Friday, August 25, 2017
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle-area union members who dole out benefits to other union workers go on strike — About 100 unionized Welfare and Pension Administration Service (WPAS) office staffers pay out benefit claims for workers in at least 80 other unions (primarily in the labor trades), determine who is eligible for benefits, cut pension checks and handle other administrative details. But the WPAS employees have been working without a contract since February, and have failed to reach a deal despite 11 months of negotiations and more than a dozen bargaining sessions. They walked off the job Wednesday and said they have no immediate plans to return to work… WPAS President Dennis Kirkpatrick said the company has hired
temps scabs to pick up some of the slack.
ALSO at The Stand:
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Union plans rally to oppose Harrison hospital relocation — UFCW Local 21, representing workers at Harrison Medical Center, is planning a rally Sept. 8 to oppose plans to relocate the hospital’s main campus from Bremerton to Silverdale. The union supports parent company CHI Franciscan Health’s proposal for a new hospital in Silverdale but opposes the planned closure of Harrison Bremerton. Instead, the union believes CHI Franciscan should upgrade and continue to operate the East Bremerton facility.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Get details on this rally from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Friday, September 8 at 3400 1st St. in Bremerton.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Paul Ryan at Boeing in Everett talks taxes, influencing Trump as ‘day-by-day deal’ — Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was joined on the stage in Everett by Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, who praised Ryan’s tax efforts, predicting they’d be good for Boeing and other manufacturers… In nine of the past 15 years, the company had a negative tax rate and received a tax refund. For 2013, the U.S. wound up owing the company $199 million.
ALSO at The Stand:
Boeing ♥s Ryan’s tax cuts, as long as no job strings attached (by John Burbank)
► In today’s Seattle Times — Sound Transit’s Lynnwood extension running $500M over budget — Sound Transit’s long-awaited Lynnwood light-rail extension is running $500 million over budget and expected to open six months late, in mid-2024, agency CEO Peter Rogoff said Thursday. Staff reports blame soaring labor, materials and land costs in the overheated Seattle-area market, along with features being requested by communities. Also, proposals from the Trump administration to eliminate major transit grants are delaying the customary flow of dollars to projects like Lynnwood Link.
► In The Stranger — Meet Manka Dhingra, the Eastside Democrat who could end Republican control of the State Senate — If she’s elected to office, Dhingra said she first wants to focus on finding ways to pour dollars into the state’s criminally underfunded K–12 schools. Although she voiced support for progressive taxes, including a capital gains tax and closing corporate loopholes, Dhingra said she does not support a state income tax, putting her in opposition to many Seattle progressives.
► From TPM — Trump mulls stripping legal status from 800,000 young immigrants — President Donald Trump is “seriously considering” killing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, according to multiple reports. The exact timing remains uncertain, though immigration advocates are treating a decision as potentially imminent, perhaps as early as Friday.
► From The Hill — Congress facing deadline to renew healthcare for children — Congress is approaching a healthcare deadline with enormous stakes for millions of people — and this time it isn’t about ObamaCare. Federal funding for 9 million low- and middle-income children is set to expire at the end of September, setting up a crucial deadline for a Congress already grappling with other high-stakes battle. The looming deadline for the Children’s Health Insurance Program has been overshadowed by the GOP effort to repeal ObamaCare, and lawmakers left town for the summer without addressing the issue.
► In today’s Washington Post — Graduate students won right to organize as employees, but that victory is in peril under Trump — Just before the fall semester in 2016, the NLRB ruled that teaching and research assistants at private universities are employees with the right to form unions. Since then, graduate students at least 15 private universities across the country have filed petitions or participated in elections to form unions. But their efforts could be derailed as a partisan shift on the labor board, from Democrat to Republican, signals that last year’s ruling could be overturned.
► In today’s NY Times — Trump fences himself in with border wall spending threat (news analysis) — Democrats may be only too happy to let him follow through on his threat since it will now be easy for them to blame the president for any government interruption, which would probably aggravate many Americans.
► From HuffPost — Tax reform, facing numerous challenges, could end up meaning only marginal cuts — Eight months into Donald Trump’s presidency, lawmakers remain at odds over what new tax rates should look like, how they’ll pay for cuts, or whether they even should make up the lost revenue.
► From Reuters — Unifor, UAW to meet Canada’s foreign minister to discuss NAFTA — Labor unions Unifor and the United Auto Workers (UAW) said they will meet Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland to discuss plans about the next round of North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA) renegotiations in Mexico.
► In today’s Washington Post — Yellen rejects Trump approach, says post-crisis banking rules make economy safer — On Friday, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen offered a forceful defense of broad new banking regulations enacted after the 2008 financial crisis, saying the rules safeguard the economy against another crisis and rejecting assertions from President Trump and top aides that they should be rolled back.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Trump’s tweet-whine, using a derogatory nickname for Yellen, happens in… 3… 2… 1…
► In today’s NY Times — SEIU plans big push to turn Midwest’s political tide — Challenging the Republican ascendance in states where labor once carried enormous sway, SEIU plans to spend tens of millions of dollars during the 2018 campaign cycle to reverse the trend. It will fund an extensive campaign over the next 14 months to elect politicians with labor-friendly stands on the minimum wage, unions and health care.
► In today’s Washington Post — Judge: GOP vote-suppression tactics have ‘no legitimacy’ — In yet another ruling on the state’s persistent effort to impose unnecessary restrictions on the franchise, Federal District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos on Wednesday rejected Texas’s latest attempt to enforce a voter ID law plainly designed to selectively discourage non-white Texans from voting. Moreover, she declined to craft for the state a legal voter ID scheme, instead telling the legislature to try again from scratch if it really wants some kind of voter ID system. Eliminating the law “ ‘root and branch’ is required,” she wrote, “as the law has no legitimacy.”
► Fifty-one years ago today, at 3 p.m. at the Seattle Coliseum (now known as the KeyArena), on what would be their final concert tour, The Beatles played to a half-empty house. They sold just 8,000 tickets at the 15,000-seat venue for the afternoon matinee performance, but sold out the show held later that night. Apparently, Seattle fans weren’t Day Trippers. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. That classic song was part of the show’s set list though. And so, The Entire Staff of The Stand has got a good reason to share this. Enjoy the go-go dancers.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.