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Yellow Pages publisher Dex One plans to layoff more than 200 high-tech workers and move their work to the Philippines, even as they boast of having "Local Knowledge" in their advertising campaigns. Dex One is taking advantage of U.S. bankruptcy laws allowing them to stiff their creditors, but abandon their U.S. workers. Meanwhile, Dex One CEO Alfred Mockett will keep his multi-million dollar compensation package. The Communications Workers of America urge union members to take action to urge Dex One against abandoning U.S. workers. Learn more.
► In today's NY Times -- Amid protests over proposed union restrictions, Wisconsin lawmakers prepare to vote -- As furious protesters once again began gathering near the state Capitol building, state senators were expected to vote on Thursday on a bill that would sharply curtail the collective bargaining rights and slash benefits for most public sector workers in the state. Madison public schools are closed for a second day, as teachers called in sick to lobby at the Capitol against the sweeping proposal. More than a dozen other public school districts announced they were closed for the day as well.
► At Huffington Post -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker faces backlash for threatening public workers with National Guard -- Public employees around the country have become the nation's scapegoats for the rough economy, with many Republican politicians in recent months criticizing them as privileged, overpaid and underworked -- unlike their private sector counterparts. But in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R) is now in hot water, facing an overwhelming backlash from the state's residents. Wisconsin is facing a $137 million budget deficit. In order to close it, Walker wants to sharply curtail the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions, effectively preventing them from negotiating benefits, hours and working conditions.
► FUN FACT: Susan Dreyfus, Secretary of Washington's Department of Social and Health Services, personally contributed $2,000 to Scott Walker's campaign for Governor of Wisconsin, before and after she moved to Washington, according to campaign finance records. Her most recent $500 contribution was received the day before Election Day 2010 and lists her mailing address as P.O. Box 45010, Olympia, WA -- her DSHS address. She is married to Waukesha County (Wis.) Circuit Judge Lee Sherman Dreyfus, Jr., the son of former Wisconsin GOP Gov. Lee S. Dreyfus. (They are "living apart" while she works in Washington.)
► In today's Olympian -- Legislators close to deal to narrow budget gap -- Negotiators at the Capitol say they've reached agreement on a supplemental budget that would spare the Basic Health Plan from closure but would cut some state workers' pay by 3% in April and also would cut money for schools. The deal includes a retroactive, $25 million cut in class-size-improvement money allocated last year to public school districts for use in the lower primary grades.
► In today's Kitsap Sun -- Bill seeks to close $1 billion in exemptions -- A state House bill introduced by Rep. Larry Seaquist (D-Gig Harbor) proposes to close $1 billion in tax exemptions annually and reroute the money to education. It would set up a four-step process to identify $1 billion worth of educational needs a year and then shut down enough tax exemptions to pay for those needs.
► At WashingtonStateWire.com -- Former GOP Chair Luke Esser is back -- as SEIU 775 lobbyist -- Luke Esser, the former state Republican chairman who lost his position in an upset election last month, is back in Olympia as a lobbyist for SEIU Local 775, which represents some 40,000 home-care workers.
► At Teamsters117.org -- New attack on solitary female staff at Monroe prison -- Another violent attack on a staff member at the Monroe Correctional Complex provides further evidence that significant changes are needed at the Department of Corrections to ensure the safety of Correctional Employees. According to one of the victim's co-workers, a mentally-ill offender entered a female Mental Health Counselor's office where she was working alone, grabbed her around her neck, put her in a half-nelson, and held a pen to her throat, threatening to hold her hostage. Correctional Officers immediately responded to the incident and had to pry the offender off of her throat.
► In today's Seattle Times -- Monroe inmate assaults counselor, officials say -- "I want a third strike," the inmate reportedly told police. Wednesday's attack again shows the need for changes to ensure the safety of prison employees, said Tracey Thompson of Teamsters Local 117.
► In today's (Everett) Herald -- And the PUD linemen are still on the line -- Scott Packebush (left), a journeyman lineman for the Snohomish County Public Utility District, and line foreman Roger Olive work to install new fiber-optic cable, suspended 75 feet above Steamboat Slough on Wednesday between Everett and Marysville. (Snohomish PUD linemen are members of IBEW 77.)
► In today's (Everett) Herald -- State eyes $2.4 billion high-speed rail funds rejected by Florida -- Officials are very much interested in $2.4 billion allocated to Florida for a high-speed rail project, but rejected by Republican Gov. Rick Scott. (Also see today's N.Y. Times coverage of Teabaggin' Rick Scott's rejection of the money.)
► In today's NY Times -- The Health of Reform (editorial) -- As the battle over health care reform rages on, take a look at its progress to date.
► In today's LA Times -- Businesses are refusing to hire the unemployed, commission told -- There's a growing trend of employers refusing to consider the unemployed for job openings, according to a number of people who testified before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Wednesday. They say that employers are barring the unemployed from job openings, which is particularly unfair to older workers and African Americans because more of them are unemployed.
► In today's News Tribune -- Patty Murray says end Congress' automatic pay raises -- She says it's time to end the practice of giving automatic pay raises to Congress, who now get at least $174,000.
► In today's NY Times -- Strong in number and spirit, Republican freshmen hold sway -- The 87 new Republican House members have brought party leaders several embarrassing defeats.
The following information and call for action has been provided by our Brothers and Sisters at the Communications Workers of America regarding Yellow Pages publisher Dex One's announcement that it will offshore its graphics jobs in 28 states, including Washington, to the Philippines (download the flier):
Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO