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It’s a real race | Inaction on harassment | Despicable universities

Wednesday, April 11, 2018




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Poll suggests bruising race for Congress between Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Lisa Brown — In a recent survey by Elway Research, incumbent McMorris Rodgers had a 6-percentage-point lead over Brown, with 44 percent saying they plan to vote for the Republican incumbent and 38 percent saying they plan to vote for the Democratic challenger. Another 3 percent said they plan to vote for someone else, and 16 percent are undecided. The overall poll has a margin of error of 5 percentage points, so the race is within the margin and McMorris Rodgers’ lead is “not statistically significant,” Elway said. Being under 50 percent is a worry for any incumbent.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — What they said: Poll respondents weigh in on McMorris Rodgers, Brown and Trump — “I have voted for (McMorris Rodgers), up until this year,” said Janice Loft, a 75-year-old retiree who identified to pollsters as a Democrat. “She kind of got on my nerves this year, going along with Trump on everything.”




► In the UW Daily — Students stage sit in to protest potential unionized job loss — Dozens of students put their bodies to protest Monday afternoon, staging a sit in inside the UW Medical Center to protest the UW’s potential closure of Consolidated Laundry. Hundreds of supporters rallied outside against Paul Ramsey, CEO of UW Medicine, and the move which would put more than 100 unionized workers out of a job.

► From KNKX — Two UW Postdocs explain ‘Postdoc Power’ — Post-doctoral researchers occupy sort of a gray area on many university campuses. They’re no longer students, but they aren’t ready to be professors either. You see postdocs a lot in the sciences, where that extra lab time is virtually required before having a university lab of one’s own. Their unique situation is one reason why some postdocs at the University of Washington are trying to form a union.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Bellevue-based T-Mobile, Sprint reportedly restart merger talks — The wireless providers have renewed their merger talks, after previous negotiations collapsed in November, sources say. But the sort of issues that led to the deal falling apart last time haven’t been resolved in the interim.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Jeanette Woldseth, Washington’s first female firefighter, was a self-effacing pioneer — In 1977, the Bellevue Fire Department hired the then-23-year-old Jeanette Woldseth, who became the first paid female firefighter in Washington state. Woldseth, who retired as a captain with the Bellevue Fire Department in 2002, died from complications due to cancer in February. A memorial in her honor is scheduled for Saturday in Bellevue when those who were touched by Capt. Woldseth will share their stories.




► From Bloomberg — Boeing, Embraer near ‘marriage,’ Brazil defense chief says — After months of talks between Boeing and the Brazilian airplane maker, the negotiations over a tie-up “are getting closer” to an agreement, Defense Minister Joaquim Silva e Luna said Tuesday.

► From AFP — Airbus to offer sleeping berths down in cargo hold — European aircraft giant Airbus announced on Tuesday that it is teaming up with Zodiac Aerospace to develop and market lower deck sleeping facilities for passengers that could be operational in A330 wide-body jets from 2020.




► From AP — Washington lawmakers working on sexual misconduct policies — Washington’s legislative session is over but the conversation about sexual harassment at the state Capitol continues, with the House and Senate each convening groups to discuss potentials codes of conduct and how to address complaints.




► From The Hill — Top Democrat chides Republican inaction on workplace sexual harassment — Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Tuesday called out Republican leaders for their “lack of urgency or action” on combating sexual misconduct at job sites, asking her GOP counterpart on the committee that oversees workplace issues to hold a hearing on the matter. Murray, the top Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, made her request to the panel’s chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). She also reminded her colleagues that they have yet to pass a bill that would reform policies on sexual harassment at their own workplace, Capitol Hill.

ALSO at The Stand — Child care crisis impacts every community (by Sen. Patty Murray)

► From TPM — Paul Ryan will not seek re-election in 2018 — House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has decided not to run for re-election in 2018, his office confirmed in a Wednesday morning statement. “He will serve out his full term, run through the tape, and then retire in January.”

► From The Hill — Trump executive order strengthens work requirements for neediest Americans — President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order directing federal agencies to strengthen existing work requirements and introduce new ones for low-income Americans receiving Medicaid, food stamps, public housing benefits and welfare as part of a broad overhaul of government assistance programs.

► From The Hill — VA privatization fight could erupt in confirmation hearing — Long-simmering tensions about privatizing the Department of Veterans Affairs could erupt into a confirmation battle over President Trump‘s pick to lead the department.

► In today’s Washington Post — Senate Republicans express concerns about Trump’s choice to lead Veterans Affairs — Ronny L. Jackson, President Trump’s choice to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, is facing mounting skepticism from Senate Republicans over whether he has the management experience to lead the nation’s second-largest bureaucracy.

► In today’s Washington Post — Justice Dept. to halt legal-advice program for immigrants in detention — The U.S. immigration courts will temporarily halt a program that offers legal assistance to detained foreign nationals facing deportation while it audits the program’s cost-effectiveness, a federal official said Tuesday.

► In today’s NY Times — The law is coming, Mr. Trump (editorial) — Donald Trump has spent his whole career in the company of grifters, cons and crooks. Now that he’s president, that strategy isn’t working — for him or for the country.

► From USA Today — That $4,000 raise Donald Trump and Paul Ryan promised you was a trickle-down lie (by Nick Hanauer) — Take it from someone who has helped run three dozen companies: Businesses don’t give raises because they can. Businesses give raises when they have to. They give raises when they fear losing employees to a competitor, or when the government requires them to through minimum wage laws. But businesses don’t give raises just because they got a tax cut. Businesses pay you what you can negotiate. And few employees in today’s economy have the leverage to negotiate.




► From Splinter — Universities use the specter of ICE to try to scare foreign grad students away from unionizing (by Hamilton Nolan) — On Tuesday, as thousands of grad students begin to vote on unionization at Penn State University, it is worth highlighting one tactic that Penn State and others have used that is truly despicable. The university is attempting to dissuade international grad student workers from voting to unionize by insinuating to them that they might be deported if a strike should occur. The university, in other words, is trading on the fear created by the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant crackdown to try to prevent its own employees from exercising their legal right to organized labor. This is despicable. This same scare tactic has been used by a number of other universities as well.

► From NPR — In historic move at labor-skeptic Chicago Tribune, newsroom pushes to form union — One of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious regional newspapers, The Chicago Tribune, could soon have a unionized staff. Wednesday morning, journalists from its newsroom informed management they are preparing to organize and they have collected signatures from dozens of colleagues. This is a historic move at a paper that had for decades taken a hardline stance against unions.




► From Reuters — German public sector hit by second day of strikes — Trade unions in Germany piled more pressure on public sector employers with a second day of nationwide wage strikes on Wednesday, as more than 25,000 workers staged walkouts at hospitals, childcare centres and waste depots. The Verdi union wants a 6 percent pay rise for 2.3 million public sector employees.


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