Friday, March 8, 2019
► From Reuters — Air Lease says Boeing signaling ‘full speed ahead’ for midsized jet — Boeing is indicating “full speed ahead” for a new midsized airplane in what would be the first all-new jet program for the world’s biggest planemaker in more than a decade, said Air Lease Corp’s chief executive John Plueger. Boeing said it is still working through the business case for the new jet, adding: “If we decide to offer the airplane and the market responds positively, we will proceed with a launch decision sometime in 2020.”
Washington ranked #1 (again) for aerospace manufacturing (Sept. 13, 2018) — In June, an internationally respected aerospace analyst released the most comprehensive data-driven aerospace competitiveness study ever performed. It found that Washington state is — by far — the best location in the United States to design, manufacture and ensure a successful launch of Boeing’s next airplane. But some officials from other states competing for the New Middle-Market Airplane (NMA) scoffed at the study’s conclusion because it was funded by Washington state. This month, a new analysis released by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a multinational business and tax consulting firm based in London, finds that Washington state is the best location in the world for aerospace manufacturing. Its analysis of “aerospace manufacturing attractiveness” found the United States to be the best nation and Washington to be the best state.
► ICYMI (like we did) from SeattleMet — Land of milk and money: Inside the wild world of Washington dairy — Labor advocates and journalists recounting the dangers in dairy often emphasize lagoon deaths as distillations of factory farm horrors. That dairy workers are literally drowning in shit puts a fine, metaphorical point on some other stories bubbling up in certain Washington dairies: disfiguring injuries, sexual harassment, and one battle that’s developed from a worker’s attempt to unionize into a nearly 10-year saga of havoc.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Employee suit claims Seattle Melting Pot owner pocketed minimum wage surcharge and shortchanged workers — Melting Pot employees in Queen Anne say they lost thousands of dollars after the local franchise paid them less than minimum wage despite announcing a surcharge for just that reason. The restaurant’s owner denies the lawsuit’s claims.
► From KUOW — Why Washington ranks as the worst state for poor residents — Washington ranks as the worst state for low-income earners to live, and it’s notably worse than any other state. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) places Washington, Texas and Florida at the top of the “terrible 10” list in its annual report. The institute says these have the most regressive tax systems, in which poor residents pay much higher shares in taxes than the wealthiest. Washington state’s wealthiest households spend about 3 percent of their income on taxes. By contrast, the poorest families spend 17.8 percent. It’s a far larger gap than any other state. Seattle economist Dick Conway, a longtime critic of Washington state’s regressive tax system, breaks it down this way: “The fact that the lowest income families have to work 9.2 weeks out of the year just to pay their tax bill, and the top one percent only have to work 1.6 weeks out of the year, that’s just shameful.”
ALSO at The Stand — In 2019, let’s start balancing our tax code
► A related story in today’s Seattle Times — The all-American good policy of higher taxes on the rich (by Jon Talton) — America’s history of high top tax rates coincided with the best years of the nation’s middle class. Every group of American earners saw their incomes rise. Inequality was lower. The federal government invested heavily in science, infrastructure, low-income housing and education. The economy grew strongly.
► From the AP — Tim Eyman pleads not guilty to stealing $70 office chair
EDITOR’S NOTE — Here’s a video of Tim Eyman stealing a $70 office chair:
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump administration releases new rules on overtime pay — The Trump administration on Thursday proposed new rules mandating when certain workers must be given overtime pay, pushing a plan that would raise pay for more than a million people but scales back the previous administration’s plans to expand overtime pay to even more workers.
ALSO at The Stand — Federal overtime proposal ‘way too weak’ — The Trump administration’s insufficient plan raises the urgency for Washington state to restore the 40-hour work week.
► From the Hill — House passes sweeping electoral reform bill — House Democrats passed a sweeping electoral reform bill despite strong resistance from Republicans in a 234-193 vote on Friday. The “For The People Act,” better known as H.R. 1, aims to expand voting rights, implement new ethics rules and increase transparency in elections. The bill includes provisions enable automatic automatic voter registration, strengthen resources to stave off foreign threats on elections, and would make Election Day a national holiday for federal workers.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington’s congressional delegation voted on party lines, with all Democrats voteing “yes” and all Republicans voting “no.”
