — Shame on Boeing for endorsing Trump’s racism (by John Burbank) — The leaders of Intel, 3M, Merck, Under Armour, the AFL-CIO, and the Alliance for American Manufacturing all pulled out of the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. Trump at first blustered, but then caved and shut down the initiative rather than suffer more embarrassment. You know who didn’t resign? Dennis Mullenburg, CEO of Boeing. It closed around Mullenburg, sparing him the shame of being one of the last few standing by Trump.





► In the LA Times — U.S. lays out ambitious schedule for NAFTA talks as opening round concludes — After the opening round of talks to revamp the NAFTA, at least this much is known: The U.S. is pushing for comprehensive changes and racing to meet a tight political calendar. In a joint statement issued Sunday upon conclusion of the first session, trade officials from the U.S., Canada and Mexico outlined an aggressive schedule for future meetings. They will reconvene Sept. 1-5 in Mexico and then later that month in Canada, to be followed by another round in Washington in October.

ALSO at The Stand — NAFTA 2.0: Take action to make it work for working people

► In today’s Washington Post — Labor groups step up pressure on Trump to deliver — Labor leaders, once courted by President Trump, are stepping up their campaign to turn workers against the White House if it does not deliver more on jobs and trade — and if it does not stop undoing Obama-era regulations. The most visible effort, which starts in Indianapolis on Monday afternoon, is a two-week tour organized by the coalition Good Jobs Nation that ropes in labor-friendly politicians.

► In today’s NY Times — What will Trump do to American workers? (by Paul Krugman) — Progressives shouldn’t celebrate too much over Trump’s legislative failures. As long as he’s in office, he retains a lot of power to betray the working people who supported him. Don’t just watch Congress, keep your eyes on what federal agencies are doing.

► In today’s NY Times — Talk of ‘preventive war’ rises over North Korea issue — In a departure from their predecessors, some in the Trump administration have surmised that Cold War-style containment will not work and that a military option is available.

► From USA Today — Secret Service depletes funds to pay agents because of Trump’s frequent travel, large family — The Secret Service can no longer pay hundreds of agents it needs to carry out an expanded protective mission – in large part due to the sheer size of President Trump’s family and efforts necessary to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast.

► In today’s Washington Post — Republican committees have paid nearly $1.3 million to Trump-owned entities this year — The money has helped boost Trump’s company at a time when business is falling off at some core properties.




► From AFL-CIO — Missourians get nearly triple the needed signatures for November ‘Right to Work’ repeal referendum — Extremists and outside interests representing big corporations rammed through a Right to Work bill, against the will of the people of Missouri. The bill signed into law by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens in February. On Friday, Missourians spoke up loudly and, pending the certification process, a ballot referendum on Right to Work will appear on the November 2018 ballot. Until then, the RTW law is suspended.

► From In These Times — Workers may have just killed Missouri’s Right to Work law — In a badly needed victory for organized labor, a coalition of workers’ rights groups in Missouri is poised to halt a devastating new anti-union law from taking effect later this month.

► From AP — Massive counterprotest upstages Boston ‘free speech rally’ — Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans in a public rejection of white nationalism upstaged a small group in Boston that planned a “free speech rally” a week after a violent clash rocked Virginia and reverberated across the U.S.


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