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Day 5 of PA paras’ strike | Why we can’t ICE GEO | Immigrants saved U.S. from recession

Friday, April 12, 2024




See more photos from the picket lines and rally at the PAPEA Facebook page.

WSLC President April Sims and Secretary Treasurer Cherika Carter at the April 11 rally.

► From the Peninsula Daily News — About 130 rally in support of paras — Members of the Port Angeles Paraeducator Association have been prepared every day this week to meet and vote on a tentative contract agreement between their union and the school district. They will have to wait at least one more day. The PAPEA and the Port Angeles School District failed to find common ground at the bargaining table again Thursday, pushing school closures to a fifth straight day… At Thursday’s rally, state Sen. Emily Randall (D-Bremerton) said her mother worked as a paraeducator for 22 years in South Kitsap, so she understood the role the play in education:

“The work that you do is essential to all kids in Washington. You deserve this COLA — it is the bare minimum for what you do.”

► From KUOW — Paraeducators strike in Port Angeles. But can strapped school districts afford to pay them more? — PAPEA President Rebecca Winters says many of her colleagues get second or third jobs to make ends meet, and that’s why they’re asking for a 3.7% cost-of-living raise. “That is in place of dinner time with their family, it’s during their weekends, so they don’t have any breaks and time to rest,” she said.

► From KXLY — Spokane hospital workers voting on strike authorization amid contract negotiations with management — The Inland Northwest’s only trauma level 2 and pediatric hospital is on the verge of a major worker strike. Nearly 500 union workers at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center (UFCW 3000) are now voting on a new contract and re-authorization of a strike. Union representatives and Providence administration negotiated since November 2023 on a contract both parties would agree on. However, union reps say the contract offer just isn’t enough.

► From The Stranger — Doggy day care workers bite back after a ruff 8 months at the bargaining table — Doggy day care workers at Downtown Dog Lounge (UFCW 3000) say they are up against a real-life “Cruella De Vil” in their eight-month struggle for a fair union contract.

► From KING — Seattle Public Library system announces neighborhood branch closures — Most neighborhood branches of the Seattle Public Library system will be closed intermittently through June 4. The closures are due to limited staffing capacity and are being implemented to reduce unplanned closures and provide more reliable schedules, according to the library system.

► From the Spokesman-Review — Spokane Mayor Lisa Brown unveils ‘monster’ tax hike proposal that would raise $192.5 million over five years for public safety — Facing a major budget deficit but still hoping to make significant investments in policing, the fire department and community health, Spokane Mayor Lisa Brown has unveiled an ambitious tax proposal to pay for it all.

► From the (Everett) Herald — Judge orders mining company to stop work next to Everett school — Despite demands to cease work next door to Fairmount Elementary, the company reportedly continued operations at its site.




► From the News Tribune — There have been calls to close Tacoma’s immigration lock-up for years. Why hasn’t it? — Twenty years ago this month, a detention center for immigrants facing possible deportation opened for business in Tacoma. People have called for its closure ever since, but ICE’s private contractor GEO Group continues to run it, raking in millions in profits each year. Efforts to close the detention center have come from the Tacoma City Council, the Washington state Legislature — with some bipartisan support — and local activists. But recent court rulings have undermined those efforts, showing that in the battle between a state’s right to self-determination and the interests of the federal government, the buck stops with the feds.

► From the Seattle Times — Sen. Saldaña suspends campaign for WA lands commissioner — The packed race for state commissioner of public lands narrowed Thursday when Rebecca Saldaña, a Democrat and state senator from Seattle, suspended her campaign, citing financial challenges. In a statement, Saldaña said she believed she was “still the best candidate in the race to take on the Republicans and win and the best person to govern for long-term success.” But, she continued, she had cancer and faced a fundraising freeze during the 2024 legislative session.




► From NPR — Another Boeing whistleblower says he faced retaliation for reporting ‘shortcuts’ — In a virtual meeting with reporters, longtime Boeing engineer Sam Salehpour said Boeing was so eager to meet its production goals that it took “shortcuts” when it fastened together the carbon-composite fuselage of the 787.

