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'Fight for jobs begins again -- right now'
In a post-election video message, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka tells union members he is proud of what we have been able to do -- and "our fight for working families and for jobs begins again now. ... We've got an economy to rebuild. And millions of people to put back to work. We’ve got crumbling infrastructure and struggling states and communities that need us."
Read more at AFL-CIO Now -- Trumka:
Be proud of GOTV effort, get ready again to fight for jobs
National election news:
► At DailyKos -- Give organized labor credit for the victories -- The victories in California, Oregon, Connecticut and Delaware, and the pending victory in Washington State, could not have happened without the dedicated support of our labor unions, and specifically the support of the AFL-CIO and Richard Trumka. In contrast to the myth of a professional left that failed to vote, what we really experienced was an energized AFL-CIO under the dynamic leadership of Richard Trumka, who has been 100% right all along.
► At In These Times -- Union member votes save Democrats from worse disaster -- Union members once again supported labor-endorsed candidates -- overwhelmingly Democrats -- by 26 to 28 points on average more than non-union voters (64-36 for House and 62-38 for Senate Democrats).
► At Huffington Post -- White businessmen CAN jump... into GOP leadership positions -- There are some common ties that bind the likely Republican leaders of the 11 committees with the most domestic spending and policy clout. First, the top contenders are all men. Nearly all are white. Most have deep ties to the business community or the industries they will soon oversee.
► At CNBC.com -- Secret union ballot measure gains in Arizona -- Voters have approved an amendment to the Arizona Constitution that guarantees the right of a secret ballot for employees deciding whether to be represented by unions. The immediate effect is minimal because employers already can demand a secret ballot in such votes. Making the requirement a constitutional amendment is an effort to pre-empt the Employee Free Choice Act, now stalled in the U.S. Senate, which would allow a majority of employees to create a union by signing a card.
State election news:
With the release of additional vote counts Wednesday night, labor-endorsed candidates gained ground across the state.
► In today's (Everett) Herald -- In Olympia, GOP will gain votes, if not control -- An outburst of voter frustration will give Republicans a much stronger foothold in the Legislature next year, though it appears Democrats will retain majorities in Olympia.
► In today's Seattle Times -- Three races in King, Snohomish could help Dems retain Senate control -- Sen. Tracey Eide (D-Federal Way) leads the GOP's Tony Moore, by just over 2 points; Sen. Rodney Tom (D-Bellevue) leads Republican Gregg Bennett by just over 1 point; and Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens) leads Republican challenger Dave Schmidt by 93 votes. To gain a one-vote majority in the Senate, Republicans may need to take all three of those and hang onto other races in which they lead. Democrats made gains in all three of those races in Wednesday's count.
Budget cut news:
► In today's Olympian -- Vote likely means more budget cuts -- Voters overwhelmingly repealed a collection of new taxes on pop, candy and gum, erasing $272.4 million in revenue. They also backed I-1053’s requirement for two-thirds approval of any new tax increases, which means new revenue will be hard to come by next year in a Legislature with smaller Democratic majorities. Said Gov. Chris Gregoire: "We are currently closing a $520 million budget gap and going into the next biennium we face at least a $4.5 billion shortfall. The additional cuts we will have to make due to this loss of revenue will have significant consequences."
► In today's (Everett) Herald -- Lynnwood mayor budgets a cut of 96 workers -- Mayor Don Gough notifies union leaders that 96 employees -- including 13 firefighters and 18 police officers -- will receive layoff notices next week. There are 460 full- and part-time city employees.
► In today's Spokesman-Review -- Care oversight office loses funding -- The future of the state office that protects the rights of residents of nursing homes and assisted-living centers is in doubt after officials learned it will lose a third of its budget.
► In today's News tribune -- Community will pay price for DSHS cutbacks (op-ed) -- Little public attention has been given to a couple of potentially tragic cuts in the state DSHS budget that will take effect on March 1, 2011, unless changed by the Legislature.
► At SeattlePI.com -- Regence wants to raise health insurance rates -- again -- The insurer requested an average premium increase of 3.7% for individual plans starting Jan. 1. That comes on the heels of 16.4% rate hike on Oct. 1. Regence blamed its latest request, which has not yet been approved by the state, on health care reform. Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler disagrees: "These actions, along with the rising costs of health care, are nothing new; and they are not a result of the recent passage of health reform. They are concrete examples of why we needed reform."
► At SeattlePI.com -- Boeing exec: Airlines aren't pushing for re-engined 737 -- Boeing and Airbus have been considering whether to re-engine their single-aisle mainstays or launch replacement programs in the face of new competition from upstarts such as Canada's Bombardier, Russia's United Aircraft Corp. and China's Comac. At the same time, Boeing and Airbus have each secured dozens of new orders this year for their existing single-aisle jets, which already had big backlogs.
► In today's NY Times -- In a narrow vote, Delta flight attendants reject unionization -- Among Delta's nearly 20,000 flight attendants, 9,544 voted "no" and 9,216 voted for a union, in a setback for the AFA-CWA, which represents 55,000 workers at 22 airlines. Shortly after the results were announced, union officials said they would demand an investigation into what they described as a widespread campaign led by Delta managers to interfere with the elections.
► In The Hill -- Ford slams South Korea trade deal as Obama officials renew talks in Seoul -- Ford has launched an aggressive campaign against the South Korea free trade agreement, which it argues would lock in unfair trade. In newspaper ads running within and outside the Beltway, Ford argues that for every 52 cars Korea ships to the U.S., the U.S. "can only export one there." The ad states: "We believe in free trade, and this isn’t it. In fact, Ford has supported every trade agreement approved by Congress since 1965 -- until this one.”
With the release of additional vote counts Wednesday night, labor-endorsed candidates gained ground across the state. Look for these positive trends to continue as several big counties announce additional vote counts today (Thursday) -- including King County at 4:30 p.m., Pierce and Spokane at 5 p.m., Snohomish at 7 p.m.
Following are some selected results in close legislative races, as of noon today. (Get the latest legislative results in all districts here.)
* WSLC-endorsed candidates
Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO