Friday, October 4, 2019
► From KING 5 TV — Strike forces Republic Services to cancel trash pickup for second day — Several cities in Western Washington won’t have trash pickup for the second day in a row Friday due to a Republic Services worker strike. Striking workers from Teamsters Local 25 in Massachusetts extended their picket line in Bellevue, Kent, and Lynnwood on Thursday. Workers plan to continue the strike Friday, according to a union spokesperson. Approximately 250 Republic Services/Allied Waste workers in the Puget Sound area chose not to cross the picket line Thursday.
ALSO at The Stand — Teamsters striking Republic Services extend pickets to Seattle — Striking workers call on “Trash King of Seattle,” Bill Gates, to provide living wages and affordable health care.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Leaving behind coal, PacifiCorp plans decades-long push into renewables, with heavy investment in solar here — Throttling back on coal-fired electricity, utility company PacifiCorp plans massive investments in renewable energy that will include — by 2036 — a huge boost in Washington state solar energy production. The plan announced Thursday offers more evidence of a big shift by the power industry away from coal, a change driven largely by declining costs for solar and wind power, tax incentives that favor renewable investments, and some state legislation pushing their development.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Law firm: WeyCo employees with cancer could get compensation — An injury law firm says former Weyerhaeuser Co. employees diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer could be eligible for trust money.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst will retire to focus on her health — Fairhurst, who has been fighting a third bout of cancer, announced Thursday she will retire in January to focus on her health. She said her decision to retire became clear after her doctor put her life-expectancy prognosis at between nine months and two years.
► From HuffPost — 2 million federal workers don’t get paid family leave. That might change. — A proposal to give federal employees 12 weeks of paid time off to care for a baby or ailing family member or to deal with a personal health issue, the Federal Employees Paid Leave Act, might actually make it into law. The move would be a huge step forward for the largest employer in the U.S.
► From The Hill — The PRO Act: Good for workers and good for business (by Rep. Marc Pocan and IUPAT President Kenneth Rigmaiden) — For decades, working families could depend on labor unions to represent their collective interests — ensuring a living wage, better benefits and a voice in their workplace. Now, after 50 years of rollbacks on union and labor rights, workers have been silenced at their jobs. The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act is an opportunity for Congress to give working families their voice back.
► From the Federal News Network — SSA, AFGE reach new collective bargaining agreement after contentious saga — After more than a year of tense negotiations, the Social Security Administration and the American Federation of Government Employees have finally reached an agreement on a new, six-year contract.
► From the Washington Post — Rick Perry planning to step down as energy secretary by year’s end — The former Texas governor, who has touted fossil fuels but also research into alternative energy,will likely return to the private sector.
► In today’s NY Times — Trump denies quid pro quo for Ukraine, but envoys had their doubts — Trump has repeatedly denied that there was any quid pro quo attached to his pressure on Ukraine to investigate his political enemies, but a new batch of text messages released late Thursday night indicated that his own representatives saw it differently.
► In today’s Washington Post — Three deeply problematic aspects of newly released text messages centered on the Ukraine scandal (by Phillip Bump) — 1. There’s an explicitly stated quid pro quo. 2. The U.S. helped shape a statement from Ukraine mentioning the Biden probe. 3. There’s a strong suggestion that military aid was used as leverage — and hints at an attempt to hide that.
► From The Hill — Trump trade adviser won’t say if he’s raised Biden investigation during China talks— White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Friday declined to say whether he’s ever raised investigating Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden during talks with Chinese officials.
► And this Whistleblower 2 update in today’s Washington Post — IRS whistleblower said to report Treasury political appointee might have tried to interfere in audit of Trump or Pence — An Internal Revenue Service official has filed a whistleblower complaint reporting that he was told that at least one Treasury Department political appointee attempted to improperly interfere with the annual audit of the president’s or vice president’s tax returns.
► In today’s Detroit News — GM strike, day 19: Unsettled issues remain at ‘main table’ — Despite progress in labor talks at Ford Motor Co., the UAW remains committed to reaching a deal with GM first to set a pattern for the other two automakers of the Detroit Three to follow.
► From HuffPost — GM strikers settle in for the long haul — GM continues to lose money due to stalled production ― one estimate puts the cost at $1 billion so far ― while workers are starting to feel the squeeze of missed paydays. The UAW started distributing strike pay to members on Monday, but $250 per week only goes so far in covering mortgages, groceries and truck payments.
► In today’s Washington Post — The United Auto Workers helped bail out GM. Now they feel betrayed. (by — General Motors was on its knees in 2008. Amid a global financial crisis, the company was so financially challenged that it had no choice but to accept a federal government bailout. In 2009, the United Auto Workers joined the feds in saving GM, making concessions on wages and benefits to rescue the beleaguered company. They took a chance on their employers by accepting a stake in the company in exchange for those sacrifices, seeing the agreement as part of an emerging partnership with GM. And that partnership paid off — for GM, anyway. The company has earned $35 billion in profits in the last three years, partly as a result of the concessions the workers made over a decade ago. But when it comes to reciprocity, GM evidently sees things differently, adopting a hard-line approach in negotiations with the union that led to a strike Sept. 16.
► From Alaska Public Media — Court blocks Dunleavy union rule change. For now. — An Alaska Superior Court judge has temporarily blocked the Dunleavy administration from implementing a new rule affecting the state’s public sector union. The move is a victory for union groups that say the state is overreaching in its interpretation of the law in an effort to weaken unions.
► Yesterday would have been the 65th birthday of one of the greatest guitarists ever, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stevie Ray Vaughan. He died in a post-concert helicopter crash at the age of 35. The Entire Staff of The Stand believes the studio version of this Jimi Hendrix cover is the greatest guitar performance ever recorded. Here he is playing it live in all his Seinfeldian pirate-shirt glory. Enjoy.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.