Thursday, October 31, 2019
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Providence workers authorize a strike over wages, sick leave — Several hundred workers at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett voted overwhelmingly this week to authorize a strike, UFCW 21 announced Wednesday. Technicians and professionals employed by Providence hope Tuesday’s action moves along negotiations with the hospital over wages, staffing and sick leave. “The goal is that Providence comes to the next bargaining table and offers a fair contract that aligns with what we are asking,” said Maria Goodall, a vascular ultrasound technician and bargaining team member. “We hope to show Providence that is what the employees are asking for … they are so upset with the contract proposal they are willing to stand outside and fight for patient rights and employee rights.”
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Kadlec nurses authorize strike at Richland hospital — Kadlec nurses voted by an overwhelmingly majority to authorize a strike at the Richland hospital, the Washington State Nurses Association announced late Wednesday night. “Nurses are sending a loud and clear message to Providence that they are willing to do whatever it takes to get a fair contract, including going on strike,” the nurses association said in a press release.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Nurses, Providence unable to agree on new contract at 1st bargaining session since strike authorization — Unionized nurses (WSNA) at Sacred Heart Medical Center and Providence officials did not reach an agreement on a new contract during their 15th bargaining session on Tuesday — and their first session since the nurses voted to authorize a strike last week. Both parties are working to schedule another mediation session, though no date had been set as of Wednesday morning.
► In today’s (Vancouver) Columbian — Pendleton mill workers hold informational picket — Workers at the Pendleton Woolen Mill in Washougal planned to stage an informational picket Tuesday in the midst of negotiations over a new contract. The roughly 160 workers at the Washougal mill and 40 workers at the Pendleton, Ore., facility are members of SEIU Local 49.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Early ballot return numbers show low voter turnout
EDITOR’S NOTE — C’mon, people. Get those ballots in the mail! And while you’re filling it out, click here to make sure you know which candidates and causes are supported by the labor movement.
► In The Olympian — State voters should approve Ref. 88 to give opportunity to all (by Chris Reykdal) — No matter how hard I work as superintendent, there are some barriers I can’t possibly help students overcome once they enter the workforce, which is why I’m voting to approve Initiative 1000, which will appear under the heading of Referendum 88 on the Nov. 5 ballot this year… Voting to approve I-1000 will open up more opportunities in public employment, contracting, and university admissions for all Washingtonians — and will allow us to rejoin the 42 other states in the country that have made a public commitment to ensure fairness and equal access to economic success for all their citizens.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Let’s vote for opportunity, not division (by April Sims) — Ignore attempts to inflame racial divisions; approve I-1000 for shared prosperity.
► In the Spokesman-Review — I-976 bad news all around (by Timm Ormsby and Alisha Benson) — Our region needs more transportation investment, not less. With more than a half-million people now living in Spokane County, our job and population growth is stretching the limits of our current transportation system. Our roads are increasingly congested with both commuters and commerce and our transit agencies are increasingly busy. We have worked hard to get the state to invest in Spokane, but if I-976 passes, we risk losing the progress we’ve made working with our state legislators to pay for the North/South Corridor (NSC), the I-90 Barker-to-Harvard interchanges and the I-90/Medical Lake and Geiger interchanges. These are projects we desperately need but could be deprioritized and defunded if I-976 passes.
► In the Yakima H-R — Initiative 976 is exactly what we don’t need (editorial) — Curiously, while touting a conservative line on taxation, Eyman’s measure undermines three tenets of conservative governance: local control, designating funds for specific purposes, and user fees in which those who use a service pay for it. His initiative also brushes aside the reality that due to inflation, $30 doesn’t buy what it did in 1999, especially in road construction and maintenance.
► In today’s Walla Walla U-B — Lower car tabs could mean big hits to local agencies
► In today’s Seattle Times — In five-hour grilling over 737 MAX crashes, House panel reveals Boeing memos and calls on CEO Muilenburg to resign — In a tense and revelatory hearing Wednesday, a U.S. House committee presented startling new evidence from internal Boeing documents showing that, before the first crash in 2018, some company engineers had discovered that a failure in a new flight-control system could be “potentially catastrophic” — information that was dismissed and never communicated to regulators. Another document showed that this catastrophic potential was reiterated in a presentation to the FAA seven weeks after the Lion Air crash of a 737 MAX in Indonesia killed 189 people. Boeing decided pilots could deal with it and continued to let the airplane fly. But less than three months later, after a similar erroneous activation, another 157 people died on an Ethiopian Airlines MAX… The hearing was punctuated by repeated calls by members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg to step down.
► From The Hill — Airlines step up checks on Boeing planes after finding cracks — Qantas Airways and Southwest Airlines have found structural cracks in some Boeing 737 NG planes. The FAA earlier this month ordered inspections for cracks in NG planes’ wing supports for aircrafts with more than 30,000 take-off and landing cycles. Reuters reported, however, that Qantas and Southwest discovered the issue in planes with fewer than 30,000 cycles.
