Wednesday, April 24, 2019
EDITOR’S NOTE — Hundreds of nurses, medical technicians, other frontline healthcare workers and their supporters are gathering this morning at the State Capitol in Olympia, and will be meeting with their legislators to urge passage of a compromise conference committee version of SHB 1155. Call your legislators today at 1-800-562-6000 and urge them to vote YES on the conference report of SHB 1155. Follow the action in Olympia with the hashtags #SHB1155 #BreaksAreALifesaver #NursesDontPlayCards.
► In today’s News Tribune — Nurses need breaks to stay fresh and clearheaded. Apparently so do Washington legislators. (editorial) — Imagine you’re a nurse working under exhausting conditions at a typical Washington hospital, carrying a full patient load and a long list of lifesaving tasks — but with little time to catch your breath. The potential harm is a lot worse than a politician putting her foot in her mouth. That’s why Washington nurses and their advocates are pushing hard again this year for a law ensuring they’re given uninterrupted rest and meal periods, similar to what Oregon and California already have. It’s also why Sen. Maureen Walsh (R-College Place) and her fellow Republicans are misguided in their efforts to kill the bill, or amend it to death. HB 1155 would protect nurses — and by extension, their patients -— from conditions prevalent in understaffed hospital wards: pressure to delay or skip breaks, and to work mandatory overtime hours. It grants exceptions when an unforeseen emergency arises and nurses need to quickly return to duty.
Rep. Riccelli: “I know these front-line nurses… They didn’t get into the profession to get rich, they got into the profession to take care of people.” Thanks for sponsoring #SHB1155 in the house, @marcusriccelli, and sharing your family’s story. #BreaksAreALifesaver #waleg pic.twitter.com/QCkhEffv6D
— ufcw 21 (@UFCW21) April 24, 2019
► From Crosscut — As Trump attacks Obamacare, WA might launch its own public option — Lawmakers have already moved to protect people with pre-existing conditions. Now they may make Washington the first state to offer a public health care option.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — GOP needs to rid itself of Matt Shea (by Shawn Vestal) — The Spokane Valley Republican feeds and fosters extremist views for a living, which can evolve toward tragic ends when followers begin to take all that vigorous blather seriously. This is a crucial dynamic in light of the newest revelations about Shea… It’s past time for the state and local GOP to disinvite Shea. The list of reasons is long and not remotely recent – whether it’s his gun-grabbing road rage, or his creepy stalking of a political opponent, or his lying slander of the sheriff, or “Biblical basis for war” discussions that seem to express relish for violent consequences for those who flout “biblical law.” Because Shea and lawmakers like him link the mainstream to the zealot fringe as surely as that fringe links Shea to people like Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupier David Fry. And that can become the final link between vigorous, virile talk and real violence.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Instead, local Republicans are circling the wagons and once again defending Shea. House Republican Leader Rep. J.T. Wilcox (R-Yelm) said he was unswayed by the calls from Democrats to expel Shea. Rep. Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen) defends Shea, saying others mentioned violence against protesters, not Shea, and that The Guardian is a liberal publication out to get conservatives like Shea.
► From iFiber OneNews — Stevens Pass ski patrollers vote to unionize — Ski patrol workers at Stevens Pass Mountain Resort in Skykomish voted last week to unionize for better bargaining leverage with the ski mecca’s new ownership. The 48 Stevens Pass employees join about 400 other ski patrollers already represented by the United Professional Ski Patrols of America Local 7781, a chapter of the CWA. Forty-five patrollers voted on the move, which passed 27-18.
► From KIRO-TV — Shasta workers say company is fizzing out on money, benefits (video) — Teamsters 117 members at Shasta Beverages haven’t been paid since February after the City of Tukwila red-tagged the plant for not obtaining permits for some construction work done there. KIRO’s Jesse Jones is on it.
