Tuesday, February 18, 2020
► From CBS — Catholic school facing protests for allegedly forcing gay teachers out of their jobs — Students and parents were planning protests after a Catholic school in Burien allegedly forced out two teachers for being gay. Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, Washington, claims that both English teacher Paul Danforth and soccer coach Michelle Beattie “voluntarily resigned” shortly after they got engaged to same-sex partners. Students at the private school are now planning both a sit-in and a walkout.
► From the AP — What is the most deadly occupation in Washington state? — Transportation incidents accounted for 34% of the 86 fatal occupational injuries suffered in the Evergreen state in 2018, according to the BLS. Violence and other injuries caused by people or animals represented 23% of the fatal workplace incidents, falls slips and trips accounted for 20% and contact with objects and equipment created 15% of the fatalities. All other causes represented only 8%.
► From Fortune — Boeing takes a friendlier approach with latest union contract for engineers — “For the last several years, there’s been a reflexive anti-union hostility that has colored all of our discussions,” said SPEEA Executive Director Ray Goforth said. In the most recent talks, “that was largely, if not completely absent, and we were focused more on solving the problems that we could both agree needed to be solved.” The proposed contract makes the state family leave benefits available to SPEEA members, as well as paid paternity and maternity leave provided by the company. It also scraps the formula for calculating raises, which the union had objected to, for guaranteed minimum raises through 2026 (5.5% this year and next year, 5% in 2022 and 4.5% through the remaining four years).
The Stand (Feb. 14) — SPEEA members will vote on contract extension with Boeing
► From the AP — House approves carve out for media on birth date disclosure — The Washington House on Friday passed a bill that exempts birth dates of state and local government employees from public disclosure, but allows the media to continue to have access to them. The chamber passed the bill on a 91-7 vote. It now heads to the Senate for consideration. The bill is in response to an October ruling by the state Supreme Court that said birth dates of state employees are public records that are subject to disclosure.
The Stand (Jan. 24) — Protect public employee privacy, safety by passing HB 1888
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Why are nurses so overworked at Providence Everett? (letter) — My mother was a registered nurse and she never would have believed how conditions are today. These are devoted, caring medical professionals. Some light needs to be shed on what is really going on there.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — We need healthcare transparency, oversight — SHB 2036, which passed the House on Sunday, would shed light on what is driving skyrocketing hospital costs.
► From MSN — How business-friendly is your state? — 24/7 Wall St. created a weighted index of 42 measures to rank the best and worst states for business. These measures fall into one of eight categories: economic conditions, business costs, state infrastructure, the availability and skill level of the workforce, quality of life, regulations, technology and innovation, and cost of living… Washington ranks as the 4th best state for business. The tax climate in the state is more favorable to businesses than in most other states.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Fun Fact: According to 24/7 Wall St., Washington also ranks 7th in its list of Most Tax-Friendly States for the Rich.
► In the Olympian — State Senate honors U.S. Rep. Denny Heck for career that began in the Legislature — State Sen. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia), who sponsored the resolution honoring Heck, said he “has been a real public servant for over 45 years for the state of Washington, from the Legislature, to the governor’s office, to Evergreen State College, and to Congress, where he has served very valuably and ably.”
The Stand (Dec. 5, 2019) — WSLC’s Brown: Heck has served ‘with honor and distinction’
► From The Hill — DHS chief: SWAT-like teams to back up ICE in sanctuary cities — Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said SWAT-like teams will back up Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in sanctuary cities. Customs and Border Patrol officers will support ICE in sanctuary cities as “additional resources” for their “law enforcement and immigration duties.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Merriam-Webster defines “terrorism” as the systematic use of violence or the threat of violence used as a weapon of intimidation or coercion.
► In today’s Washington Post — Federal judges reportedly call emergency meeting in wake of Stone case intervention — The extraordinary move follows Trump’s tweets about the Roger Stone case and U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.
► In today’s Washington Post — Walmart employees say they’re preparing for job cuts as retailer rolls out its ‘Great Workplace’ program — Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, is telling employees that it is doing away with certain positions — including hourly supervisors and assistant store managers — and replacing them with a smaller set of roles that carry more responsibilities, often for the same pay, according to interviews with current and former store employees, and internal documents obtained by The Washington Post.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Insecure at work? Experience the power of solidarity. Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!
► In the SF Chronicle — Safeway workers cancel contract, may strike in Northern California — The union representing 14,000 Safeway workers from Eureka to Monterey canceled its contract with the grocery chain after negotiating for a year and a half and is pushing to strike, although the company hopes to avert that outcome.
► From WAMU — Giant, Safeway workers float possible strike in the D.C. region — Safeway and Giant workers in the D.C. area say they could announce a strike vote on Wednesday if contract negotiations with their employers do not change course. Such a move would include about 25,000 workers at more than 280 grocery stores in the region.
► From the Courier — North Carolina workers are fed up with the state’s $7.25 minimum wage — In 2019, Democratic lawmakers introduced at least seven bills to raise the state’s minimum wage, but not a single one received a committee hearing, let alone a vote, in the Republican-controlled legislature. Now, workers are sharing their stories at church hearings, calling on the state to raise its minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to $15, at events organized by Raising Wages NC and Fight for $15.
► From The Hill — States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash — Studies in retrospect show many of those deals rarely work out, either because the company does not deliver the promised jobs or because the promised residual economic growth never materializes.
► From PBS — “You’re just disposable”: Former Amazon workers speak out — In interviews with FRONTLINE for a new documentary, former Amazon employees who worked in the company’s fulfillment centers describe a work environment in which they felt pressured to pick and pack items at productivity rates they say are “unrealistic.”
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.