► From the AFL-CIO — AFL-CIO supports bill expanding voting rights
► From The Hill — McConnell works to freeze support for Dem campaign finance effort — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is pulling out all the stops to make sure not a single Republican senator backs the House-approved campaign finance and ethics reform bill.
► In the Amserdam News — Union leaders: Keep protection for TPS and Dreamers permanent — More than 30 national unions and labor institutions sent a letter to Washington, D.C., urging Congress to stand by TPSers and Dreamers. “For the labor movement, these programs have been vital in ensuring that thousands of working people have rights on the job and the freedom to negotiate together for fair pay and working conditions,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “It is long past due that all members of Congress work together to immediately pass immigration legislation that will give Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients a pathway to citizenship.”
► In today’s Washington Post — Manafort sentenced to about 4 years in prison in Virginia case — Paul Manafort, who once served as Trump’s campaign chairman, was sentenced to nearly four years in prison Thursday for cheating on his taxes and bank fraud — a far lesser sentence than the roughly 20 years he had faced under federal sentencing guidelines.
► In today’s Washington Post — Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveils plan to break up Amazon, Facebook and Google in ambitious campaign pledge
► In today’s NY Times — Weak jobs report clouds economic picture — Just 20,000 jobs were added last month. Analysts had expected a gain of about 175,000, according to MarketWatch.
► From the NY Times — Sharp drop in hiring brings dose of realism — The clunker of a report on job growth that the Labor Department published Friday morning is telling us something we should have already suspected. Specifically, that recent blockbuster readings on U.S. job creation were a little too good to be true. American employers, while still adding to their payrolls, have not been on the epic hiring spree previous reports had suggested.
► In today’s NY Times — U.S. women’s soccer team sues U.S. Soccer for gender discrimination — All 28 members of the world champion United States women’s national team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation on Friday, a sudden and significant escalation of a long-running fight over pay equity and working conditions that comes only months before the team will begin defense of its Women’s World Cup title.
► From Education Week — 1.7 million students attend schools with police but no counselors, new data show — As policymakers call for more school police in response to safety concerns, a new analysis of federal data shows that many students don’t have access to other kinds of staff necessary for safety and support—staff like school nurses, social workers, and psychologists.
► From Labor 411 — Airline catering workers at Flying Food Group sign historic contract — The contract approved by employees at Flying Food Group (FFG) near LAX includes affordable health insurance and salary increases that will increase some of their wages to more than $20 per hour by the end of the contract.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, airline catering workers near Sea-Tac Airport at LSG Skychefs and Gate Gourmet have been denied coverage under the City of SeaTac’s $15 minimum wage. They are FED UP and working with UNITE HERE to get the Port of Seattle to give them those same minimum wage protections.
► In today’s Washington Post — For International Women’s Day, here are 7 of history’s greatest women-led protests — In honor of the holiday’s more egalitarian roots, here are some regular women in history who gathered together to protest, rebel and, in some cases, riot.
► Forty years ago in 1979, three guys formed a band called The Stray Cats that adopted the music, style and energy of their rock ‘n’ roll predecessors from the 1950s. Doing so at a time that synthesized New Wave music was taking over the airwaves, The Stray Cats attracted attention and praise from members of The Who, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones, who hailed their back-to-basics approach to rockin’. They disbanded in 1984, near the height of their popularity, and though they have reunited on occasion over the years, they mostly went their separate ways. (Notably, their underrated lead singer/guitarist led another revival — of swing music — with his excellent 1990s band The Brian Setzer Orchestra.)
Why are we telling you all this? Well, The Stray Cats just released a single this week from their first new album in 26 years, called 40, and are planning a tour this summer. Alas, no dates are currently scheduled any closer than Los Angeles. That’s a damn shame for those of you who’ve never seen them. The Entire Staff of The Stand did — in Baltimore back when we were in high school. And it was a lot of fun. Here’s proof.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.