December 8, 2014
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Minimum wage: protests and legislative hearing



Although Washington has the highest minimum wage in the nation, pressure is mounting to increase it even further. Workers rallied across the state last week to call for a state minimum wage of $15 an hour.

At the same time, the House Labor & Workforce Committee heard testimony on the issue from advocacy groups, union members and an AWB-led business panel. Crosscut covered the hearing; The Seattle Times has a report on the protests.

As discussions continue, AWB will have an important seat at the table with policy makers and stakeholders. To learn more, contact Government Affairs Director Bob Battles.




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WORKING TOGETHER

New 'business-blue' coalition focuses on protecting Washington's trade status

By Eric Schinfeld, Washington Council on International Trade

As an advocate for international trade, I'm fortunate to work with some of the most innovative global brands in America today, witnessing companies whose efforts both distinguish them across the globe and also bring jobs and prosperity back to America's middle class. Last week, following our annual Washington Trade Conference, I introduced a panel discussion convened by partners from Keep Washington Competitive, a new coalition of business and labor leaders.

READ MORE: Click here for the full op-ed column in the Puget Sound Business Journal
NO GUBERNATORIAL EXECUTIVE ORDER

Opinion: Gov. Inslee and Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce should carefully consider climate policy


By Mike Elliott, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

The low-carbon fuel standard the governor is considering by way of executive order could raise prices at the pump anywhere from 13 cents a gallon to $1.50. I'm told the purpose of the fuel standard is to encourage sustainable fuel production and use, with the ultimate goal being a reduction in carbon emissions (largely from cars and trucks operating on our roadways).

When considering climate change on a global scale, few would dispute the need to seek reductions in carbon emissions. But without a thorough understanding of potential impacts on fuel prices and, ultimately, jobs connected to transportation costs, further study of the fuel standard as a means of achieving reduced carbon emissions is warranted. While I'm all for lower carbon, cleaner fuels and better efficiency in our cars, trucks, industrial processes and lives, I cannot support taking action without knowing for certain we're not sending jobs out of the state or, worse, overseas where few standards, if any, exist.

READ MORE: Click here for the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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