A practical solution ● Darigold ‘carnage’ ● Manweller (again)

Monday, September 24, 2018




► In Sunday’s Seattle Times — ‘Big Oil’ vs. clean energy and healthier communities (by Jeff Johnson, Aiko Schaefer and Ken Lans) — This year, we have an opportunity to take our future into our own hands with Initiative 1631. It will clean our air, create good-paying jobs for people all across the state and ensure a healthier future for our kids and grandkids. The three of us represent the largest most diverse initiative coalition Washington has ever seen. We’ll be the first to tell you I-1631 is not a radical groundbreaking policy. It’s a practical solution that puts a fee on the state’s largest polluters and helps make clean energy more affordable for more people across Washington.

► In the News Tribune — Oil companies spending big to defeat initiative that would levy fee on carbon emissions — The oil company Phillips 66 has contributed an additional $3.5 million to defeat I-1631, which would impose a carbon-pollution fee on fossil-fuel emissions. That brings the corporation’s total contributions to the opposition campaign to $7.2 million — almost half of the No on 1631 fundraising that on Wednesday totaled $16 million.




► From The Stranger — Workers are fasting over Darigold’s dangerous working conditions: “The carnage is daily and people need change” — A broad coalition of labor groups, farm workers’ rights groups, and dairy workers started a fast Thursday at Darigold’s offices in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, demanding that the state’s largest dairy company improve working conditions. “Unfortunately, Darigold has yet to hear our calls so as of today we have ceased eating,” said Erik Nicholson, national vice president of the United Farm Workers. “We know nothing more to do to call attention to the dire situation than to fast. This is a fast for reconciliation, it’s time for the state’s dairy farmers to partner with dairy workers, not see them as adversaries or tools that they can throw out when they are done with.” The workers claim the company is allowing sexual harassment, wage theft, unsafe working conditions, and employee retaliation at its member dairies.

ALSO at The Stand:

Help bus workers to Darigold as they kick off 5-day protest, fast

Seattle council calls on Darigold to protect state’s dairy workers

Darigold Dozen will be fasting for all dairy workers

► From The Stranger — UW offers employees half off transit passes after workers’ demonstration — On Wednesday, approximately 200 people representing a number of different unions shut down traffic for 15 minutes near the intersection of Montlake and Pacific. The unions want the University of Washington to provide free transit passes to UW employees in an effort to combat climate change and to reduce projected gridlock. The pressure appears to be working. UAW 4121 says UW is prepared to offer employees half off its U-PASS, which would reduce its price from $50 per month to $25 per month. The union hasn’t accepted the offer as of now and will continue to push.

ALSO at The Stand — UW unions rallying to urge free transit for employees

► In the Tri-City Herald — Oxarc, Teamsters settle sick leave dispute — Spokane-based Oxarc Inc. has settled a dispute over sick leave with 25 drivers who haul hazardous materials at the company’s Pasco, Spokane and Yakima locations. Drivers represented by Teamsters Locals 839, 690 and 760 voted in June to authorize their first-ever strike as contract negotiations bogged down over a proposed reduction in sick days.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Non-teaching staff in Kitsap schools ask: ‘What about us?’ — Classified (non-teaching) school staff — paraeducators, secretaries, bus drivers, custodians — have seen teachers in Bremerton and throughout Kitsap County get double-digit pay raises, and they have just one question: What about us?

► In today’s Daily News — Kelso’s recovery from 2015 teacher strike may guide Longview — The Kelso School District and Kelso teachers reached a quick contract agreement providing teachers an 8.5 percent pay hike this year while strikes and contentious negotiations occurred in Longview and other school districts across the state




► From the NW News Network — Rep. Matt Manweller accused of underage relationship with former student — A former Idaho high school student of embattled Washington legislator and longtime educator Rep. Matt Manweller (R-Cle Elum) says she had a sexual relationship with him beginning after she graduated in 1997, when she was 17 years old and he was a decade her senior. Under Idaho state law at the time, sex between an adult male and a female younger than 18 constituted statutory rape.

