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Ready to run and hide | Happiest Place on Earth? | Unions Are Great

Wednesday, February 21, 2018




► From KUOW — ‘Stop work’ declared at Hanford to check vehicles for contamination — Hanford workers have called a “stop work” at the Plutonium Finishing Plant demolition site because of worries about radioactive contamination inside government vehicles. It’s the same site where government contractors have struggled to tame the spread of contamination all winter.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Radioactive contamination found in ‘clean’ cars, says Hanford watchdog — A small amount of radioactive contamination has been found in the air filters of two vehicles parked at the Plutonium Finishing Plant at the Hanford nuclear reservation, according to a Hanford watchdog group.

► In today’s News Tribune — I’m tired but ready to run, hide with your kids (by local teacher Kara Beloate) — I go to school every day, armed with thoughtful lesson plans, effective strategies, a positive attitude and an open heart, even though I am underpaid and overtired. But I will protect your kids, or at least I will try with every fiber of my being. I will lead them into the storage closet, and I will hold them and whisper words of comfort. I will tell them they are loved, and that everything will be OK, even though I know it won’t, not ever again, or at least not for a very long time. I will scramble with them to the closest exit, where we will run for our lives together. I will be there, in the middle of the war. I will be there when terrified kids are screaming, when bullets are flying, when someone else’s child, or maybe your own, is shot in the back trying to get away.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Stevens County GOP, amid criticism from Democrats, pulls gun auction from event featuring Cathy McMorris Rodgers — The fundraising event was to feature an auction for an AR-15 rifle, a model similar to the one used in multiple mass shootings including the one last week in Florida and at Sandy Hook, the Connecticut elementary school where 20 children were killed by a gunman in 2012. The shooter at Freeman High School last fall south of Spokane was armed with an AR-15, but it jammed.




► In today’s News Tribune — House budget replaces property taxes with capital-gains tax, delays teacher salary fix — Democrats in the state House released a 2018 supplemental budget proposal Tuesday that would ignore a court order to speed up reform of how K-12 teachers are paid and would cut property taxes in 2019 and 2020 using a surge of unexpected cash reserves. The budget plan would reduce property taxes even further starting in 2021 but would replace the lost revenue with a tax on capital gains — money made on the sale of stocks, bonds and other financial assets. A proposal by the state House reveals big differences between how House and Senate leaders hope to tweak the two-year budget approved in 2017 before the 60-day session ends on March 8.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Some wealthy Washington schools get more money than needier ones in new budget. Here’s why. — In Lake Washington, only about 1 in 10 students come from low-income homes. In Tacoma, more than half of students live in poverty. So why will Lake Washington schools get more money than Tacoma schools under the state’s new education budget?




► From — Future of organized labor is in Supreme Court’s hands (by NJ AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech) — Janus v. AFSCME is the judicial equivalent of right-to-work. One key difference is that rather than applying to a single state, this case would apply to every public-sector job across the nation. Of course, such a broad-based attack on workers would leave no group unscathed… No matter the outcome of this case, working people have the power to set the course for the future. The formula is simple: When workers unite and come together in common purpose, we can achieve an economy that works for all.

► From Bloomberg — Trump appointee ‘conflict’ throws key labor ruling into doubt — A top NLRB appointee of President Trump should have recused himself in a ruling that restricted employees of contractors and franchisees from pursuing claims against big corporations, the agency’s inspector general said. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said the NLRB “must reconsider its decision without member Emanuel’s participation. It is the Board’s responsibility to ensure workers’ have a voice and corporations are being held responsible to respect employees’ rights.”

► In today’s NY Times — Why a Republican plan for paid leave has stirred concern about Social Security — Some Republicans have a new idea: Let people collect Social Security benefits early to pay for time off after they have a baby. Unlike some other proposals, this would require no new taxes. There’s a catch, though: Parents would have their Social Security benefits delayed when they retire to offset the costs. Social Security has long been viewed as an untouchable part of the social safety net. By letting people tap it for parental leave, it would begin to feel more like an individual account — an idea conservatives have been trying to advance for decades.




► In today’s Orange County Register — Disneyland withholds bonuses for hotel workers until they agree to contract offer — A union representing 2,700 housekeepers and other low-wage workers at Disneyland Resort filed a federal unfair labor practice complaint Tuesday against the entertainment giant for holding a promised $1,000 bonus “hostage” during contract negotiations. The one-time bonus for 125,000 Disney workers was announced with fanfare in January, with the company attributing it to the corporate tax cut law, signed by President Donald Trump in December.

► From Politico — Poll: Few voters report seeing bigger paychecks after tax changes — Just a quarter of registered voters, 25 percent, say they have noticed an increase in their paycheck, the poll shows. A majority, 51 percent, say they have not.

► From Reuters — GM proposes $2.8 billion, 10-year investment in South Korea: government official — General Motors has proposed an investment of $2.8 billion into its loss-making South Korean operations over the next 10 years and has asked Seoul to provide its share of the funds, a South Korean government official said on Wednesday.

► From Reuters — Final version of Trans-Pacific trade deal released, rules pushed by U.S. on ice — More than 20 provisions of the TPP have been suspended or changed in the final text ahead of the deal’s official signing in March, including rules around intellectual property of pharmaceuticals originally included at the behest of Washington. Some governments and activists worried it would raise the costs of medicine.

► From The Hill — Dem wins Kentucky state House seat in district Trump won by 49 points

► From The Onion — Study: 90% of Americans opposed to each other




► The following advertisement by the Canada’s National Union of Public and General Employees has aired during coverage of the Winter Olympics.


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