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Battle for the 797 | Voting rights | Soda tax initiative | Trump ‘unhinged’

Monday, March 19, 2018




► In the P.S. Business Journal — Battle for the 797: Washington state launches the fight to win Boeing’s new jet — Boeing could spend up to $15 billion to design and manufacture the new jet if the Chicago company’s board approves production. It could be the most contentious battle for aerospace jobs since 2013, when Washington state fended off almost two dozen other states by offering Boeing a tax incentive package worth $8 billion. Now, the 777X and composite wing factory employs hundreds in Everett. That win came at a price. Protests erupted as machinists, under intense pressure, narrowly approved a new contract that cost some their pensions and prohibits strikes until 2022. This time, no union contracts hang in the balance. Still, some worry pressure to tie employment numbers to tax incentives could impact the state’s chances to win the new jet.

► In the Seattle Times — Boeing chairman Dennis Muilenburg’s total compensation rose to $18.5 million — However, a supplemental note in the filing reports that Muilenburg in 2017 actually pocketed $23.7 million, thanks to the elevated value of the stock options he exercised… A new SEC rule also requires the company to report how its CEO compensation compares to what the median employee received. Boeing’s ratio was lower than at some other big industrial companies.




► From KNKX — UW could become 6th campus nationwide with a postdoc union — Some 200 postdoctoral researchers and their supporters packed President Ana Mari Cauce’s office to demand a union vote. On Thursday, they got what they wanted.

ALSO at The Stand — UW Postdocs’ union election will proceed

► In today’s Seattle Times — Why is Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan eyeing budget cuts in a boom? — Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is asking her departments to propose budget cuts of up to 5 percent for the future partly because the city has recently been spending more general-fund money than it has been taking in, her budget director said.

► In the (Aberdeen) Daily World — Hospital layoffs hit a quarter of those in leadership ranks — Grays Harbor Community Hospital announced the layoff of another 10 employees Friday, this time people considered to be in leadership roles. More layoffs are coming next week.




► From Mother Jones — All of a sudden, voting rights are expanding across the country — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is set to sign a sweeping election reform package on Monday that will make his state one of the leaders in the country in expanding voting rights. The “Access to Democracy” bills passed by Washington’s Legislature include automatic voter registration, Election Day registration, pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, and a state version of the national Voting Rights Act.

► From KUOW — Major changes coming to voting rights, access in Washington — Sixteen and 17-year-olds will soon be able to pre-register to vote in Washington. That’s just one of several voting-related bills the governor is scheduled to sign into law Monday.

► In the (Everett) Herald — Soft drink makers push to ban local taxes on food, pop — If producers of America’s favorite soft drinks have their way this fall, Seattle will be the only community with a soda tax in Washington in the future. They are pushing a statewide initiative to bar cities and counties from imposing their own taxes on sweetened beverages as well as other food and drinks typically sold in supermarkets… The group’s message is getting spread by a political coalition made up of the Joint Council of Teamsters No. 28, which represents beverage industry workers, as well as the Washington Food Industry Association and the Korean-American Grocer’s Association of Washington.

► In the Skagit Valley Herald — State Rep. Lytton won’t seek re-election — State Rep. Kristine Lytton (D-Anacortes) says she plans to spend more time with her family.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Retirements could alter dynamics in state House — Nearly a dozen retirements in the state House are adding intrigue to what’s expected to be a fierce November election to control the Washington Legislature. In recent weeks, three Democratic and seven Republican House members have announced their departures. Another GOP representative is expected to step down to run for state Senate. All told, more than one-tenth of the 98 House members will be leaving the chamber.




► In today’s NY Times — Trump assails Mueller, drawing rebukes from some Republicans — President Trump on Sunday abandoned a strategy of showing deference to the special counsel examining Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, lashing out at what he characterized as a partisan investigation and alarming Republicans who feared he might seek to shut it down.

► From Vox — McCabe’s firing and Trump’s anti-Mueller tirade, explained — “The president of the United States is unhinged.”

► In today’s NY Times — This new report on Trump’s state of mind should alarm you (by Greg Sargent) — Relying on numerous people close to Trump, the report says he decided to attack Mueller against the advice of his advisers because he “ultimately trusts only his own instincts,” with the result that Trump is “newly emboldened” to “ignore the cautions of those around him.” … Most Republicans failed to seize this occasion to send a clear signal that any effort to remove Mueller will be met with serious consequences.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Hello? Cathy McMorris Rodgers? Dave Reichert? Dan Newhouse? Jaime Herrera Beutler? Bueller? Bueller? Where are the state’s Republicans? Apparently they are still hiding behind their tired “I don’t comment on the president’s tweets” chestnut. Does that include when the president and his administration are actively obstructing an obstruction of justice investigation? The Mueller investigation, which Trump dismisses as a “witch hunt,” has already yielded 19 felony charges and three of Trump’s campaign insiders have pleaded guilty and are cooperating. As the probe gets closer and closer to him personally, the president appears poised to pull the plug on it. NOW is the time to have the courage to speak up. Please let your constituents know you are paying attention and still care about justice.




► From The Intercept — Betsy DeVos is now fighting the union at the Education Department — AFGE, representing nearly 4,000 federal employees working for the U.S. Department of Education, filed a complaint accusing the agency, run by Betsy DeVos, of union busting. The complaint comes after the Education Department effectively declared itself free from union mandates by imposing upon the agency’s 3,900 staffers a “collective bargaining agreement” that commands no union agreement at all.

► From TPM — Trump administration purging civil servants suspected of disloyalty — A trove of e-mails obtained by House Democrats reveal efforts by top State Department officials — working hand in hand with the White House, outside conservatives and right-wing media — to sideline and demote career civil servants who are seen as disloyal to President Trump.

► In today’s NY Times — Deadline is today in McDonald’s labor case that could affect millions — The Trump appointee charged with enforcing federal labor rights is scrambling to head off a court ruling in a case against McDonald’s that could redefine the accountability of companies for the labor practices of their franchisees. The official, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, has been exploring settlement terms with workers at the center of the board’s complaint against McDonald’s, according to lawyers involved in the case. A judge had halted the trial until Monday to give the agency a chance to do so. If no settlement is reached and the judge were to rule against the company, the decision could have enormous implications for the franchise business model, affecting millions of workers in the fast-food industry and beyond. Corporations could be required to bargain with unionized workers at disparate franchise locations.

► From Bloomberg — Trump NLRB scrambles to avoid pro-worker ruling, lawyers claim

► From The Hill — Congress races to finish $1.2 trillion funding bill —  Congress is on the verge of unveiling a $1.2 trillion government funding package that would provide the biggest increase to federal spending in years. Members from both parties are worried that leaders will attach controversial “poison pill” riders to it at the last minute. Still, appropriators are hopeful that they will be able to resolve any outstanding issues and attract enough bipartisan support to avoid a government shutdown by Friday’s deadline.




► From The Hill — Today’s working women honor their courageous foremothers (by Liz Shuler) — As we celebrate Women’s History Month, working women are proudly living up to that example — organizing, taking to the streets and running for office in unprecedented numbers. It is a reminder that the movements for worker and women’s rights always have been interwoven.

► From — Jersey City’s 4,000-member teachers union strikes for first time since 1998 — Jersey City’s public-school teachers walked off the job for the first time in 20 years today, leading to confusion and some chaos across the 29,000-student district as teachers led boisterous protests outside city schools.


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