Wednesday, September 26, 2018
► In today’s Columbian — Teachers strikes: 3 questions after the dust has settled — It’s been about a week since the dust has settled on teacher strikes across Washington state. This year’s heated negotiation season, which began and remained centered in Clark County for several weeks, resulted in double-digit percentage increases for many teachers. Teachers have described the months on the picket lines and the resulting raises as life-changing, and one of the best opportunities to collaborate with their fellow teachers they’ve ever had.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Change YOUR life! If you want fair wages, better benefits and/or respect at work, contact a union organizer today about how you can join together with your co-workers to negotiate for a life-changing union contract.
► In the Centralia Chronicle — Centralia School Board to vote on teacher contracts Wednesday
EDITOR’S NOTE — After this story was posted, the district announced that the board meeting will be at 5 p.m. at the Centralia Middle School Commons.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Students march to City Hall to protest shuffling of teachers among Seattle schools — Students at Nova High School say teacher displacements in Seattle schools will deal a severe blow to alternative schools that serve small, concentrated populations of vulnerable students.
► From CrossCut — Seattle students protest as district shuffles teachers — Students at Nova High School say because of its small size — serving approximately 270 students — and majority-LGBTQ student population, Nova will be disproportionately affected by the district’s plan.
► In the People’s World — Hanford nuke workers win health and safety deal — Union workers, who have been repeatedly exposed to toxic chemicals as they toil to clean up the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, won a victory last week. The U.S. Department of Energy signed an agreement to install catalytic scrubbers to remove poisonous vapors leaking from more than 700 tanks filled with radioactive wastes.
► In today’s News Tribune — 600 aerospace jobs are coming to Sumner, and hiring has begun — AIM Aerospace, an advanced carbon fiber manufacturing company with locations in Sumner, Renton and Auburn, is moving its Auburn location to Sumner, bringing 600 jobs with it. Before the transition, there were about 334 employees at the 100,000-square-foot AIM Aerospace location at 1516 Fryar Ave in Sumner.
► In today’s News Tribune — Need work? UPS says 300 seasonal jobs available at its Tacoma facility
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — No new taxes, no layoffs, play nice — the next county budget — The county executive hopes for smoother deliberations than last year, when the council scrapped his spending plan.
► In today’s NY Times — Trump unleashes on Kavanaugh accuser as key Republican wavers — President Trump assailed the latest woman to accuse Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, saying on Tuesday that she “has nothing” because she was “messed up” at the time, even as a key Republican senator urged colleagues to take the accusations seriously. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Republican leadership said that it had retained an outside counsel — Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the majority leader, called her a “female assistant” — to aid in Thursday’s hearing to question Judge Kavanaugh’s first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a crucial Republican swing vote, offered a blunt warning: Do not prejudge sexual assault allegations against the nominee.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Speaking of prejudgment…
► From CNBC — Brett Kavanaugh is hard to believe (by John Harwood) — Brett Kavanaugh unequivocally denies allegations of sexual misconduct two women have made against him. No one who wasn’t there can know with certainty what’s true. But President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has gone beyond simply denying those allegations about his behavior more than 30 years ago. In the process, Kavanaugh has deepened questions about his present-day credibility — a bedrock requirement for the lifetime job he now seeks.
► In today’s Washington Post — Kavanaugh’s ‘choir boy’ image on Fox interview rankles former Yale classmates — Some of the Supreme Court nominee’s former classmates took issue with Brett Kavanaugh’s description of his younger self as a churchgoer and focused student, saying they knew him as a heavy drinker.
► From The Olympian — Silent anti-Kavanaugh protest moves through state Senate offices (video)
► From The Stranger — Wenatchee World publisher equates sexual assault to blaming someone for lost keys — Jeff Ackerman made a “humorous” list of 10 questions he thinks we’ll need to screen the next person nominated to serve on the Supreme Court if Kavanaugh withdraws or doesn’t get confirmed. The joke rests on the premise that shoving your d— in someone’s face or attempting to rape someone is the same as opening a present before Christmas, losing keys and blaming someone else, and drinking alcohol underage. So Monday morning, over 100 people stood in front of The Wenatchee World in protest of Ackerman trivializing Ford’s and Ramirez’s stories.
