The Stand

More Boeing job cuts ● Tyson blackout ● GOP’s ‘mess’ ● NLRB rigs again

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

 


BOEING

 

► From the Seattle Times — Boeing will cut production and jobs further, and may build 787 only in South Carolina — Boeing said Wednesday that, due to the collapse in demand for airliners from the COVID-19 pandemic, it will cut widebody jet production rates in Everett and will study the feasibility of closing the 787 Dreamliner assembly line there to consolidate that work in South Carolina. As the company announced a $2.4 billion loss for the quarter ending in June, Boeing said these moves will force further job losses beyond those previously announced, without specifying how deep the cuts will go. Layoffs already announced will cut 10,500 jobs in Washington state. Wednesday’s announcements means further cuts are likely to be concentrated in Everett.

The 787 was launched in 2003 after Washington state provided massive tax breaks to convince Boeing to build it here. The state now faces the prospect of losing that work. However, if Boeing does consolidate the work in South Carolina, there’ll be no impact on the company’s tax liability in Washington state because those tax incentives are already gone. In March, at Boeing’s request, the state legislature ended the aerospace tax breaks to comply with WTO rules barring subsidies.

The Stand (Sept. 13, 2018) — Washington ranked #1 (again) for aerospace manufacturing

 


COVID-19

 

► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, July 29 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 54,205 infections (7-day average of new infections per day: 850) and 1,548 deaths (7-day average of deaths per day: 10)

► From the PSBJ — Sea-Tac Airport to provide more TSA checkpoint disinfections after 18 screeners get COVID-19

► From the Spokesman-Review — North Spokane nursing facility has 32 COVID-19 cases; county reports 83 new cases, 5 deaths — DSHS data show 242 long-term care facilities, including adult family homes, across the state have at least one positive case.

► From the (Longview) Daily News — County COVID data shows workplaces, gatherings top infection sources — Workplaces appear to be the source of infection in more than half of COVID-19 cases reported since Cowlitz County entered Phase 2 of the governor’s reopening plan. Nearly a quarter were from religious and social gatherings.

► From the Seattle Times — Local government employees across Puget Sound region will keep working remotely until 2021, due to COVID-19

► From the Walla Walla U-B — County health officials lay out COVID-19 situation in the Valley — Social gatherings and workplace spread are of primary concern among public health officials.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Remember way back when workplace outbreaks like the one at the Tyson plant in Wallula were of sufficient concern to the community that the plants were pressured to temporarily shut down? Apparently, those food processing plants are no longer reporting their COVID-19 infection rates. Either that or local health officials are now withholding that information from the public. There have been no reports for months about whether Tyson has successfully contained what was the state’s worst COVID-19 hotspot back in May. But there are hints in this report that they have not. Walla Walla Department of Community Health head Meghan DeBolt said, “We’re continuing to do outreach with community partners” like Tyson Fresh Meats in Wallula to get them educational information. Hey, Walla Walla: maybe you should tell your local public officials to identify which “community partners” are not only sickening their workers, but also exposing you and your family to COVID-19!

► From the Olympian — Inslee extends pause on phases indefinitely, updates Safe Start guidance

► From the Spokesman-Review — Pandemic creates paradox – we must open schools but we can’t open schools (by Shawn Vestal) — We have to open, but we can’t. Do I contradict myself? Very well then – the entire nightmare of 2020 contradicts itself. It’s a pandemic paradox, and there’s no good answer. And yet there is an answer. A safe, smart, responsible, infuriating, necessary answer. The schools can’t open.

► From HuffPost — American Federation of Teachers approves potential educator ‘safety strikes’ — The union announced it would support strikes as a last resort amid the push to reopen schools during the pandemic. AFT’s executive council approved a resolution last week backing such action on a case-by-case basis, AFT President Randi Weingarten said at the union’s annual convention.

► From the Washington Post — Labor unions petition Transportation Department for a mandatory mask rule — Labor unions representing transportation workers formally asked the U.S. Department of Transportation this week to issue an emergency rule ordering passengers to wear masks on planes, buses and trains or be denied a ride. Larry Willis , the president of the Transportation Trades Department, a coalition of 33 unions, wrote in the petition that the government needed to go beyond issuing guidance and set clear rules for the use of masks to protect workers and passengers from the novel coronavirus.

