Connect with us


Shutdown mess, Fast Track 2, America’s enduring racism…

Friday, June 19, 2015




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Lacking a state budget, most state agencies will close July 1 — State officials on Thursday explained what will happen if parts of government shut down July 1, and it could be a mess. Thirty state agencies will completely close and another two dozen will sharply curtail services if lawmakers do not deliver a new budget to Gov. Jay Inslee to sign by June 30. Thousands of state workers will be temporarily laid off, community supervision of hundreds of convicted criminals will halt and state-supported child care won’t be provided for many children in low-income families.


► In today’s Columbian — State workers rally in Vancouver — The same day Gov. Jay Inslee’s staff outlined the state’s shutdown contingency plan, AFSCME members added their voices to the growing chorus of those frustrated by inaction in Olympia.

TAKE A STANDUrge your legislators to stop the state shutdown!

► In today’s Columbian — School districts stuck until state budget in place — Those involved with the state’s public schools — who have arguably been the main focus of the 2015 legislative session — are stuck in a holding pattern. School districts across the state can’t hire new teachers, order new technology or make any final decisions on new curriculum.

► In today’s News Tribune — Free U.S. Open tickets also going to lawmakers’ spouses, family

EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, In Oregon…

► In the NW Labor Press — Labor agenda advancing in Oregon Legislature — Paid sick leave, ban the box, and a retirement plan for all workers are heading to the governor’s desk.

► And in today’s Oregonian — Oregon’s domestic workers gain labor protections — Nannies, housekeepers and home cleaners gained new workplace protections this week when Gov. Kate Brown signed the Oregon Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights into law.





mcconnell-mitch► From The Hill — McConnell forges ahead with trade votes despite Dem holdouts — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is moving forward with votes on President Obama’s trade agenda next week, even though pro-trade Democrats have yet to promise their support. The Senate will vote to end Fast Track debate on Tuesday and then will vote on its final passage later that day or Wednesday. McConnell appeared uninclined Thursday to give Democrats any favors and instead urged them to vote the same as they did last month on Fast Track when it was coupled with the TAA.

EDITOR’S NOTE — But it’s not the same Fast Track bill that passed the Senate. Not only has TAA assistance for workers whose jobs are shipped overseas been cut loose, the new Fast Track bill was changed in the House to allow slavery and human trafficking (so Malaysia can sign the TPP) and to explicitly forbid the U.S. from addressing climate change issues in any trade agreement.

fast-track-murray-cantwellALSO at The Stand — Cantwell, Murray now have ‘critical moral votes’ on Fast Track (by Jeff Johnson) — “Senator Cantwell has said publicly and privately that she will vote against this TPA bill passed over from the House. This is the courageous vote and this is the correct vote. It is our hope that Senator Murray will stand tall with us as well.”

► In the PSBJ — Majority of Washington state reps vote in favor as House passes TPA trade measure — The 218-to-208 vote was similar to approval last week, but that time the bill was tethered to another measure, which had been defeated.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Inexplicably, this story doesn’t report how individual members of Congress voted! The Stand did. Reps. Denny Heck, Jim McDermott and Adam Smith voted “no” on Fast Track 2 on Thursday, while Reps. Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer and Suzan DelBene again voted “yes,” alongside Republican Reps. Dave Reichert, Dan Newhouse, Jaime Herrera Beutler and Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

► From Huffington Post — The president’s trade deal struggles because it’s bad policy (by Stan Sorscher) — The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a 12-country NAFTA-style trade deal with two serious problems. It doesn’t work, and it’s bad for democracy… Proponents of NAFTA-style trade deals promise we will share the gains from trade, raise labor standards and protect the environment. Our lived experience tells us otherwise.

► From Politico — Will Obama co-opt ‘Obamatrade’? — “Obamatrade” is the epithet that the grassroots right is trying to throw into the mix to erode Republican support: It signals that anything associated with Obama can’t be good for conservatives.




IAM► From IAM District 160 — Machinists score NLRB win in waterfront jurisdiction case — On Wednesday, the NLRB delivered a sweeping victory to IAM Districts 160 and 190 in their fight to maintain their traditional jurisdiction over waterfront work. This decision re-confirms the Board decision from 2013 that was vacated under the Supreme Court’s NLRB v. Noel Canning case.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — KapStone, union to meet as strike looms — As a strike deadline looms, KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp and the AWPPW are scheduled to bargain for the first time in weeks Friday, but the company also has stepped up tension in the contract dispute. The union has given a formal 10-day notice of a strike, which could happen anytime after June 26.

► From KPLU — A pot industry first: Cannabis workers join UFCW union — The employees at Tacoma’s Cannabis Club Collective will soon be members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union. All eight staff members voted this week to join the 1.3 million-member international organization in what is the first-ever union contract in Washington’s marijuana industry.

ALSO at The Stand — First-ever union contract sets new standard for cannabis workers

► In today’s Olympian — Tumwater brewery redevelopment could generate more than 600 jobs — If it comes to fruition, a proposed Tumwater Craft Brewing and Distillery Center could generate as many as 662 jobs and more than $101 million for the local economy.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hanford vapor protection slows work to empty tanks — The gear that is protecting Hanford tank farm workers from chemical vapors also is significantly slowing work, according to documents filed in federal court.




kilmer-derekdelbene-suzan► From AP — House votes to kill health care law’s medical-device tax — The House defied a White House veto threat and voted Thursday to abolish a tax on medical device makers as a group of Democrats uncharacteristically joined Republicans in moving to kill part of President Barack Obama’s health care law.

EDITOR’S NOTE — After Fast Track, this was the second vote of the day that Reps. DelBene and Kilmer broke with the vast majority of House Democrats. The New York Times called it a “handout to an industry that deserves no special privileges,” adding:

Repealing the tax would reduce revenues, and thus increase federal deficits, by an estimated $24.4 billion over the next 10 years. The bill provides no way to replace the lost revenue.




black-lives-matter_roof► At Think Progress — When John Roberts said there isn’t enough racism in America to justify the Voting Rights Act — Two years ago next Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts walked into the Supreme Courtroom, took his seat in the Court’s center chair, and began to tell a fairy tale about a nation redeemed… “Our country has changed,” Roberts wrote in the opinion he delivered that day, Shelby County v. Holder. It has wiped away so much of its racist past that the “extraordinary measures” employed by a key provision of the Voting Rights Act could no longer be justified.

► Today from AP — World shocked at enduring racism, gun violence in the United States




► This morning, The Entire Staff of The Stand still feels kinda like Jon Stewart did last night. So we will forgo the usual Friday music video to share Stewart’s unscripted, heartfelt thoughts about the terrorist act that was committed Wednesday in South Carolina: “I honestly have nothing other than sadness that once again we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other and the nexus of a gaping racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn’t exist.”


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!