Tuesday, December 10, 2019
► In today’s NY Times — Boeing 737 MAX was plagued with production problems, whistleblower says — Four months before the first deadly crash of Boeing’s 737 MAX, a senior manager approached an executive at the company with concerns that the plane was riddled with production problems and potentially unsafe. That manager, Ed Pierson, plans to tell his story to Congress on Wednesday. Employees at the Renton, Wash., factory where the MAX is produced were overworked, exhausted and making mistakes, Pierson said in an interview. A cascade of damaged parts, missing tools and incomplete instructions was preventing planes from being built on time. Executives were pressuring workers to complete planes despite staff shortages and a chaotic factory floor.
► In today’s Columbian — Clark College Trustees vote to give interim president authority to act on faculty strike — The trustees on Monday gave its interim president the authority to ask a Clark County Superior Court judge to intervene in its faculty union’s proposed strike. The Clark College Association for Higher Education voted unanimously on Saturday to allow its executive committee to call a strike at any time. But whether faculty actually do walk out, and whether Interim President Sandra Fowler-Hill does file for an injunction, remains to be seen. Union President Suzanne Southerland criticized the board for its vote Monday, saying it indicates the board doesn’t “have any interest in ensuring we can keep the best faculty for our students… They are more interested in authorizing scare tactics to intimidate us into accepting less than we’re worth.”
ALSO at The Stand — Clark College faculty union votes to authorize strike
► In today’s Yakima H-R — School bus driver shortage means late starts, consolidated routes in Yakima County — School districts report job postings with no applicant inquiries for up to eight years; having never filled a substitute driver position; pulling school employees from other positions to help cover routes during shortages; and delivering students to or from school late.
► From The Stranger — Give this Olive Garden worker, and other struggling workers statewide, a secure schedule (by Rep. Nicole Macri and Sen. Rebecca Saldaña) — April Frazier’s family is a priority for her. She helps care for her nephew, who is on an organ transplant list. He has frequent appointments she needs to be there for, but it’s almost impossible to try and get doctors to reschedule appointments at the last minute when her work schedule as an Olive Garden server suddenly changes. What’s not impossible is for her employer and other big food and retail chains to provide workers like April with a balanced and flexible schedule, including two weeks’ notice and a say in when she’s going to work and how many hours she’s going to get. We know secure scheduling is possible because it’s already happening in Seattle.
ALSO from The Stand — Register now for WSLC’s 2020 legislative events
► In today’s News Tribune — Inslee not ready to OK $30 car tabs. Republicans feel otherwise as session looms — Gov. Jay Inslee said he will not ask lawmakers to approve $30 car tabs early next year in response to the outcome of last month’s Initiative 976 vote. He said he wants to hear from the state Supreme Court on whether I-976 violates the state constitution. It’s unclear on when that will happen. Until then, the governor said, he has put several transportation projects on hold. The state also is setting aside revenue from the taxes that would be impacted by I-976 in case refunds must be made to taxpayers, he said.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — State fish, wildlife agency in a hunt for funding (editorial) — The state agency is requesting a total of $26 million and would have to make heavy program and staffing cuts — as many as 100 employees — unless at least some of that request is honored. The loss of revenue from licenses and fees hasn’t kept pace with costs for managing those programs, but a one-time funding fix adopted by lawmakers in 2017 has expired and the department has been underfunded over the last decade following budget cuts made during the Great Recession.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Shea calls investigation Marxist, Globalist tactic — The legislative investigation against him is political warfare being conducted by “Globalists, Marxists and Islamists” and is similar to efforts to impeach the president, said Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley). He is the subject of a recently completed but as-yet-unreleased legislative report by an outside investigative agency regarding his participation in online conversations with others who advocated physical violence against radical opponents.
► BREAKING from the Washington Post — House Democrats unveil two articles of impeachment against Trump — House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against Trump on Tuesday, saying he had abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress in its investigation of his conduct regarding Ukraine. “We must be clear: No one, not even the president, is above the law,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.)
TODAY at The Stand — AFL-CIO endorses USMCA after negotiating labor improvements
► BREAKING from the NY Times — Trump aides and Democrats strike deal on North American trade pact — The new provisions, solidified after months of negotiations between House Democrats and the Trump administration, would strengthen the trade deal’s protections for workers.
► From The Hill — GOP senators worry Trump made ‘problematic’ concessions in trade deal — Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), an adviser to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said a deal that the AFL-CIO’s endorsed “could be problematic,” but vowed to reserve judgement until senators got a presentation on the agreement. “I just hope he hasn’t gone too far in Speaker Pelosi’s direction, and the AFL-CIO’s direction that he might lose some support here,” he said. “My concern is that what the administration presented has now been moved demonstrably to Democrats, the direction that they wanted.”
► In today’s Washington Post — GOP opposition appears to fizzle as plan advances to create Space Force, parental leave for federal workers — Key congressional lawmakers announced their support Monday evening for a defense bill that would create both the Space Force and paid parental leave for more than 2 million federal workers, as signs of Republican opposition to the measure appeared to fade.
► From Politico — Pelosi warns progressives against revolt on drug pricing bill — Liberal lawmakers are weighing whether to tank the speaker’s plan because they say it doesn’t go far enough to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. “We are still working to get some of our amendments in. And that’s pretty much all I want to say on H.R. 3,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) told reporters, declining to say whether progressives would be willing to bring down the bill on a procedural vote.
► In today’s NY Times — Despite warnings, Trump moves to expand migrant family detention — Amid a wide-ranging campaign to discourage migration to the United States, Trump has vowed repeatedly to end the practice he calls “catch and release,” under which migrants are allowed to live freely in the United States while their lengthy immigration cases are in process.
► From Fox Business — Google faces labor probe over ‘Thanksgiving Four’ employee firings — The NLRB has opened an investigation into allegations that Google violated labor standards when it fired four employees who played a leading role in recent protests against its workplace practices, an agency spokesman confirmed Monday. Filed by the CWA on behalf of the four workers, the charge alleges that Google executives used an altered code of conduct to retroactively justify their firings.
► In the Boston Globe — Harvard grad students are entering their second week on strike — “We know that it is our labor that makes this place run, and we are going to withhold that labor until they agree to a fair contract that student workers deserve,” said Rachel Sandalow-Ash, a Harvard Law School student. “As a research assistant at the law school, I make $12 a hour; that’s the Massachusetts minimum wage. This is a university with a $41 billion endowment and a $5 billion annual operating budget. There’s no reason we should be making that little.”
► In the Santa Cruz Sentinel — UCSC grad students launch wildcat strike, saying they will withhold grades until given a raise to afford housing — Saying they cannot afford the cost of living in Santa Cruz, a number of UC Santa Cruz graduate students are engaging in an unauthorized strike — and plan to withhold students’ grades until given a raise.
ALSO at The Stand — Help academic student employees fight back! — Submit comments opposing Trump NLRB’s proposal to take away their bargaining rights.
► In the Mercury News — 4,000 Kaiser Permanente mental health workers in California prepare to strike — The NUHW members are preparing to stage a five-day strike Dec. 16-20 at Kaiser facilities throughout California to protest understaffing, crushing caseloads and a system that often leaves patients waiting for months to get appointments.
► BREAKING from the NY Times — French protests show deep anger over Macron’s pension plans — Six days of strikes have shut down many public services. The discontent centers on President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to overhaul the country’s complex pension systems.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.