► From Bloomberg — Boeing supplier Spirit buys wing factory for Airbus jets — Bombardier Inc. agreed to sell a wing factory in Northern Ireland and two other facilities to Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. for $500 million and the assumption of certain liabilities.
► BREAKING from the NY Times — A divided House endorses impeachment inquiry into Trump — A bitterly divided House of Representatives voted on Thursday to endorse the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Trump, in a historic action that set up a critical new public phase of the process and underscored the toxic political polarization that serves as its backdrop. The vote was 232-196 to approve a resolution that sets out rules for an impeachment process for which there are few precedents, and which promises to consume the country a little more than a year before the 2020 elections. It was only the third time in modern history that the House had taken a vote on an impeachment inquiry into a sitting president.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Every single House Republican, including Washington Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse, voted against the resolution.
► In today’s Seattle Times — House justified in impeaching Trump, says former Republican U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton
► In today’s Washington Post — White House official expected to confirm diplomat’s account that Trump appeared to seek quid pro quo — The top Russia and Europe adviser on Trump’s National Security Council is expected to corroborate the testimony of a senior U.S. diplomat who last week offered House impeachment investigators the most detailed account to date for how Trump tried to use his office to pressure Ukraine into launching an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden.
► In today’s Washington Post — White House lawyer moved transcript of Trump call to classified server after Ukraine adviser raised alarms — Moments after Trump ended his phone call with Ukraine’s president on July 25, an unsettled national security aide rushed to the office of White House lawyer John Eisenberg. The attorney then proposed a step that other officials have said is at odds with long-standing White House protocol: moving a transcript of the call to a highly classified server and restricting access to it.
► From Poltiico — Trump lures GOP senators on impeachment with cold cash — Trump is tapping his vast fundraising network for a handful of loyal senators facing tough reelection bids in 2020. Each of them has signed onto a Republican-backed resolution condemning the inquiry as “unprecedented and undemocratic.”
► From KTSM — Leaders of organized labor reject White House immigration policies — Labor union leaders from across the United States rallied this morning in El Paso in a show of solidarity with local workers, migrants in detention centers and asylum seekers sent back to Mexico. The rally was part of the two-day Solidarity Without Borders event here. “The labor movement is not just advocating for our members. We are actually standing strong … to make sure that border policies, economic policies and trade policies actually work for working people,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler.
► From Reuters — Trump rule on health insurance leaves immigrants, companies scrambling for answers — Trump signed a proclamation requiring all prospective immigrants to prove they will have U.S. health insurance within 30 days of their arrival or enough money to pay for “reasonably foreseeable medical costs.” The new requirement goes into effect on Nov. 3 and prospective immigrants are scrambling to figure out how to get the necessary coverage.
► From the WSJ — Coal miners’ pension, health benefits under stress after bankruptcies — A pension fund covering about 90,000 coal workers and their families is on the brink of insolvency while hundreds of these miners also face losing medical benefits, part of mounting financial stress on the larger safety net meant to protect sick or out-of-work miners.
ALSO at The Stand — AFL-CIO: Congress must pass Miners Pension Protection Act
► From CNN — 400,000 more children are uninsured since Trump took office — The number of uninsured children ballooned by more than 400,000 between 2016 and 2018, an unprecedented decline in health coverage for the youngest Americans, a new study has found.
► In today’s Chicago Sun-Times — CTU delegates approve contract — but strike continues after mayor refuses demand for makeup days — The Chicago Teachers Union’s governing body voted Wednesday to accept a tentative agreement with Chicago Public Schools, but the city’s longest teachers strike since 1987 will continue after Mayor Lori Lightfoot refused to accept the union’s demand that the district make up all 10 school days missed during the walkout.
► From the AFL-CIO — ‘State of the Unions’ podcast: Flexing labor’s muscle — On the latest episode, podcast co-host Tim Schlittner talks to union member and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) about strikes, trade, health care, LGBTQ equality and the freedom to form a union.
► From WXZY — United Autoworkers Union reaches tentative agreement with Ford — The United Autoworkers Union has reached a tentative agreement with Ford. This comes after almost two weeks since the UAW reached a tentative agreement with General Motors that was ratified by the rank and file last week. The financial terms of that are used as a pattern by the union to get similar terms from Ford and Fiat Chrysler.
► From Tucson.com — Asarco, striking unions set to resume bargaining — The United Steelworkers and unions representing striking Asarco workers are set to meet with the company to resume bargaining on Nov. 14. About 2,000 workers at Asarco copper mines and smelters in Arizona and Texas went out on strike Oct. 13 after rejecting the company’s final offer.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.