Grounded ● Cutoff tomorrow ● Medicare-for-Less ● Come together

Tuesday, March 12, 2019




► In today’s Washington Post — Britain bans Boeing 737 Max from its airspace as China, Australia and other nations ground the jets after deadly crashes — When China became the first country on Monday to order all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes grounded in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, its aviation regulator sent an unmistakable signal: the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is no longer the only authority in civil aviation worldwide. After China ordered a dozen carriers to ground their 96 planes — roughly a quarter of all 737 Max in operation globally — authorities in Ethi­o­pia, Singapore, Indonesia, Morocco and Mongolia quickly followed suit, as did carriers in Latin America and South Korea.

BREAKING — Report: Germany and Ireland join the grounding.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Nervous reaction to Ethiopian crash creates uncertainty for Boeing — The FAA and Boeing said Monday they’ll await more information before ordering any action on the 737 MAX.

► From HuffPost — Two senators call for Boeing 737 Max 8 planes to be grounded after deadly crashes — On Monday, Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called for all Boeing planes of the 737 Max 8 series to be grounded until the aircrafts’ safety could be ensured.

► In today’s Washington Post — Boeing had a best-selling 737 and a growing global market. Now after two crashes, its reputation is at risk. — Boeing’s 737 Max jet found a sweet spot for the company’s growing base of customers around the world: It’s a best-selling workhorse with low costs, minimal upkeep and an ability to cram in more passengers. The airplane would prove perfect for mid-range flights that could maximize profits for carriers. As it boosted production, Boeing boasted that pilots didn’t even need flight simulator training to fly the new Max 8 jets. That helped the Chicago-based aerospace giant sell thousands of them, deepening relationships with China and fast-growing markets like Indonesia and Ethiopia. Ultimately it powered a stock market rise that added billions to the company’s value. But the crash of a 737 Max 8 in Ethiopia on Sunday – the second in less than five months – threatens to undermine Boeing’s reputation around the world for safety and reliability.

► And THIS — AFA/CWA President Sara Nelson weighs in (see the whole thread.)




► From KNKX — Legislative deadline approaches amid high-volume session in Olympia (analysis) — There is a lot of activity in the Legislature right now, as state lawmakers work against a Wednesday deadline to move bills out of their chamber of origin.

ALSO at The Stand — Senate votes to ‘Keep Washington Working’ (WSLC Legislative Update) — Includes status reports on WSLC-supported bills as Wednesday’s cutoff approaches.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Tell your legislators to support state contractor transparency, accountability

► From KING 5 — House approves minimum wage parity for disabled workers — A measure heading to the Washington Senate would require physically or mentally disabled workers to be paid the same minimum wage as other workers in the state.

► In the Pacific Inlander — Senate passes HEAL Act to ensure environmental justice, right to ‘healthful environment’ for all — It would create a task force that would make recommendations for how state agencies should improve environmental conditions that can disproportionately contribute to health problems for certain communities.




► In today’s Yakima H-R — While citizenship question remains in court, Census Bureau looking to hire workers — The U.S. Census Bureau is hoping to attract resumes from about 100 people in Yakima County for temporary jobs related to the 2020 census, a spokesman said this week. But in Yakima, a city with large migrant and Hispanic populations, concerns about the census remain — including a controversial question about citizenship.

► From Crosscut — Does public radio in the Northwest have a gender pay gap? — A former Northwest News Network correspondent says a disparity in salaries drove her to quit. Management says it’s an issue of geography, not gender.

► In the Daily News — Longview firefighters race, raise $31,000 for cancer research

► In the Daily Record — 9 of Ellensburg’s own compete in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society firefighter stair climb

► In the Spokesman-Review — Spokane Valley firefighter places high in skyscraper “stair climb” fundraiser with personal meaning




► In today’s Washington Post — Trump proposes big cuts to health programs for poor, elderly and disabled — The Trump administration is proposing a sharp slowdown in Medicaid spending as part of a broad reduction in the government’s investment in health care, calling for the public insurance for the poor to morph from an entitlement program to state block grants even after a Republican Congress rejected the idea. The budget released by the White House on Monday also calls for a sizable reduction for Medicare, the federal insurance for older Americans that Trump has consistently promised to protect.

► In today’s Washington Post — Medicare-for-all v. Medicare-for-less: Trump’s proposed cuts put health care at center of 2020 race — A new proposal by President Trump to slash Medicare spending puts Republicans in a political bind ahead of the 2020 election as Democrats are pitching an expansion of the popular health-care program for all Americans.

► From Reuters — Labor unions wield increased clout in crowded Democratic 2020 race — Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is weighing a 2020 presidential bid, will find a friendly audience on Tuesday when he addresses a meeting of the International Association of Firefighters in Washington, D.C. An early endorsement from the union would give Biden extra momentum in a crowded field of more than a dozen Democrats jockeying for the party’s presidential nomination. It could also be an exception this election cycle.

With so many labor-friendly Democratic candidates in the mix, unions expect to have increased clout. But there will be stiff competition to get their formal backing, and endorsements may come later than in past cycles – or not at all, union leaders said in interviews. “We aren’t rushing in making a decision this time around because we believe the field is so strong and we want to give people an opportunity to answer questions,” said Lee Saunders, the president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which represents more than 1.6 million public employees.




► From The Hill — Fear of strikes forcing states to give teachers much-needed raises — By and large, the strikes and walkouts have worked. Teachers were able to extract major concessions from states that had historically been reluctant to fund education, including a 5 percent raise for teachers in West Virginia; a 19-percent increase in the school funding formula in Oklahoma; and a 20-percent raise for teachers in Arizona. Support for increasing teacher pay was higher in states that had walkouts in 2018, a testament to the urgency of need in some states where education funding had dropped precipitously since the 2008 recession and never recovered.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Need 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!

► In today’s Chicago Sun-Times — Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians announce strike as contract talks fail — Stop the music: Musicians of the CSO announced Sunday night that they are on strike.

► In the Albuquerque Journal — Lawmakers vote to ban local ‘right-to-work’ laws — A proposal that would bar New Mexico counties from enforcing local “right-to-work” ordinances is on its way to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

► From Maine Public — Bill would make more Maine workers eligible for overtime pay — Supporters, including labor unions and progressive activists, say the higher threshold is long overdue because the current minimum of $33,000 for certain jobs is too low, while the demands on employees to work longer hours are higher than ever.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington state is preparing to update its rules as well.

► From The Hill — Emergency workers summoned to Amazon warehouses 189 times over suicide concerns, breakdowns: report — “It’s this isolating colony of hell where people having breakdowns is a regular occurrence,” Jace Crouch, a former warehouse employee from Florida, adding it is “mentally taxing to do the same task super fast for 10-hour shifts, four or five days a week.”

► In the Seattle Times — Google approved $45 million exit package for executive accused of misconduct — The amount was revealed Monday in a shareholder lawsuit accusing the board of directors of Alphabet, the parent of Google, of shirking their responsibilities by agreeing to pay executives accused of misconduct instead of firing them for cause.




► From the People’s World — AFL-CIO leaders say unions have a role in saving the country — In speeches and in press releases over the last year, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has pointed out that unions are uniquely qualified by their very nature to lead the country out of what he has called a “dark period,” a time when hateful speech and vitriol emanate from the White House and are found in abundance everywhere else. Unions, he notes, bring together all kinds of people in a fight that is common to the vast majority, a fight for a better life for oneself and for the next generation.


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

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