► From Reuters — Senate committee to hold hearing on Boeing safety culture report — The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee said on Thursday it would hold a hearing next week with members of an expert panel that released a report in February criticizing Boeing’s safety culture and calling for significant improvements.

► From Reuters — U.S. airlines, unions urge Biden administration not to approve more China flights — Major U.S. airlines and aviation unions on Thursday urged the Biden administration to pause approvals of additional flights between China and the United States, citing ongoing “anti-competitive policies of the Chinese government.”




► From KERA — New federal guidelines address transit worker, passenger safety — The Federal Transit Administration on Tuesday announced new guidelines addressing safety for transit workers and passengers on trains and buses. The new rules address longstanding issues such as assaults on transit workers, collisions and exposure to infectious diseases. The updated National Public Transportation Safety Plan calls on transit agencies to set safety goals based on a new set of criteria “in cooperation with frontline employee representatives.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — The Amalgamated Transit Union released a statement: With these regulations, President Biden fulfills a promise to finally provide protections for transit workers under assault.

► From The Hill — Biden canceling student debt for more than 277,000 borrowers — Biden’s loan forgiveness actions have largely targeted public service workers, those on income-driven repayment (IDR) plans, borrowers defrauded by their schools and people with disabilities.

EDITOR’S NOTE — If you question why student loan forgiveness is important or necessary, watch John Oliver explain why it is.

► From the Washington Post — Gag orders are still hampering federal whistleblowers, agency warns — The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is forcefully instructing federal agencies and employees that NDAs do not supersede whistleblower rights.

► From the Washington Post — Trump’s tax cuts expire soon. Let’s be smarter about what comes next. (by Natasha Sarin) — Whoever wins the November election will be faced with an immediate challenge: Tax cuts worth more than $3 trillion are slated to expire at the end of 2025. That will hit at a time when money is tight. The dollar costs of policies will always be a critical consideration. But long-term gains — for children, emissions reduction and tax simplicity, to name a few — have to be a bigger part of the debate.




► From the AP — How immigrant workers in U.S. have helped boost job growth and stave off a recession — How has the economy managed to prosper, adding hundreds of thousands of jobs, month after month, at a time when the Federal Reserve has aggressively raised interest rates to fight inflation? Increasingly, the answer appears to be immigrants — whether living in the United States legally or not. The influx of foreign-born adults vastly raised the supply of available workers after a U.S. labor shortage had left many companies unable to fill jobs. More workers filling more jobs and spending more money has helped drive economic growth and create still-more job openings.

► From the Chicago Sun-Times — United flight attendants rally outside O’Hare, demanding better pay — Union members picketed at 17 airports worldwide, including O’Hare, a week after the Chicago-based airline reported that executives received large pay hikes.

► From Politico — California’s quest for America’s highest wage could be victim of past wins — This fall, California voters will have the chance to set the nation’s highest minimum wage at $18. But a ballot initiative to raise California’s wage floor has been met so far with shrugs from unions and industry coalitions that fiercely fight over the minimum wage levels elsewhere.

► From the AP — Uber and Lyft delay their plans to leave Minneapolis after officials push back driver pay plan — The Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to implement the ordinance on July 1 instead of May 1.

► From the NY Times (via the Seattle Times) — The fried chicken is in New York. The cashier is in the Philippines. — The virtual hosts could be the vanguard of a rapidly changing restaurant industry, as small-business owners seek relief from rising commercial rents and high inflation. Others see a model ripe for abuse: The remote workers are paid $3 an hour, according to their management company, while the minimum wage in the city is $16.




► Guess who isn’t The Guess Who? Former lead singer Burton Cummings and guitarist Randy Bachman are fed up with what they call “a cover band” touring the country and calling themselves The Guess Who, the Canadian classic rock band that achieved success in the late ’60s and ’70s. Now Cummings has gone nuclear and terminated the performing rights agreements for all the Guess Who songs he wrote, an unusual legal move that will cost him all royalties. Now even Lenny Kravitz can’t perform his Grammy-winning cover of the following classic song. For now, the move is working. “The Guess Who” has been forced to cancel shows this week in Florida. We’ll see how it plays out. Until then, here’s the real deal.


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

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