Connect with us


Paid family leave delays ● Amazon makes jobs Go away ● Hoffa plans exit

Tuesday, February 25, 2020




► From the AP — Delays increase in Washington’s paid family leave program — Weekly benefits under Washington state’s new paid family leave law are now taking up to 10 weeks to process because of the high number of people applying for the program. In the first six weeks since the the program went live last month, more than 30,000 people have applied, more than triple the amount that was projected in that same time frame. “We know (10 weeks) is simply too long,” said Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine, saying she believes that is the peak and hope to get wait time down to two weeks by June.

► In today’s Seattle Times — State lawmakers propose state budgets to address homelessness crisis — House and Senate Democrats each released separate supplemental state budget plans that attempt to address homelessness and the lack of affordable housing. The proposals make tweaks to the $52.4 billion 2019-21 state operating budget lawmakers approved last spring.

► In today’s Columbian — Rep. Matt Shea may not be emcee for Clark County GOP Lincoln DayEmbattled Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) may be out as master of ceremonies for the Clark County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day event. Sometime Monday, at least two references to Shea were removed from the local GOP’s website.

► In today’s Oregonian — Oregon Senate Republicans walk out over climate cap-and-trade bill — Republicans in the Oregon Senate fled the Capitol on Monday to stop Democrats’ bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions after the plan cleared a legislative budget committee earlier in the day.




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — 3 plutonium-tainted Hanford facilities are at high risk of collapse, feds discover — Three radioactively contaminated underground structures at high risk of collapse on the Hanford nuclear reservation could be filled with concrete-like grout within a year. The Department of Energy has concluded they could fail and release radioactive contamination.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Amazon expands its checkout-free store lineup with Seattle opening of first Go Grocery — Amazon’s next step in its disruption of the grocery store business is rolling out in Seattle. Amazon Go Grocery, the online retailer’s first checkout-free grocery store, is slated to open Tuesday morning in a 10,400-square-foot space in Seattle’s Capitol Hill… “They’re going after conventional operators — the QFCs, the Safeways,” said one retail industry consultant.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane County Commission backs legal effort forcing public employee unions to negotiate publicly — Spokane County has filed a brief in support of Lincoln County’s case that will determine whether counties can force unions that represent their employees to negotiate wages and benefits in public.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing lands year’s first sales win as Japan’s ANA orders a dozen 787s — The board of All Nippon Airways on Tuesday approved a firm order for a dozen Boeing 787 Dreamliners, with an option to purchase five more later, giving Boeing its first sales win of the year.

► In today’s Wenatchee World — Moses Lake port, Boeing in talks to extend 737 MAX storage leases — The leases may be extended until the end of 2021. Boeing is currently storing more than 250 of the 737 Max airplanes on nearly 69 acres of Grant County International Airport.




► From The Guardian — Trump’s separation of families constitutes torture, doctors find — The trauma Donald Trump’s administration caused to young children and parents separated at the US-Mexico border constitutes torture, according to evaluations of 26 children and adults by the group Physicians for Human Rights (PHR).




► In the Detroit News — Teamsters chief James P. Hoffa won’t seek re-election — James P. Hoffa on Friday signaled the end of an era for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, saying he will not seek reelection just as the labor union this week makes a historic exit from government oversight. “I think it’s time for the next generation to take over,” the 78-year-old labor leader said. “We rebuilt this union. We’ve rebuilt our finances. We rebuilt the spirit. We put the swagger back in the union. … I’m very proud of what we have done, but I also realize maybe it’s time for the next generation to take over.”

► From Labor 411 — Target warehouse workers rally to become first location in U.S. to unionize — Target workers at a New Jersey location are fed up with management and are rallying to become the first to unionize at the company. “Former employees of the Target warehouse on High Street [in Perth Amboy, NJ] said conditions at the facility were ‘like a prison’ and workers were treated ‘like robots.’ It’s claims such as these that led to a unionization effort there and a rally Thursday at which current and former employees met with union members and city officials to call for better working conditions.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Escape robot prison. Form a union! 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!

► From WINK — Florida Gannett and Gatehouse Media journalist announce union formation — Journalists of The Naples Daily News, The News-Press, The Banner and the Marco Eagle announced they are forming a union Monday and asked management to voluntarily recognize the Southwest Florida News Guild, part of the NewsGuild-CWA.

► From HuffPost  — The Young Turks’ progressive founder urged his staff not to unionize — In a tense meeting with employees, Cenk Uygur argued that a union doesn’t belong at a small news network struggling to make profits.

► In today’s Washington Post — Katherine Johnson, ‘hidden figure’ at NASA during 1960s space race, dies at 101 — When Katherine Johnson ­began working at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in 1953, she was classified as “subprofessional,” not far outranking a secretary or janitor. Hers was a labor not of scheduling or cleaning but rather of mathematics: using a slide rule or mechanical calculator in complex calculations to check the work of her superiors — engineers who, unlike her, were white and male. Johnson, who died Feb. 24 at 101, went on to develop equations that helped the NACA and its successor, NASA, send astronauts into orbit and, later, to the moon. In 26 signed reports for the space agency, and in many more papers that bore others’ signatures on her work, she codified mathematical principles that remain at the core of human space travel… She did not command mainstream attention until President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the country’s highest civilian honor — in 2015. The next year, her research was celebrated in the best-selling book “Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly and the Oscar-nominated film adaptation.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — AFL-CIO spotlights Black leaders, activists




► In today’s Seattle Times — This chart is the best explanation of middle-class finances you will ever see — Economists and financial experts have been telling us for years how great things are for U.S. workers and consumers. The stuff we buy is dirt cheap, and living standards are higher than ever. Wages are keeping pace with inflation. Inequality probably isn’t as bad as you’ve been led to believe. The stock market is booming! So why, then, do so many of us feel like we can barely make ends meet?

A new report published by the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, offers a clear explanation for the disconnect between the economy described by economists and the one experienced by regular people. It all boils down to the startling shift illustrated in the chart here. Lead author Oren Cass distills it as follows: “In 1985, the typical male worker could cover a family of four’s major expenditures (housing, health care, transportation, education) on 30 weeks of salary,” he wrote on Twitter last week. “By 2018 it took 53 weeks. Which is a problem, there being 52 weeks in a year.”


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

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!