Monday, February 10, 2020
► In today’s NY Times — What needs to happen to get Boeing’s 737 MAX flying again? — There are signs that the MAX may return to service relatively soon. On Thursday, Stephen Dickson, the administrator of the FAA, said a crucial test flight could occur in the coming weeks, setting in motion the complex process of ungrounding the plane.
► In the Seattle Times — Experts question whether Boeing’s board of directors is capable of righting the company — The prolonged hesitance to fire CEO Dennis Muilenberg in the face of spiraling crises underscores concerns about the board’s oversight of the company, even as it faced the most troubling period of its 103-year history. It also raises questions about the board’s culpability in the tragedies and its ability to reestablish confidence in the company among regulators, Wall Street and the flying public… Consumer advocate Ralph Nader, whose grandniece was killed in the second MAX crash, doesn’t buy such excuses, calling Boeing’s board “completely culpable.” He asked: “Why should [Boeing] keep the old regime that ratified all of the problems under Muilenburg? The whole board should resign.” Boeing’s high pay for the board set the tone for creating a “trophy board of interlocking cronies … selected to say yes to the CEO,” Nader said.
► In the Olympian — School districts struggle to find enough bus drivers — School transportation officials are describing their current bus driver shortage as “crisis” level. Last Monday morning, administrators were droving buses.
► In the Spokesman-Review — Popularity of Washington state’s new paid family and sick leave law leads to processing backlog — Since going live three weeks ago, more than 20,000 Washington state residents applied for the partial-wage replacement leave program. And the large volume of applications has led to longer than anticipated wait times for processing with the Employment Security Department – close to four weeks. But the state says it will make it up to those affected by the delay, paying applicants retroactively to the date of their leave, not when their application is approved.
The Stand (Jan. 20, 2020) — Thank you for Paid Family & Medical Leave
► In the Seattle Times — Judge’s ruling on Tim Eyman’s car-tab initiative could come as soon as
next this week — Voters were deceived when they were asked to pass Initiative 976 slashing car-tab taxes, a coalition of groups including Seattle and King County argued in court Friday, attempting to defeat a measure they say is riddled with constitutional issues.
► In the Spokesman-review — A look at Rep. Matt Shea’s legal career: Recently laid off, he’s sued bad drivers and a state university — Shortly after the Washington state House released a report concluding Rep. Matt Shea has engaged in domestic terrorism, the Spokane Valley lawmaker was quietly laid off from the law firm where he had worked since 2010. Shea’s registration with the Washington State Bar Association recently was updated to show he’s started a solo practice specializing in nonprofit, civil rights and personal injury law.
► In the Spokesman-Review — House Democrats split on any action regarding Shea — House Democrats remain divided about what action, if any, to take regarding Republican Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, and allegations from independent investigators that some of his actions outside the Capitol could be considered “domestic terrorism.”
► In the (Longview) Daily News — Longtime state Rep. Richard DeBolt won’t seek re-election — Rep. Richard DeBolt (R-Chehalis) announced Thursday he won’t seek re-election this year, closing a 24-year career in the state House representing the 20th District, which includes parts of Lewis and Cowlitz counties.
► From Common Dreams — ‘Victory for workers!’: House praised for passing landmark PRO Act to strengthen unions and labor rights — Union leaders and labor rights advocates applauded the Democrat-controlled U.S. House for passing landmark legislation Thursday night that supporters have called one of the most notable efforts to expand workers’ rights in several decades.
The Stand (Feb. 7) — House passage of PRO Act hailed as ‘win for workers everywhere’
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump proposes $4.8 trillion election-year budget with big domestic cuts — The budget would cut Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and also wring savings from Medicare despite Trump’s repeated promises to safeguard Medicare and Social Security.
► From The Hill — Trump to ask for $2 billion for border wall
► In the USA Today — Trump touted low-wage worker pay gains but much of the credit goes to state minimum wage hikes — In his State of the Union address, Trump touted a “blue collar boom,” noting that wages “are rising fastest for low-income workers.” But Trump left out one thing: a large portion of those gains can be traced to minimum wage increases in more than half the states. The median wage for the bottom fifth of workers has climbed much more sharply in states that have raised their pay floors than in states that haven’t, according to a new study.
► From ABC News — Flight attendants’ leader says employees at breaking point — Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, says too many employees — especially at the smaller regional airlines — struggle to get by. She says there could be wildcat strikes despite a federal law that makes it nearly impossible for airline unions to conduct legal walkouts.
► In the Chicago Sun-Times — Cannabis jobs in Illinois should be good union jobs (by Tom Balanoff) — As the state embarks upon this new frontier of legal adult-use marijuana, we must not forget the working people who are making the lucrative cannabis industry flourish now and into the foreseeable future. From the growers to the salespeople, to the dispensary security officers and all other workers in between, cannabis jobs should be good, union, high-wage jobs.
EDITOR’S NOTE — An effort is underway this legislative session to ensure that Washington’s cannabis industry is accountable for creating safe workplaces and respecting workers’ rights.
► In the Columbian — California’s new labor law is already changing how Uber works for drivers and riders — In a bid to comply with the stringent definition of independent work established by Assembly Bill 5, signed into law in September, Uber is now experimenting in cities around California with some of the features it has long dismissed as unworkable. On the face of it, it’s a victory for drivers in the state, a predictable outcome of legislation that bolstered their legal rights.
► In today’s Washington Post — Our kids are losing one of their best teachers — because he’s a ‘dreamer’ (by Max Boot) — Many of the kids cried when they heard the news about Carlo Barrera, a 27-year-old science teacher and soccer coach at the Speyer Legacy School, a private K-8 school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. My kids tell me that “Coach B” is one of the most beloved figures at Speyer — and it’s easy to see why. As he walks down the hallway, he has a hug or an encouraging word for everyone he meets. He radiates energy and enthusiasm. He is not just a teacher but also a mentor and friend. So why is he now forced to abandon a job he is so good at?
We need all the great teachers we can get. Now, the teaching profession has lost a bright light because of the perverse xenophobia of the Trump administration. Barrera has met other dreamers who are doctors, lawyers and other successful professionals. It makes no sense, either as a matter of justice or economics, to evict them from a country they have come to call their own. Deporting the dreamers hurts not only them but the whole country. The House has already passed legislation protecting the dreamers. It’s imperative that the Senate follow suit.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.