Friday, January 17, 2020
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Nurses at Swedish say they’ll deliver 10-day strike notice — Nurses and caregivers from Swedish hospitals say they will deliver a 10-day strike notice Friday to the health care provider after a breakdown in negotiations, according to a union news release. The anticipated strike would last three days, from Jan. 28 to Jan. 30. More than 8,000 employees from each hospital campus could take part.
The Stand (today) — SEIU 1199NW sets Swedish strike for Jan. 28-30
► From WSNA (via Twitter) — Sacred Heart nurses ratify contract — Sacred Heart nurses in Spokane showed up in unprecedented numbers yesterday and voted overwhelmingly to ratify their contract.
The Stand (Jan. 16, 2020) — Some Providence wins, but work’s not done
► From the Inlander — Nurses, support staff at Sacred Heart Medical Center tout their new contract agreement as a victory — “Nurses have been laughing and crying and cheering,” says Stevie Lynne Krone, a 28-year-old nurse at Sacred Heart and co-chair of the local branch of the Washington State Nurses Association, the union representing around 1,900 nurses at the hospital. “The nurses and the local Sacred Heart workers, there’s a lot of relief and thrill that this is over with.”
The Stand (Jan. 7, 2020) — WSNA nurses at Sacred Heart reach Tentative Agreement
► In today’s Seattle Times — New WNBA agreement is an equity milestone (editorial) — The landmark contract tentatively reached by the WNBA owners and its players association represents a new frontier for professional athletics. If approved by league governors and players, it should be modeled by sports leagues everywhere as a baseline for equity.
► From the AP — Southwest joins rivals in again delaying Boeing jet’s return — Southwest Airlines said Thursday it has taken the grounded Boeing 737 Max out of its schedule until early June and is dropping more than 8% of its planned flights as a result.
► From the AP — Washington Supreme Court Justice Charles Wiggins to retire — Wiggins, 72, was first elected to the court in 2010. In a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee, he wrote that it had been “a tremendous honor” to serve on the court but that he wanted to spend more time with his wife, Nancy, and their family. Wiggins’ announcement comes shortly after the retirement of former Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst, who retired this week to focus on her health as she fights a third bout of cancer. The court’s newest justice, Raquel Montoya-Lewis, was sworn in last month. She is the first Native American justice to serve on the state’s highest court.
► From the AP — Washington Supreme Court OKs lesser version of carbon cap — The court on Thursday reinstated a severely limited version of Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan to cap carbon pollution in the state, a decision the Democrat described as a “clarion call” that lawmakers must act on climate change.
► In today’s Louisville Courier-Journal — Weeks after saying ‘I’m not an impartial juror,’ McConnell pledges impartiality in oath — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his 99 fellow senators took oaths Thursday afternoon to “do impartial justice” as the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump formally began… In December, McConnell said, “I’m not an impartial juror… Impeachment is a political decision. The House made a partisan political decision to impeach. I would anticipate we will have a largely partisan outcome in the Senate. I’m not impartial about this at all.”
► In today’s Washington Post — Catching senators who swear a false oath red-handed (by Jennifer Rubin) — Republicans who falsely swore to conduct impartial justice will seek to exclude mounds of evidence, rely on unproven conspiracy theories, misread the Constitution and vilify Democrats, voting for Trump despite his failure to contradict the case against him… Every American will see the facts against Trump and his lawyers’ failure to rebut them. They will know the senators have taken a false oath and left in office a president who has committed more impeachable acts than any predecessor. There will be no doubt that Republican senators openly defied their oath and participated in a coverup. Like impeachment, that determination is permanent and can never be erased.
► A MUST-READ in today’s NY Times — Trump’s evil is contagious (by Timothy Egan) — On any given day, Trump is vindictive, ignorant, narcissistic, a fraud — well, his pathologies are well known. But it’s time to apply the same word to him as the brave Navy man did to the renegade in his unit. Under Trump, the United States is a confederacy of corruption, driven by a thousand points of evil. And that evil is contagious. We all grew up hearing an ageless warning about public morality: that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing. The presumed outcome is reassuring, a story we tell ourselves. But in the last three years, that homily has been proven right, in the country where it was not supposed to happen. The Trump presidency has shown just how many ostensibly good people will do nothing, and how evil, when given a free rein at the top, trickles down.
► From Politico — Senate passes USMCA, but much work remains — it’ll take years of costly work before American workers and businesses begin to benefit from the new trade pact with Mexico and Canada, which passed the Senate in a 89-10 vote. Canada must approve the revised pact when its House of Commons reconvenes in late January. Mexico was quick to pass the new USMCA, but still has to deliver on fully implementing its landmark labor reforms that ensure workers have access to organize and participate in independent unions.
The Stand (Dec. 10, 2019) — AFL-CIO endorses USMCA after negotiating labor improvements
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Passage of USMCA trade agreement is good for Yakima Valley agricultural products — The passage of the USMCA is good news for Yakima Valley businesses who export product to those countries. In 2018, the county exported $610 million in products to Mexico and Canada, which accounted for nearly half of the $1.3 billion in Yakima County total exports, according to figures from the International Trade Administration.
► From Forbes — Labor movement eyes ‘dark corner of the airline industry’ — Labor unions continue battling to boost pay and benefits for a variety of low-paid workers at contractors who fill a variety of airport jobs that include wheelchair service, cleaning, catering and, at times, baggage handling. At a Wednesday hearing, members of the House subcommittee on aviation heard from members of three unions — CWA, SEIU, and UNITE HERE — about those efforts.
► In today’s Washington Post — Judge’s delay may help Trump dodge subpoena for his tax returns, House Democrats say — House Democrats say the judge’s hesitation makes it more likely Trump will be able to run out the clock and dodge a congressional subpoena for the records until well after the November election.
► In the Wall Street Journal — Amazon sought $1 billion in incentives on top of lures for HQ2 — As Amazon.com Inc. began a search for a second headquarters in 2017, and billions in economic incentives that would go with it, Chief Executive Jeff Bezos and senior executives set another goal: to secure an additional $1 billion for other real-estate projects. The target was created by Mr. Bezos and his top lieutenants, called the S-Team, which sets high-priority goals every year for various groups in the company.
► In the Hollywood Reporter — Game makers stare down major union drive — As global video game spending marked a new high in 2019 at $109 billion, per Nielsen’s SuperData division, calls to unionize the burgeoning industry’s workers have shifted into high gear. On Jan. 7, one of the largest labor unions in the U.S., with more than 700,000 members — the Communications Workers of America — revealed plans for a major effort to organize employees for gaming firms.
► In the Arizona Republic — Striking mine workers rally at Arizona Capitol to demand higher wages — Union leaders say the close to 1,800 striking Asarco workers in Arizona and Texas remain “strong” as the strike entered its fourth month Monday, with little hope of a settlement in sight.
► Virtuoso drummer Neil Peart died Jan. 7 after an extended illness. He was the primary lyricist for the beloved Canadian rock band Rush, and he was a drummer’s drummer. Dave Grohl of Nirvana/Foo Fighters: “His power, precision, and composition was incomparable. He was called ‘The Professor’ for a reason: We all learned from him.” Stewart Copeland of The Police: “Neil is the most air-drummed-to drummer of all time.” The Entire Staff of The Stand DARES you to watch this video and NOT air-drum during Peart’s unforgettable flourishes at the end of the guitar solo (at about 2:30). But really, watch the whole thing and behold a true genius (who never breaks a sweat). R.I.P., Mr. Peart.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.