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Bohemia-to-B.C. bullet ● Sticking with the union ● Wheelbarrow cares

Tuesday, October 9, 2018




► In today’s Seattle Times — NHL Seattle announces future three-rink, 180,000-square-foot practice facility at Northgate Mall — The facility is expected to cost more than $70 million in private funds.

ALSO at The Stand — New $700 million Seattle Center arena will be union built, run

► In today’s (Aberdeen) Daily World — Votes pending on Monte teachers’ contract — Negotiators for the Montesano School District and Montesano Education Association have a handshake agreement on a contract for teachers.

► In today’s Wenatchee World — Chelan County and union negotiate contracts — Chelan County is updating the salary schedule for all its employees, but union representatives say they are being left out of the process.

► In today’s Daily News — Pre-apprenticeship ‘fills a gap’ in Longview students’ career options — The Longview School District is leading the charge in Southwest Washington to offer its students a fast track into the trades.




► In today’s Oregonian — Bullet train from Portland to Vancouver, B.C.? Oregon, Washington, Canada are talking — High-level transportation officials from each will meet Tuesday for a second discussion this year about what a so-called ultra-high-speed rail line connecting the three cities would look like. According to an initial report from the Washington Department of Transportation released in February, the Cascadia route could cost $25 billion to more than $40 billion to build. Who would pay for the mega project remains unclear, but it could be a public-private partnership. According to an economic feasibility analysis, paid for by Microsoft and published earlier this year, the plan could create 38,000 construction jobs for a decade, driving an estimated $29 billion in labor income. The analysis indicated the rail network would require a workforce of 3,000 employees to operate.




► In the Wall Street Journal — AFL-CIO’s Trumka is optimistic about the midterms — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said progressives have been working together to oust anti-labor Republicans. “There’s been this real upsurge in collective action where people say the political system isn’t working for me, the economic system isn’t working for me, so how am I going to make change?” Trumka said. “They’ve worked with each other.”

► In today’s LA Times — With the midterm election a month away, Trump seeks to keep Republican anger high — President Trump and his party have embarked on an effort to keep conservative anger fresh, even at the potential cost of further alienating some women voters.




► From The Hill — Senate Dems to force vote this week to overrule Trump Obamacare change, protect those with pre-existing conditions — Democrats are planning to force a vote in the Senate this week on overturning a Trump administration rule expanding non-ObamaCare insurance plans. The Democratic resolution, which will likely get a vote on Wednesday, would overturn a rule finalized in August that expanded the availability of short-term health insurance plans. Democrats decry the plans as “junk” insurance because they do not need to cover pre-existing conditions or follow other ACA rules.

► From HuffPost — Trump’s new NAFTA shows what he really cares about (by Zach Carter) — As with most of Donald Trump’s trade proclamations, the president’s threats and boasts on NAFTA have obscured a policy agenda that generally reproduces the outrages overseen by the last four presidents. It’s an agreement with Mexico and Canada that has generous protections for Republican-aligned industries, including Big Pharma and fossil fuel polluters; no meaningful environmental protections; weak consumer safeguards; and no mechanism to enforce the moderately improved labor standards contemplated by the deal.

ALSO at The Stand — NAFTA 2018: Devil’s in the unknown details (by Lynne Dodson)




► In today’s Seattle Times — Workers rally amid White House push for postal changes — Postal workers and their supporters spent part of the Columbus Day holiday protesting what they see as a White House push to make the U.S. Postal Service private. Workers rallied and carried signs reading “U.S. Mail, Not For Sale” and “We Belong To The People, Not Corporate America.” In Washington, D.C., APWU President Mark Dimondstein told a crowd that privatization will mean less service and higher costs to taxpayers.

► In the Connecticut Post — State workers loyal to unions despite right to end dues — After 28 years as an account clerk for the city of New Haven, 28 years as a member in good standing at AFSCME Local 884, Dolores Robinson decided to stop paying dues. Then she had a long conversation with Jody Barr, the new executive director of AFSCME Council 4, which represents 30,000 state and municipal employees in Connecticut. She came around. “I said, ‘What am I doing?’ It was wrong. It was just greedy,” said Robinson, who works at the city police department. “If I did this and everyone else did this … that’s going to bust our union.” Robinson’s story has pretty much held up across the state and the nation in the three months since the Janus decision. Observers figured public employee unions would see defections ranging from a few percent in union-friendly states such as Connecticut to a quarter or more of all members in some places as anti-union groups prodded them to drop out. So far, that hasn’t happened. In Connecticut at least, defections amount to a tiny trickle — just a fraction of 1 percent in most cases.

► In today’s NY Times — Why some Amazon workers are fuming about their raise — In Amazon warehouses across the country, many longtime workers are fuming that — based on the information they have received so far — they may end up making thousands of dollars less a year. Yes, Amazon is increasing wages, which will benefit most employees. But it will no longer give out new stock options and monthly bonuses. Some workers believe that means their total compensation will shrink.

► From NBC News — Trump’s tariffs have already cost Ford $1 billion; now it’s planning layoffs — A recent report by Morgan Stanley estimates “a global headcount reduction of approximately 12 percent,” or 24,000 of Ford’s 202,000 workers worldwide.

► In the Seattle Times — Tech workers with ethics concerns now want to know: What are we building this for? — Across the technology industry — from Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Salesforce, to tech startups — rank-and-file employees are demanding greater insight into how their companies are deploying the technology that they build.




► In today’s LA Times — Let’s stop pretending that corporations have any ‘values’ beyond making money (by David Lazarus) — “It makes no more sense to attribute values to a corporation than to a wheelbarrow,” said University of Minnesota professor Ian Maitland. “The corporation has been designed to maximize profit and, as if by an invisible hand, thereby to increase our welfare. If we believe that there are other values far greater than profit, then fine, let’s start nonprofits.” … This kabuki play of corporate values is little more than feel-good propaganda, which may be beneficial from a team-building or marketing perspective, but has nothing to do with a business’ day-to-day operations. There’s nothing wrong with making money or the pursuit of profit. What’s wrong is pretending you have loftier goals in mind.


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