Thursday, September 19, 2019
► From Q13 Fox — Car tab battle heats up as coalition forms against $30 car tab proposal — Opponents of a voter initiative to limit how much you pay for car tabs have formed a statewide coalition to campaign against I-976.
► In the (Vancouver) Columbian — Critics see I-976 as troubled road for county, state — With ballots set to be mailed out next month, a group of local business, labor and elected leaders gathered on Tuesday morning to speak out against a voter initiative that they said would cut billions for needed transportation projects in Clark County and across the state.
ALSO at The Stand
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — A new problem with paid signature gathering (editorial) — One Washington Equity Campaign’s unpaid bill could be traced back to its choice in signature gatherers… Ample donations should have been a gimme, but they lagged, perhaps because of the background of Citizen Solutions, specifically its long relationship with initiative promoter Tim Eyman, who’s responsible for years of ballot measures unpopular with I-1000’s key supporters.
► From KOMO — Opponents of Seattle bill to ban natural gas say move would hurt workers, economy — Leanne Guier of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 32 said such a move would impact jobs, workers, residents and the economy. “We build buildings, that’s what we do. We are construction, and if you are no longer allowing natural gas hookups, I think people are going to build somewhere else,” Guier said.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle slows proposed ban on new natural-gas buildings; heating-oil tax advances — Representatives from businesses and labor unions that work in the natural-gas industry showed up in force Tuesday to request that Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien slow down on his proposal to ban gas-piping systems in newly constructed homes and buildings and to voice concerns. In response, O’Brien delayed a vote on the ban by his sustainability committee until December or later. That may not satisfy some opponents, who asked for a yearlong process to study and discuss the idea. O’Brien is leaving City Hall at the end of 2019.
► From The Stranger — Seattle mayor proposes minimum wage for Lyft and Uber drivers — Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a plan to dramatically change how the rideshare economy operates in Seattle, creating a new minimum wage for rideshare drivers and increasing the tax rate on rideshare trips by more than 200 percent. Durkan framed her plan as a model for holding Lyft and Uber responsible for their impact on their drivers and the city.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Nippon Dynawave extruder employees reject company’s contract offer — Jim Anderson of AWPPW Local 633 said 94% of the union’s members voted on the offer Tuesday and Wednesday. “The membership is definitely attempting to get a fair and equitable offer from the company. They are pretty united in that,” Anderson said. “This is a good group standing together to get what they feel they deserve.”
Speaking at the nomination hearing for Eugene Scalia to serve as the Secretary of Labor—an elite corporate lawyer who has spent his career fighting against workers. #SecretaryOfCorporateInterests https://t.co/xtzpBWzqMq
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) September 19, 2019
ALSO at The Stand — REJECT labor secretary nominee Eugene Scalia — Union-busting lawyer brings decades of anti-worker experience as he seeks to become labor secretary.
TAKE A STAND — Eugene Scalia has spent his entire career making life more difficult and dangerous for working people. The secretary of labor needs to be a true advocate for workers. Please sign this petition urging Congress to REJECT Scalia’s nomination.
► From AFGE — New USDA rule lets pork producers inspect own meat — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday published a final rule that will put pork producers in charge of their own food safety inspections, instead of federally trained inspectors. About 40% of the more than 4,000 federal inspectors will lose jobs under final rule.
EDITOR’S NOTE — After all, this has worked out so great with the FAA.
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s communications with foreign leader are part of whistleblower complaint — Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a “promise” that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community.
► In the Washington Post — GM drops workers’ health care during strike, a sign UAW impasse could drag on — General Motors has dropped healthcare plans for tens of thousands of striking workers, a move that underscored tensions between the two sides as negotiations continue two days into the stoppage. The United Auto Workers, which represents the roughly 49,000 workers whose walkout has effectively halted GM’s production in the United States, released an internal letter Tuesday that said it had been given notice that the company had stopped health-care benefits because of the strike. The UAW said that it would “provide medical assistance,” or cover employees’ health-care fees under COBRA in the interim from the pool of money it keeps for strikes.
► From Common Dreams — ‘Heartless and unconscionable’: Outrage as GM cuts off healthcare for 50,000 striking workers — “GM’s decision to yank healthcare coverage away from their dedicated employees with no warning is heartless and unconscionable,” said SEIU President Mary Kay Henry. “GM’s actions could put people’s lives at risk, from the factory worker who needs treatment for their asthma to the child who relies on their parents’ insurance for chemotherapy.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Only in America can this happen. In the rest of the industrialized world, where health care coverage is universal, employers don’t have the ability to threaten the welfare and lives of working families in such a way.
► From Vice — The biggest strike in America is about how much bosses can gut your healthcare — It wasn’t that long ago that Americans would have viewed (GM’s cancellation of healthcare benefits) as a huge scandal. In fact, experts said, that a once-mighty labor union is fighting tooth and nail to save generous health plans speaks to the economic precarity most Americans have grown to numbly accept.
2018 GM profits: $10,800,000,000
2018 GM CEO salary: $22,000,000
Amount GM wants to increase workers’ healthcare costs: 500%
This country does not suffer from scarcity. We suffer from corporate greed.
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) September 19, 2019
► From the AFL-CIO — A huge deal: Workers win big in California (“State of the Unions” podcast) Co-hosts Julie Greene and Tim Schlittner check in with AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Executive Director Brad Markell about the UAW strike at General Motors and interview Veena Dubal, an associate law professor at UC Hastings College of the Law, whose work helped pave the way for passage of A.B. 5, the landmark pro-worker legislation in California.
► From Tucson.com — Vote expected on whether journalists at Arizona’s largest newspaper will unionize — The stage is being set for vote by reporters at The Arizona Republic whether to form a union as its parent company is set to be acquired by another firm.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Want a contract that protects your job? Get 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 NY Times — The socialist plan to radicalize Big Labor — A group of far-left activists huddled in the basement of a labor union in Manhattan, aiming to upend a Democratic institution that they felt had grown stale. The potential target was not an entrenched politician, or the local county party. It was a much closer ally: labor unions, including the one that was hosting the activists’ meeting earlier this year. The plan did not go over well. The union, a branch of the CWA, kicked the activists out. Labor leaders accused the activists of plotting infiltration. The activists, in turn, recently warned of union spies. The dispute makes clear the growing ambition of New York’s activist left… At its heart, the debate is one between pragmatism and idealism, working within the system versus burning it down.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.