Tuesday, April 20, 2021
► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, April 20 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 386,920 infections (7-day average of new infections per day: 1,215) and 5,394 deaths.
► From the NY Times — Restaurant workers are in a race for vaccines — As states open vaccines and restaurants to all, wait staff and food service workers are often left behind. Some chefs have even opened pop-up spots to get their employees shots more quickly.
► From the P.S. Business Journal — Clean energy infrastructure vital to Washington’s future (by Matthew Hepner) — One important mature technology in Puget Sound Energy’s planning to remove global greenhouse gas emitting energy sources is closed-loop pumped storage. The proposed Goldendale Energy Storage Project in Klickitat County relies on this established carbon-free technology and would provide our region with the needed energy storage resources that will be essential in complying with Washington’s Clean Energy Transformation Act. The Goldendale Project will generate 1,200 megawatts of clean electricity while also storing the region’s abundant wind and solar electricity to use when it is needed… This project also makes good economic sense. It will create more than 3,000 family-wage jobs during its four-year construction period, and another 50 to 70 permanent jobs. Also, because the size and duration of the construction of the project it is an important opportunity for the building trades to add to our nation’s critically important skilled and technically trained workforce by training union apprentices.
► From the (Everett) Herald — Lawmakers must keep at transportation’s grand deal (editorial) –The focus — for state lawmakers and for the state’s residents — has to remain on what can be accomplished by all the moving parts: marked improvements for how we get around; less time spent in traffic; the investment and support for the state’s businesses, jobs and the economy; real reductions in the greenhouse gas pollution that fouls the air and contributes to climate change and its immense and growing costs to our health, our environment and our well-being. If all of that takes more time to negotiate than what remains in the session, state lawmakers need to keep at it until that grand bargain is struck.
► From the Columbian — Legislature has to act this week on transportation (editorial)
► From Crosscut — The case for a capital gains tax on Washington’s super-rich (by Rep. David Hackney) — One of the foundational weaknesses that this crisis has exposed is in our tax code. In Washington state, the poorest households pay up to six times more of their income in taxes than the richest. And because of decades of policies like redlining and discrimination in lending, including access to PPP loans, that only allowed white families to build intergenerational wealth, families of color have largely been driven into the lowest income brackets in our state. Yet they also proportionately pay the most in taxes. Nonwhite families will come out of this crisis even worse off than before the pandemic — and that downward spiral will continue unless we take action… A tax on capital gains, which targets about 8,000 incredibly wealthy people, would be invested in essential services like education, early learning and child care, and will allow us to ensure a robust, equitable and long-term recovery. And importantly, it will also be a small step toward balancing our tax code and addressing the underlying cracks in our state economy.
TAKE A STAND — Send a message to your state legislators today urging them to support SB 5096, the capital-gains tax.
► From My Northwest — Boeing union members ratify new contract, avoid a strike — Boeing union members with Teamsters Local 174 have a new contract, avoiding a strike. “Thankfully, Boeing saw the light. They took all their concessionary proposals off the table, and we were able to get to a contract that our members were extremely happy with,” said Jaime Fleming, director of communications for Teamsters Local 174. Last week, more than 200 employees unanimously voted to authorize a strike if a deal couldn’t be reached before their contract ended on Friday. The workers manage transportation, trash, and fueling for local Boeing operations.
► From the Seattle Times — FedEx close to a deal to operate out of Paine Field as Boeing abandons its 787 Dreamlifter center — Boeing is close to finalizing a deal to transfer the lease of its Dreamlifter Operations Center at Paine Field in Everett to air cargo carrier FedEx. The pending transfer effectively quashes any residual hope that 787 Dreamliner production — now done exclusively in North Charleston, S.C. — might one day restart in Everett. It also heralds a busier flight schedule out of Paine Field as FedEx cargo flights join the new commercial passenger flights by Alaska and United, as well as Boeing’s delivery and test flights of newly built jets.
► From the (Everett) Herald — Boeing extends potential term for CEO before annual meeting — Boeing’s board of directors has raised the mandatory retirement age for CEO David Calhoun from 65 to 70, just days after he turned 64. Calhoun, who celebrated a birthday Sunday, has been CEO since January 2020. He replaced Dennis Muilenburg, who was ousted amid a crisis over two deadly crashes of the company’s 737 Max jetliner.
► From the PSBJ — American Airlines inks deal to defer dozens of Boeing jet deliveries
► From the UAPD — UAPD physicians win first contract with MultiCare Indigo — After a year long recognition fight and over a year of bargaining, we have officially ratified our first collective bargaining agreement! We couldn’t have done it without our supportive labor allies and patients. Thank you all for your solidarity and for showing us the true meaning behind the motto that an injury to one is an injury to all!
