Friday, January 25, 2019
► At The Stand — ‘Stop the Shutdown’ rally TODAY in Spokane — The Spokane Regional Labor Council, AFL-CIO is calling on all union members and community supporters in the Spokane area to join them in sending a clear message to elected officials in Washington, D.C. that this unprecedented federal government shutdown needs to end — NOW!
A Stop the Shutdown Rally will be held Friday, Jan. 25 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at 10 N. Post St. outside the Spokane office of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5th), who has repeatedly voted against ending the shutdown. The rally is part of an AFL-CIO National Day of Action to Stop the Shutdown on Jan. 25.
► In today’s Washington Post — America’s furloughed workers need to be paid. And America needs those workers on the job. (editorial) — “Please let us work.” This was the plea of furloughed federal employees at a sit-in at the Capitol on Wednesday calling on Congress to reopen the government. For them, Friday is not the end of another long week in the office — it is the second time since the shutdown that they, and hundreds of thousands of working employees, would go without a paycheck. The shutdown of 25 percent of the government, now 35 days long, is taking a greater and greater toll on the most vulnerable. Some are dipping into savings; others may have scant savings to dip into at all. In the D.C. area last week, one organization alone gave food to 1,140 workers who queued in the cold for bags of produce.
► Today from The Air Current — Trump administration memo opens door to mass sickout by air traffic controllers — A sharp increase in staffing issues at ATC centers around the U.S. may signal a tipping point in the month-long government shutdown.
► In today’s NY Times — Collapse of two plans to end shutdown propels urgent negotiations — A pair of measures to reopen the government — one with President Trump’s border wall, the other without it — failed in the Senate on Thursday, sending lawmakers from both parties into frenzied efforts to forge a compromise that could end the nearly six-week partial shutdown.
► In today’s Washington Post — Senate leaders continue to seek a deal to end shutdown that will satisfy Trump
► From The Hill — ‘This is your fault’: GOP senators clash over shutdown inside private luncheon — “This is your fault,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
► From The Hill — GOP senators read Pence riot act before shutdown votes
► From C-SPAN — A mild-mannered senator gets angry
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 24, 2019
► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee announces expansion of unemployment benefits to federal employees working without pay — Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday announced an expansion of unemployment benefits to federal employees working without pay in America’s longest government shutdown. The move is expected to help employees of the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, food inspectors and Coast Guard personnel.
ALSO at The Stand — Help is available for shutdown-harmed federal workers, their families
► In the (Aberdeen) Daily World — Conservatives hitting the beach for Roanoke Conference — “There’s a moment when people say, ‘Did you notice what percentage of this agency was viewed as nonessential?’” anti-tax activist Grover Norquist said in the earlier days of the shutdown. Norquist will be one of the featured speakers on Friday at the Ocean Shores Convention Center, where an estimated 500 of people will gather over the three days of the 10th annual conference.
EDITOR’S NOTE — And so tonight, Washington state’s Republicans and their corporate sponsors will cozy up to one of their heroes, a man who’s toxic hatred of government exemplifies why we live in a country where elected leaders think they can just shut down the government and nobody will care, or be harmed.
► BREAKING from The Columbian — Vancouver Public Schools narrowly avoids support staff strike — Vancouver Public Schools and its support staff union announced a tentative agreement at about 12:30 a.m. Friday, clearing the way for schools to open. The Vancouver Association of Educational Support Professionals will not strike after all, and the details of the agreement will be released following the ratification of the contract, a district news release said.
► In today’s Columbian — Vancouver, Evergreen school levies: Mission ‘critical’
► Today at The Stand — Worker classification needs more clarity (WSLC Legislative Update) — Employers that misclassify workers — either intentionally or unintentionally — as independent contractors shift their labor costs onto other businesses, taxpayers, and the workers themselves. This harms businesses that pay proper employment taxes, it weakens the middle class by denying workers access to basic job protections and social safety nets, and it robs the state of much-needed revenue. The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is strongly supporting legislation to simplify and clarify our state’s employee classification system and those companion bills, SB 5513 and HB 1515, will get public hearings next week.
► From The Stranger — New bill threatens to eliminate jobs for hair stylists in Washington state — The bill, SB 5326, would seemingly make it illegal for salons to lease out booth spaces to independent stylists. The reasoning behind it is opaque, it could be well-intentioned but misguided progressivism. Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Kent) has announced that, in response to concerns about the legislation, she is “going back to the drawing board” where SB 5326 is concerned.
