Monday, March 8, 2021
► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, March 8 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 344,532 infections (7-day average of new infections per day: 780) and 5,041 deaths.
► From Politico — Vaccine-skeptical Trump country poses challenge to immunization push — The expansion in vaccine supply marks a critical time to confront deep skepticism among large numbers of rural whites and Republicans.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Check out the WSLC’s Vaccine Information for Union Members so you can make an informed choice about vaccination.
► From Politico — 6 feet isn’t enough. Workers need more ventilation. (by David Michaels, Donald K. Milton and Lis M. Brosseau) — We now know that the coronavirus can be carried farther than six feet by tiny airborne particles known as aerosols. The CDC and OSHA need to revamp safety rules to address that.
► From the AP — After fierce debate, Senate approves new tax on capital gains by one vote — Profits on the sale of stocks and bonds in excess of $250,000 would be subject to a new tax on capital gains under a bill narrowly approved Saturday by the Washington Senate. The measure passed on a 25-24 vote after more than four hours of debate in the Democratic-led chamber. “Our hardworking Washington families are ready for us to reform and rebuild our tax code,” said Sen. June Robinson (D-Everett), the bill’s primary sponsor. “They are asking for the wealthy few to be part of equitable investments in our state’s future.” … The Senate also Saturday passed a measure that would increase eligibility and subsidies for child care and increase spending on early learning in the state, funded through part of the revenues expected to be raised by the capital gains tax.
TODAY at The Stand — ‘The kind of change we need’: Senate OKs capital gains tax
► From the Senate Democrats — Senate passes landmark Wilson bill to expand access to child care — Sweeping legislation passed Saturday by the Senate would address one of the leading challenges for Washington households by dramatically increasing the accessibility and affordability of child care while stabilizing and expanding an industry in crisis.
► From The Stanger — As a well-off tech worker, I want to be taxed on my wealth (by Kevin Litwack) — I will not move out of state as a result of the Legislature doing its job to rebalance our upside-down tax code, and neither will anyone I know.
► From the News Tribune — Tacoma must reckon with all police use of force, not just kind that killed Manny Ellis (editorial) — On the one-year anniversary of Manny Ellis’ death at the hands of Tacoma police, his family and friends are naturally bereaved and angry about the slow grind of justice, waiting to learn if any officers will be criminally prosecuted. But they can take solace in the knowledge his 33 years of life had meaning and his death won’t come to nothing.
► From KING 5 — King County to vote on $4/hour hazard pay for grocery workers Tuesday –Last week, several grocery workers testified in front of the council saying they’re exhausted, both emotionally and physically.
► From KIRO — Seattle schools announce return for students without union agreement, sparking controversy and confusion — A Seattle Education Association union representative and occupational therapist in the district, Joy Springer, says one holdup is that teachers want safety precautions in writing. She said some schools in the district are less prepared than others. “Not every school is ready to return,” Springer said. “One of the big things at the bargaining table right now is inequity across the district,” she said.
► From the Seattle Times — KOMO lays off employees amid national cuts at Sinclair — Sinclair Broadcast Group and KOMO did not provide a count of the number of employees laid off in Seattle, but several employees said the cuts included six people in the station’s TV newsroom.
► From the Kitsap Sun — St. Michael hospital settles class-action lawsuit over unpaid breaks — The 2019 lawsuit, filed in federal court by a nurse at the hospital’s former Bremerton campus, alleged that nurses’ unpaid breaks and 30 minutes for lunch are “continuously subject to interruption,” which violates Washington state labor laws and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
► From KTVZ — St. Charles Bend medical tech workers’ strike in
4th 5th day; no sign of quick end — A strike by about 150 medical techs (Oregon Federation of Nursing and Health Professionals) against St. Charles Health System entered its fourth day Sunday with no outward signs of resolution ahead of a scheduled Wednesday session with a federal mediator.
► From the Seattle Times — FAA safety engineer goes public to slam the agency’s oversight of Boeing’s 737 MAX — Joe Jacobsen should have been among the FAA specialists who reviewed the MAX’s critical new flight control software during its original certification, which was largely controlled by Boeing. He’s confident that he and other FAA engineers would have flagged its serious design flaws. He got the chance to do so only after the first crash in Indonesia, in late 2018. He believes additional system upgrades are needed beyond Boeing’s fix for the MAX that was blessed by the FAA and other regulators. Jacobsen also calls for the replacement of some of the people at “the highest levels of FAA management,” whom he blames for creating a culture too concerned with fulfilling the demands of industry.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Dear anti-government supporters of deregulation: You aren’t doing companies like Boeing any favors. Sincerely, The Rest of Us.
► From the AP — Boeing CEO waived pay but got compensation worth $21 million — Boeing CEO David Calhoun declined a salary and performance bonus for most of last year but still received stock benefits that pushed the estimated value of his compensation to more than $21 million, according to a regulatory filing Friday. Calhoun, 63, was a longtime Boeing board member before being named CEO after the firing of Dennis Muilenburg in December 2019. Pension funds in New York and Colorado are suing current and former board members and executives, including Calhoun and Muilenburg, for lax safety oversight during the development of the 737 MAX.
► From Politico — Senate approves Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan — The Senate passed President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package Saturday morning after a grueling overnight session, delivering on the White House’s first major legislative priority. The legislation will now head back to the House. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the House would take it up Tuesday, putting the bill on track to be sent to Biden’s desk before federal unemployment benefits expire March 14.
► From UNITE HERE — Hospitality workers’ union: Senate relief package will ‘change the lives of millions of workers’ — UNITE HERE housekeepers, cooks, servers, and dishwashers — like millions of Americans — have endured a lot this last year, and having the security of health care coverage during the pandemic will give families much needed relief.
► From the NY Times — Rescue package includes $86 billion bailout for failing pensions — The money will rescue about 185 union pension plans that are so close to collapse that more than a million retired truck drivers, retail clerks, builders and others could be forced to forgo retirement income.
► From the NY Times — In the stimulus bill, a policy revolution in aid for children — The $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package moving through Congress advances an idea that Democrats have been nurturing for decades: establishing a guaranteed income for families with children.
► From Vox — When to expect your stimulus check, and other questions, answered — Congress is about to pass a third stimulus package, including $1,400 direct payments.
► From WXXI — Biden infrastructure plan aims to please both labor and environmentalists — President Joe Biden pledges to be the most labor-friendly president ever, and unions are a key part of his political coalition. He’s now enlisting their support for his plan to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and transition the country to clean energy.
The Stand (March 2) — Invest in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, Buy American
► From the Columbian — Infrastructure foundation to economic recovery (editorial) — As the nation works to recover from the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic, infrastructure spending will be essential. For both short-term and long-term prosperity, shoring up long-neglected roads, bridges, ports, railroads and airports is a key to maintaining the United States’ status as the most dynamic economy in the world.
► From the NY Times — Manchin expresses openness to making filibuster harder to use — The moderate Democrat said he would not support killing off the procedural tool that requires bipartisan support for most bills, but signaled a willingness to advance some party-line votes.
► From the Washington Post — Celebrating female leaders on Women’s History Month — A team that sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender discrimination. An activist who fought for the rights and lives of farmworkers. A politician who considered 231 years of male vice presidents and thought: “I will be next.” Some of these women have familiar names. Others have made a difference away from the limelight. Each one has a story to celebrate.
► From the Washington Post — Murder trial of Derek Chauvin, accused of killing George Floyd, begins in Minnesota — Jury selection has been delayed in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the officer charged in the death of George Floyd, amid a dispute over whether the case can move forward as the judge reconsiders a prosecution request to re-add a third-degree murder charge.
► And then there’s this…
joining a union > joining royal family
— AFL-CIO // Pass the #PROAct (@AFLCIO) March 8, 2021
EDITOR’S NOTE — Want protection at work? Get a union! Find out 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 Last Week Tonight — Unemployment — John Oliver details the many obstacles that impede access to unemployment benefits – often by design – and why the entire system needs to be rethought.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.