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St. Joe’s faces strike ● Max parking ● Where is our outrage?

Tuesday, June 25, 2019




► In the News Tribune — St. Joseph nurses ready to strike: ‘There’s a lot at stake,’ including patient safety (by Matt Driscoll) — Since November, St. Joseph’s registered nurses — 1,100 of them, represented by the Washington State Nurses Association — have been working without a contract. They’ve been locked in ongoing negotiations that have produced little but animus despite 15 bargaining sessions, according to union officials, and the recent involvement of federal mediator. Earlier this month, the nurses rejected CHI Franciscan’s latest offer, marking the second time the nurses have done so. Now nurses are preparing to take a rare, last ditch step: Walking the picket line.

► From the NW Labor Press — Workers at Portland-area Fred Meyer and Safeway take strike votes — Bargaining between Local 555 and the multi-employer coalition passed the one-year mark June 19, and the two sides remain far apart on wages, health insurance and other proposals.

► From KUOW — Seattle baristas walk out because of ‘toxic work environment’ — After walking off the job on Saturday over missing pay and “discrimination of many kinds,” six former employees of Slate Coffee Roasters in Seattle are now trying to build a movement for coffee worker rights.




► From Jalopnik — Boeing has so many grounded 737 Max planes, they’re parking them in the employee parking lot

► In the Seattle Times — The inside story of MCAS: How Boeing’s 737 MAX system gained power and lost safeguards — Extensive interviews with people involved with the program, and a review of proprietary documents, show how Boeing originally designed MCAS as a simple solution with a narrow scope, then altered it late in the plane’s development to expand its power and purpose. Still, a safety-analysis led by Boeing concluded there would be little risk in the event of an MCAS failure — in part because of an FAA-approved assumption that pilots would respond to an unexpected activation in a mere three seconds.

► In the Dallas News — American Airlines CEO: Politics playing role in re-certification of Boeing 737 Max — “I think as much as anything now it may be politics as much as the true certification … safety issue. I don’t think the FAA wants to be alone in doing this,” American Airlines CEO Doug Parker told employees at a town hall meeting last week, according to CNBC.




► In the Seattle Times — Who will Washington’s next governor be? Uncertainty over Inslee creates pileup of politicians, domino effects down ballot — Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz are openly eyeing the governor’s office should Inslee step aside. So is King County Executive Dow Constantine. That, in turn, has started to create oh-so-polite down-ballot maneuvering as other ambitious Democrats look to move up. State Sen. Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island) is considering running for the lands commissioner post if Franz runs for governor.

► In the Seattle Times — ‘We are in dire straits’: Even Washington’s wealthiest town can’t make our backward tax system work (by Danny Westneat) — Welcome to the club, Medina! The town of 3,200 is discovering what King County, Seattle and countless other municipalities around here have been screaming for nearly two decades: the math doesn’t work anymore… Blame the 1% limit (on property tax increases that) came courtesy of a Tim Eyman initiative back in 2001. It was thrown out by the courts but rashly reinstated by the state Legislature.

► From the Northwest Labor Press — We must not forget Oregon Democrats’ betrayal on PERS (by Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain) — I have reams of candidate questionnaires from union-endorsed House and Senate candidates who promised not to cut PERS benefits. The governor promised as well. To go back on that promise undermines their credibility with the unions who endorsed them. Worse yet, such action undermines the very credibility of our political programs. Our members spent their hard-earned money and dedicated countless volunteer hours electing Democrats that they trusted to fulfill the commitments they made to them through the endorsement process... Organized labor should hold accountable those who side with a corporate capitalist agenda at the expense of workers.




► From the AP — White House threatens to veto bill for improving treatment of detained migrants — White House officials complained the bill had no money for tougher border security, including funds for a border wall.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Yes, child-detention centers are concentration camps — where is our outrage? (by Charles Blow) — I believe that we will one day reflect on this period in American history where migrant children are being separated from their parents, some having been kept in cages, and think to ourselves: How did this happen? Why were we not in the streets every day demanding an end to this atrocity? How did we just go on with our lives, disgusted but not distracted?