EDITOR’S NOTE — As the latest WSLC Legislative Update points out, “Some choose to work as independent contractors by selling products to friends and family from their home, or by renting booths in a salon or a barbershop. SB 5513/HB 1515 ensures they could continue to do so. The legislation explicitly carves out their arrangements as legal.”
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — House unanimously approves bill revising Initiative 940 — Lawmakers passed HB 1064 containing revisions agreed upon by sponsors of the initiative, De-Escalate Washington, and representatives of law enforcement groups that opposed it.
► In today’s Washington Post — Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone indicted by special counsel in Russia investigation — Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime informal adviser to President Trump, was arrested Friday by the FBI in Florida on charges that he lied and tried to tamper with a witness to hide his efforts to learn about releases of Democrats’ hacked emails during the 2016 presidential campaign. Stone was charged with seven counts, including one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements and one count of witness tampering.
► In today’s Washington Post — Paul Manafort in court to face Mueller probe allegations he lied after pleading guilty
► From Safety and Health Magazine — Citing privacy concerns, OSHA to roll back electronic recordkeeping requirements — “This rollback … allows employers to hide their injury records and keep workers, the public and OSHA in the dark about dangerous conditions in American workplaces,” AFL-CIO Director of Safety and Health Peg Seminario said. “This backward action flies in the face of recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the public health community strongly endorsing the collection and use of this injury data for prevention.”
► MUST-READ by a former congressional staffer in the Washington Post — Democratic attacks on AOC expose the party’s fear of taking on moneyed interests (by Matt Stoller) — Calls for party unity might seem to be oriented around ensuring Democrats can most effectively attack President Trump. The truth is they more often serve to protect powerful financial interests… The Democratic Party has become calcified and inward-looking, misleading its supporters so it can sustain the approval of billionaires and bankers. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is grabbing attention because she is young and cool, yes, but also because she is grappling with genuine questions of economic and political power. She has demonstrated that there is a hunger for a more open and populist kind of politics. That’s also why she is uniquely jarring to insiders. She has fused a cogent political and ideological critique with theatricality. It’s important not to make premature conclusions about where this is all leading, but Ocasio-Cortez is channeling public hunger for a genuine restructuring of our society’s power arrangements.
► MUST-READ in today’s Washington Post — The strike isn’t just for wages anymore. It’s for ‘the common good.’ (by Steven Greenhouse) — Bargaining for the common good isn’t just an effective way to help students and schools, it’s also a smart strategy when unions are weak (and often derided as selfish). It’s a way to win allies so that union and community, together, can leverage their power. It’s harder for private-sector unions to bargain for the common good, but the Marriott strike showed that private-sector workers can also win public support. The leaders of UNITE HERE, the hotel workers union, adopted the slogan “One Job Should Be Enough” because they knew it would win support and because it framed a problem facing millions of workers: Their main job pays too little to support themselves and their families.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Are you ready to stand up for the common good? Are you ready to get paid fairly for your hard work? 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 NY Times — A nuclear site guard accused colleagues of sexual assault. Then she was fired. — As a guard at a nuclear facility in Nevada, Jennifer Glover endured months of harassment that she said culminated in a sexual assault… Her accusations highlighted an entrenched culture of discrimination and retaliation on her team, known as the Proforce, that employees say flourished under two government contractors, Centerra and SOC.
► The Entire Staff of The Stand wishes a very happy birthday to Alicia Augello Cook, better known as Alicia Keys. Raised in NYC’s Hells Kitchen by Teresa Augello, a single mother who often worked three jobs to provide for her daughter, Keys says she “learned how to survive” from her mother’s example of tenacity and self-reliance. She recalls her mother playing jazz records of Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, which kindled her interest in and emotional connection to music. Keys’ mother encouraged her to participate in music, dance, theater, gymnastics and other extracurricular activities, so she could “find her muse” and stay out of trouble in a dangerous neighborhood. Keys did, and the world is a better place because of it. So on her daughter’s birthday, this one goes out to Teresa Augello — who is now an actress (and SAG-AFTRA member) and goes by Terria Joseph — one of many Superwomen.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.