PREVIOUSLY at The Stand
MultiCare docs plan pickets in Puyallup, Tacoma (March 9)
MultiCare Indigo docs in region strike for safer conditions (Nov. 30, 2020)
► From Bloomberg Law — Manchin backs labor law overhaul, raising stakes in Senate — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he would vote for a sweeping package of pro-labor reforms approved by the House last month, a development that offers unions hope as they work to break a Senate logjam holding up their top legislative priority. On Monday, Manchin said he would co-sponsor the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act but offered few specifics on how Democrats could circumvent a 60-vote Senate rule to get the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk. Still, support from Manchin—a Democrat from a deep-red coal state regarded as the Senate’s most sought-after swing vote—could help union leaders revive momentum for the legislation, which remains stalled in a wider debate over the filibuster.
► From The Hill — Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act
EDITOR’S NOTE –If you are keeping score, Senate Majority Leader Schumer has said that the PRO Act, which has already passed the House, will get a vote in the U.S. Senate if supporters get 50 co-sponsors. The three Democratic senators who have yet to sign on to the PRO Act are Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) Regardless of whether your senators have signed on as co-sponsors — Washington’s Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell both have — keep calling 866-832-1560 to urge them to sign (or thank them for signing), and tell them to bring the PRO Act to a vote!
PREVIOUSLY at The Stand
Historic labor law reform passes U.S. House of Representatives (March 10)
Six ways the PRO Act restores workers’ bargaining power (March 18)
No, the PRO Act doesn’t threaten freelancers and contractors (March 25)
► From Politico — Liberals warn Biden against lengthy talks with GOP — Liberals are wary that the GOP may be trying to prolong infrastructure talks for weeks or even months, potentially setting back Democrats’ ambitious agenda as Biden goes back and forth with the opposition party over how big to go and when.
► From The Hill — GOP eyes new strategy to derail Biden infrastructure plan — GOP lawmakers plan to raise numerous procedural objections to the eventual bill, arguing that various elements violate the special budgetary rules Democrats plan to use to pass the measure in the 50-50 Senate with a simple-majority vote.
► From The Hill — NAACP, unions launching ad campaign in push for federal voting rights bill — It’s a matter of making sure that the public knows what the real deal is and making sure that the Senate knows that we’re watching,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said of the effort. “Those who have been disenfranchised know they’ve been disenfranchised, but we need to make the case to the public that none of us should lose the protection of the most sacred right we have in the United States, which is the right to vote and to elect our political leaders.”
► From Politico — Biden takes on Dems’ ‘Mission Impossible’: Revitalizing coal country — After years of watching their standing erode in energy-producing states, Democrats under President Joe Biden have accepted the challenge that’s vexed them for a decade: convincing fossil fuel workers that they will still be okay even if their current jobs evaporate as the nation embraces a climate change-friendly economy.
► From the Wall Street Journal — SEC Chief Gary Gensler picks top labor union official for policy role — Gensler picked Heather Slavkin Corzo, who worked as director of capital markets policy at the AFL-CIO, for the top policy role in his office. The hire suggests Gensler will tackle issues such as stricter corporate disclosures related to climate-change risks and companies’ spending to influence politics.
► From Reuters — Senate panel to consider Biden Postal Board nominees Thursday
► From Politico — ‘It’s almost like insanity’: GOP base continues to lash out over Trump’s defeat — There’s no evidence of election fraud in Georgia. Even so, the party rank and file is fixated on it — even if it costs them in the midterms.
► From the AP — Out of sight but center stage, jurors weigh Chauvin’s fate — The jurors who sat quietly off-camera through three weeks of draining testimony in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial in George Floyd’s death moved into the spotlight Tuesday, still out of sight but now in control of verdicts awaited by a skittish city.
► From the AP — Minneapolis a fortified city as it anxiously awaits Derek Chauvin verdict — “This city feels like it’s occupied by the military,” said Martinez, a commercial painter who lives in nearby St. Paul. “This is so weird.”
► From The Atlantic — Parents are sacrificing their social lives on the altar of intensive parenting — Inequality has seemingly caused many American parents to jettison friendships and activities in order to invest more resources in their kids. “The financial and emotional burden on families has grown in ways that were almost unimaginable just a half-century ago,” writes the University of Pennsylvania sociologist Frank Furstenberg. Parents’ anxiety about financial security and the world that awaits their kids pushed American households into a frenzy of work and parenting, seemingly causing many to jettison friendships and activities in order to create more time to supervise and advance their kids… This reality stands in contrast to low-social-inequality countries that have more family-friendly policies, such as Germany and Sweden. Looked at another way: If I don’t have to worry about paying for good-quality preschool, high school, or college; if I know that my child will be okay even without a college degree, because there are plenty of decent jobs when they leave home; if I know I won’t be bankrupted by my child’s illness — let alone my own — then it’s easier for me to relax and hang out with my friends.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.