Tuesday, August 6, 2019
► 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. TODAY (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 Seattle Times — Seattle politics stand at crossroads as voting revs up in Tuesday primary
► In the (Everett) Herald — Not registered? You can still vote in the primary election
► In the Spokesman-Review — We’re working for free – that’s bad for families and the economy (by Jessa Lewis) — Restoring overtime protections is about taking back the value of our time. Employees will either get more hours back so they can take classes or even take a second job to make ends meet, or they’ll get more money in their pockets for the time they do work. In most cases, they’ll enjoy a bit of both. We should be paid for the work we do – for that time away from our families. When fewer workers are working for free, more people will be hired to keep up with the work. It’s good for workers, and it’s good for the economy.
ALSO at The Stand:
— Super-majority of voters support state’s plan to restore overtime (Aug. 2)
— Young people are overworked, underpaid (by Sara Bekele, Aug. 2)
— Attend public hearings to support restoring overtime pay (July 12)
— State moves to close overtime pay loophole (June 5)
► From Crosscut — Why are Seattle’s wealthy nonprofits opposing overtime for staff? (by Nick Hanauer) — As income inequality has worsened over the past four decades, American nonprofits have gotten better and better at targeting super-wealthy donors like me and my friends. But here’s a crazy idea: maybe raising money for the arts would be easier in an economy where everyone did well, as opposed to an economy where just a few people are rich and everyone else is holding on by their fingernails? And maybe more people would attend and donate to our museums, ballet, symphony and opera if more than just a handful of rich people had the time and money to support the arts? The same goes for the rest of the nonprofit sector: If you really want to serve your communities, start by serving as an example. Stop exploiting people. Pay your staff fairly. Let them go home at a reasonable hour. And when you really need them to work overtime, pay them overtime instead of paying lobbyists and high-priced lawyers to fight against it.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Seattle non-profits that are opposing restoring overtime pay include Seattle Art Museum (pictured above), the Seattle Opera, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Theatre Group “and a who’s who of other ritzy local institutions,” Hanauer reports.
► In today’s Seattle Times — GOP State Senator Phil Fortunato gears up for governor run — As Washington’s Republicans cast about for someone to break their three-decade-plus losing streak for the governor’s office, Phil Fortunato, a brash GOP state senator from Auburn, has announced his bid for the job. Fortunato, 65, is an outspoken conservative presence both on the Senate floor, where he once ripped up a pocket Constitution to make a point, and at pro-gun rallies in Olympia, where he has displayed a sidearm while giving a stemwinder on the Second Amendment. So far, he’s the most prominent Republican to enter the governor’s race.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Fortunato has a lifetime 35% voting record with the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
► In today’s News Tribune — Memo to Speaker Laurie Jinkins: Tacoma expects you to bring home the bacon (editorial) — Jinkins will be the first Pierce County representative to call the shots in the House since 1995. We expect her to be a fierce promoter of local interests. We also trust others from the 253 will win her support to fill committee chairs and other key leadership roles.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee’s frequent presidential campaign travel continues to cost state taxpayers
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — In Everett, Sen. Murray touts new bill to union leaders — U.S. Sen. Patty Murray listened to local labor leaders in Everett on Monday to get their take on a bill that would make it easier for workers to unionize and collectively bargain. The four-term senator touted the Protecting the Right to Organize Act with representatives from the Snohomish County Labor Council and the Teamsters, Machinists and other unions. The bill would impose penalties on companies that violate worker rights laws and boost protections for employees who protest or seek union representation. Murray said the bill is needed to help working-class Americans.
ALSO at The Stand — Murray meets with Snohomish, Island unionists on PRO Act
► In today’s Columbian — Backstage workers hold protest over Live Nation — IATSE members staged a protest on Monday at the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds, seeking to draw attention to what they describe as unfair working conditions at several Pacific Northwest show venues including the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater, which adjoins the fairgrounds. The protest is targeted at Live Nation, a music and live show production company with a substantial presence in the Pacific Northwest, as well as Rhino Staging Northwest, which frequently provides backstage services at Live Nation events.
► In the Spokesman-Review — Spokane Public Schools has a lot of numbers to crunch for 2019 budget as beginning of classes nears — It’s crunch time at Spokane Public Schools. Time is running short for the district’s board of directors, which must crunch a lot of numbers as it weighs how to spend up to $3.6 million in reserve money and restore some positions.
