Wednesday, January 9, 2019
► From HuffPost — TSA union warns of ‘massive security risk’ as some officers quit amid shutdown — “Every day I’m getting calls from my members about their extreme financial hardships and need for a paycheck,” said Hydrick Thomas, AFGE’s TSA Council president. “Some of them have already quit and many are considering quitting the federal workforce because of this shutdown. The loss of officers, while we’re already shorthanded, will create a massive security risk for American travelers since we don’t have enough trainees in the pipeline or the ability to process new hires.”
► In the LA Daily Post — AFL-CIO: Veterans among hardest hit with shutdown — “It is disgraceful that an estimated 248,400 veterans across the country are not receiving paychecks because of dysfunction in Washington, D.C.,” said AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council Executive Director Will Attig. “Our veterans who continue to serve by protecting our borders, guarding prisoners and stopping terrorist attacks at airport do not deserve to be used as political pawns.”
► In the Philadelphia Inquirer — Federal workers rally in Philly to protest shutdown — About 200 federal employees, union leaders, and supporters rallied in front of the Liberty Bell on Tuesday morning to protest the partial government shutdown and pay freeze. They carried bare-bones signs made from torn pieces of cardboard — “I’d rather be working for the greater good,” one read — and spoke of not being able to pay their bills, of feeling like pawns, of feeling disrespected.
FROM THE CALENDAR at The Stand — Federal employees and their supporters will Rally to Stop the Shutdown on Friday, Jan. 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sea-Tac International Airport Flag Pavilion. Stay tuned for more details.
► From the Hill — Air traffic control association leader: Shutdown ‘ripple effect’ may last years — NATCA’s Andrew LeBovidge: “We are already in a critically staffed situation, and with the shutdown, the (FAA) training pipeline has been cut short and there is no relief in sight. Training has stopped… and we will feel the ripple effects of the lack of personnel for months if not years to come.”
► In the Detroit News — Shutdown shows America’s devalued workforce (by Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber) — The partial shutdown of the federal government has impacted roughly 800,000 federal employees. None of these workers are receiving the paycheck their families depend on at this time. Worse yet, more than half of them are expected to not only continue working, but in many cases work mandatory overtime. Those who are required to work without pay are on the frontlines of public safety, performing jobs as correctional officers, Border Patrol and ICE agents, and transportation security officers. They are putting themselves in harm’s way to protect our nation, and not getting paid for it.
► From Politico — Trump and lawmakers face off in breakneck shutdown talks — But both sides are showing little signs of moving from their dug-in positions on Trump’s border wall demands.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — End the government shutdown: Call your U.S. senators now! — Putting people back to work must be the highest and only priority of the Senate. Each day this manufactured crisis continues, real families with real bills are hurt and millions of people are denied the vital government services we deserve. Politicians need to do their job and allow us to do ours. Please take a moment to call your senator and urge them to reopen the federal government now.
► In today’s NY Times — Trump escalates border wall fight in speech to the nation
► In today’s Washington Post — Fact-checking President Trump’s Oval Office address on immigration — Over the course of his nine-minute speech, Trump painted a misleading and bleak picture of the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border. He pumped up some numbers, exaggerated the public safety risks of immigration and repeated false claims regarding how to fund a border wall.
► From HuffPost — Zero lawmakers from border districts support Trump’s wall
► In today’s Washington Post — Divisions grow within GOP over Trump’s shutdown strategy — Vice President Pence scrambled to get House Republicans to stand with Trump, but dissension was evident over whether to declare a national emergency.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington’s Republican members of Congress — Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Jaime Herrera Beutler, and Dan Newhouse — have all supported Trump’s effort to maintain the shutdown until he gets $5.6 billion for a border wall. They all voted NO on appropriations bills to reopen the government. All seven Washington Democrats in the House voted YES to reopening the federal government.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Federal shutdown could delay Paine Field passenger flights — The FAA says furloughs at the agency might postpone the final decision on Everett airline service.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — How the shutdown affects WSU, Mount Rainier, wheat farmers and more— The effects could be felt beyond the roughly 6,100 federal employees who live and work in the Spokane metro area and North Idaho.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Dear newspaper editorial boards:
The government has been partially shut down for nearly three weeks dramatically affecting your readers who work for the federal government and your readers who rely on their essential services. And yet, our state’s newspapers have been conspicuously silent on this major issue. Why? Seems like something you might want to weigh in on.
The Entire Staff of The Stand
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — These Tri-Cities school workers may strike — Kennewick School District paraeducators, cashiers and licensed practical nurses are headed toward a possible strike over pay. The workers agreed at a meeting Tuesday night to hold a strike vote on Jan. 17. “We reviewed the district’s ‘best, last, and final offer,’ and it simply does not reflect a livable wage,” said Brandy Strait, a Kennewick paraeducator and co-president of the local union chapter. “Most paraeducators in the Kennewick School District won’t make even $17 an hour during their entire career. Our employer is simply refusing to support us.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing hits a new jet delivery record, just missing its 2018 target — Boeing Commercial built and delivered 806 airplanes last year, up from the previous record of 763 jets a year earlier. And the jet maker won net new orders for 893 airplanes.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee proposes ‘public option’ health-insurance plan for Washington — The proposal is geared in part to help stabilize the Health Benefit Exchange, which has wrestled with double-digit premium increases and attempts by Republicans in Congress and Trump to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Inslee backs ‘public option’ for health care
► In today’s Tri-City Herald– Feds are downplaying the dangers of Hanford radioactive waste, says Inslee — The state of Washington says a new Department of Energy plan would not protect the Columbia River from radioactive waste at Hanford. Washington state’s stand, which was announced by Gov. Jay Inslee, is in opposition to the support by two key Tri-City-area groups for DOE’s proposal. It follows a similar announcement by the state of Oregon opposing it.
