The Stand

Janus v. Janus | Jaime vulnerable | McSettlement

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

 


THE WAR ON UNIONS

 

► In the NY Daily News — The Janus-faced war on unions (by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka) — Even Mark Janus doesn’t agree with his corporate backers’ shaky legal arguments against the union. At a breakfast with reporters last month, Janus threw those handlers into a frenzy after veering off script. He told the crowd that “collective bargaining is beneficial to people and workers.” When pressed by reporters, he admitted that he joined the case because he didn’t want his union fees to be spent supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. But already under the law, not one cent of his money can be used to support a candidate’s political campaign. Period. An employee has been able to opt out of such spending for decades. This one simple admission deeply undermines Janus lawyers’ central argument, which is that making workers contribute to collective bargaining itself is a First Amendment violation.

ALSO at The Stand — Janus (Part 1): The fix is in at the Supreme Court — Meet Mark Janus. As an Illinois child support specialist, he makes $71,000 a year in a state where both the average pay for social work and the statewide median income is less than $60,000. He also earns time-and-a-half for working overtime. Almost every year he gets a step pay increase and/or cost-of-living increase. He gets paid holidays and paid vacation time. He gets his choice of several health care plans and is also eligible for retiree health care coverage. He gets paid sick leave and paid paternity leave. He is eligible to receive a defined-benefit pension that, when he retires, will pay him a portion of his salary for the rest of his life. He has job security and the peace of mind that if some manager violates his rights or tries to fire him without cause, the union will represent him to protect his job and his family.

That job would be a dream come true for most social workers — and for most Americans. Thank you, AFSCME! And for all that, Janus pays a fair-share fee of $45 per month to the union, about what the average American pays for a gym membership.

ALSO at The Stand — Janus (Part 2): Get ready to defend your freedom

 


LOCAL

 

► From KIRO — Thousands expected to attend March for Our Lives on Saturday — While thousands of people in Washington D.C. are expected to protest gun violence on Saturday, thousands more across the country are planning their own March for Our Lives demonstrations this weekend. In Washington state alone, there were nearly 30 marches as of Tuesday. In Seattle, marchers will meet at Cal Anderson Park on Saturday at 10 a.m.

► In the Wenatchee World — Class action suit claims Confluence deprived staff of rightful pay — A class-action suit alleges Confluence Health has deprived hourly workers of wages through its time clock policies, in violation of state pay law.

► In today’s News Tribune — Board fires Bates Technical College president following investigation into his conduct — The board of Bates Technical College in Tacoma has voted to fire president Ron Langrell following an investigation into his conduct with subordinates.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Deportation to Honduras delayed for Marysville mom of 3 — Thanks to an online fundraising campaign, Bernarda Pineda was able to hire an immigration attorney.

 


ELECTIONS

 

► In the (Longview) Daily News — New Democratic poll finds Herrera Beutler vulnerable in 3rd District — A new Democratic poll released Tuesday by congressional candidate Carolyn Long’s campaign shows incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler is in vulnerable territory as she prepares to mount her fourth re-election bid. Though the poll found that the incumbent has a sizeable lead over Long — largely due to name recognition — it also suggests Herrera Beutler’s advantage could fizzle as the 2018 midterms draw nearer. Only 39 percent of voters approve of the Battle Ground Republican’s job performance.

► From Crosscut — After Democratic upsets, is Washington’s 8th District next? — The seat, soon to be vacated by retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, ranks among national Democrats’ top targets.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Former gubernatorial hopeful Bill Bryant launches PAC to aid candidates for local races — The PAC has raised $310,000 in a few months. Bryant, a Republican, says it will fill a gap in local, often nonpartisan, races that are overlooked by the state GOP and business allies. The group’s largest donor so far is investment-company executive Brian Heywood of Redmond who gave $100,000. He says he contributed because he has seen his adopted state’s politics moving in California’s direction, pointing for example to Seattle’s efforts to impose an income tax on the wealthy… Heywood named his ranch Galt Valley Ranch, after John Galt, a character in author Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged,” which promotes the virtues of unfettered capitalism.

 


TRADE

 

► From Bloomberg — U.S. tariffs may add 19,000 steel and aluminum jobs, study says — U.S. tariffs on aluminum and steel imports will add thousands of jobs at domestic producers, offsetting labor losses in other industries, while economic growth will slow by a tiny percentage, according to the Coalition for a Prosperous America, a nonprofit organization that has supported the U.S. administration’s skepticism toward free trade.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Could some of those jobs be at a restarted Alcoa Wenatchee Works? Stay tuned.

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From The Hill — White House officials expect short-term funding bill to avert shutdown — Administration officials said they expect Congress to pass a stopgap bill to avert a third government shutdown this year as lawmakers scramble to finalize a must-pass omnibus spending bill.

► In today’s NY Times — As spending deal nears finish, border wall gets some funds but N.Y. tunnel is left in limbo — Negotiators closed in on a $1.3 trillion spending deal early Wednesday that reportedly includes $1.6 billion in funding for border-wall construction, but none of the planned seed money for the Gateway project to improve passenger rail access to and from Manhattan, including a new tunnel under the Hudson River.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Apparently, we can afford to build a pointless wall, but not to invest in our nation’s infrastructure, including Sound Transit, Hanford cleanup, and other local needs.

► From The Hill — DeVos battles lawmakers in contentious hearing — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos struggled to answer tough questions in a congressional hearing Tuesday, resulting in numerous tense back-and-forths with Democrats and a few quiet rebukes from Republican committee members. Democrats accused DeVos of lacking leadership as she repeatedly failed to provide specific answers on her positions on school gun violence, racial disparities, LGBT rights and student loan oversight.

 


NATIONAL

 

► From Reuters — McDonald’s agrees settlement in franchisees’ U.S. labor case — McDonald’s Corp. said on Monday it had agreed to settle a U.S. labor board case on whether the company is accountable for its franchisees’ alleged labor law violations. The settlement, which must be approved by a NLRB judge, would allow McDonald’s to avoid a ruling that it is a “joint employer” of workers at McDonald’s franchises and can be held liable when franchisees violate federal labor law… Fight for $15 lawyer Micah Wissinger said the group would object to the proposed settlement.

► From MassLive — Necco will lay off hundreds of workers unless new buyer found for candy company — The maker of classic candies such as Sweethearts, the Clark Bar and NECCO Wafers is in the process of looking for a potential buyer — and may lay off 395 workers if a deal falls through.

► In today’s Washington Post — Fox News commentator exits with a searing attack on Fox News — Commentator and author Ralph Peters, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who commented on military affairs, called Fox “a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.” He described President Trump as being “terrified” of Russian president Vladi­mir Putin.

 


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

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