Gonzalez endorsed ● ‘Pissed off’ in Montana ● NLRB vs. union pickets

Tuesday, October 30, 2018




► From the NW News Network — How much will a name help — or hurt — in a race for state Supreme Court? — Six years ago, Steven Gonzalez’s last name likely cost him votes in his first race for the Washington State Supreme Court. He won nonetheless and hopes he can keep the seat as he runs for re-election against an opponent, Nathan Choi, who has raised no money, has no bar ratings and has links on his website to YouTube videos about the “Deep State.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO has enthusiastically endorsed Steven Gonzalez for re-election. (See all the WSLC endorsements here.) Gonzalez’s opponent is unfit to serve.

► From KIRO — Documents appear to contradict Rossi interview on foreclosure knowledge — Accused by Democrats of profiting from others’ misery by buying up foreclosed properties, the real estate investor turned Republican congressional candidate told KIRO TV, “I’ve never done a foreclosure.” However, in 1991, Rossi bought a house in Issaquah that was in foreclosure. Documents show his signature on the $203,000 bank loan he assumed to buy the house and his name on the deed that transferred ownership to him.

► From Reuters — Supreme Court turns away Pennsylvania electoral map dispute — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rebuffed a bid by Republican legislators in Pennsylvania to reinstate a congressional district map struck down by that state’s top court as unlawfully biased in favor of Republicans.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump eyeing executive order to end birthright citizenship, a move most legal experts say runs afoul of the Constitution

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s transparent, frivolous ploy on birthright citizenship (by Aaron Blake) — There is abundant reason to believe this is little but a ploy to fire up his base on the eve of an election.

► From NBC News — Latino group expects 7.8M Hispanics to vote in midterms, up from 2014 — The head of a national Latino organization says that 7.8 million Latinos are expected to vote in this year’s elections, a 15 percent increase over 2014, but lower than in 2016.




► In today’s Seattle Times — ‘We will arise’: Thousands gather in Seattle for vigil mourning Pittsburgh synagogue massacre — Lining the edges of the standing-room-only sanctuary, watching from overflow rooms and singing outside, thousands of people gathered Monday night at Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Capitol Hill to mourn the victims of a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue over the weekend. “We cannot choose our fate, but we can choose how we respond, what we do, who we are and who we strive to be,” Temple De Hirsch Sinai Rabbi Daniel Weiner told the crowd. “So, tonight we mourn. But in the days ahead we will arise from this dark place of loss and fear bearing the light of goodness, justice and truth that is our holy work as Jews.”




► From AP — 11 health insurers to sell 77 plans on individual market — Eleven health insurers have been approved to sell 74 plans next year in the individual health insurance market. State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said Monday that a 13.6 percent average increase was approved, even though health insurers had sought a 19.4 percent average increase.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Inslee picks Spokane woman to pilot state aerospace policy — Robin Toth, the former vice president of business development for Greater Spokane Inc., will begin work Thursday as head of the governor’s Office of Aerospace, which is housed in the state Department of Commerce.




► From Reuters — Defense firms see only hundreds of new U.S. jobs from Saudi mega deal — Every time President Donald Trump mentions the $110 billion arms deal he negotiated with Saudi Arabia last year, he quickly follows up, saying “It’s 500,000 jobs.” But if he means new U.S. defense jobs, an internal document seen by Reuters from Lockheed Martin forecasts fewer than 1,000 positions would be created by the defense contractor, which could potentially deliver around $28 billion of goods in the deal.




► From The Nation — ‘It’s time to get pissed off’: In Montana, a labor standoff has national implications — Despite increasing profits, the French-owned Imerys talc plant in Three Forks, Montana, has banned all union workers from the job site and posted a security detail at the company gates. The lockout began on August 2, six days after Imerys announced revenue of $2.6 billion (an 11.9 percent increase) in the first half of 2018 and the same day union members voted 28-7 to reject a contract that would have reduced overtime pay, frozen pensions, and eliminated health insurance for new retirees… It’s been 38 years since the last labor lockout in Montana, a state that went for Trump by more than 20 points and where the once-powerful labor movement has long been in decline. Nevertheless, a 35-worker local is suddenly winning bipartisan support, and their fight against a $4.2 billion corporation has become a flashpoint in a close election that could determine control of the U.S. Senate.

► In today’s Des Moines Register — State workers’ unions in Iowa overwhelmingly win re-certification — Twenty-one Iowa public employees unions representing state workers for collective bargaining of contracts have all won re-certification elections. The preliminary counts show that state workers overwhelmingly decided they wanted to continue being represented by public employees’ unions. The votes were required by a 2017 law.




► From In These Times — Trump’s NLRB just quietly ruled to make union pickets illegal — An all-Republican panel of President Trump’s National Labor Relation Board recently ruled that janitors in San Francisco violated the law when they picketed in front of their workplace to win higher wages, better working conditions and freedom from sexual harassment in their workplace. The ruling could result in far-reaching restrictions on picketing that limit the ability of labor unions to put public pressure on management. The NLRB reached its conclusion by using the complex and convoluted employment structure created by the janitors’ employers. The janitors were technically employed by one company, Ortiz Janitorial Services, which was subcontracted by another company, Preferred Building Services, to work in the building of a third company. This type of confusing employment relationship is increasingly common, resulting in workers being put in a position where it’s difficult to negotiate higher wages and better working conditions, or protect their basic employment rights.


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

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