► From Crosscut — Lawsuit: Contractor putting Hanford workers at risk of chemical vapor exposure — The suit, which claims the system for testing those who monitor the tank vapors is broken, has been dropped. But one watchdog is demanding an investigation.
► In today’s Columbian — The ferry strike is over. Here’s when the Columbia and the Kennicott dock in Bellingham. — An Alaska ferry will dock in Bellingham on Friday, Aug. 9 — the first such visit since the IBU’s strike ended last week.
► In today’s Oregonian — Amazon warehouse in Troutdale: logistical marvels and persistent worker complaints — The past year has also come with continued scrutiny of how Amazon and other tech companies operate, with critiques of sales practices and working conditions – including a protest last month outside two warehouses in the Portland area.
► From Capitol & Main — Are offshore aircraft-repair stations the new normal? — A Boeing 787 with a cracked high-pressure duct was serviced in Chile, then arrived in Chicago with the duct held together by tape and wire. In 2003, according to TWU, only seven percent of repair work was being done overseas. Now it is 30 percent. There are more than 900 foreign repair stations currently certified by the Federal Aviation Administration—including a new $100 million aircraft maintenance facility in São Paulo. American Airlines alone employs about 400 technicians on foreign soil.
► MUST-READ in today’s NY Times — Trump, tax cuts and terrorism (by Paul Krugman) — The central story of U.S. politics since the 1970s is the takeover of the Republican Party by economic radicals, determined to slash taxes for the wealthy while undermining the social safety net. With the arguable exception of George H.W. Bush, every Republican president since 1980 has pushed through tax cuts that disproportionately benefited the 1 percent while trying to defund and/or privatize key social programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. This agenda is, however, unpopular. Most voters believe that the rich should pay more, not less, in taxes, and want spending on social programs to rise, not fall. So how do Republicans win elections? By appealing to racial animus. This is such an obvious fact of American political life that you have to be willfully blind not to see it.
ALSO at The Stand:
— Washington state’s unions recommit to combating racism (Aug. 5)
— GOP plans big Social Security, Medicare cuts (June 20, 2018)
► In today’s Washington Post — Rise of far-right violence leads some to call for realignment of post-9/11 national security priorities — The United States continues to employ a staggering arsenal of armed forces, unmanned drones, intelligence agencies and sweeping domestic authorities to contain a threat — Islamist terrorism — that has claimed about 100 lives on American soil since the nation mobilized after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. No remotely comparable array of national power has been directed against the threat now emerging from the far right, a loose but lethal collection of ideologies whose adherents have killed roughly the same number of people in the United States, post-9/11, as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State combined. The disparity is a source of growing alarm for officials and experts, some of whom now say the United States is overdue for a realignment of national security priorities as violence on the far right escalates.
► From Twitter…
Incredibly powerful, must-watch moment.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 6, 2019
► A related story from HuffPost — Smiling ‘Team Mitch’ supporters pose while choking cutout of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
► From Roll Call — Scalia, skilled at upending rules, may soon write them at Labor — The president’s new choice for Labor secretary, Eugene Scalia, built a reputation as a skilled litigator by upending regulations on behalf of the business community, from worker injury cases under 1990 disabilities legislation to an Obama-era rule requiring financial advisers to put clients’ interests first. Now Scalia could hold the pen on final versions of three regulations covering overtime pay, joint employer relationships and calculation of the so-called regular rate of pay.
► Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj — The Dark Side of the Video Game Industry — Hasan takes a look at how the video game industry has grown into a $139 billion a year business and a cultural force. While gaming is more prominent than ever, some of the most popular video games are made under unfavorable working conditions. Hasan examines the exploitative labor practices at game developers like Epic and Riot Games, and the ways in which workers are finally fighting back.
► In the Wall St. Journal — FedEx, UPS find formula for delivering seven days a week: Discount Sunday drivers — Sundays will soon look a lot like weekdays at FedEx Corp. and UPS as delivery drivers fan out to neighborhoods to deliver online orders to doorsteps. But there will be a significant difference: Drivers working that day will be paid at a much lower rate than those who drive during the week.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.