Wednesday, April 25, 2018
In fact, while a shortage of workers is pushing wages higher in the skilled trades, the financial return from a bachelor’s degree is softening, even as the price — and the average debt into which it plunges students — keeps going up. Yet so effectively have high school graduates been encouraged to get one that high-paid jobs requiring shorter and less expensive training are going unfilled. This affects not only them, but has become a growing threat to the economy.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Feds bash Hanford nuclear waste plant troubles, question DOE priorities — Problems first identified six years ago continue the plague the multi-billion-dollar Hanford vitrification plant, according to federal investigators with the Government Accountability Office. The Department of Energy and its contractor have not shown that the plant has the quality needed to operate safely when it starts treating some of the nation’s deadliest nuclear waste.
► From Teamsters 174 — Organizing victory: Airgas employees vote to join Teamsters Local 174 — Last week, 23 Airgas drivers in the Seattle area voted to become members of Teamsters Local 174. The group of drivers, who perform a wide variety of services including everything from delivering essential gases to hospitals to keeping soda fountains running with deliveries of liquid CO2, will join over 700 other Airgas employees across the country as members of the Teamsters Union.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Want to join together with your co-workers to negotiate better wages and working conditions? Contact a union organizer today!
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Survey: Where can state school funding do the most good? — The leader of the state’s public school system wants advice from Washington residents on how money can be best spent to improve education. Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal will launch an online survey Wednesday to gauge the level of importance of putting dollars into smaller classes, safer schools, retaining teachers and a dozen other matters.
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s travel ban faces its latest test: the Supreme Court — Justices will weigh whether the president’s travel ban is a necessary step to protect the country from terrorism or an illegal and unconstitutional fulfillment of campaign promises to ban Muslim immigrants.
► From The Hill — Conservatives eye new tax cut for capital gains — Republican lawmakers and prominent conservative leaders such as Grover Norquist say they want capital gains to be indexed to inflation, saying it would give the economy a boost. They are pursuing both legislation and regulatory action in an effort to achieve that goal.
► From The Hill — McMorris Rodgers calls for messaging meeting with younger members — House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) has called a meeting Thursday with a group of younger GOP lawmakers following reports that they have been dissatisfied with her management of the Republican conference.
► From AP — Republicans unsettled by narrow win in House race in Arizona — Tuesday’s narrow victory by Republican Debbie Lesko over a Democratic political newcomer sends a big message to Republicans nationwide: Even the reddest of districts in a red state can be in play this year. Early returns show Lesko winning by about 5 percentage points in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District where Donald Trump won by 21 percentage points.
► In today’s Washington Post — White House vows to fight for VA nominee facing allegations of misconduct — The administration’s decision to rally around Ronny Jackson’s nomination to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs came as the president’s doctor was besieged by accusations that he improperly dispensed drugs, created a hostile workplace and became intoxicated on duty.
EDITOR’S NOTE — What are you waiting for? Contact a union organizer today!
► From NPR — Newsroom to ‘Chicago Tribune’: With 85% backing, we have votes for union — Organizers of a newsroom union at the Chicago Tribune have informed its publisher, Tronc, that colleagues have given such overwhelming formal support for their effort that the paper’s parent company should recognize the guild voluntarily and start to negotiate a contract. It is quite a turnaround in fortunes for unions at Tronc, which comes from a strong anti-union background. Historically, the Tribune and its corporate owners took a strong stance against unions at the paper and in society more broadly.
► From Vox — Arizona teachers want more than a raise. They want public schools funded again. — Arizona teachers are planning a walkout on Thursday if the governor and state legislature don’t increase teacher pay, restore education funding, and promise not to implement more tax cuts. They would join a wave of teacher groups striking across the nation, from West Virginia to Oklahoma to Kentucky.
► In the Cleveland Plain Dealer — Teacher walkouts in other states unlikely in Ohio: Here’s why — The teacher walkouts in Oklahoma and West Virginia, plus the teacher protests in Kentucky and Arizona, that have caught national attention in recent weeks won’t likely happen in Ohio. Ohio’s teachers unions say teachers here have better pay and conditions because Ohio gives them greater collective bargaining rights.
► From CNN — Walmart’s CEO earns 1,188 times as much as the company’s median worker — Doug McMillon earned $22.8 million during the retailer’s last fiscal year, which ended on January 31, according to a company filing. Walmart’s median employee, meanwhile, earned $19,177 in the same period.
► From Reuters — Protesters greet Amazon’s Jeff Bezos in Germany — Hundreds of Amazon workers blew whistles and banged drums on Tuesday to protest against the presentation of a German award to Jeff Bezos, the ecommerce firm’s chief executive.
WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY
ALSO at The Stand — Workers Memorial Day events planned throughout the state
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.