► In the Seattle Times — GOP leaders call for state Rep. Matt Manweller to resign after latest sexual misconduct allegation — House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox said in a statement Friday evening that he was saddened and disappointed by the allegation. “What Matt did was wrong,” Wilcox said. “Our Leadership team has asked Matt to resign from his position as state representative. Our entire caucus will discuss this issue early next week.”

► In the Seattle Times — What in the world was Sen. Ericksen doing in Cambodia? (by Melissa Santos) — State Sen. Doug Ericksen projects a surprisingly rosy view of the recent election in Cambodia, which the U.S. government and many others have condemned as unfair and undemocratic. What’s his deal?

► In today’s Seattle Times — Lawmaker out of order to approve of a sham foreign election (editorial) — Washington state lawmakers should not be lending a false veneer of respectability to Cambodia’s recent national election, which most outside observers have decried as a sham. This is far more insidious than it may seem at first glance. The very presence of elected lawmakers from the United States serving as election monitors contradicts our government’s official message that the Cambodian election was not democratic.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Delegates representing the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO’s affiliated unions have voted to endorse Erickson’s opponent, Pinky Vargas, in this fall’s election.




► In today’s NY Times — Christine Blasey Ford reaches deal to testify at Kavanaugh hearing — The woman who has accused Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers has committed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, setting up a potentially explosive confrontation unlike any seen in decades with the future of the Supreme Court at stake.

► In the New Yorker — Senate Democrats investigate a new allegation of sexual misconduct, from Brett Kavanaugh’s college years

► From HuffPost — White House responds to 2nd Kavanaugh accuser by attacking her

► From TPM — GOPers knew about new allegation last week, tried to rush confirmation vote

EDITOR’S NOTE — As Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweets: “If Republicans have blocked an FBI investigation, bullied Dr. Ford, & tried to “plow right through” & put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court — all while holding onto credible information about a second sexual misconduct claim — then this isn’t a confirmation. It’s a cover-up.”

► From Vox — Brett Kavanaugh and the Supreme Court’s looming legitimacy crisis (by Zack Beauchamp) — The American public has long had a deep and abiding faith in the Supreme Court as the last say in our public legal disputes. But in recent years, the public has soured somewhat on the Court. Now experts say the political firestorm surrounding Kavanaugh’s nomination could tip this trend toward a full-blown crisis.




► From Politico — House GOP rushes to adjourn by Friday — With the Supreme Court drama dominating the headlines, House Republican leaders are quietly preparing to adjourn at the end of this week until after the midterm elections, giving rank-and-file GOP lawmakers nearly 40 days at home to try to save their endangered majority.

► From Bloomberg — Internal GOP poll: ‘We’ve lost the messaging battle’ on tax cuts — A survey commissioned by the Republican National Committee has led the party to a glum conclusion regarding President Donald Trump’s signature legislative achievement: Voters overwhelmingly believe his tax overhaul helps the wealthy instead of average Americans.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Alternate headline: “People aren’t buying it.”




► From WGN — Deal brings partial resolution to Chicago hotel strike — A hotel workers union says a new contract with Marriott International has been ratified, bringing partial resolution to a strike that began two weeks ago in Chicago.

► In the Chicago Tribune — Chicago hotel strike takes step toward resolution with Marriott contract, union says — Striking hotel workers ratified a contract with Marriott International, the union said Thursday. The pact could pave the way for a resolution of the 2-week-old work stoppage at more than two dozen Chicago hotels. “Marriott signing just puts a lot of pressure on the other companies,” UNITE HERE Local 1 union organizer Jairo Nunez yelled through a bullhorn outside the Hyatt Regency, as picketing workers paused their banging and chanting to cheer the news. “This is proof that we can do it, so we have to keep fighting.”

► In today’s LA Times — Disneyland Resort hotel workers approve a new contract with a $15-an-hour minimum wage — After months of demonstrations and protests, hotel workers at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim overwhelmingly approved a contract that boosts hourly salaries by at least 40% over two years and clears the way for staff to get bonuses that were promised last year.


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