► In the Seattle Times — Deportation threats don’t fix immigration (editorial) — Give Trump credit for one thing: His ham-handed, bigoted approach to immigration at the southern border has focused national attention on the issue. If only that attention could translate into real policy progress and not just morally bankrupt enforcement.

► In the Washington Post — Despite delay of ICE raids, immigrant communities mobilize for roundups — Trump’s decision to postpone the mass arrests of immigrant families with deportation orders offered a two-week reprieve to shaken cities and towns Sunday, but faith and immigration leaders said they will continue to mobilize for roundups in case talks between the White House and congressional Democrats break down.

► In the Seattle Times — Hard-line immigration policies have our Latino neighbors scared and traumatized (by Ned Delmore) — Our years of experience serving and walking with Latino families have shown us that they want what all Americans hunger for, a job, a home and a family. Their desire for the American dream transcends the fear of going to jail. Giving up their freedom to have freedom, they are willing to risk it all.




► From the AP — Trump, Canada’s Trudeau try to build momentum for trade pact — Labor unions are seeking assurances that Mexico will enforce enhanced labor standards for workers there because that would reduce the incentive for U.S. companies to move their plants and jobs south of the border. The new deal requires Mexico to encourage independent unions that will bargain for higher wages and better working conditions.“If the president insists on a premature vote, we’ll have no choice but to oppose it,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said this week at a union event in Pittsburgh.

ALSO at The Stand — Democratic presidential hopefuls agree: No on NAFTA 2.0

► In today’s Washington Post — Former top Commerce aide says he was directed by Ross to add census citizenship question — House Oversight Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) said evidence “points to a partisan and discriminatory effort” behind the push to add the question to the 2020 Census.

► From The Hill — CBO projects ‘unprecedented’ debt of 144 percent of GDP by 2049 — In CBO’s central projection of 144 percent of GDP, the government would spend more on interest payments than the entire discretionary budget, which includes defense and all domestic programs, by 2046.

EDITOR’S NOTE — When do those tax cuts start paying for themselves?




► From CBS News — Thousands of airline food workers vote to authorize a strike — The people who prepare the food and beverages served on three major U.S. airlines have voted to authorize a strike, calling for higher wages and less costly health insurance. Over the last two weeks, more than 11,000 airline food workers in the last two weeks cast ballots in 28 cities across the country on whether to authorize a walkout, according to Unite Here, a hospitality-industry union representing airline catering employees. The ballots are a first step toward a potential strike. Unite Here is negotiating on behalf of some 3,270 Gate Gourmet employees and nearly 7,700 Sky Chefs employees who service flights for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines at major hubs. The union is also in talks with United on behalf of 2,600 food workers directly employed by the airline who are not covered by a contract.

ALSO at The Stand — Sea-Tac airline food workers vote by 99.7% to strike

► In From NPR — In Montana, AFL-CIO president talks about the future of coal — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was in Montana for the state’s convention in Missoula last week. The federation represents many workers in Montana’s troubled coal industry.  Trumka is a third-generation miner. The Pennsylvania native can’t accept that workers, like those in Colstrip, are getting squeezed out of their jobs. “We sent a person to the moon and brought them back. We can’t figure out how to burn a lump of coal, cleanly? I just refuse to believe that,” he says.

► From the New Republic — The road not taken — The jobs never came back. When GM announced, last November, that the Lordstown plant would be closed as part of a restructuring plan, the community held out hope that the company would decide to retool the plant, and rehire some of the laid-off workers. But the last Chevrolet Cruze rolled off the Lordstown assembly line on March 6—a no-frills white model that workers draped in an American flag and posed behind for a last photo.




► From HuffPost — Liberal magazine offers non-union, no-benefits job covering inequality — The New Republic is a century-old progressive news outlet, but a job it advertised over the weekend is right at home in the modern gig economy: an “inequality editor” position that offered no benefits, no union eligibility, and, at 29.5 hours a week, was “part time” mainly in the sense that it’s a half-hour shy of some federal definitions of full-time work. It was an opportunity for “raising hell,” the job listing gushed, at a storied news outlet that has been “long a champion of equality in all its guises.”


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