Freedom’s funds ● Putin’s pal ● Where are the raises?

Tuesday, July 17, 2018




► From KNKX — Teachers in Washington state are getting fliers urging them to stop paying union dues — Across the state, teachers’ unions are trying to negotiate pay increases for their members. At the same time, a conservative group is telling teachers they can get that extra compensation without paying any union dues. Teachers in the Puget Sound region have received mailings recently from the Olympia-based Freedom Foundation telling them they don’t have to financially support a union. “Most of the people that I’ve talked to have kind of laughed about it,” said Grant Ruby, a high school math teacher in Tacoma. The Freedom Foundation doesn’t disclose who its funders are, but tax filings show the group has gotten financial support indirectly from wealthy conservatives such as Charles Koch.

► From Truthout — Inside the Koch family’s 60-year anti-union campaign that gave us ‘Janus’ — With last month’s monumental Janus decision by the Supreme Court, the Koch family won a major victory in their multi-generational attack on unions. The ruling spreads to the entire public sector one of the laws the Koch fortune first helped push through in Kansas 60 years ago: “right-to-work.” And in doing so it enshrines the union-busting agenda their fossil fuel money has helped advance for decades. Through a single vote, the Court’s 5-4 Janus decision reverses decades of legal precedent that had obstructed part of the Koch’s pro-corporate agenda.




► In the Charleston Post-Courier — Report or no report, South Carolina confident it can compete for Boeing’s 797 — Officials in the Evergreen State recently issued a study that shows — surprise — that Washington would be the best place to build the 797. The study, conducted by Teal Group aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia, was based on factors important to aerospace manufacturers, such as availability of a skilled workforce, taxes and global connectivity. South Carolina has no plans to conduct its own study, choosing instead to pick apart the flaws in the Washington report.

ALSO at The Stand — Washington #1 state (by far) to build new Boeing jet, study says

► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing predicts strong growth in world’s airplane fleet, looking past near-term uncertainties — Boeing unveiled its annual 20-year forecast for the airplane business at the Farnborough Air Show on Tuesday, reaffirming its very positive view in the ninth consecutive year of a soaring aviation market.




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Feds say it can’t wait. High-risk radioactive Hanford tunnel needs filling now. — The Department of Energy wants to start stabilizing a Hanford tunnel filled with highly radioactive waste that is at risk of collapse without waiting for more public comments. Work needs to start in a few weeks to finish before winter, the department said.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Progress reported in contract talks between Seattle and police officers’ union — Neither the city nor the police officers’ union is allowed to discuss the confidential talks, which come as Mayor Jenny Durkan nears the selection of Seattle’s next police chief.




► In the (Everett) Herald — In Everett, anxiety and fear over ongoing health care fight — People with costly conditions told Sen. Maria Cantwell they fear losing insurance without Obamacare.

► In today’s Seattle Times — State Senate panel approves new office to investigate harassment complaints — A Washington state Senate task force is recommending hiring a human-resources officer to receive and investigate complaints of harassment or inappropriate behavior for that legislative chamber. The proposal comes in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

► In the (Everett) Herald — Ruling pours cold water on jail employees’ free hot meals — The state Public Employment Relations Commission reversed an earlier ruling for union members.




► In today’s NY Times — Trump, at Putin’s side, questions U.S. intelligence on 2016 election — President Trump stood next to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Monday and publicly challenged the conclusion of his own intelligence agencies that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election, wrapping up what he called a “deeply productive” summit meeting with an extraordinary show of trust for a leader accused of attacking American democracy.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s defense of Putin finds few supporters in Congress

► In today’s Seattle Times — Rep. Adam Smith: Hard to see Trump’s summit conduct ‘as anything other than treason’

► From Q13 — Some local GOP lawmakers in Congress break with Trump over Russia election meddling — Reps. Dave Reichert and Cathy McMorris Rodgers criticize the president. Reps. Jamie Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse do not.

► From Politico — Conservative group drops another $1.4 million to confirm Kavanaugh — The group’s ad buy this week will bring its total spending to $3.8 million. The latest batch of ads will target four Democratic senators from conservative states on national cable and broadcast networks in their home markets: Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Doug Jones of Alabama.

► In today’s SF Chronicle — Ruling over killer whale attack reflects Kavanaugh’s view of workplace regulations — When a killer whale drowned and dismembered a trainer at a SeaWorld park in Florida in 2010, federal labor officials fined the park $12,000 and required protective measures — over the objection of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who predicted in a written opinion that the next step would be a ban on tackling in pro football.

► From Reuters — U.S. judge suspends deportations of reunited immigrant families — A federal judge temporarily barred the U.S. government on Monday from the rapid deportation of immigrant parents reunited with their children, while a court considers the impact on children’s rights to seek asylum.

► From Roll Call — AFL-CIO chief warns ‘Red to Blue’ candidates that being a Democrat isn’t enough — “I don’t have to tell you that you can’t count on the D next to your name to gain our support,” Trumka told Democratic leadership and a room full of candidates on Red to Blue, the DCCC’s program for its strongest candidates.

► From the Fiscal Times — Corporate tax cuts don’t boost incomes for majority of Americans: study — Researchers found that the Republican corporate tax cuts provide no income boost for workers making less than $200,000 per year. They do, however, raise incomes for the small number of earners above that income level. The combined effect makes income inequality worse, the authors found.




► In the NY Times — Paychecks lag as profits soar, and prices erode wage gains — Corporate profits have rarely swept up a bigger share of the nation’s wealth, and workers have rarely shared a smaller one. The lopsided split is especially pronounced given how low the official unemployment rate has sunk. Throughout the recession and much of its aftermath, when many Americans were grateful to receive a paycheck instead of a pink slip, jobs and raises were in short supply. Now, complaints of labor shortages are as common as tweets. For the first time in a long while, workers have some leverage to push for more.

► From The Atlantic — Forced labor is the backbone of the world’s electronics industry — The electronics industry — Malaysia’s largest manufacturing sector, which makes everything from semiconductors to TVs to computer keyboards — accounts for over 36 percent of the country’s exports and a quarter of its employment. United States electronics companies have invested billions in their Malaysian operations to date.

► In the Seattle Times — Bill Gates among billionaires fueling charter-school movement across U.S. and here in Washington — Dollar for dollar, the beleaguered movement to bring charter schools to Washington state has had no bigger champion than billionaire Bill Gates. The Microsoft co-founder gave millions of dollars to see a charter school law approved despite multiple failed ballot referendums. And his private foundation not only helped create the Washington State Charter Schools Association, but has at times contributed what amounts to an entire year’s worth of revenues for the 5-year-old charter advocacy group.

► From Reuters — Exxon Mobil joins exodus of firms from lobbying group ALEC — Exxon Mobil said on Thursday it ended its association with the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative political group that several other prominent U.S. corporations have left in recent years.




► “Belabored” from Disssent magazine — The future of collective action (podcast) — Organizers representing teachers, housekeepers, graduate students, and airline workers discuss union power in the wake of the Janus decision.

► “The Daily” from the NY Times — The rampant problem of pregnancy discrimination (podcast) — A New York Times investigation finds that pregnancy discrimination is systematic and pervasive inside America’s biggest companies. This two-part series from “The Daily” examines the ways in which pregnant women are sidelined at work, passed over for promotions and fired when they complain.


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

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