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80 cents an hour ● Medicare for all ● Laughable Schultz

Thursday, January 31, 2019




► From Working Washington — Earn 80 cents an hour delivering groceries for Instacart! — That’s what Instacart actually paid Tom, an Instacart worker, on January 19, for 69 minutes of his time. We’ve been hearing from hundreds of Instacart workers about dismal pay that falls far below the minimum wage since the company implemented a new pay structure in November 2018. But it’s hard to imagine how any company could justify paying eighty cents for more than an hour’s worth of work.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Yakima mayor backs farmworker housing in city — Yakima Mayor Kathy Coffey said Wednesday that H-2A farmworker housing should be supported in the city.




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Voters would have to declare party to vote in Washington’s 2020 presidential primary under bill passed by Senate — Washington voters could help select the Democratic and Republican nominees for president in 2020, but only if they are willing to indicate they consider themselves a member of the party of the candidate they back.

► In the Olympian — Mid-Columbia lawmaker suffers heart attack — State Rep. Bill Jenkin (R-Prosser) will miss some of the 2019 Legislature after suffering a heart attack Friday evening.




► From The Hill — House approves pay raise for federal workers — The House passed legislation to provide a pay increase for federal government workers on Wednesday, less than a week after the end of the partial government shutdown. Twenty-nine Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the measure, which cleared 259-161.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — House OKs 2.6% raise for federal employees — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5th) was the only representative from Washington who voted “no.”

► From The Hill — ‘Medicare for all’ opens up Dem divide — Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) this week attracted headlines when she told a CNN town hall she wants to eliminate private insurance in an effort to move fully toward Medicare for all. While other White House hopefuls agree with Harris, top Democrats in Congress — including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) — are urging caution. Leadership wants to shore up ObamaCare, and other Democrats support incremental alternatives to Medicare for all.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Delegates representing unions from across the state voted at the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO 2017 Convention to approve a resolution in support of “Medicare for all.”

► In the (Everett) Herald — Air traffic safety could take years to recover from shutdown — The pipeline that produces air traffic controllers essential to the aviation system and the economy will reopen Monday, but union officials warn that it may be years before the system rebounds from consequences of the 35-day federal government shutdown.

► In the Washington Post — Ocasio-Cortez’s 70-percent tax rate: Not so radical? — When the income levels for tax rates over the decades are adjusted to current dollars, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s tax proposal is more conservative than the system in place under Eisenhower.

► From the AP — ICE force-feeding detainees on hunger strike — Federal immigration officials are force-feeding six immigrants through plastic nasal tubes during a hunger strike that’s gone on for a month inside a Texas detention facility. Detainees who reached the AP said nearly 30 detainees from India and Cuba have been refusing to eat, and some are now so weak they cannot stand up or talk. The men say they stopped eating to protest verbal abuse and threats of deportation from guards. They are also upset about lengthy lock ups while awaiting legal proceedings.

► In the Washington Post — Undocumented worker who worked for Trump golf course to attend State of the Union — An undocumented worker who recently worked for Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., and left after she publicly disclosed her immigration status will attend President Trump’s State of the Union address next week. She will be a guest of Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) when the president speaks to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night.

► In the Washington Post — McConnell says bill to make Election Day a federal holiday is a ‘power grab’ by Democrats — The Senate majority leader’s remarks drew strong criticism online from advocates and lawmakers, some of whom argued that he was acknowledging that Republicans want to make it more difficult to vote.




► In the NY Daily News — No union, no deal, NYC labor leaders tell Cuomo and de Blasio about Amazon’s new HQ — Two New York unions are teaming up to deliver a message to retail giant Amazon: labor is still king in Queens. In a letter sent Monday to Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio, leaders from The Teamsters and the retail workers union asked that New York’s $3 billion deal with global corporation be put on hold in light of Amazon’s “anti-worker” history.




► From Slate — Howard Schultz’s claims of ‘centrism’ are laughable given his record as Starbucks CEO — During Schultz’s long tenure as CEO, Starbucks repeatedly fought against workers’ attempts to organize a union. In 2008, for example, a NLRB judge found that the company had illegally fired three workers for their union activities, as well as violated other aspects of the law… Squelching union organizing efforts may be routine for companies, but it’s not where our country’s political center lies. Starbucks also pays its workers poverty wages… If Starbucks workers want to bring a lawsuit for anything from race discrimination to sexual harassment to wage theft, they can’t, because the company requires employees to sign an arbitration agreement as a condition of employment, and also to give up their right to bring a class action lawsuit.

These are not the values of a centrist. Most people have or had jobs, and know what it means to be a working person: to live paycheck to paycheck, to struggle to cover the bills, to need a regular work schedule, and to want more say on the job. And because of that, they have a basic sense of what constitutes a fair workplace. Starbucks under Schultz was not that workplace.

FROM THE CALENDAR at The Stand — The United Farm Workers (UFW) and supporters of Darigold workers struggling to improve workplace safety at the state’s dairy farms will gather to hold Starbucks accountable outside former CEO Howard Schultz’s event at 6 p.m. TONIGHT (Thursday, Jan 31) at the Moore Theater, 1932 2nd Ave. in Seattle. Get the latest on the Darigold struggle.


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

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