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Get above the median ● Mad Matt’s mob ● Fake forecast

Monday, September 9, 2019




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Many Kennewick teachers are now making more than region’s $63,000 annual median wage — Kennewick teachers officially have a new contract, finally bringing to a close months of dispute that ended in a three-day strike and four days of canceled classes. Teachers returned to work Tuesday after nearly all of them voted in favor of the contract that gave them between 6.9 percent and 7.7 percent raises.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Are you making less than your area’s median wage (whatever that is)? Get a union and get a raise! Here’s more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate a fair return for your hard work. Or you can just go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

► In today’s Seattle Times — Amazon tops 53,500 local employees as it begins nationwide hiring push — The company has edged above Microsoft’s local work force and is second only to Boeing among area private employers.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Teachers quit in protest over what they consider anti-gay policy at Christian school in Shoreline — At least five teachers either felt pushed out or voluntarily quit the private, interdenominational Christian school over summer break in protest of an administrative mandate that they perceived as requiring them to disavow same-sex relationships, both on the job and in their personal lives — and they objected to anti-gay language from Jacinta Tegman, the new leader of King’s parent organization, CRISTA Ministries… Tegman, who previously fought to repeal a state gay-rights law and led opposition to same-sex marriage in Washington, took the helm of CRISTA as its president and CEO in January.




► In the Seattle Times — Former Boeing official subpoenaed in 737 MAX probe won’t turn over documents, citing Fifth Amendment protection — Mark Forkner, Boeing’s chief technical pilot on the MAX project, invoked the privilege in response to a grand jury subpoena issued by U.S. Justice Department prosecutors looking into the design and certification of the plane.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Why two allies of Washington state Rep. Matt Shea turned on the controversial lawmaker — Both men thought the events of Shea’s election night party celebrating Trump’s victory in 2016 made them uncomfortable. “The tenor of the entire room changed from joyful election to angry, almost vengeful,” he said. “Almost like a mob mentality.” Over time, they became more and more troubled about the Spokane Valley Republican and how he was using his public office… The state Democratic Party; the Republican sheriff of Spokane County; the mayor, police chief and police union of Spokane; and a statewide religious coalition, among others, have all called for Shea’s removal from office.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The official response from the State Republican Party to those calls for Shea’s resignation can be found here.

► In the (Everett) Herald — They voted but their ballots came in too late to be counted — It’s hard for election officials to explain why so many keep missing the deadline. It’s easier than ever to get ballots in, thanks to free postage and drop boxes. And “ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day” is one of the most established mantras in the state’s electoral lexicon.




► From KUOW — Win or lose, Jayapal says it’s time to impeach Trump — Ahead of a House Judiciary Committee vote on the details of an impeachment investigation into Trump, two members made their case to a crowd in Seattle. Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Seattle and Jamie Raskin of Maryland gave a bit of a history course at Benaroya Hall on Saturday.

ALSO at The Stand — House members urge leaders: Stand up for federal employees — U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) is leading 217 members of the U.S. House of Representatives urging their leaders to protect federal workers’ collective bargaining rights as they finalize appropriations legislation for Fiscal Year 2020.

► In the Columbian — Herrera Beutler stands by trade war with China — As Southwest Washington feels stress from tariffs, its congresswoman says she trusts in Trump’s tactics.

► In the NY Times — Trump Administration considers a drastic cut in refugees allowed to enter U.S. — The White House is considering a plan that would keep most refugees who are fleeing war, persecution and famine out of the United States, significantly cutting back a decades-old program, according to current and former administration officials.

► A related story from CNN — Dozens of Bahamas evacuees were told to get off a ferry headed to the U.S. — Over the weekend, nearly 1,500 evacuees arrived in Palm Beach, Florida, on board the Grand Celebration humanitarian cruise ship. All of them were properly documented to enter the country, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said. But on Sunday, a different story.

► From Rolling Stone — NOAA staff instructed not to contradict the president’s sharpie hurricane forecasts — “This is the first time I’ve felt pressure from above to not say what truly is the forecast,” a meteorologist said.

► From The Hill — Union chief says National Weather workers ‘irate’ after NOAA backs Trump’s Alabama hurricane forecast

► From Time — Two years after DACA was rescinded, hundreds of thousands of Dreamers remain in limbo. even the Supreme Court can’t fix the problem — On Sept. 5, 2017, Jeff Sessions, then the U.S. Attorney General, announced that the Trump Administration would be rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and thus ending deportation protections and legal employment for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. The announcement mirrored many of the immigration policy rollouts from the Trump era: it was made with no regard for immigrants’ lives and safety, it was messy and it immediately met with legal challenges.




► From Yahoo Finance — Unions under attack as their approval ratings soar — Labor unions have been under attack in the United States from conservative politicians and employers alike. “Working people have been thwarted” in their attempts to unionize and collectively bargain, says a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). “It’s been a decades-long attack on working people,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler. “It’s been a slow decline from our peak in the 70’s — it’s been trailing off year after year primarily because of our broken labor laws… It’s been a multifaceted attack because most of the people in power don’t want to see working people have a slice of that power. We are the last institution left standing to bring the collective strength of working people together to fight back.”




► From HuffPost — Most British Airways flights canceled as pilots begin two-day pay strike — British Airways flights were crippled on Monday as pilots launched a 48-hour strike in a dispute over pay. Members of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) are taking their first industrial action against the airline, grounding hundreds of flights.

► From Reuters — Apple, Foxconn say they overly relied on temporary workers in China — The response comes after China Labor Watch issued a lengthy report accusing the two companies of breaching numerous Chinese labor laws, including one barring temporary staff from exceeding 10% of the total workforce.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!