► In today’s News Tribune — Board defends Puyallup superintendent to booing crowd after teachers’ no-confidence vote — Members of the Puyallup Education Association crowded the meeting at Glacier View Junior High, holding signs stating “(Tim) Yeomans must go!” and voicing their disapproval through shouts and boos as board members read their comments, citing district successes under Yeomans’ leadership.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Over eight years, the government has deported about 34,000 people via Boeing Field. King County wants it stopped. — County Executive Dow Constantine signed an order Tuesday that seeks – eventually – to ban such flights from using the airport he oversees.
► From KUOW — Central Washington health officials respond to mumps exposure in farmworkers — About 200 farmworkers are being quarantined near the town of Mattawa. The workers are still being allowed to do their jobs, but they are having to live in separate farmworking quarters, ride the same work bus, and stick together away from the public.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Feds dock half of Hanford contractor’s pay, citing issues at massive nuclear waste plant — Bechtel National received slightly less than 48 percent of the possible incentive pay for work at Hanford in 2018.
► In today’s Seattle Times — 737 MAX grounding cuts into Boeing profit and cash reserves — The worldwide grounding of the 737 MAX quickly rippled through Boeing’s finances, depleting its cash reserve by nearly $1 billion in just the first three weeks, according to the company’s first-quarter report. With the MAX grounding coming near the March 31 end of the quarter, the financial impact was relatively small. Next quarter will see a bigger hit.
► In today’s NY Times — Boeing earnings slide after two deadly crashes — The company said fewer deliveries of the aircraft pushed revenue for its commercial airplanes segment down more than $1 billion, while 737 production costs increased by $1 billion. Revenue sank to $22.9 billion from nearly $23.4 billion a year earlier.
► From Reuters — Boeing hives off 210 orders after Jet halts operations — Boeing removed 210 aircraft from its order backlog to reflect concerns about customer credit quality. The company did not disclose the name of the airline involved but the move came days after India’s Jet Airways halted operations after lenders rejected a plea for emergency funds.
► From The Hill — Supreme Court rules in favor of businesses seeking to block class action lawsuits — The 5-4 ruling, which divided the justices along ideological lines, is a victory for businesses, as it curbs the kinds of legal action that can be brought against a company.
► In today’s NY Times — In push for 2020 election security, top official was warned: Don’t tell Trump — Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had become increasingly concerned about Russia’s continued activity in the U.S. during and after the 2018 midterm elections, but Trump’s chief of staff told her not to bring it up in front of the president.
► From Variety — ‘Fortnite’ success led to months of ‘intense crunch’ for game developers –The word “unionization” has popped up many times within the games industry in the last year as people hear more and more stories of punishing developer crunch. The AFL-CIO recently called this particular time period a “moment of change” and asked developers to organize.
► From Bloomberg — Warren Buffett sees most newspapers as ‘toast’ after ad decline — The man behind a print-media empire that includes the Buffalo (New York) News and Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald doesn’t think most newspapers can be saved.
► In today’s Washington Post — It’s time to call out Disney — and anyone else rich off their workers’ backs (by Abigail Disney) — I had to speak out about the naked indecency of chief executive Robert Iger’s pay. According to Equilar, Iger took home more than $65 million in 2018. That’s 1,424 times the median pay of a Disney worker. To put that gap in context, in 1978, the average CEO made about 30 times a typical worker’s salary. Since 1978, CEO pay has grown by 937 percent, while the pay of an average worker grew just 11.2 percent. This growth in inequality has affected every corner of American life. We are increasingly a lopsided, barbell nation, where the middle class is shrinking, a very few, very affluent people own a great deal and the majority have relatively little. What is more, as their wealth has grown, the super-rich have invested heavily in politicians, policies and social messaging to pad their already grotesque advantages…
Here is my suggestion to the Walt Disney Co. leadership. Lead. If any of this rings any moral bells for you, know that you are uniquely situated to model a different way of doing business. Reward all of your workers fairly. Don’t turn away when they tell you they are unable to make ends meet. You do not exist merely for the benefit of shareholders and managers. Reward all the people who make you successful, help rebuild the American middle class and respect the dignity of the men and women who work just as hard as you do to make Disney the amazing company it is.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.