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August 10, 2007


RECENT UPDATES:
Thursday, August 9
Wednesday, August 8
Tuesday, August 7
Monday, August 6

WSLC Reports Today
Updated DAILY... Almost Every Day™ by 9 a.m.

Links are functional at date of posting, but sometimes expire. Some links require free registration.  WSLC Reports Today links to stories of interest to organized labor; some positive, some negative.  The intention is to inform.



FRIDAY, AUGUST 10  ▪  Roads, transit measure needed to Keep Washington Rolling -- The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is distributing information to its affiliated unions with members in King, Pierce and Snohomish explaining how all of us will benefit from the regional roads-and-transit proposition on this November's ballot in those three counties. 

Reminder:  ▪  Applications for WSLC Communications Director position are due TODAY

Local news:
▪  In today's Seattle P-I -- 787 won't fly until October -- First flight of Boeing's Dreamliner has slipped into October and that delay will make it even more challenging and problematic to complete an aggressive flight-test program and get the new jet certified by regulators and delivered on time.
▪  In today's Olympian -- Report finds child-welfare workers lack experience -- The report notes the inexperience of key staff members, a concern state officials say is worth examining as the state continues to hire more social workers -- nearly 400 in the past two budget cycles.
▪  In today's Seattle P-I -- Unified to hire many of 684 laid off by Associated Grocers -- Layoff notices for the AG employees in Seattle and Renton are a legal formality, says Unified, which bought AG: "Between now and closing, we're trying to onboard as many employees of AG as possible."
▪  Today from AP -- State Supreme Court rules against worker's asbestos claim -- Todd Shipyards can't be sued for a deceased worker's asbestos exposure because the man had missed a filing deadline in a 20-year-old bankruptcy proceeding and the shipyard hadn't notified his union.

National news:
▪  Today from AP -- No sound from 6 trapped Utah miners
▪  In today's LA Times -- Bush to propose tighter migrant work rules -- The Bush administration plans to announce a broad new initiative today to sharpen immigration enforcement, including measures to raise fines for employers who hire illegal workers, require federal contractors to use an employment verification system and add thousands more agents at the southern border.
▪  In today's Oregonian -- U.S. official promotes free trade pacts -- U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab stumps in Portland for more NAFTA-style pacts: "(The Peru, Colombia and Panama) trade agreements should be no-brainers." Labor and environmental groups protest outside.
▪  In today's Spokesman-Review -- Sen. Murray: Bush wrong on road funds -- Bush's suggestion that Congress spends most road and bridge money on certain members' pet projects, and the rest of the country gets "what's ever left," shows the president's ignorance of the system, she says.
▪  In today's Washington Post -- Why the Democrats caved (Dionne column) -- The episode of the Bush administration's surveillance bill was the culmination of a shameful era in which serious issues related to national security and civil liberties were debated in a climate of fear and intimidation, saturated by political calculation and the quest for short-term electoral advantage.
▪  Today from The Onion -- Minimum-wage hike celebrated with name-brand ketchup -- Whether buying national-brand condiments, allowing themselves two additional squares of toilet paper, or paying for a few more minutes of drying time at the laundromat, the estimated 13 million Americans who subsist on minimum wages are getting a taste of the good life.

Election 2008:
▪  In today's Seattle Times -- Obama mounts big lead in fundraising in state; Romney tops GOP list -- Obama has a commanding lead, raking in about $786,000 here for his presidential bid, more than twice as much as Clinton. Nationally, Clinton leads Obama $63 million to $58 million. Just as he leads his Republican rivals nationally, Romney has brought in the most locally, $493,360.
▪  At LATimes.com -- Picket lines as political currency -- It's becoming quite the thing among Democratic candidates to brag about or promise to picket.

Last Throes update: 
▪  In today's Seattle P-I -- 4 more Fort Lewis soldiers killed in Iraq -- The soldiers and an interpreter were killed and 12 other soldiers injured when a blast destroyed a house they were clearing.
▪  In today's Seattle Times -- Fort Lewis brigade loses 10 soldiers in a week -- The soldiers were at the tail end of a tour that was supposed to end in June at 12 months but was extended.
▪  Of the 3,683 U.S. troops killed in Iraq; 3,544 of them have died since Bush declared "Mission Accomplished" and an end to major combat operations in May 2003; 3,222 have died since the capture of Saddam; and 2,824 have died since the government was handed over to the Iraqis.
▪  The WSLC's affiliated unions have called for an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq.


 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 10, 2007
Roads, transit measure needed to Keep Washington Rolling
Affiliates urged to reach out to union voters in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties

After decades of failing to adequately fund Washington state’s roads and infrastructure, we have made significant progress over the last four years in addressing these critical needs. The 2003 Legislature passed the “Nickel Package” and then an additional $8.4 billion worth of projects in 2005, an investment affirmed by voters. These packages addressed critical transportation infrastructure needs in every county in the state.

However, we all know that most of the critical congestion and traffic choke points are in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. To help address these needs, the Legislature established the Regional Transportation Improvement District (R-TID) to provide a mechanism for the residents of King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties to fund transportation investments of regional significance. After several years of work, the critically important R-TID package is ready for the voters in those three counties and will appear on this November's ballot.