► From Roll Call — Conflicts over workplace safety mount as more employers require COVID-19 liability waivers — As employers across the country ask employees to return to the workplace, many have considered and some are requiring employees to sign waivers agreeing not to sue the employers if they catch COVID-19 or suffer any injury from it while working there, employment lawyers say. And many employees, mostly lower-wage and minority workers in essential jobs, are calling lawyers to complain about the waivers.

► From Backstage — IATSE reveals guidelines for reopening live theaters

 


BLACK LIVES MATTER

 

If my wife comes to me in obvious pain and asks, “Do you love me?”, an answer of “I love everyone” would be truthful, but also hurtful and cruel in the moment.

If a co-worker comes to me and says, “My father just died,” a response of “Everyone’s parents die,” would be truthful, but hurtful and cruel in the moment.

So when a friend speaks up in a time of obvious pain and hurt and says, “Black lives matter,” a response of “All lives matter,” is truthful. But it’s hurtful and cruel in the moment.

Doug Williford

► From the Columbian — Camas BLM chalk murals defaced, repeatedly removed

► From the Oregonian — New polling shows most Oregonians support Black Lives Matter, many don’t approve of the job their local police are doing

► From the Washington Post — ‘Umbrella Man’ went viral breaking windows at a Minneapolis protest. He was a white supremacist trying to spark violence, police say.

► From the Washington Post — Armed conservative groups are deploying to the front lines of the culture war — Across the country, armed civilians have surged into public view — marching on statehouses, challenging Black Lives Matter protests, chasing Internet rumors — and bringing the threat of lethal force to local politics.

► From the NY Times — A Nevada library wanted to back Black Lives Matter. The sheriff said he wouldn’t respond to 911 calls there.

 


ELECTION

 

► From the Kitsap Sun — There’s still time to register to vote and mail ballots before the Aug. 4 primary election. Here’s how. — Those who are not yet registered and want to vote in next Tuesday’s primary can still register in person at their County Auditor’s Office and, in some cases, at county vote centers right up until Tuesday, Aug. 4.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Before you vote, check out the complete list of endorsements by the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

 


LOCAL

 

► From the Seattle Times — For a city that’s said to be dying, there sure is a lot of money pouring into Seattle (by Danny Westneat) — While pundits warn we’re headed for the rocks, the money seems to be sailing in, sensing opportunity. Seattle has a ton to worry about as we try to recover from this pandemic. That our corporate overlords are about to turn out the lights just doesn’t seem like one of them.

► From the PSBJ — Port of Seattle cancels RFP for new $200M downtown cruise ship terminal amid pandemic

► From the Tri-City Herald — Protests prompt feds to rethink award of $13 billion Hanford contract — The federal government has dismissed appeals protesting the award of a $13 billion contract for Hanford tank waste work to a team headed by BWXT with Fluor Federal Services. But that is not the end of the matter.

► From the Yakima H-R — Number of people transported on Yakima ICE flights is down, flights will continue into next year — Fewer detainees are flying in and out of Yakima on flights chartered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement this year compared to last. The flights, which have been a source of local controversy, likely will continue on a weekly basis through the start of 2021.

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From The Hill — Poll shows pressure on vulnerable GOP senators to back state and local coronavirus aid — A new poll shows overwhelming public support in Senate battleground states for Congress to provide up to $1 trillion in fiscal relief to state and local governments whose budgets have been drained by the coronavirus pandemic. More than 70 percent of voters surveyed in Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Montana and North Carolina say they support spending $1 trillion in federal money to prevent cuts to health-care providers, teachers and first responders.

► From The Hill — GOP under mounting pressure to strike virus deal quicklyGOP senators say there are several significant factors that weigh in favor of reaching a deal soon. They include the expiration of the $600-a-week federal enhancement to state unemployment benefits, the expiration of the federal moratorium on evictions, the recent wave of new coronavirus infections in Sun Belt and Midwestern states, the fast-approaching start of the school year, and a wave of potential small-business closures predicted for the weeks ahead.

► From KNKX — Washington’s unemployed workers worry about losing extra $600

► From Politico — ‘It’s a mess’: Republican senators deride key proposals in GOP virus package — Senate Republicans complained on Tuesday about key provisions in the GOP-authored coronavirus relief bill one day after its unveiling, as Democrats panned the proposal as a non-starter.

► From HuffPost — Millions of Americans are about to be homeless, and it’s totally preventable — Rent is due this weekend, and with the federal moratorium on evictions expired, millions won’t be able to pay.

► From the AP — GOP tucks $8 billion for military weaponry into virus bill

► From Bloomberg Law — Trump’s NLRB proposes third set of changes to union election rules — Employers would no longer have to give unions workers’ personal email addresses, home telephone numbers, and cell phone numbers on the lists of eligible voter information they must provide in advance of pending elections, according to the NLRB’s proposed rulemaking announced Tuesday. AFL-CIO General Counsel Craig Becker said the latest proposal, like the Trump NLRB’s earlier rulemakings, is “aimed solely at satisfying employer demands to tilt the law in their favor.” There’s no evidence of abuse—or even complaints of abuse—related to worker information that’s required on eligible voter lists, he said.

► From the Washington Post — Trump administration to limit DACA work permits as it considers ending program — The White House said Tuesday it will limit work permits for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to one year instead of two, as administration officials reconsider whether to terminate an eight-year-old program that protects such immigrants from deportation.

► From the Washington Post — Postal Service memos detail ‘difficult’ changes, including slower mail delivery — The new head of the U.S. Postal Service established major operational changes Monday that could slow down mail delivery, warning employees the agency would not survive unless it made “difficult” changes to cut costs. But critics say such a philosophical sea change would sacrifice operational efficiency and cede its competitive edge to UPS, FedEx and other private-sector rivals.

► From the Washington Post — Democrats confront Barr during caustic House hearing — Democrats clashed with Attorney General William Barr over protests and police conduct, and accused Barr of politicizing the Justice Department.

► From KUOW — Jayapal goes after Barr over federal force against protesters

► From the Washington Post — Trump says he has not spoken to Putin about alleged Russian bounties on U.S. troops — President Trump said in an interview broadcast Wednesday that he has not spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin about U.S. intelligence reports of Russian bounties given to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan. “I have never discussed it with him, no,” Trump said. He said he did not bring up the issue during his most recent conversation with Putin last week, which Trump said was “a phone call to discuss other things.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Not only is Trump afraid to mention this issue with Putin, he has echoed Russian government denials over the veracity of America’s own intelligence agencies. Pictured here is one of the three U.S. Marine reservists killed in the April 2019 car bombing potentially tied to the Russian bounties. Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman, 43, a New York City firefighter and a 15-year member of the IAFF. He was survived by his wife and three children.

► From the AP — Unions sue USDA over faster chicken plant production speeds

 


NATIONAL

 

► From the Seattle Times — Bezos, Zuckerberg and Musk have made $115 billion this year

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — State’s CEO-to-worker pay ratio is 207-to-1

► From the NY Times — Four of the world’s wealthiest men are preparing for battle (editorial) — It’s up to the subcommittee to help the public understand the breadth of the companies’ power and, potentially, to recommend that regulators break them up or take other action. Also at issue is determining if existing rules are sufficient given the tech companies’ market power and whether the laws should be updated because the companies behave in ways that should be illegal.

► From the Washington Post — Five things to watch for at landmark tech antitrust hearing — The heads of Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook will face lawmakers on Tuesday to defend their competitive practices and massive sizes.

► From the NY Times — Amazon has too much power. Take it back. (by former Amazon VP Tim Bray and ) — Both of us want Amazon to share the wealth with workers and stop putting the relentless pursuit of revenue growth ahead of all other concerns. One way or another, this requires putting more power in the hands of workers. Regulation and legislation are part of the solution. But there’s no need to wait; power can be taken, not just given. That’s what unions are for.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Want power at work? Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate better working conditions and a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

 


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

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