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Rip, strip, flip for Vigor? ● Dems must ‘do better’ ● How to have a BBQ

Friday, August 2, 2019




► From the NW Labor Press — Union employer Vigor Industrial sold to private equity firms — Portland-based Vigor Industrial LLC has been sold to global investment firm The Carlyle Group and private equity firm Stellex Capital Management, the firms announced July 25. As part of the deal, Vigor will merge with MHI Holdings, LLC, an 800-employee ship repair and maintenance company in Norfolk, Va.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Vigor’s latest chapter underscores the crisis of American shipbuilding (by Jon Talton) — Although Vigor said no changes were anticipated in Washington, its 2,300 employees (410 in Seattle) and everyone who understands the importance of the maritime economy here can’t help but be anxious… Private equity can’t fix the declining American shipbuilding industry. At its worst, the business model is rip, strip and flip. At best, it patiently invests and adds executive and operational expertise to improve the company. We can only hope the latter happens to Vigor until a more constructive national policy comes along.

► In the (Longview) Daily News — Longview paper mill boosts net sales for WestRock after November merger — WestRock Co.’s merger with Kapstone Paper and Packaging played a key role in increased sales for the corrugated paper company, according to third-quarter earnings.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Newly stringent FAA tests spur a fundamental software redesign of Boeing’s 737 MAX flight controls — Boeing believes the changes can be accomplished in time to win new regulatory approval for the MAX to fly again by October. Significant slipping of that schedule could lead to a temporary halt in production at its Renton plant where 10,000 workers assemble the 737.




► In today’s News Tribune — Washington’s first woman speaker of the House tells The News Tribune about her life — House Democrats elected Reo. Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) as speaker-designate. When the entire chamber votes at the start of the 2020 legislative session in January, she will become speaker — the first woman and lesbian to serve in that powerful position.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — As new child care rules take effect, DCYF reports minimal shutdowns in protest — The state Department of Children, Youth and Families saw minimal walkouts Thursday to protest new rules bringing in-home child care providers in line with larger child care centers.




► From HuffPost — Labor puts candidates on notice: ‘Let’s be honest about the Democratic Party’s record’ — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka spoke at a closed meeting with representatives from the entire field of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates ahead of Wednesday’s debate in Detroit. His message was straightforward: “It’s time to do better.” Trumka told attendees that while Trump is enacting bad policies for workers, Democratic leaders need to reckon with their own role in creating an unfair economy. He said “both parties” are to blame for a system that caters to the rich.

►From LaborPress — Second Democratic debate largely ignores labor issues — Labor issues were a minimal part of the agenda at the second night of the Democratic presidential debate here July 31. The two candidates making unequivocally pro-union statements were Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who are both hovering around asterisk levels in the polls.

► From Politico — Senate passes massive 2-year budget deal — The Senate passed a two-year bipartisan budget deal and sent it to Trump’s desk for his signature, putting an end to the threat of a debt crisis this fall and easing the path toward funding the government past Sept. 30.

► From the Stranger — With Pelosi on one side and “the Squad” on the other, Jayapal keeps her focus on the long game — The Squad can be even more blunt than Jayapal while also taking strident, uncompromising positions that, when contrasted with Jayapal’s positions, highlight the unique space Seattle’s congresswoman has staked out for herself.

► From Politico — Pat Pizzella’s school days — The acting Labor secretary’s columns written in college demonstrate that his hard-right perspective, which alarms unions and endears him to the pro-management Trump administration, has been with him a long time.

► From The Hill — Rep. Will Hurd, only black Republican in House, retiring




► From The Guardian — Alarm over voter purges as 17 million Americans removed from rolls in two years — U.S. election jurisdictions with histories of egregious voter discrimination have been purging voter rolls at a rate 40% beyond the national average, according to a watchdog report released on Thursday. At least 17 million voters were purged nationwide between 2016 and 2018, according to a study by the Brennan Center for Justice.

► From CNBC — Young people are putting off buying homes because of student loans — Young people are struggling to pay off their student loans. And for many, that means delaying other financial goals. Nearly half of current undergraduates with student loans plan to put off buying a home because of their student debt, a new survey found. Just over 40% of these students say they’ll have to delay saving for retirement as well.

► From the New Food Economy — “Cheap and exploitable labor”: New report shows food companies use cultural exchange program to recruit foreign workers — A new report from the International Labor Recruitment Working Group found that employers are hiring tens of thousands of people for minimum-wage summer jobs using the J-1 visa. They write that companies are now using the program, designed for cultural exchange, as a source of “cheap and exploitable labor.”

► From the AP — Lowe’s cuts store jobs as it seeks to outsource workers — Lowe’s is laying off thousands of employees at its U.S. stores as it outsources some of their duties to outside companies.

► From the AFL-CIO — CWA’s Morton Bahr was a labor icon — On Tuesday night, Communications Workers of America President Emeritus Morton Bahr passed away. Bahr was an iconic leader in the American labor movement whose innovation and dedication will be felt for many years to come.




► It’s getting hot out there. So here’s a remixed song from Khalid featuring Brooklyn rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie to inspire your summer barbecue in the park. And for those of you who think The Entire (Aging) Staff of The Stand relies to heavily on old music — also known as “the classics” — in these TGIF videos, we will point out that this video was just released today. Enjoy!


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