Wednesday, February 5, 2020
► From the AP — Macy’s to close 125 stores, shed 2,000 corporate jobs — Macy’s said Tuesday it is closing 125 of its least productive stores and cutting 2,000 corporate jobs as the struggling department store tries to reinvent itself in the age of online shopping. The store closures represent about one-fifth of Macy’s current total. Macy’s previously said it would close its downtown Seattle store this month; the Macy’s in the Cascade Mall in Burlington and in downtown Walla Walla will close this spring. Last year, Macy’s closed stores at Redmond Town Center and Northgate Mall. Macy’s didn’t specify how many jobs would be lost at the shuttered stores.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Contract negotiated in private between Spokane and prosecutors approved; Cathcart cries foul — Spokane city officials have signed the first new contract with a union since voters approved a charter amendment requiring that collective bargaining negotiations be held in public view. But the agreement still was negotiated behind closed doors, and the amendment’s sponsor, Councilman Michael Cathcart, is none too pleased.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane County considering temporary jail outside Geiger to ease crowding — Spokane County Jail director Mike Sparber asked county commissioners for $75,000 to hire a firm to study the feasibility of moving a few hundred inmates to temporary shelters near the county’s aging second jail facility, Geiger Corrections Center.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — This is the newest Hanford contractor. It could employ up to 4,600 Tri-Citians. — Amentum is the newest large contractor at the Hanford nuclear reservation. Aecom’s management services sector, which performed contracted government work, has been sold and renamed as Amentum. No change in day-to-day operations is expected.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Kitsap Transit to launch additional Fast Ferry service between Bremerton and Seattle
► From the NW Labor Press — Oregon Democratic Party staff unionizes with Painters
The Stand (Sept. 12, 2018) — Wash. State Democratic Party staff unionizes with IUPAT 1094
► In today’s News Tribune — Workers push for state law to get more notice of their shifts — Brenton Nichol and April Frazier are among the workers who support a bill pending in the Legislature that would require large retail, hotel, and food service companies to provide at least 14 days notice of shifts to employees covered under the state’s minimum-wage
► In today’s Seattle Times — Big businesses like Amazon support tax for King County, but questions about Seattle, suburbs remain — Amazon and several other large Seattle-area corporations, including Alaska Airlines, Costco, Expedia, Microsoft and Starbucks, expressed support Tuesday for the concept behind a House bill that would allow King County to enact a big-business tax. Meanwhile, numerous labor unions and nonprofit organizations outright backed the measure, as did Redfin. HB 2907 would allow King County to impose a payroll tax of 0.1% to 0.2% on compensation paid by businesses to employees making at least $150,000 a year, with exemptions for small businesses, government entities and some other companies.
ALSO at The Stand — Where pro-worker bills stand as legislative cutoff nears
► In the Seattle Times — Should WSDOT address our congested roads? Washington legislators don’t think so — HB 2688 would adopt seven goals: accessibility; safety; environment and climate; health and resilience; equity and environmental justice; preservation; and functionality. The Washington State Department of Transportation supports the proposal.
► From Crosscut — From Canadian imports to price caps, WA lawmakers seek ways to cut drug prices — Several measures aim to help reduce patients’ out-pocket-costs for medications, including for lifesaving insulin.
ALSO TODAY, The Seattle Times ran its fourth — fourth! — editorial (and counting) in opposition to HB 1888, labor-supported legislation to protect the safety and privacy of public employees by exempting their birth dates from public disclosure. Each more bombastic than the last, the Times now argues that Washingtonians “would be deprived of the truth” if HB 1888 passes. You know, like the people of Oregon, California and other states that exempt birth dates are deprived of the truth. Dramatic, but once again, dismissive of public employees’ serious concerns.
See you on Thursday…
The Stand (Jan. 27, 2020)– Newspapers take the low road with opposition to HB 1888 (by David Groves) — The fact that newspapers and their lobbyists are not only dismissive of public employees’ right to privacy and safety at home, but also parroting the anti-union talking points of the Freedom Foundation is very disconcerting. When newspapers stray from simply making their case on questions of public policy to aligning their agenda with secretly funded quasi-political organizations, they risk losing not only their credibility on open government issues, but also the public trust in their journalistic objectivity.
► From The Hill — Pro-union bill draws 2020 battle lines — The Democratic-controlled House is voting Thursday on the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). The bill is dead on arrival in the Republican Senate, but it’s seen as a critical messaging bill for Democrats and union groups looking to bring their supporters to the polls.
ALSO at The Stand — Ahead of vote, call Congress to urge support for PRO Act
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump paints strong economy as vindication as he tries to move past impeachment — President Trump on Tuesday made a theatrical prime-time appeal for the success of his divisive and turbulent stewardship after three years, projecting confidence that a strong economy and a reset of U.S. standing in the world has put the nation on the right path despite the historic impeachment that has marred his term.
► In today’s Washington Post — Rush Limbaugh joins the likes of Mother Teresa and Rosa Parks as recipient of highest civilian honor
► From the American Prospect — What swing working-class voters in battleground states are thinking — Almost half of “persuadable” voters think that Trump has made no difference in their lives since his term began, according to new survey results of working-class communities in the battleground states of Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin released today by Working America, an advocacy arm of the AFL-CIO.
► From HuffPost — California child care workers will hold the biggest union election in years — Child care workers in California plan to file for a massive union election Wednesday that will cover an estimated 40,000 people, potentially reshaping jobs within the state’s government-funded child care system for low-income families. The election marks the culmination of a grueling 16-year campaign by unions to organize family child care providers who are reimbursed by the state… The campaign is a joint effort between two powerhouse public-sector unions, SEIU and AFSCME.
► In today’s Washington Post — Workers are forming unions at nonprofits and think tanks. Their bosses aren’t always happy. — Union efforts at nonprofit entities are a bright spot for the labor movement and are the latest sign of growing momentum. Nonprofit organizations would seem like fertile ground for workers hoping to organize. Magnets for younger, highly educated and idealistic workers, nonprofit groups have long been known for a culture of unpaid hours, low salaries and thin budgets. And many of these think tank workplaces embrace economic policies at the heart of their public missions. Yet these practices haven’t always been applied internally.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Embrace what you advocate: Form a union! Find out more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate better working conditions and a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.