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‘Unresponsive’ at Swedish ● Cheaper tabs ● Hardship and inequality

Tuesday, February 11, 2020




► In today’s Seattle Times — Swedish and its workers’ union return to bargaining table for the first time since strike — SEIU Healthcare 1199NW said in a Monday statement that members entered the bargaining meetings with new energy, but started feeling discouraged as the day continued:

“While union members are working to come to agreement on a fair contract, Swedish-Providence management has not moved on its proposals and continues to be unresponsive to caregivers’ proposals for safe staffing. In fact, management’s proposals would make recruitment and retention worse than the situation that’s already been reported, and put back on the table several proposals that would move the contract backwards.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Trump administration suing King County to allow deportation flights from Boeing Field — King County announced last year that it would seek to stop ICE-chartered flights from using county-owned Boeing Field to send immigrants to their home countries or to bring others in from around the country for incarceration at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.




► From Reuters — FAA says approaching 737 MAX test flight, awaits Boeing proposals — The FAA is narrowing the issues needed before it can conduct a certification test flight on the grounded Boeing 737 MAX, but will not commit to a timetable for lifting a flight ban, its top official said. The certification flight to be carried out by FAA pilots “is not scheduled yet because we still have a few issues to resolve, but we continue to narrow the issues. We are waiting for proposals from Boeing on a few items,” he added.

► From Flightglobal — Fuselage deal pushes back recovery of 737 MAX production rates — Spirit AeroSystems’ latest Boeing 737 Max production agreement for 2020 covers barely a third of the fuselages it delivered in 2018, and appears to put Boeing at least four years behind its ramp-up schedule for the re-engined jet.

► In the Wichita Eagle — Wichita likely ‘most exposed’ metro in U.S. by Boeing 737 MAX crisis, economists say — A new report concludes that Boeing’s strong order backlog and the tight labor market for skilled aviation workers is likely to limit layoffs across the county to a handful of areas. Unfortunately for Wichita, it’s the area that will be hit the hardest.




► In today’s Olympian — Bill would lower car tabs for taxpayers, but Sound Transit warns of delays — Angry about high car-tab fees because of how Sound Transit calculates the value of your vehicle? The Senate is considering a bill that would require the transit agency to use a depreciation schedule that would result in lower costs for taxpayers. The Senate Transportation Committee approved the bill on Monday, moving it one step closer to a full Senate vote. Sound Transit opposes the bill, saying it would lose an estimated $1 billion in revenue, triggering delays in light-rail projects and causing higher debt costs.

► From the AP — Gov. Jay Inslee signs college grant funding bill into law — Inslee on Monday signed the first new law of this year’s legislative session, a measure that changes the structure of a new B&O tax surcharge levied on some professional services and technology companies in order to create a more stable revenue stream for the state’s college grant program.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle City Council to Washington state lawmakers: Don’t take away city’s ability to tax big businesses — The House is considering a bill that would allow King County to raise money for affordable housing and homeless services by imposing a tax of 0.1% to 0.2% on compensation paid by businesses to employees making at least $150,000 a year, with exceptions for small businesses, government entities and some other companies.




► From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities — 2021 Trump budget would increase hardship and inequality — It would increase the ranks of the uninsured, severely cut basic assistance for low-income families, and cut an array of other non-defense programs, while investing relatively little in our nation’s infrastructure. At the same time, it would permanently extend the 2017 tax law’s costly tax cuts for individuals, including those for high-income taxpayers. Together, the proposed program changes and tax cuts would increase income disparities and widen inequality across racial and ethnic lines.

► From HuffPost — Trump’s first 3 years created 1.5 million fewer jobs than Obama’s last 3 — Newly revised figures from Trump’s own Department of Labor show that 6.6 million new jobs were created in the first 36 months of Trump’s tenure, compared with 8.1 million in the final 36 months of Obama’s ― a decline of 19% under Trump.

► From Politico — Trump’s GOP guardrails obliterated after impeachment — Republicans are doing little to rein in a vengeful president.

► From HuffPost — Senators slam Amazon over ‘intolerable’ warehouse conditions — In a letter sent Monday to Bezos, the group of 15 Democratic and independent lawmakers said they were troubled by reports of bleak conditions inside Amazon facilities. In November, The Atlantic and the Center for Investigative Reporting published an investigation documenting high injury rates at Amazon fulfillment centers around the country — in some locations more than double the national average for the warehousing industry.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) was the only U.S. Senator from the Pacific Northwest to sign the letter.




► From the AP — Judge clears major hurdle in T-Mobile’s $26.5B Sprint bid –A federal judge has removed a major obstacle to T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion takeover of Sprint, as he rejected claims by a group of states that the deal would mean less competition and higher phone bills. Though the deal still needs a few more approvals, T-Mobile expects to close it as early as April 1.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The Communications Workers of America and the AFL-CIO have opposed this merger as anti-competitive and harmful to American workers.

► From Winsight Grocery Business — Giant, Safeway unions taking strike votes — Citing five months of fruitless negotiations, UFCW Locals 400 and 27, which represent about 26,000 associates at Giant and Safeway stores in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware, said strike authorization votes began last week.

► From WWL — New Orleans firefighters boycott overtime, want more hires: Union rep — New Orleans firefighters claim current staffing shortages threaten their ability to put out fires in the city on a timely basis. “When it comes down to the actual manpower on the streets, we’re at critical mass now,” Firefighters Union President Aaron Mischler said.




► The good people of “We Do The Work,” the weekly Skagit Valley Community Radio program, recently scored the interview of the decade (so far): The Entire Staff of The Stand! It airs on KSVR 91.7 FM today at 5 p.m. and again at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. Or you can listen to it right here, right now. P.S. We had a cold.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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