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Get a union! ● Golf vs. shutdown ● Politicians suppress your pay

Tuesday, December 18, 2018




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Most Snohomish County workers get contract extension — The Snohomish County Council approved a two-year contract extension Monday covering most county employees. The agreement grants a raise of 3 percent in 2019 and 2.5 percent in 2020.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Most Americans say they didn’t get a raise this year. If you didn’t… get a union! Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hard to understand documents may be costing sick Hanford workers — More than 4,000 previously denied claims in a federal compensation program for ill workers at nuclear sites like Hanford were approved in recent years. But the number might have been higher if those filing claims had information about refiling claims that was easier to understand, according to a GAO report recently released.

ALSO at The Stand — Hanford suit called a ‘depraved action’ by Trump administration —  Trump Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit to block the state from enforcing new legislation to address the nearly insurmountable barriers that workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation face when they get sick due to toxic exposure and seek relief via the workers’ compensation system.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing has its eye on 58 acres on west side of Paine Field — The aerospace giant is entering into a lease option for 58 acres set aside for a business park on the Mukilteo side of the Snohomish County-owned airport. It’s unclear what the aerospace giant has in mind. The company has a year to draw up plans.




► From The AP — Senate investigating allegations against state Sen. Kevin Ranker — The state Senate is conducting an outside investigation into Democratic Sen. Kevin Ranker following allegations of improper conduct, the first test of the chamber’s new workplace policies adopted in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — WSDOT says it’s on track for train safety deadline — Amtrak and state transportation officials say they’ve completed installation of a new train control system that could have prevented a fatal accident a year ago today near Tacoma.




► From the Washington Post — Top Republicans struggle to persuade Trump not to shut down the government — Congressional Republicans struggled Monday to find a way to persuade Trump to back off a public threat to shut down the government over border wall money, staying largely in the dark over the impasse that could halt pay for hundreds of thousands of federal workers by the end of the week.

► From HuffPost — White House nightmare: Trump golfs while his Secret Service agents work without pay — Unless Congress and Trump act, the Department of Homeland Security and other key government agencies will run out of money at midnight Friday while Trump is scheduled to fly that day to his Mar-a-Lago resort for a 16-day vacation. But he loves his golf, so that might mean no shutdown.

EDITOR’S NOTE — And just like that…

► BREAKING from Washington Post — White House says it wants to avoid government shutdown, will find other ways to fund border wall — The White House wants to avoid a partial government shutdown and has found other ways to get the border wall President Trump is demanding, spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Tuesday. Trump has been demanding $5 billion from Congress for his border wall, which Democrats refuse to give. She said the White House was exploring other funding sources and believed it could be legally done.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Speaking of $5 billion…

► From Politico — Trump offering farmers extra $4.9 billion in trade relief — The Trump administration announced Monday a second and “final” round of trade aid for farmers and ranchers burned by retaliatory tariffs, including roughly $4.9 billion in additional direct payments for certain commodity producers.

► From Stars & Stripes — Group urges White House, VA to reject resurfaced proposal cutting disabled, unemployed veterans’ benefits — A new report suggests removing approximately 235,000 disabled veterans from a VA program called Individual Unemployability in 2020. Veterans removed from the program would see their monthly incomes decrease by an average of $1,300.

► From The Hill — Flynn sentencing marks keystone moment in Mueller investigation — Michael Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser who began cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation about a year ago, will be sentenced Tuesday for lying to the FBI.

EDITOR’S NOTE — As he was saying…




► In the Washington Post — Politicians have caused a pay ‘collapse’ for the bottom 90 percent of workers, researchers say — Political decisions by elected officials are largely responsible for a “collapse in pay for the bottom 90 percent” of the labor market since 1979, according to a new analysis of wage stagnation by the Economic Policy Institute. While many economists pin much of the blame for wage stagnation on impersonal market forces, such as free trade and technological change, the EPI contends that specific policy decisions — including efforts to weaken unions, the decay of the minimum wage and monetary policy that prioritizes low inflation over full employment — are responsible for tilting the balance of power away from workers and toward their employers. By their calculations, that shift in power cost the bottom 90 percent of wage earners $1.53 trillion in income in 2015 alone, or $10,800 for every American household.

► From the AFL-CIO — UAW releases 2019 union-made vehicle buying guide — No matter when you are buying a new vehicle or for what purpose, you have the opportunity to use this substantial buying power to support working people. The UAW releases a guide every year that lets consumers know which cars are union-made in America. Check out this year’s list.




► In the Seattle Times — 8 million people work illegally in the U.S., and here’s why that’s unlikely to change — They make beds in inns across the country. They pick oranges in Florida, strawberries in California, vegetables in Ohio and apples in Washington. And they have built new subdivisions in Phoenix, Atlanta and Charlotte. For years, policymakers have talked about shutting off the influx of undocumented workers. But the economy has grown to rely on them. Ending illegal immigration, say many of those who have studied the issue, could mean that American workers would lose their jobs, companies would close and the economy would contract.


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

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!