Wednesday, February 20, 2019
► From Teamsters 117 — Teamsters have a message for ICS: ‘Don’t make me sick’ — The message was loud and clear, scrawled on the dust masks Teamsters members at Industrial Container Services (ICS) wore today as they sanitized and refurbished steel barrels for reuse: Don’t make me sick, ICS. The company wants its Teamster employees to take a major hit on their health and welfare coverage with significant increases to their out-of-pocket medical expenses… Members are sick of the company’s bullying tactics. Before this morning’s safety meeting, the workers gathered in the breakroom, put on the masks and attached stickers to their hardhats that read, “Ready to strike!”
ALSO at The Stand — Teamsters vote to OK strike at Industrial Container Services
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Arlington school bond again falls short of required 60% — As ballots from last Tuesday’s special election have slowed to a trickle, it appears the Arlington School District bond measure will again fail to meet the 60 percent approval threshold required by state law. As of 5 p.m. Friday, the proposal had received 52.6 percent voter approval.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Let the majority rule!
► From KNKX — Legislative committee advances bill that would allow school districts to raise more local taxes — Lawmakers continue to wrestle with the new education-funding system they put in place in 2017, which increased the state property tax as a way to satisfy the long-running McCleary school-finance lawsuit. The approach limited how much districts can raise through local levies. One bill addressing how much school districts can collect through local tax measures recently passed out of a state Senate education committee.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Let the local voters decide! (Speaking of which…)
► In today’s News Tribune — Eyman lawyers say Office Depot chair removal was accident, but he faces theft charge — Attorneys for Tim Eyman, the anti-tax activist and initiative promoter who is accused of stealing a $70 chair from an Office Depot store in Lacey last week, say it was an accident, not theft.
► MUST-READ in today’s NY Times — Intimidation, pressure and humiliation: Inside Trump’s two-year war on the investigations encircling him — An examination by The New York Times reveals the extent of a sustained, secretive assault by Trump on the machinery of federal law enforcement… The story of Trump’s attempts to defang the investigations has been voluminously covered in the news media, to such a degree that many Americans have lost track of how unusual his behavior is. But fusing the strands reveals an extraordinary story of a president who has attacked the law enforcement apparatus of his own government like no other president in history, and who has turned the effort into an obsession. Trump has done it with the same tactics he once used in his business empire: demanding fierce loyalty from employees, applying pressure tactics to keep people in line and protecting the brand — himself — at all costs.
► From The Hill — Trump declares New York Times ‘enemy of the people’ — Trump labeled The New York Times “a true enemy of the people” after an extensive report (above) detailing the ways in which he has sought to influence the investigations into his presidency and allies.
► In today’s NY Times — Trump to tap other military money for wall before emergency funds — Trump’s plan to spend billions of dollars more on his border wall than Congress approved involves more than his invocation of emergency powers to redirect military construction funds. Before spending any of that money, Trump first intends to tap $2.5 billion in other Defense Department funds under a different claim of executive authority.
► In today’s Washington Post — No one in Congress should be allowed to avoid voting on this presidential power grab (editorial) — Congress has already provided a means of checking executive overreach through the termination of a declared emergency by a simple majority vote of both chambers. If the Democratic House disapproved Trump’s declaration, the Senate would be required to vote on the matter, too, within 18 days. Crucially, such a resolution would be considered “privileged” and could not be filibustered. But Trump retains the power to veto a joint resolution. Therefore, Congress could terminate the emergency only by overriding his veto, with a two-thirds vote of both houses. As much of a long shot as it may seem…. No one in the House or Senate should be allowed to avoid voting on this presidential power grab, and being held accountable for it by the voters.
► From HuffPost — Trump administration says it will rescind $929 million in funds for California high-speed rail — The announcement comes one day after California joined a 16-state lawsuit challenging the president’s emergency declaration to fund a border wall.
► In today’s NY Times — Election fraud the GOP won’t stress about (editorial) — North Carolina election officials are detailing how a longtime political operative, working for a Republican candidate, conspired to steal an election last year. Turns out, voting fraud is as real as Russia’s crusade to put Trump in the White House. It just looks nothing like what Republicans keep hitting the panic button over. Which tells you even more about Trump and his party than it does about the so-called perils of voter fraud.
► In today’s NY Times — West Virginia teachers walk out (again) and score a win in hours — The relentless string of teachers’ walkouts continued on Tuesday in West Virginia, where educators held the second statewide walkout in less than a year, denouncing a bill that they said was retaliatory toward educators. Hours later, their action, which shut down schools in all but one of the state’s 55 counties, led to a victory. The State House of Delegates voted to indefinitely table the bill, which would have allowed tax dollars to pay for private school tuition and established charter schools in the state for the first time. Still, union leaders said the walkout would continue on Tuesday, to ensure Republicans in the State Senate would not attempt to revive the measure.
EDITOR’S NOTE — As noted yesterday: When we fight, we win.
► From Vox — Illinois and New Jersey just passed a $15 minimum wage. That means 1.8 million workers get a raise. — Years of strikes and rallies to raise the minimum wage across the U.S. are starting to pay off. Earlier this month, New Jersey became the fourth state in the country to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. Illinois is poised to become the fifth one.
► From KQ2 — Missouri could once again vote on ‘right-to-work’ — Just months after Missouri votersrejected Proposition A, a new petition could place another right-to-work initiative on the 2020 ballot. Last week, a petition from former GOP chair Todd Graves was certified for circulation that would allow voters to decide the issue again. During the 2018 primary election 67 percent of Missourians voted against becoming a right-to-work state.
► In the Kansas City Star — Missouri voters have spoken on right-to-work law. Why do Republicans want a do-over? (editorial) — We know what Missourians think of right to work. It’s an effort to break unions and pay workers lower wages. The state doesn’t need another messy, expensive debate on right to work in anytime soon.
► In the Buffalo News — New Era Cap reaches severance agreement with workers, will close plant at end of March — New Era has reached a severance-package agreement with the CWA, the union that represents most of the company’s 200-plus workers at the Derby, NY, manufacturing facility it is closing next month.
EDITOR’S NOTE — The Derby facility manufactured about 4.5 million of the 65 million caps the company produces each year. Major League Baseball’s exclusive, lucrative contract with New Era requires that the hats players wear on-field during games must be Made in the U.S.A. Until now, those caps have been made by family-wage unionized embroidery workers in New York. Production of these hats are being moved to a non-union production facility in “right-to-work” Florida. Soon the manufacture of all New Era caps will be outsourced to companies in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Haiti, except those made in Florida to satisfy the MLB’s on-field requirement.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.