Friday, September 13, 2019
► From KIRO — Group launches campaign to bring back affirmative action in Washington — On Thursday, a group representing hundreds of local organizations, unions and businesses launched its formal campaign in support of Initiative 1000 in Washington state.
ALSO at The Stand — WA Fairness to voters: Approve I-1000 / R88
► In today’s Washington Post — Democratic candidates clash over health care, immigration and foreign policy — The debate highlighted key questions of whether the party should pursue policies of sweeping change or a more incremental return to normalcy in the wake of Trump.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Senate committee adds $420 million to what Trump proposed for Hanford — Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) secured what could be the highest level of funding in recent years for the Hanford nuclear reservation in the Senate’s proposed fiscal 2020 budget for the Department of Energy. The proposed budget includes about $420 million more than requested by the Trump administration for a total Hanford budget that would be a little more than $2.5 billion. The proposed budget passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee, on which Murray serves. Next it will be considered by the full Senate.
► From Bloomberg Law — NLRB’s new standard ups ante for union, employer negotiating — Labor contracts and the negotiations required to reach them may become even more complicated after the federal labor board adopted a new standard for evaluating the legality of unilateral changes to union workers’ job terms.
► In the News Tribune — Trump’s raid of military projects for border wall hits way too close to home in Puget Sound (editorial) — Democrats have characterized the maneuver as a power grab for political gain, and they aren’t wrong. Siphoning money from our nation’s military-readiness infrastructure to fulfill a campaign promise is inappropriate. No president should use the Pentagon like a personal ATM… Meanwhile, the American people can let the truth sink in: When their president repeatedly said his wall would be funded by Mexico, what he really meant was that U.S. service members and their families would pay the price.
ALSO at The Stand — Trump’s border-wall military cuts hit home at Naval Base Kitsap
► In the Seattle Times — Trump’s wall shortchanges military projects — including in Puget Sound (editorial)
► In today’s Seattle Times — Turning up heat on Boeing 737 MAX inquiry, House leaders want to talk to employees who worked on the jet — Two U.S. House leaders urged Boeing Chairman and Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg on Thursday to make company employees available to answer questions about the development of the 737 MAX, ratcheting up congressional scrutiny into two fatal crashes of the jetliner. The committee request was made as a courtesy, without using its subpoena power. Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) didn’t identify whom they want to interview, nor provide any details about those employees’ roles in the development of the jetliner.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — County OKs shoreline permits for Kalama methanol plant — The proposed Kalama methanol plant took another step forward Wednesday after Cowlitz County affirmed that the project should get the shoreline permits as previously granted, according to a county letter to the state Department of Ecology.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Health-insurance premiums on state exchange will fall next year, but out-of-pocket costs are still rising — After five years of sharp increases, premiums for most health insurance offered through Washington Healthplanfinder will fall by an average of 3.27% in 2020, according to the state insurance commissioner’s office. But their out-of-pocket expenses will likely keep climbing, said Stephanie Marquis, spokeswoman or the office. “What we did see with a number of the [exchange] plans is that their deductibles again are going up,” she said.
► In today’s News Tribune — Pierce County state representative named chairwoman of busy House committee — The Democratic caucus on Thursday elected Rep. Christine Kilduff (D-University Place) to succeed Speaker-designate Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma as chair of one of the busiest House committees, the Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee.
► From CNN — 47,000 grocery workers in California avert a strike with new contracts — Around 47,000 union workers (UFCW) at Albertsons, Ralphs and other grocery chains in southern California reached an agreement with the companies Thursday on new contracts that they say improve wages and benefits. After six months of talks, the deal avoids what would have been the largest private-sector strike since 74,000 GM employees walked off the job in 2007… The new contracts met a list of union demands. They include wage increases between $1.55 and $1.65 an hour for workers over the course of the three-year contract, the union said. They also include provisions for pension funds, provide additional guaranteed hours for veteran workers and expand health care access to workers’ family members.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, here in southwest Washington and Oregon, Fred Meyer (Kroger) has gone to war against its employees, threatening to hire scab replacements — offering to pay more than what some of their current employees earn — in an attempt to intimidate its workforce into backing off their wage demands. Stay tuned.
► In the NY Times — A French worker died after sex on a business trip. His company is liable. — A court in France has ruled that a man who died from a heart attack after having sex during a business trip had suffered a work-related accident and that his employer was liable. Like that of other countries, French law considers any accident that happens on a business trip to be work-related, even if the activity is not closely related to the employee’s mission.
► It’s Friday the 13th and there’s a full moon tonight, so…
(If you are disturbed by the apocalyptic lyrics, feel free to substitute, “There’s a bathroom on the right.” It’s #5 on the Top Ten Misheard Lyrics!)
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.