I-1000 good for veterans ● Whole Foods cuts benefits ● UAW strike

Monday, September 16, 2019




► From Crosscut — Opponents say I-1000’s affirmative-action policy would hurt veterans. This UW law expert disagrees. — A prominent scholar of Washington state law agrees with the supporters of I-1000 on the issue — and he told state officials as much earlier this year. UW law professor Hugh Spitzer wrote that he did not think veterans’ preferences would be negatively affected by I-1000. Spitzer wrote that, in his view, it was “altogether incorrect” to conclude that I-1000 would prevent veterans from accruing additional advantages in government hiring and promotion processes.

ALSO at The Stand — WA Fairness coalition to voters: Approve I-1000 / R88 — Daniella Young, a veteran and military spouse (pictured here): “As a state, we have an obligation to do everything we can to help our veterans once they come home. I-1000 will do a lot. It will open more points of entry for veterans in family-wage jobs, in government agencies, help them be successful in university admission processes, and open more opportunities for success in bids for public contracting.”

► From Q13 — Coalition urges voters to approve I-1000 / R88




► In the Seattle Times — Amazon-owned Whole Foods cuts healthcare benefits for part-time employees — Amazon is cutting healthcare benefits for employees working less than 30 hours a week at its Whole Foods Market subsidiary beginning next year.

► From Business Insider — Whole Foods is cutting medical benefits for hundreds of part-time workers — Whole Foods is cutting medical benefits for an estimated 1,900 of its part-time workers. The company said it was making the change “to better meet the needs of our business and create a more equitable and efficient scheduling model.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Hey, Whole Foods workers. If you had a union contract, they couldn’t do this. Maybe you should better meet YOUR needs… by forming a union! Find out more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!




► In today’s Seattle Times — Tim Eyman hit with new sanctions, ordered to disclose source of nearly $800K in donations — After spending more than 18 months in contempt of court for refusing to disclose information about his finances and his business in the long-running campaign finance lawsuit against him, anti-tax activist Tim Eyman was hit Friday with further sanctions, as a Thurston County judge ruled he must disclose the source of nearly $800,000 in contributions he’s collected since 2012. It’s the latest in a series of setbacks for Eyman, in an investigation now nearly five years old that alleges his two-decade career as a serial initiative filer has coincided with a scheme to launder political donations through a complex web of political committees, businesses and kickbacks to flout campaign-finance laws and enrich himself.

ALSO at The Stand — The high cost of Tim Eyman’s Initiative 976 (by David Groves) — Our state’s infamous initiative huckster has been held in contempt of court (repeatedly) in his trial for breaking state campaign finance laws. He’s filed for bankruptcy. He’s a chair shoplifter. But he’s still got something to try to sell you this fall.

► From The Hill — OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy protection — Purdue filed for bankruptcy protection Sunday night, succumbing to pressure from more than 2,600 lawsuits alleging the company helped fuel the deadly U.S. opioid epidemic. Two dozen states remain opposed or uncommitted to the proposed settlement, setting the stage for contentious legal battles over who bears responsibility for a public health crisis that has claimed the lives of nearly 400,000 people between 1999 and 2017, according to the latest U.S. data.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington is among the states that has not agreed to the tentative settlement. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson says it is not big enough or tough enough.




► In today’s Washington Post — Nearly 50,000 GM employees go on strike after union talks break down — The United Auto Workers union and the automaker are divided on several key issues. The UAW said it is aiming to secure fair wages, affordable health care and better job security, among other things.

ALSO at The Stand — Auto workers strike after years of GM’s record-level profits

► In the Detroit Free Press — UAW national strike against GM begins as union backers flood into Flint — An estimated 1,200 Flint Assembly workers streamed out of the plant along Van Slyke Avenue in their cars at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, marking the beginning of the UAW’s first national strike since 2007. The autoworkers, cheered by a large crowd of labor supporters, turned toward the UAW Local 598 union hall down the street to pick up picket signs. They lined street that snakes around the plant that builds the popular Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. The strike affects nearly 50,000 UAW members across the Midwest and South.

► From the AFL-CIO — Working people stand with UAW — Trumka: “This is a fight to win dignity for the 46,000 auto workers who have delivered their bosses record-breaking profits for years. We will have their backs every day until they win the respect and security that they deserve.”

► From Fox Business — Teamsters refusing to transport GM vehicles in solidarity with UAW — International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said on Sunday that its members will stand in solidarity with the UAW and honor its picket lines as the union begins a strike against GM at midnight.

► From Reuters — GM, UAW restart talks as workers take to picket lines

► From the AP — UAW official: GM’s offer came too late to avoid strike




► From The Hill — House jump-starts effort to prevent shutdown — Congress has until Oct. 1 to pass legislation to fund the government and prevent the second funding lapse of the year, after the 35-day partial shutdown that ended in February. The House is scheduled to vote on a stopgap continuing resolution (CR) that is expected to fund the government until Nov. 21. The timeline would set up another funding cliff just as lawmakers are expected to leave for the weeklong Thanksgiving recess.

► In the Washington Post — An Obama-era rule to collect worker pay data is headed for the chopping block — The EEOC it plans to shelve an Obama-era rule to collect pay data in what Democratic lawmakers and advocates said was a setback to efforts to achieve equal pay for women and people of color.

► From The Hill — Progressive tax-the-rich push gains momentum — Since the start of the year, much of the debate around taxes among Democrats has been over how much and how best to raise taxes on the rich.




► From American Prospect — The cost-benefit boomerang — As it has for many years, White House’s annual report on federal regulations pegged the benefits of regulation in the hundreds of billions of dollars, swamping the calculated costs of compliance by at least 2 to 1 and possibly as much as 12 to 1 — awkward results for the Trump communications team. How to square these numbers with the “job-killing regulations” trope was a real head-scratcher. It might seem like good news that regulatory safeguards actually do save a lot of lives, not to mention preventing a lot of diseases, accidents, and other bad things. But these big numbers on the benefits of federal regulations are driving the right wing crazy. Industry lawyers and lobbyists along with their allies at right-wing think tanks have been hard at work trying to discredit them for years now. The irony is that these are the same people who tried to sell us on the notion that government regulations should be subject to a cost-benefit test to begin with.


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

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