Friday, April 26, 2019
► In today’s Seattle Times — Legislature’s Democrats announce tentative deal on new state budget — Democratic budget writers for the House and Senate on Thursday announced that they had reached a tentative deal on a new two-year state operating budget. They didn’t release any details on the deal — and indicated some final work must still be done to complete it. Budget writers anticipate releasing the budget on Saturday. As in past years, that would give little time for the public — or even lawmakers — to review the details.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Lawmakers may vote on I-1000 before session ends — The ability for employers or schools to consider the race or gender of applicants could be reinstated in Washington in the closing days of the legislative session. An initiative that would relegalize affirmative action in state agencies and publicly funded institutions was approved Thursday by committees in both the House and Senate. I-1000 would provide opportunity for women and minorities, who have long been the subject of systemic barriers, said Rep. Patty Kuderer (D-Bellevue), a former employment discrimination attorney. “If we don’t lead as a state on equity, who will?” she asked.
ALSO at The Stand — Ask legislators to pass I-1000: Fairness, opportunity for all!
► In today’s Seattle Times — Initiative 1000: an opportunity to return fairness and justice (by Larry Gossett) — After a generation of being on the outside, people of color, under-served populations, women and veterans want to expand opportunities available to them for getting skilled jobs and much better access to higher education. Passage of I-1000 opens the roadway to fairer treatment for minorities and women in this state.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Give nurses a break and hospitals adequate funding (editorial) — Had Sen. Walsh played her cards right, she could have brought attention to the inadequate funding of the state and federal system of health care coverage, rather than on the breaks that nurses deserve and that good patient care requires.
► From Crosscut — Next Speaker of the House will ‘almost certainly’ be a woman — Seattle’s Frank Chopp is stepping down after two decades as House speaker. So far, women are the ones lining up to permanently replace him.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Rep. Matt Shea doesn’t deserve a place in the Republican Party (editorial) — If the House GOP caucus doesn’t disavow him, it becomes party to the reprehensible views Shea and his friends espouse. Yet Shea remains part of the caucus, brother to every other Republican in the House and in Washington. Judge them by the company they keep.
► In today’s Columbian — Ed Barnes honored as 2019 Clark County First Citizen — Ed Barnes didn’t come with a canned speech, but he still had plenty to say. Once the 2019 Clark County First Citizen had dispensed with pleasantries, he got down to the issues he cares about, firing them off one after another before more than 200 people in attendance. He praised organized labor, advocated for replacing the I-5 Bridge, solicited contributions to build The Wall of Remembrance at the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and welcomed the Cowlitz Indian Tribe to the community. Barnes, an 85-year-old retired business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 48, called the IBEW “the greatest union in the world.”
► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Chimacum schools to cut staff — The board action came in response to declining state funding that is tied to a continued slide in enrollment.
► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Teachers union votes ‘no confidence’ in Chimacum superintendent — CEA cites Superintendent Rick Thompson’s lack of vision and an accelerated decline in student enrollment
► In the Charleston Post and Courier — Ohio senator calls for union as solution to alleged Boeing SC production issues — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) sent a letter this week to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg expressing “great concern” over a New York Times article that alleged the North Charleston campus installs faulty parts on its 787 Dreamliner jets, fires whistle blowers and values speed of production over quality. “I am concerned that Boeing has not responded appropriately to the evidence that the commitment to safety must be strengthened at the North Charleston plant,” Brown wrote. “Union representation would facilitate a productive exchange between workers and management and would ensure workers are protected from retaliation when they raise concerns about the production process.”
ALSO at The Stand — Tell Boeing CEO to reinstate wrongly fired S.C. inspectors — Late last year before the holiday season, the Boeing Co. fired three flight readiness technicians/inspectors, who had recently voted to join the IAM, without just cause. These employees were allegedly terminated for missing a bird strike on an engine during a post-flight inspection. A subsequent FAA investigation supports the flight readiness inspectors’ assertions that there was no such evidence of a bird strike, as Boeing had claimed. Boeing refuses to negotiate with 180 Flight Readiness Technicians and Inspectors in South Carolina, even after they voted overwhelmingly to join the IAM in May 2018.
TAKE A STAND — Sign this petition to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg now to demand that Boeing return the three flight readiness technicians/inspectors to their positions and be made whole under any remedy available by the law.
► From The Hill — Airlines blame grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max planes for revenue drops — Multiple airlines are blaming Boeing’s line of 737 Max jets, which were grounded worldwide earlier this year after the second of two deadly crashes within six months, for profit shortfalls that have left some companies struggling to recover.
► From The Hill — Violence has no place in the workplace (by AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler) — Violence should never be part of the job. But the reality is violence is now the third-leading cause of workplace deaths, resulting in nearly 29,000 serious injuries every year. Nurses, medical assistants, emergency responders and social workers face some of the greatest threats, suffering more than 70 percent of all workplace assaults. Women workers are also at particular risk, suffering two out of every three serious workplace violence injuries. The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Services Workers Act (H.R. 1309, S. 851) would help protect these workers.
ALSO at The Stand — Urge Congress to support effort to curb workplace violence
► In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma’s St. Joseph Medical Center fined by L&I in nurse safety case — The case involved a series of attacks on nurses by a patient in the hospital’s psychiatric unit. The WSNA had complained to the state that St. Joseph “had failed to furnish its employees a place of employment free from recognized hazards, had failed to provide adequate training, and failed to conduct a safety committee in accordance with state law.”
► From The Guardian — Trump safety cuts may cause workplace deaths to soar, says report — Under the Trump administration, OSHA has cut workplace safety inspectors to the lowest level in its 48-year history as an agency. The AFL-CIO’s Death on the Job report also shows that OSHA has cut by more than half the number of the highest level of legal action brought against employers for violations of workplace safety law.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Though Medicare for All makes economic sense, politics are another matter (by Jon Talton) — We’re not at a consensus on universal coverage yet. But that doesn’t mean never. Events are moving fast, and often surprisingly. So don’t be quick to write off Medicare for All, or dismiss it without studying the details.
► From GizModo — Amazon, Facebook listed among the dozen most dangerous workplaces — The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health this week released its annual “dirty dozen” list of employers operating some of the most dangerous workplaces in America, and Amazon topped the list for the second year running. David-Jamel Williams, a former Amazon warehouse picker, says he witnessed workers “pushed to the brink of exhaustion” and those who spoke up were “pressured to be quiet.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Hey, Amazon warehouse workers. Get respect at work and demand a safer workplace. Get a union! Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and win better working conditions. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!
► From the UComm blog — Meet the Trump impersonator from the Laborers Union — Laborers Local 66 member Thomas Mundy, the self-professed #1 Donald Trump impersonator is gaining national attention. He is a big hit at weddings, bar mitzvahs, and golf outings. He has also used the videos to highlight the work that Local 66 does and the importance of building union. Recently, Mundy has gotten coverage from Fox News, the NY Post, Australia’s Today Show, and on Inside Edition.
► About a month ago, The Entire Staff of The Stand saw Backstreet Jellyroll, a Van Morrison cover band, play at a casino in Kitsap County and we were blown away — not only by how good the band was, but also that we knew every single song, despite not really considering ourselves a VM fan. Now we’re reading a book called Astral Weeks, about the Irish singer-songwriter’s classic 1968 album of the same name and the year he spent living in Boston as its songs took shape. It’s fair to say that we’re fans of Van the Man now, especially after rediscovering this performance from The Last Waltz featuring The Band (and friends). Enjoy!
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.