The Washington State Labor Council is distributing information, including several facts sheets (see below), to its affiliated union organizations with members in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties explaining how all of us will benefit from this transportation package. The WSLC is urging affiliates to endorse the roads-and-transit ballot propositions and to contribute to Keep Washington Rolling, the coalition of labor, business and environmental groups that led the successful campaign to affirm the 2005 statewide transportation package and will again coordinate this fall's campaign. 

Following is a summary of why this Roads and Transit package is so important:

A comprehensive transportation system will improve our quality of life.

  • Addressing major chokepoints will reduce congestion.

  • Building a fast, safe and reliable light rail system across the region will help lift people out of congestion and make it easier to live and do business here.

Investing in transportation creates good jobs and drives our economy.

  • Building transit and fixing chokepoints will help improve traffic and move people and goods more quickly and reliably.

  • Improving freight mobility will allow our region to compete in an expanding global economy.

Upgrading our infrastructure improves safety.

  • Replacing and retrofitting overpasses and bridges vulnerable to earthquakes.

  • Reducing congestion will allow first responders to move more quickly during an emergency.

More transportation choices means a cleaner environment.

  • Building an additional 50 miles of light rail to connect Bellevue, Redmond’s Overlake area, Mercer Island, Northgate, Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, Alderwood, the 164th Street/Ash Way area, Des Moines, Federal Way and Tacoma will take cars off the road and provide better mobility options.

  • Creating nearly 12,000 park and ride slots at bus, commuter rail and light rail stations will help commuters get out of their cars.

Facts sheets are available for download describing specific projects funded by the Roads and Transit proposition in Snohomish County, Pierce County, East King County, South King County and North King County.

For more information, visit www.YesOnRoadsAndTransit.org or contact WSLC Political Director Diane McDaniel at 206-281-8901.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 10, 2007
Applications for WSLC Communications Director due Friday

The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is seeking applicants for the position of Communications Director. The deadline for applications is TODAY. Here is the job posting (printable version):

Groves resigns from WSLC

After 15 years with the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, David Groves has resigned as Communications Director to accept a communications position with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302, which represents heavy construction equipment operators in Washington and Alaska.  His last day at the WSLC will be Friday, August 24.

"I want to thank the officers, staff and affiliates of the Council for everything they've done for me over the years," Groves said. "It's been a pleasure and an honor to advocate for Washington's working families, and I'm really excited about continuing to do so, while taking on some new challenges at a strong, growing local union."

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is widely considered to be the "voice of organized labor" in our state.  A state federation of the AFL-CIO, the Council represents the interests of more than 500 affiliated local unions with more than 400,000 rank-and-file union members.  The Council’s core programs and services for affiliated unions are legislative advocacy, political action, communications and media relations, and assistance with organizing campaigns.

The Council is seeking an experienced, highly skilled, motivated individual for the position of Communications Director.  It is the Communications Director’s responsibility to ensure that the Council's events and positions are well-publicized and that the organization is presented in a positive light -- both in the news media and within the labor movement among affiliated unions.  The position reports directly to the President of the Council.

Minimum Job Qualifications:  Five (5) years of previous experience in communications and/or media relations, or a combination of education and experience that would provide for the following knowledge, skills and abilities:  

  • Excellent oral and written communications skills, with strong proficiency with writing and editing.

  • Desktop publishing skills designing newsletters and leaflets.  Proficiency using Adobe In-Design (formerly PageMaker) and Photoshop would be ideal.

  • Successful experience in media relations: fielding press inquiries, promoting events and issues to ensure media coverage, and proactively promoting positive news coverage.

  • Web site maintenance skills and the ability to update the Council’s web site (www.wslc.org) regularly with news and information.  Web design experience and proficiency using Microsoft FrontPage would be ideal.

Additional qualifications:  The following qualifications are considered very desirable, but are not strict requirements of the position and should not discourage applicants who meet the minimum job qualifications: experience working in the labor movement; Bachelor’s or graduate degree in communications or a related subject; experience in the news media, politics or legislative affairs; experience working with a progressive organization; bilingualism a plus.

Employment details:  The Communications Director is a full-time salaried position, which includes some evening and weekend work as needed, and is based in Seattle , WA .  (The Council also has an office in Olympia , WA .)  The position occasionally requires travel around the state.

Women and persons of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

Salary and Benefits: $66,400-82,500 (DOE).  Excellent benefits, including paid vacation, sick leave and holidays, full employer-paid family health coverage (including dental and vision), a defined-benefit pension plan, an optional 401(k) program, and more.  The position is covered under a union contract with Office and Professional Employees Local 8.

Application Instructions: Submit a cover letter and résumé. If sent via email, the files should be in MS Word, PDF or text formats. Please submit to Jan Hays via email at jhays@wslc.org or via standard mail to the WSLC, 314 First Ave. West, Seattle, WA, 98119.

Applications must be received by Friday, August 10.

If you have news items regarding unions or workplace issues in Washington state that you would like to see posted here, please submit them via e-mail to David Groves or via fax to 206-285-5805.

Copyright © 2007   Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO