1. Amazon factory workers from Germany are staging a protest at Amazon's worldwide headquarters in South Lake Union this morning. Complaining that Amazon pays workers one to three euros less than similar retail and mail-order trade employees make (causing Amazon employees to "lose several thousand euros a year"), the workers will be joined by local workers from the Communications Workers of America, the Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and the Service Employees International Union. Workers of the world unite!

The German workers, represented by the Union Ver.di, also say Amazon has reneged on a vacation time agreement and that workers are subject to "permanent control, monitoring, and supervision."

Amazon.com has 13 German outlets employing 9,000 permanent workers and more than 6,000 temps.

2. Erica will be on KUOW's The Record today at noon reviewing some of her city hall reporting from last week, including the city council's decision to limit ride sharing, the council's effort to rein in disruptive speakers, and Mayor-elect Ed Murray's staff announcements.

3. The Seattle Times ran a story this weekend showing that recipients and applications for state assistance have declined dramatically—saving the state $600 million between today and 2011 [when eligibility requirements and payout were restricted]. 

However, the article—citing data on increased youth homelessness and jumps in Medicaid recipients—notes that the reduction in state welfare rolls isn't a sign that poverty or need is going away.

Lefty Olympia lobbyist and low-income advocate Nick Federici told the Times:

“Were they successful at saving a bunch of money? Absolutely. So maybe it’s a success for fiscal policy. It’s sure not a success for humanitarian policy.”

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