► In today’s News Tribune — Randall wins tight state Senate race, plans to focus on education and health care — Following a manual recount, first-time candidate and Democrat Emily Randall won the state Senate election for the 26th District. Randall’s margin of victory was 101 votes, or 0.14 percent, over Republican Marty McClendon.
► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Chapman: Bond supermajority requirement unlikely to change — Don’t expect the 60 percent supermajority required for voter approval of school bond measures to change to a lower threshold anytime soon. The problem is, bonds are funded by property taxes, Rep. Mike Chapman (D-Port Angeles) said. “There is property tax fatigue in the Legislature. It’s a heavy lift.”
► In today’s Yakima H-R — 12 county commissioners to pick new 13th LD lawmaker — Commissioners from Lincoln, Yakima, Grant and Kittitas counties will meet Monday in Ephrata to select a new 13th District state representative to replace Rep. Matt Manweller (R-Ellensburg), who plans to step down on Monday, the first day of the legislative session.
► From the OIC — Kreidler: State’s GOP House members must honor promise on pre-existing medical protection — Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has called on the state’s three Republican congressional representatives to protect people who need treatment for pre-existing medical conditions. In a letter to Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5th), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-3rd) and Dan Newhouse (R-4th), Kreidler urged them to support a congressional challenge to a recent court ruling against the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. House has scheduled a vote Jan. 9 to protect Americans from losing benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
EDITOR’S NOTE — We’ll let you know tomorrow how every member of Washington’s congressional delegation voted on this.
► From Politico — New Pentagon chief under scrutiny over perceived Boeing bias — Concerns about Patrick Shanahan’s Boeing ties have re-emerged since Trump said he may be running the Pentagon “for a long time.“
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump threatens to cut off FEMA aid to California for forest fires — The president claimed without evidence that California would not need the funds if it practiced “proper” forest management.
► From CNN — More coal-fired power plants have closed under Trump than in Obama’s first term — When asked about Trump’s claim to be the savior of coal, veteran miner and industry consultant Art Sullivan bristles. “He’s trying to get their votes,” he says, standing by the fenced-off entrance to a mine not far from Mitchell, Pa., where he once served as Face Boss, a coal industry term for managers. “He’s lying to them.”
► In the LA Daily News — Congressman to introduce bill requiring air conditioning in all Postal Service mail trucks — Six months after a mail carrier died in her truck on a searing day in the San Fernando Valley, Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) said he plans to introduce a bill in the coming weeks that if successful would ensure that all USPS delivery vehicles have air-conditioning.
► From CNBC — Los Angeles teachers are ready for first strike in 30 years — Teachers in Los Angeles, whose 640,000 students make it the nation’s second-largest school district, are ready to strike Thursday over a contract dispute that follows teacher walkouts in other states that emboldened organized labor after a critical defeat at the U.S. Supreme Court.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Didn’t get a raise? 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!
► From ABC — Pilots worry national shortage puts passengers in danger — Airlines around the world are scrambling to fill vacant pilot seats, but are they willing to sacrifice safety to do that? That’s the debate raging right now in the airline industry.
► In the Orlando Sentinel — ‘A day of celebration’ in Florida as 1.4 million ex-felons have voting rights restored — The right to vote was restored to more than 1.4 million former felons across the state Tuesday thanks to Amendment 4’s victory at the ballot box in November, leading to emotional scenes as tears flowed, confetti was thrown and U.S. flags were waved.
► From The Nation — Lee Carter’s campaign for labor rights in Virginia is important for all working Americans — Republican governors and legislatures keep pushing to enact and expand upon right-to-work laws, as part of a broader anti-union crusade. And when Democrats come to power, especially in Southern states such as Virginia, they have often avoided challenging laws that are favored by corporate campaign donors. But Virginia legislator Lee Carter is a different kind of Democrat. Elected as a proud democratic socialist, he celebrated his victory by leading his supporters in singing the union anthem, “Solidarity Forever.” When the virulently anti-labor National Right-to Work Committee sent his campaign a questionnaire, Carter posted a video of the letter being shredded in front of a “Union Strong” poster.
Carter, who pledged during his 2017 campaign to “work to overturn Virginia’s RTW laws,” is making good on that promise. He has begun the 2019 legislative session by introducing HB 1806, a measure designed to upend the restrictions that were imposed by segregationist lawmakers shortly after the passage of the Taft-Hartley law. He also wants to grant teachers and other public employees the right to strike… Hopefully, his aggressive championship of worker rights in Virginia will inspire more Democrats in that state and nationwide to overturn the anti-union legislation that Dr. King decried with his historic warning: “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone.”
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.