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Time for time-and-a-half ● Feds’ Hanford plan ‘reckless’ ● No Nutella

Thursday, June 6, 2019




► From KIRO 7 — 250,000 more Washington workers could be eligible for overtime under new plan — Sidney Kenney spent a decade as a salaried worker. “It’s hyped up as this sort of status. You’re salaried now, you’re indispensable now, you’re so much more important,” Kenney said. What it really meant was that he worked well over 40 hours a week for the same pay. Kenney earned less than $40,000 per year and never made time-and-a-half. “You work 80 hours, 90 hours, 100 hours, and you realize your pay doesn’t change whatsoever,” he said.


► From the AP — More Washington workers could see OT pay under proposed rule — More than 250,000 workers in Washington state would be newly eligible for overtime pay by 2026 under a rule proposed Wednesday by the state’s Department of Labor and Industries.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Immediate, widespread support for updating overtime pay rules

► From The Stranger — Hundreds of thousands of workers will be newly eligible for overtime in Washington state — The state will phase-in the change over six years… beginning July 1, 2020, the overtime thresholds will be $35,000 per year for employees at the smaller companies and $49,000 per year for employees at the larger companies. Those numbers will slowly rise to ~$70,000 over six years.

► In the Spokesman-Review — State of Washington proposes new overtime pay rules

► From the Seattle P-I — State ‘overtime threshold’ rule would boost pay for thousands — “The overtime threshold is to the middle class what the minimum wage is to low wage workers,” said Nick Hanauer, Seattle entrepreneur and founder of Civic Ventures. “At the peak of the vitality of the middle class in America, in the 1960’s and 1970’s, over 60% of salaried workers and all hourly workers were entitled to overtime pay. For salaried workers, the number is now about 7%.”

► From Q13 — More Washington workers could see OT pay under proposed rule




► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Young teachers struggle to afford housing around Kitsap despite state’s big pay hikes — Union representatives in Kitsap County share stories of teachers being able to quit their second jobs, paying off student debt and finally being able to afford childcare. “We did have a lot of members who said this has been a game-changer,” said Kirstin Nicholson, president of the Central Kitsap Education Association. But some young teachers are still struggling to afford a home in areas like Bainbridge Island.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Winds ease as crews battle Grant County wildfire; could be contained by Friday — Decreasing wind and cooler weather in Central Washington had Grant County officials optimistic Wednesday evening as they continued to battle the state’s first big wildfire of the year.

► A related story in the Tri-City Herald — Newhouse, 3 Oregon lawmakers lead bipartisan effort to halt Job Corps closings — U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse was among a bipartisan group of 51 lawmakers urging the U.S. agriculture and labor departments to rethink their plans to shutter some Job Corps programs and privatize others. The 25 centers have been operated for over half a century by the U.S. Forest Service, training at-risk youth in natural resource conservation and natural disaster assistance (fighting wildfires).




► In today’s Olympian — New nuclear waste plan for Hanford is ‘reckless and dangerous,’ says state — The Department of Energy is changing the way it classifies radioactive waste at Hanford and two other cleanup sites, which could change the standards for treating and disposing of some Hanford waste. All options will be considered to stop “this reckless and dangerous action,” said Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson in a joint statement Wednesday. It would open the door for the federal government to walk away from its obligation to clean up millions of gallons of radioactive and hazardous chemical waste, they said.




► From the Hill — Democratic rep says unions don’t have a seat at the table in global trade — Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) said that workers do not have a seat at the table in international trade relations, citing the new deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada that replaces the NAFTA. “The whole international trade regime that we’ve created is completely dominated by corporations,” Levin told Hill.TV’s Jamal Simmons. “Unions have hardly had a seat at the table.”

► In today’s NY Times — SEC adopts new broker rules that consumer advocates say are toothless — Regulators have new rules for Wall Street brokers providing investment advice: Act in your customers’ best interest. But consumer advocates argue that the rules amount to little more than a new marketing slogan… “When working people seek out investment advice, they expect and deserve to be able to rely on the people providing that advice to prioritize their need for a secure financial future over the financial professional’s interest in getting rich,” said the AFL-CIO’s Heather Slavkin Corzo.

► In today’s NY Times — Trump says no deal with Mexico is reached as border arrests surge — The United States on Wednesday barreled closer to imposing tariffs on all Mexican imports as high-stakes negotiations at the White House failed to immediately resolve Trump’s demand that Mexico prevent a surge of Central American migrants from flowing across the southwestern border.




► In today’s Seattle Times — NFL’s aging players deserve pension parity (by Steve Largent) — Bob Newton was the quintessential, rank-and-file lineman for the seattle Seahawks. A man who sacrificed his body to make our highlights possible. And now, pushing 70, one of thousands of retired NFL players whose body is still paying that price — yet receiving a typical pension from the league of only about $2,500 a month. This is no way to thank the men who laid the groundwork for today’s Seahawks. It must change. And this is the year to do it.

EDITOR’S NOTE — In this column, Largent is quick to say he’s not advocating in his personal interests, but for the former NFL players struggling to get by. That’s good. Largent isn’t struggling. He went on to serve a few terms in Congress as a Republican representing Oklahoma, where he repeatedly votes against raising the minimum wage and such things. Then Largent entered the revolving door, and made millions as a lobbyist for cell phone companies and other trade groups — more than he ever did in the NFL. Still, we agree with this column. :)

► From the AP — Quelle horreur! Labor strife threatens world’s Nutella supply — No more Nutella?! French workers are threatening as much, bringing the world’s biggest Nutella factory to a near-standstill in a showdown over salary negotiations. Tensions have been mounting at the site in Villers-Ecalles in Normandy, where activists from the Workers’ Force union have been barring trucks from entering or leaving the factory for a week.


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