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Toppenish street heat ● Domestic workers’ rights ● Newhouse punked

Tuesday, July 24, 2018




► In today’s Yakima H-R — Toppenish teachers take to streets; contract offer under consideration — After a third round of contract negotiations Monday afternoon, teachers and administrators in the Toppenish School District are continuing to try to find common ground when it comes to teacher salaries. Before Monday’s negotiations, nearly 80 Toppenish School District teachers and their supporters walked a few blocks from Pioneer Park to the district administration office chanting slogans and holding handmade signs in a show of solidarity for teachers.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Weyco employees reject contract offer, but talks continue — About 1,200 Weyerhaeuser employees with IAM/Woodworkers Local District W24 in Washington and Oregon voted overwhelmingly last week to reject the latest contract offer from the company, but labor talks are still continuing, according to a union source. The workers also voted overwhelmingly last month to give negotiators strike authority. But no strike is planned, and the two sides are still in contact, even though the company’s latest proposed contract was described as its “last, best and final” offer.

► From CrossCut — Seattle is the first city in the nation to protect domestic workers — The Seattle City Council on Monday passed new protections for housecleaners, nannies, gardeners and other “domestic workers,” making Seattle the first municipality to pass such a law, though eight other states do have similar protections on the books. The bill, which passed 7-0, will guarantee certain rights that are already standard among most labor sectors, namely a minimum wage, and rest and lunch breaks. The bill will also forbid employers from withholding workers’ personal effects or documents, such as passports, in an effort to prevent what Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, who spearheaded the legislation, referred to as “indentured servitude.” The new law also protects workers from retaliation for filing complaints.

MORE coverage from The Stranger and the Seattle Times.

► From Bloomberg — Boeing set for ‘excellent’ quarter, investors hungry for detail — Strong deliveries in the second quarter, several strategic deals and a stable cash flow has ensured big returns for Boeing shareholders over the past year, with the stock gaining nearly 67 percent, compared to a 14 percent bump for the rest of the market. While intensifying concerns about a trade war have taken some of the shine off, Boeing is still the biggest gainer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past 12 months.

► From KING 5 — Attack on Burien’s mayor investigated as possible hate crime — A man accused of assaulting Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta on Saturday was reportedly upset about Burien’s sanctuary city policy.




► From The Nation — This Washington state ballot measure fights for both jobs and climate justice — Initiative 1631 represents what some supporters have termed a “Green New Deal,” a policy of economic and racial justice that posits, as its baseline, the need for environmental protections, while committing the state to a more equitable set of economic priorities across the board.

► In today’s News Tribune — Republicans in Gig Harbor-area House races face tough primary challenges — from within their own party — A series of ethics complaints, endorsement battles and attack ads have marked bitter Republican infighting as two incumbent, well-established representatives in the district — Rep. Michelle Caldier (R-Port Orchard) and Rep. Jesse Young (R-Gig Harbor) — try to hold off challengers from within their own ranks. Young has faced attacks for twice breaking ethics rules by campaigning with state resources and for allegations he has mistreated staff.




► From Politico — ‘That was not the deal’: McCarthy, Ryan renege on immigration vow — House GOP leaders are reneging on a vow to hold an immigration vote before the August recess. In June, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) personally promised several rank-and-file members a vote on a new guest-worker program for farmers, an offer backed by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The assurance was critical at the time: It persuaded Reps. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) and Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) not to sign on to an effort to force a vote on legislation creating a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, the immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. The so-called discharge petition ultimately fell two signatures short. But now, Republican leaders have no plans to take up the guest-worker program before the summer break.

► From The Hill — GOP to step up pressure on Trump as trade war intensifies — Frustrated Republican lawmakers plan to step up pressure on President Trump to back off from his aggressive trade policies, which have cast a shadow over the U.S. economy, hurt farmers and prompted some companies to curtail domestic manufacturing.

EDITOR’S NOTE — And yet, they are afraid to do anything about it except complain.

► In today’s NY Times — Tariffs trim a factory’s profit, but loyalty to Trump endures — The workers on the factory floor underscore Trump’s reservoir of blue-collar support — even as he pursues a trade conflict in which key American industrial sectors could be hit. For them, there is still a larger wrong that must be righted.

► From HuffPost — Why some Democrats are spooked by Medicare for all and a jobs guarantee — Over the weekend, at a conference sponsored by Third Way, an organization that describes itself as a champion of “center-left” thinking, several Democrats warned that progressives were dragging the party farther to the left — and, in the process, away from the more moderate voters it needs in order to win back Congress and, eventually, the White House.

► In today’s NY Times — Democrats are moving left. Don’t panic. (by Michelle Goldberg) — Everywhere you look lately, centrists are panicking about the emboldened left. But center-right figures who are momentarily allied with Democrats because they abhor Donald Trump be cheered by the energy that Ocasio-Cortez and others like her are creating. In the midterms, passion is likely to matter more than appeals to an ever-shrinking pool of swing voters.




► From In These Times — “Why we threw Mark Janus a going-away party — but didn’t invite him” — when news broke that Mark Janus was leaving his job to work for the Illinois Policy Institute—a conservative, anti-union think tank that helped take the Janus case to the Supreme Court—members of his union decided to respond with a bit of humor. On Friday, they threw Mark Janus a retirement party, complete with a cake that read, in frosting, “There is no union with ‘u.’” But because they declared it union members-only, the guest of honor was unable to attend.

► From In These Times — How to end the tyranny of the nonunion workplace (by Bill Fletcher, Jr.) — In the 21st century, we need a different sort of union movement: one that actively disrupts the strategy of corporate America and its right-wing populist allies. We must flip the script. In the face of anti-union right-to-work laws and their ilk, organized labor needs to become the public champion of rights at work laws. Such laws protect all workers (not just those in unions). Those rights could include full freedom of association and freedom of speech while at work, and, most centrally, “just cause” provisions against unfair firings.

► From In These Times — Nonunion workers can save unions. We just need to reimagine how we collect dues. (by Shaun Richman) — A workers’ rights system that can be so baldly circumvented by billionaires and soulless corporations is clearly and inalterably broken… Many of the best ideas currently on the table for labor law reform transcend workplace-based contract unionism. The federal policy that would tie all of these reforms together and make them work as a union membership organizing strategy is a dues check-off law, voluntary for workers but mandatory for employers. Workers would be able to make voluntary paycheck contributions to any nonprofit of their choice—including unions.

► In today’s NY Times — Nike will raise wages for thousands after outcry over inequality — More than 7,000 Nike employees will be getting raises after an internal pay review, undertaken after claims of workplace misconduct and discrimination against women, shook the company and forced out several of its top executives.

► In today’s LA Times — Disneyland Resort reaches a tentative contract settlement with workers, ending a heated battle that lasted months — Walt Disney Co. reached a tentative settlement Monday with three unions at the Disneyland Resort, putting an end to a contentious dispute that attracted the attention of Sen. Bernie Sanders and prompted a ballot measure to require the Burbank media giant to pay resort workers a “living wage.”


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