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Domestic terrorism ● VOTE! ● Boeing SC complaints ● America is rigged

Monday, August 5, 2019




► From the Texas AFL-CIO — Texas AFL-CIO on El Paso shootings, white supremacy — President Rick Levy and Secretary-Treasurer Montserrat Garibay: “The related scourges of bigotry, hatred and ultra-powerful guns in the wrong hands must be addressed. Our state and nation need solutions on mass gun violence, and we need them now.”

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Washington state’s unions recommit to combating racism

► From HuffPost — Trump tries to tie gun control to immigration laws — Trump on Monday suggested tying gun reforms to immigration laws, in response to the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric looms over El Paso massacre — The question is no longer whether Trump will respond to a mass shooting as other presidents once did, but whether he contributed to the carnage.

► In today’s NY Times — We have a white nationalist terrorist problem (editorial) — If one of the perpetrators of this weekend’s two mass shootings had adhered to the ideology of radical Islam, the resources of the American government and its international allies would mobilize without delay. No American would settle for “thoughts and prayers” as a counterterrorism strategy… White supremacy, in other words, is a violent, interconnected transnational ideology. Its adherents are gathering in anonymous, online forums to spread their ideas, plotting attacks and cheering on acts of terrorism. The result is an evolving brand of social media-fueled bloodshed.


► In today’s Washington Post — ‘Do something!’: Ohio governor drowned out by angry chants at Dayton shooting vigil

► From The Onion — ‘No way to prevent this,’ says only nation where this regularly happens




► Here at The Stand — Union members: Fill out, return primary ballots—postage free! — The deadline to mail or drop off your primary election ballots is 8 p.m. TOMORROW (Tuesday, Aug. 6). Ballot return rates are low, so lets get those ballots in and support candidates who support working people! (Find out who has earned labor’s endorsement.)

► In the (Everett) Herald — Not registered? You can still vote in the primary election




► In the Peninsula Clarion — Striking ferry workers, Alaska reach tentative deal — The state of Alaska and the union representing striking ferry workers on Friday announced they have reached an agreement that could end the work stoppage that cost millions of dollars and stranded passengers in coastal communities. Terms of the three-year deal will not be disclosed until Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific members ratify the agreement, which could come as soon as Monday, state officials said.

► In the Bellingham Herald — Alaska ferry service to Bellingham will resume after three-year deal ends strike

► In the (Everett) Herald — Hospice workers go big in labor spat with Providence Health — Hospice workers have escalated their fight with Providence Hospice and Homecare of Snohomish County, installing three billboards in Everett calling for the organization to put patients before executive pay. The workers voted to unionize three years ago — joining SEIU Healthcare 1199NW — and since then have been trying to negotiate a contract with the agency. “We haven’t gotten very far in the three years,” said Sarah Taylor, a nurse for the agency and a bargaining team member. “It’s very disheartening, it feels like you aren’t being listened to.”

ALSO at The Stand — State’s unions to Providence: Put patients before profits!

► In the NW Labor Press — Following nine firings, Portland’s Little Big Burger stays non-union — Workers at Portland burger chain Little Big Burger voted 41 to 29 to stay non-union in a July 23 election that the company asked the NLRB to hold. The vote came after as many as nine union supporters were fired by the company in the weeks and months after all-volunteer Little Big Union went public March 16.




JAL 787-9 on final assembly line at Boeing South Carolina. (via Flickr)

► In the Charleston Post and Courier — Airline surveys point to ongoing production problems at Boeing’s SC plant — Some of the airlines buying 787 Dreamliners built at Boeing Co.’s North Charleston campus are complaining about “unacceptable” production mistakes and poor quality, and analysts say the criticism points to issues deep within the aerospace giant’s culture. While workers at the Dreamliner factory have previously reported quality lapses, this is the first time such private criticism from Boeing’s customers has been made public.




