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Billionaires’ war on unions ● Zero tolerance ● Weyerhaeuser strike vote

Monday, July 2, 2018




► From Bloomberg — Backed by court ruling, Freedom Foundation to launch assault on West Coast public-sector unions — Following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that millions of public sector workers can stop paying union fees, a group tied to Republican billionaires long opposed to organized labor and its support of the Democratic Party has pledged to build on the landmark ruling to further marginalize employee representation. The conservative nonprofit Freedom Foundation said that it will deploy 80 people to a trio of West Coast union bastions: California, Oregon and its home state of Washington. The canvassers were hired in March and trained this month, according to internal documents reviewed by Bloomberg News. The goal of the multi-pronged campaign is to shrink union ranks in the three states by 127,000 members — and to offer an example for similar efforts targeting unions around the country.

ALSO at The Stand:

Janus ruling is ‘a clarion call to organize like never before’ (June 28)

Wash. State Labor Council: ‘No court decision will stop us’ (June 27)

► From The Hill — American workers stand ready to demand change after Janus blow (by Richard Trumka) — The labor movement has never depended on any politician or judge to decide our fate, and we aren’t about to start now. In the end, Janus will be a footnote. This moment in history is being defined by our organizing. Something is happening in America. It’s beautiful. It’s real. And it can’t be contained by five justices or 51 Republican senators, or even the president.

► In today’s NY Times — Supreme Court labor decision wasn’t just a loss for unions — It will also hit hard at a vast network of groups dedicated to advancing liberal policies and candidates. Some of these groups work for immigrants and civil rights; others produce economic research; still others turn out voters or run ads in Democratic campaigns.




► In the Seattle Times — 10,000 demonstrate in SeaTac against Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy — Thousands gathered for a highly emotional, but peaceful, demonstration at the SeaTac Federal Detention Center on Saturday, protesting President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has led to heated criticism from mayors, governors and citizens. The protest in SeaTac joined more than than 700 demonstrations around the country Saturday, from Seattle to the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey, and several in Washington state.

ALSO at The Stand — More actions this week to protect immigration policies

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Hundreds descend on Newhouse’s Yakima office amid national protests — One of U.S Rep. Dan Newhouse’s district offices sits on the fourth floor of The Tower Building in downtown Yakima. It’s unclear if the congressman was there working Saturday afternoon; but if he had been, he may have found it hard to concentrate. That’s because more than 300 people gathered just outside the 168-foot high-rise Saturday to protest the Trump Administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy and detention of children and families.

MORE coverage of local Families Belong Together actions in the Kitsap Sun(Longview) Daily News, Skagit Valley Herald, South Seattle Emerald, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin., and the Yakima Herald.

► In the News Tribune — Tacoma officials should be supporting immigration protesters, not persecuting them (by Matt Driscoll) — The truth is, Tacoma police and city officials have botched their reaction to ongoing protests at the Northwest Detention Center on the Tideflats.

► From Politico — Immigration storm bears down on Republicans — President Donald Trump has been pestering Congress to send him big money for his border wall with Mexico, a demand that could lead to a government shutdown just weeks before Election Day. And lawmakers might not even have that long to ignore the issue. A series of court rulings expected in the coming weeks on Dreamers as well as separated migrant families will crank up the heat up on GOP lawmakers and underscore their inability to govern when it comes to immigration.




► In the (Longview) Daily News — Weyerhaeuser employees vote to give union strike authority — About 1,200 Weyerhaeuser Co. employees in Washington and Oregon voted overwhelmingly Thursday to give the regional woodworkers union strike authority, paving the way for a work stoppage if negotiators continue to disagree on terms of a new labor contract. More than 90 percent in favor of strike authority, said Wayne Thompson of the IAM/Woodworkers Local District W24 Lodge. Members voted down the most recent version of a proposed contract by roughly the same margin. The strike vote included ballots from nearly 400 union sawmill and other workers in Longview-based Woodworkers Local 536. Workers from Coos Bay, Ore., to Aberdeen, Wash., also participated in the vote.

► From KCBY — Second person dies after vessel’s line snaps at Port of Longview — A second person died from his injuries after a vessel’s line snapped Thursday morning at the Port of Longview. The Port says Chief Mate Pingshan Li, 41, of China died at Southwest Washington Medical Center just before 10:30 p.m. Thursday. Another man, 34-year-old Byron Jacobs died at the scene after the vessel line snapped in half and recoiled. Another longshoreman and security guard suffered minor injuries.

► From KNKX — Advocates push for stronger measures to protect hotel workers from sexual harassment — Because of the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, hotels have been taking steps to protect their workers from harassment, even before the #MeToo movement. Seattle passed a law in 2016 requiring all hotels to provide housekeepers with panic buttons they can use if they are sexually assaulted, harassed or threatened by a guest.

► In the Tri-City Herald — More Hanford nuclear waste tanks at risk of leaking — More of Hanford’s newest waste storage tanks could be at risk of developing leaks, according to a new evaluation.




► In today’s News Tribune — Just throwing money at Western State Hospital not working (editorial) — Washington taxpayers should be alarmed that the latest inspection by federal Medicare and Medicaid inspectors results in loss of $53 million for Western State Hospital. But collective willpower, not just money, is needed to remake mental health system.




► From APWU — Fired up and ready to go! Contract negotiations begin between the APWU and USPS — With the recent White House proposal to privatize the Postal Service, APWU President and lead negotiator Mark Dimondstein didn’t mince words. “As we enter these negotiations, powerful forces on Wall Street and the likes of UPS continue to push for the breaking up of the postal service and selling pieces off to the highest bidders,” he said, adding that “management should not be afraid of bold and creative thinking and approach these negotiations as an opportunity to discuss various ways to protect and expand the public postal service.”

► From AP — Kentucky GOP cuts dental, vision for nearly 500,000 people — Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration is cutting dental and vision coverage for nearly a half-million Kentuckians after his Medicaid overhaul plan was rejected in court. His administration blamed the cuts on Friday’s ruling by a federal judge who said Kentucky can’t require poor people to get jobs to keep their Medicaid benefits.




► In the Washington Post — An explosion is coming (by Dana Milbank) — The backlash is coming. It is the deserved consequence of minority-rule government protecting the rich over everybody else, corporations over workers, whites over nonwhites and despots over democracies. It will explode, God willing, at the ballot box and not in the streets. You can only ignore the will of the people for so long and get away with it.


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