► From CNN — How Trump’s new definition of ‘public charge’ will affect immigrants — The Trump administration is seeking to give itself broad latitude to reject immigrants if they have too little income and education, which could effectively impose a merit-based immigration system without an act of Congress. But immigration advocates say it goes far beyond what Congress intended and will discriminate against those from poorer countries, keep families apart and prompt legal residents to forgo needed public aid, which could also impact their U.S. citizen children.
► In today’s Washington Post — U.S. all but certain to miss weekend deadline to include Canada in three-way NAFTA deal — The Trump administration appears virtually certain to miss its self-imposed weekend deadline for reaching an agreement with Canada on a new North American trade deal. A downbeat U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer said Tuesday that negotiators are “sort of running out of time” to include Canada in the trade deal with Mexico, which was finalized last month.
► In today’s Washington Post — ‘People actually laughed at a president’: At U.N. speech, Trump suffers the fate he always feared — The embarrassing exchange came when Trump boasted that his administration had accomplished more over two years than “almost any administration” in American history, eliciting audible guffaws in the cavernous chamber hall.
► From WUWM — Analyst finds Gov. Scott Walker may have cost Wisconsin 80,000 jobs — When Gov. Scott Walker mounted his first gubernatorial campaign he made a bold claim: that during his first term as governor he would create 250,000 jobs for Wisconsinites. He is just now nearing that figure after nearly two terms on the job. Most economists believe that governors have a limited impact on how many jobs are created in a given state. That being said, local economist Bruce Thompson believes Walker’s policies may have actually resulted in a loss of 80,000 jobs in Wisconsin.
► From The Hill — Poll: Walker trails challenger by 7 points in Wisconsin
► In the Milwaukee J-S — AFL-CIO’s Trumka: ‘On November 6 we’re going to have one hell of a party — a Scott Walker retirement party’ — He indicated that the party would see labor gather at a union hotel and thank Walker for bringing it together. “And then we’re going to put his sorry ass on a bus and send him back to Koch land where he belongs,” Trumka said.
► From TPM — 1.4 million Floridians could regain their right to vote on Election Day — Florida is one of four states with a constitution that permanently disenfranchises residents with felony records. A proposal to change that is on the ballot.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Amazon warehouse workers say the company is quietly doling out small raises — Employees around the country say they’ve received hourly raises between 25 and 55 cents in the past week. One worker, in San Bernardino, California, says the 40-cent bump to $13.15 an hour is the first raise he has received since he began working at the company four years ago. Like the other Amazon workers in this report, he spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. “It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough at all,” the worker said. “The HR manager in the room was like, ‘Aren’t you excited? Come on, clap!’ We started a slow clap, with no emotions on our faces. A 3 percent raise in four years — it feels like damage control.”
► From Fast Company — Google’s Eric Schmidt accidentally discovers labor unions — Yesterday, extremely rich technology executive Eric Schmidt tweeted that he wanted to figure out ways to increase the wages of lower-income and middle-class people. In his own words, he said he wanted to discover a “unicorn for the middle class.” At first glance, this may seem honorable. The Google veteran sees stagnating wages as a huge problem (which is true) and intends to help fix it. The tweet, however, conveniently omits a few things. Schmidt omitted the fact that organizations like labor unions already exist to lift conditions for workers and ensure adequate employee compensation. Though he seems to have overlooked this, others on Twitter did not. And the replies to Schmidt’s tweet garnered the exact kind of response you would expect.
Schmidt’s tweet speaks to a huge blind spot that nearly every technology billionaire seems to have. They see societal problems as things that need to be fixed by some newfangled overlay–and not symptomatic of an erosion of systems already in place. Tech companies have long fought to make sure their companies were not unionized. The industry has become known for its averseness to the employee-advocating organizations. Yet data overwhelmingly shows that as union membership has gone down over the last few decades, so too has overall compensation for lower-income and middle-class workers.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.