► In the Columbian — Change comes to state health care plans for school employees — The Washington State Health Care Authority last week announced the latest details in a slowly trickling stream of information about new school employee health care plans: the monthly premiums staff can expect to pay. It’s the most recent bit of information about massive changes coming to the way Washington insures school employees, from bus drivers to administrators.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — School health insurance plans sealed, making Yakima monthly employee contributions as low as $13

► In the Seattle Times — ‘Are you kidding me?’: Washington paraeducators are shocked to learn state says their average salary is $42,000 — Many paraeducators — and in some cases, their spouses — reached out to Education Lab to register similar disbelief with the estimate that paraeducators earn about half the salary of the average teacher in the Evergreen State. Rather, they reported making just about $21,000 a year — roughly a quarter of the average teacher salary. Where did this mismatch come from? After all, we relied on state data for the salary numbers. In short, most paraeducators work part-time; the $42,000 is what the average paraeducator would make — if the person worked full-time.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Here’s to Olympia’s long tradition of inclusiveness (editorial) — Speaker-designate Laurie Jinkins’ list of legislative priorities is already extensive, with pressing debates across the policy map to navigate in the coming session. Her pioneer status is a powerful platform to forge stronger connections between Washington citizens and state government.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Democrats turn up the heat against Herrera Beutler — A national Democratic committee has planned a slew of local events during the August congressional recess when Battle Ground Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler will be back in Southwest Washington, signaling the start of a more aggressive challenge from the left in the 2020 election.

ALSO at The Stand — WSLC endorses Carolyn Long for Congress in 3rd District

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to appear at town hall Wednesday at Gonzaga University — The event will not require online ticketing, as has been required in at least the past two town halls the congresswoman has held in the district. The events are usually held during the August recess. It will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Globe Room at Cataldo Hall at Gonzaga and is scheduled to last until 6:30 p.m.




► From HuffPost — Democratic candidates vow to rebuild unions at Las Vegas presidential forum — Nineteen Democratic presidential hopefuls descended on Las Vegas Saturday and made their case directly to union workers for how they would fix an economic system that caters to the rich. Over the course of seven hours at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, candidates from former Vice President Joe Biden to long shot Washington Gov. Jay Inslee took questions from public-sector employees about how they would rebuild unions, provide affordable health care to more Americans and undo the policies of the Trump administration.

► From HuffPost — Will Trump work with Congress to fix NAFTA or will he break his promises to working people? (by Ian Robinson) — During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump portrayed NAFTA as a terrible deal for American workers that he’d either rewrite or exit. This promise was a key contributor to his narrow victories in manufacturing states like Michigan. Now, he is pressing Congress to approve revisions to NAFTA that his trade team negotiated. Has Trump kept his election promise? The short answer is no. But there is still time for Trump to fix an agreement that harmed workers in all three countries and continues to do so today.




► In today’s LA Times — Equal pay for equal work — and not just for soccer stars (editorial) — On the one hand, it’s depressing that it requires a sports star of Megan Rapinoe’s stature to focus attention on the reality that, more than half a century after the Equal Pay Act passed, women still face wage disparities in just about every workplace. But we’re glad it is happening and hope it translates into substantive action that benefits women in every profession. Of course, all other things being equal, female athletes should be paid a fair and equal wage for doing substantially the same job that male athletes do, but so should factory workers, food servers and accountants.

► In today’s Atlanta J-C — Southeast workers rally in Atlanta amid contract talks with AT&T — Hundreds of AT&T workers and union leaders rallied outside the telecommunication giant’s Midtown Center on Saturday for fair wages and job security. The event was organized by the CWA, which represents more than 150,000 AT&T technicians, customer service and call center representatives and retail store employees. About 20,000 workers across the nine Southeastern states, including 4,000 in Georgia, are negotiating their contracts with the company.

► From CNN — Flights canceled, major roads blocked as Hong Kong protests escalate — After calling for general strikes, protesters started the day by blocking subway doors across the city, throwing the transport system into chaos. More than 100 flights were cancelled at Hong Kong airport as ground workers went on strike. There were also disruptions at government offices, beaches — and even Hong Kong Disneyland.




► In the NY Times — Yes, America is rigged against workers (by Steven Greenhouse) — The United States suffers from what I call “anti-worker exceptionalism.” Academics debate why American workers are in many ways worse off than their counterparts elsewhere, but there is overriding agreement on one reason: Labor unions are weaker in the United States than in other industrial nations. Just one in 16 private-sector American workers is in a union, largely because corporations are so adept and aggressive at beating back unionization. In no other industrial nation do corporations fight so hard to keep out unions. The consequences are enormous, not only for wages and income inequality, but also for our politics and policymaking and for the many Americans who are mistreated at work…

Reversing that won’t be easy, but it is vital we do so. There are myriad proposals to restore some balance, from having workers elect representatives to corporate boards to making it easier for workers to unionize to expanding public financing of political campaigns to prevent wealthy and corporate donors from often dominating. America’s workers won’t stop thinking the system is rigged until they feel they have an effective voice in the workplace and in policymaking so that they can share in more of the economy’s prosperity to help improve their — and their loved ones’ — lives.


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