Domestic abuse | More tax cuts | Remember Flint | Nancy vs. Luke vs. Ann

Friday, March 16, 2018




In front of city hall, domestic workers laid out diapers and gloves, representing the thousands of nannies and housecleaners who work in Seattle.

► From The Stranger — A new report details all kinds of bullshit Seattle domestic workers put up with — A new report gives a clearer picture of the challenges faced by domestic workers in Seattle and offers recommendations for the city council’s next labor policy: a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. The report, produced by Working Washington, is based on surveys with 174 nannies, house cleaners, and gardeners. That’s out of an estimated 30,000 domestic workers in the city. The report’s findings are stark, detailing a profession with low pay, few benefits and little to no recourse when workers encounter abuse or wage theft. Women of color who work as domestic workers, a majority in the field, face disproportionate hardships. On the same day as the report’s release, domestic workers testified for the first time before the Seattle city council committee on Housing, Health, Energy and Workers’ Rights, which is chaired by council member Teresa Mosqueda.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Minimum wage? Overtime pay? Push for new domestic-worker benefits reaches Seattle City Council — Momentum for legislation has been building for months. The Seattle Domestic Workers Alliance wants the city to extend standards such as the minimum wage and overtime pay to live-in workers, mandate written contracts and create a portable-benefits system.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle underestimates by millions the cost to run its new streetcar line, Metro says — The discrepancy boils down to staffing. Metro thinks it will need almost twice as many employees to operate the streetcar system — including operators, mechanics and supervisors — as SDOT does.

► In the Seattle Times — How did mystery man go from Howard Hughes hoax to being witness at one of Seattle’s biggest murder cases? — Relatives and friends of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes, two cannery-union reformers gunned down in Seattle in 1981, are pushing the FBI to release more information about a mystery man who tried to help the killers and had ties to the fake will of billionaire recluse Howard Hughes.

ALSO at The Stand — Celebrate the lives of Silme Domingo, Gene Viernes on March 20 — All are invited to attend the Commemoration and Book Launch Party celebrating of the lives and work of Domingo and Viernes, and the publication of Summary Execution: The Seattle Assassinations of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes by Michael Withey, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20 at the Seattle Labor Temple, 2800 1st Ave.




► From AP — Head of employment agency resigns after workplace report — Dale Peinecke, the head of the state Employment Security Department, has resigned after an outside investigation found several employees complained about him putting his arms around them or looking at their bodies in ways that made them uncomfortable.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — College applications must ‘ban the box’ — Washington’s public college applications won’t ask if a potential student has a criminal record and incoming freshmen will get more information about the cost of financial aid under a pair of bills signed into law Thursday. College applications joined the Ban the Box effort to give people who have served their time a second chance. A similar bill covering job applications was signed earlier this week.

ALSO at The Stand — Inslee signs law ‘banning the box’ in WA

► From Bloomberg — Boeing’s an early casualty after investors dig in for trade war — The steep erosion in Boeing Co. shares this week are reflecting a broader angst as investors turn their attention to President Donald Trump’s trade policy.




► In today’s Washington Post — Get ready. Republicans want to cut taxes again. (by Catherine Rampell) — Just months ago, Republicans got away with a massive upward redistribution of wealth, raiding $1.5 trillion from the Treasury and sticking future generations with the bill. Now, they’re going for more… Further cuts, especially if they target capital gains, are likely to be similarly plutocratic: Households making more than $1 million account for about two-thirds of all capital-gains income, according to IRS data… This scheme is also coming from a party that once upon a time — way back in 2016, when a Democrat held the White House — decried out-of-control deficits. Yet somehow we are already on track to have a trillion-dollar deficit this year, thanks to the recently passed tax law and additional spending increases.

ALSO at The Stand — Ads warn of GOP plan to cut Social Security, Medicare (Dec. 12, 2017)

► From The Hill — Federal employee union files complaint against Education Department — In the complaint filed Tuesday with the Federal Labor Relations Authority, AFGE said it spent months trying to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the Education Department, but was told Friday that the Education Department management would implement a new agreement with its own terms starting Monday. Said AFGE Council 252 President Claudette Young: “Secretary Betsy DeVos and her management team are attempting to strip employees of their collective bargaining rights and kill the union.”

► In today’s NY Times — Court overturns Obama-era rule on retirement planners — A federal appeals court ruled on Thursday that the Department of Labor overstepped its authority when it wrote a rule that required financial professionals, including brokers and insurance agents, to put their customers’ financial interests ahead of their own.

► In today’s NY Times — White House’s next major trade action is aimed at China — Unlike the tariffs on foreign metals, the idea of targeting China has broad support among a number of officials who believe the country is cheating in global trade.

► MUST-READ from The Nation — The one thing Democrats should learn from Conor Lamb (by John Nichols) — Lamb put organized labor at the center of his campaign. That was smart politics. As AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka explained: “Conor Lamb won this race because he proudly stood with unions, shared our agenda and spoke out for our members.” That is the lesson Democrats should take from this special election. And it’s not just a lesson about western Pennsylvania or the embattled Great Lakes states.

ALSO at The Stand — PA race shows ‘path to power runs through labor movement’




► From HuffPost — Don’t forget about Flint, Michigan (by Phillip Lewis) — The hectic and often outrageous news cycle has desensitized us to such a degree that the poisoning of an American city in the 2000s is almost an afterthought. Just because it didn’t happen in New York, Washington or Hollywood doesn’t mean these citizens’ problems are less important. The city has fallen out of the headlines but don’t forget: Flint hasn’t had clean water for more than 1,400 days. We owe it to the city’s residents to keep talking about it. And the government owes it to them to continue to do something about it.




► Today, The Entire Staff of The Stand wishes a very happy birthday to Bellevue native and Interlake High School grad Nancy Wilson. Of course, you remember her for her breakout performance as Beautiful Girl in Car in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Fun fact: she’s also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the guitarist for a band called Heart, which she formed with her sister, Ann. In this 1977 gem, we love Nancy’s extended version of the acoustic-electric guitar intro. Although the vibe is nearly spoiled when Luke Skywalker comes out and gets all hippy with his guitar-hero man-stance, Ann saves the day with her usual remarkable vocals. Happy birthday, Nancy!


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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