The Stand

Alcoa scabs, disabled death, enthusiasm curbed…

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LOCAL

 

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Intalco to train replacement workers in event of strike — Three days after the expiration of their contract, union workers (IAM) are still on the job at Alcoa Intalco Works west of Ferndale, waiting for talks to resume with the company.  But labor-management relations took a turn for the worse Monday evening when the company notified the union that replacement workers would be entering the plant to be trained to take over smelter operations if there is a strike.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Kimberly-Clark employees warned they could be laid off — Most of the 750 employees at the Kimberly-Clark Corp. plants in Everett have received a warning that they could be laid off in the next 60 days, but the notice doesn’t affect attempts to sell the business. “We’re continuing the process to try to sell the plant, but the due diligence is still ongoing,” says a K-C spokesman.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Judge to consider attempt to recall sheriff Friday — Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson and the ILWU will be before Superior Court Judge Stephen Warning to determine whether the union’s proposed recall of Nelson advances to the signature-gathering stage.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane County, employee unions near contract deal — They are moving toward contracts that freeze wages and scale back medical benefits. AFSCME Staff Representative Gordon Smith Jr. said, “We are trying to partner with the county to help out in bad times and to minimize the possibility of layoffs.”

► In the Seattle Times — For new factory, Taphandles CEO chooses Woodinville over China — CEO Paul Fichter: “The key to success for the U.S. will be using machines instead of brawn. When we surveyed other countries, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia, we didn’t find the skilled labor base we needed. While I’m really proud of creating jobs here in America, it’s not just an emotional decision. It makes sense.”

 


STATE GOVERNMENT

 

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — DSHS investigating death of former Morgan Center resident — A 30-year-old former resident of the Frances Haddon Morgan Center in Bremerton died Sunday after swallowing liquid laundry detergent, state officials confirmed Monday. The man had been living in a Pierce County supported living facility since March.

► In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma defends decision on Canadian hire to upgrade website — City staff is standing by its decision to select a Canadian business to upgrade the city’s website, despite frustration that local companies were rejected. “I would have loved for a local firm to be top-ranked,” said a city spokesman. “We can’t use whether the firm is local or not as one of the criteria. State purchasing laws don’t allow us to do that.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Legislators: If this is true, WHY NOT?!

► At SeattlePI.com — DOC budget cuts may eliminate Belltown patrols — If the Department of Corrections faces a 10% across-the-board cut — a proposal requested by the governor to help deal with a big budget shortfall — officers say the DOC patrols that monitor offenders in Belltown may disappear.

► In today’s Seattle Times — CWU president to get $500,000 incentive pay — CWU President James Gaudino will earn $500,000 in incentive pay if he stays with the university for five more years, under a contract renewal approved this month by the school’s trustees.

 


OCCUPY WASHINGTON

 

► In today’s NY Times — Countless grievances, one thread: We’re angry — While the protesters seem united in feeling that the system is stacked against them, with the rules written to benefit the rich and the connected, they are also just as often angry about issues closer to home, like education and the local environment. There may be no common manifesto or list of goals — something that has drawn criticism from both inside and outside the movement — but there is one common thread: anger. Some have looked for jobs for months; others have lost their homes to foreclosure. Angry, they all are.

► In the Columbian — More Occupy Vancouver events may be on the way — Three days after nearly 700 demonstrators took to downtown streets to protest corporate power and greed, organizers will meet Tuesday to discuss the possibility of holding more Occupy Vancouver events.

Washington’s Occupy protests on Facebook: Occupy BellinghamOccupy OlympiaOccupy Seattle (website) – Occupy SpokaneOccupy TacomaOccupy Tri-CitiesOccupy WenatcheeOccupy Yakima

 


HEALTH CARE

 

► In today’s LA Times — Republicans lay groundwork for health care repeal — Seeing a chance to regain power next year, GOP activists are making sure they’re ready to act on a full rollback of President Obama’s overhaul.

► In The Hill — New healthcare fight is joined as White House law implodes — The seemingly unworkable long-term care benefit contained in the health overhaul has been indefinitely shelved, quickly triggering a new offensive from GOP lawmakers that is expected to put congressional Democrats in a politically awkward position.

► In today’s NY Times — Massachusetts tries to rein in its health cost — After three years of study, the state’s legislative leaders appear close to producing bills that would make Massachusetts the first state — again — to radically revamp the way doctors, hospitals and other health providers are paid.

 


NATIONAL

 

► At AFL-CIO Now — Ship pilots, machinists, deputy sheriffs, bakers and communication techs join AFL-CIO unions — The 250 members of the Panama Canal Pilots Union recently voted to affiliate with the ILWU. In Kent, Wash., the 165 workers at Hytek Finishes voted to join the Machinists  after an aggressive four-month anti-union campaign by management. The workers specialize in various types of metal finishing and coating for aerospace manufacturers, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Bell Helicopter.

► In today’s Washington Post — Budget cutting proposals could affect federal employees — Some hits, in addition to the two-year pay freeze already imposed on federal workers in January, seem likely. Even if the Supercommittee!™ calls for no other measures directly aimed at the workforce, potential cuts to agency budgets could affect employees. Federal workers also should not be surprised if they are called on to pay more for retirement benefits.

► At Huffington Post — Anti-Latino hate crimes rise as immigration debate rages — The preliminary findings of a congressionally-mandated study by the National Institute of Justice suggest that anti-Latino hate crimes rose disproportionally to other hate crimes between 2004 and 2008.

► In today’s Washington Post — Oversight board faults Deloitte audits — The big accounting firm Deloitte & Touche has taken the word of companies that it audited instead of properly performing its watchdog function, according to a new report by an industry oversight board.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Shocking. Just shocking.

► In The Hill — Tea Party buys in to ‘free trade’ — The 89 House Republicans new to Congress this year — many of whom were backed by the Tea Party — were courted by both sides of the debate over the long-stalled trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. In the end, almost all of the GOP frosh voted in favor of the three agreements.

► In today’s Politico — Tester, Nelson unsure on teacher bill — Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana were the only two Democrats who voted last week to filibuster Obama’s $447 billion American Jobs Act. And they’re not yet sold on their party’s latest idea: Breaking off $35 billion from that plan for states and localities to hire teachers and first-responders.

 


TODAY’S MUST-READ

 

► In today’s Washington Post — Democrats’ declining enthusiasm — Just 42% of Democrats say they are either “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic about the 2012 vote, down from 55-56% just a few months ago. By contrast, Republican enthusiasm remains steady in the 64% range. The simple fact in politics is that enthusiastic people vote. So, when there is a major gap between enthusiasm levels of the two parties’ bases, it’s a big deal.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Apparently, capitulating to Republicans on tax and budget issues, while approving additional unpopular “free” trade deals doesn’t excite your base. Who knew?! Democrats in Washington state, who continue to curry favor with corporate lobbying groups by legislating like Republicans, should take note. “We’re not as bad as the other guy,” is not a campaign slogan, it’s an invitation to sit out the election. For more info, see the 1994 “Gingrich Revolution” where, in the wake of the Clinton/Democratic abandonment of health care reform and passage of NAFTA, union household voter turnout was the lowest it has ever been measured. And Washington’s congressional delegation shifted from 8-1 Democrats to 7-2 Republicans.

 


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m. Make this electronic “clip service” your first stop each morning! These links are functional on the date of posting, but sometimes expire.

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