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Attach some strings ● Labor law is broken ● ‘Space Jam’ solidarity

Friday, February 21, 2020




► In today’s News Tribune — Boeing’s tax-break giveback to Washington state is smart, proactive — but not heroic (editorial) — Boeing shrewdly included an escape hatch: a provision reinstating the tax break if the trade dispute is resolved… Let’s assume Boeing sees its tax-break loss as strategic and temporary. That’s OK, because it opens the door for a renegotiation of any terms going forward… There should be a full reckoning of whether Boeing fulfilled its promises to the state by meeting production and employment benchmarks in the years since the incentive package was adopted. And the Legislature should extract guarantees that the next new Boeing aircraft will be built in Washington.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Avoid damaging trade war over Boeing tax break (editorial) — There’s opportunity here as well as need for caution. What’s adopted — if the tax incentives are permitted to resume at some point — ought to seek a better guarantee of jobs in trade for the significant tax breaks the state can provide.

► In today’s (Vancouver) Columbian — Boeing wanted those tax breaks until it didn’t (editorial) — When a corporation is willing — nay, eager — to give up tax breaks that save it hundreds of millions of dollars a year, perhaps those breaks were ill-considered in the first place.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Changes are needed to the state’s child care system. Several bills in Olympia could help. — At least seven proposals aimed at improving access, affordability and employment sustainability have made it past their respective house of origin, allowing them to continue toward potential approval.

The Stand (Feb. 20) — Support labor bills at Saturday’s Town Halls — Check out the status of pro-worker bills, including some related to child care.

► In today’s Seattle Times — No vote taken on House bill that would let King County tax big businesses, but backers still hopeful — This year’s deadline to pass regular bills out of the House came and went without a vote on a closely watched proposal that would allow King County to tax big businesses to raise money for affordable housing and homeless services. But the concept behind HB 2907 may not be wholly dead, said sponsor Rep. Nicole Macri (D-Seattle). It could be reintroduced as a special budget/revenue bill not subject to Wednesday’s deadline, and negotiations in Olympia are ongoing.

EDITOR’S NOTE — MLK Labor voted to endorse HB 2907 this week.

► In today’s (Spokane) Spokesman-Review — House members circulate letter calling for Shea expulsion — House members are being asked to sign a letter calling for their leaders to begin the process of expelling Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley). A letter circulated to all 98 members of the House asks for them to sign onto a letter to Speaker Laurie Jinkins and Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox to “take the necessary institutional steps to bring the expulsion” to the full House. “Failure to act undermines the integrity of the institution and the core tenets of our democracy,” says the letter, which has a space for every member, both Democrat and Republican, except Shea. “We do not make this request lightly.”

► Meanwhile, in today’s (Vancouver) Columbian — Legislator suspended from Republican caucus to emcee local GOP event — Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley), who stands accused of participating in “domestic terrorism” against the United States, will preside over one of the Clark County Republican Party’s premier events. Earl Bowerman, county GOP chair, said he has invited Shea to be master of ceremonies for the April 25 Lincoln Day Gala and Auction at ilani on the Cowlitz Indian Reservation.




► In the (Longview) Daily News — Pulp and paper unions, Nippon Dynawave to start contract negotiations — Two pulp and paper union locals representing nearly 300 workers will begin contract negotiations next week with Nippon Dynawave, and the talks may be thorny. The negotiations begin Monday, about four months after a long and tense round of bargaining between the company and its Longview extruder employees. The AWPPW’s Jim Anderson said there is a lot of fear this may be a much harder bargain than usual.




► In the Dallas Morning News — Southwest Airlines’ ‘bet-the-company decision:’ Should it stick with Boeing’s 737? — When the MAX does return to the skies, that’s when analysts say Southwest will have to make the most important decision it’s faced in decades — whether to move on from its unwavering loyalty to the 737.




► From the NY Times Magazine — Why are workers struggling? Because labor law is broken — Recent NLRB rulings are an indication that for tens of millions of low-wage workers, in sectors like fast food and the gig economy, American labor law is utterly deficient. If the NLRB can undermine vulnerable employees when they try to unionize, what does the law’s promise — to protect the rights of workers to come together — really mean?

► In today’s NY Times — Lawmakers are warned that Russia is meddling to re-elect Trump — Intelligence officials warned House lawmakers last week that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected, five people familiar with the matter said, a disclosure to Congress that angered Trump, who complained that Democrats would use it against him.

► In the Washington Post — Don’t let Republicans sabotage the economy under the next Democratic president (by Paul Waldman) — Republicans have undertaken an instantaneous transformation, one they’ve performed many times over the last few decades. The moment a Democrat is inaugurated, they begin wailing about how deficits are going to destroy everything we hold dear so we must impose brutal austerity policies; then, when a Republican takes office, they advocate tax cuts and spending increases (except on programs they don’t like, such as Medicaid) to boost the economy… When the next Democratic president does take office and Republicans start talking about the deficit again, it’s critical that we — the media, the Washington establishment, the average voter — not fall for their scam. Not for a second.




► From Gannett — The benefits of an apprenticeship program are clear (by Michael J. Smith) — Not only do registered apprenticeship programs provide workers with a nationally recognized credential that is stackable and portable, but apprenticeship graduates see a lifetime earnings increase of over $300,000.

The Stand (Jan. 21, 2020) — Apprenticeship: ‘It means having a future’

► From the NY Times Magazine — Breaking the salary sharing taboo — Transparency about salaries can make workplaces more equitable, especially for women and people of color. Why are so few Americans willing to open up?

► From Mel magazine — The hidden pro-union politics of ‘Space Jam’ — “Space Jam” writers and animators tell us about the labor-rights messages they hid in plain sight — and why Hollywood wasn’t such a sunny place for the artists who made Bugs Bunny a baller.




► Today the Entire Staff of The Stand celebrates the birthday of the late, great Nina Simone with one of our all-time desert-island favorite songs. What makes it really great is Simone’s amazing and understated piano solo in the middle — from about 1:10 to 2:20. This 1987 claymation video was one of the first productions by Peter Lord, who went on to produce Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run. And, as anybody who’s taken Internets 101 knows: (Great Song + Piano Solo) x Cats = More than 22 million views. It’s simple math. Enjoy!


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