Alcoa slashes jobs, fear and loathing, Mike D’s 50…

Friday, November 20, 2015




► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Alcoa files layoff notice for 880 workers in Ferndale, Wenatchee — Alcoa has filed a state notice for its Ferndale and Wenatchee aluminum smelters, starting the clock on when layoffs could begin. The company warns it could lay off 465 employees at Ferndale and 415 in Wenatchee. The filing means the company is giving 60 days notice before it can start doing layoffs. The notification requirement was set up to give state agencies a chance to offer assistance to those losing their jobs. The layoffs are part of Alcoa’s plan to reduce the supply of aluminum, which has flooded the global market and dropped the price to six-year lows.

ALSO at The Stand — Trade laws unenforced as Alcoa cuts and cuts (by Leo W. Gerard)

► In today’s Seattle Times — Idled Alcoa smelter will hit Ferndale hard — The smelter closure is expected to hit Ferndale, and Whatcom County, hard. “There just aren’t that many family-wage jobs out here,” said Glenn Farmer, business representative for IAM District 160, which represents the Alcoa workers in Ferndale. “We’re going to have a lot of people looking for work. And there’s not a lot to keep them in the area.”

► In today’s News Tribune — University of Puget Sound students rally for diversity, change on Tacoma campus




► In the South Whidbey Record — Worry about jobs, environment with trade deal, crowd tells congressman — Hosted by Congressman Rick Larsen, Sunday’s meeting in Clinton was one of a series the 2nd District Democrat organized around the Trans-Pacific Partnership… Lynne Dodson, secretary-treasurer of the Washington State Labor Council, requested that Larsen demand the inclusion of minimal labor standards as part of the deal.




► From KPLU — State Supreme Court will not reconsider ruling that ends state funding for charters — The state Supreme Court justices have denied a request from charter school advocates to reconsider an earlier ruling that ends state funding for charter schools. A spokeswoman for the court said justices original ruling will become effective Dec. 14.

ALSO at The Stand — Charter schools ruling a rebuke of privatization agenda

► In today’s Olympian — Regulators: Cut carbon emissions, or buy credits — State lawmakers had their first chance Thursday to question the environmental regulators who are moving toward capping Washington’s largest sources of greenhouse-gas emissions.

► In today’s Seattle Times — State Senate panel meets on Hood Canal land deal between Navy and state DNR




► MUST-READ from Huffington Post — What a refugee-turned-labor leader thinks of our backlash against refugees — Tefere Gebre, the executive vice president of the AFL-CIO, fled violence in Ethiopia and walked through a desert to come to America. “I don’t think we can afford as a country to say no to these people,” he says of the Syrians, adding:

“I just wish Americans understood the spirit, the determination and the heart of people who want to be refugees. It doesn’t matter if it’s Afghanistan, or Central America or Africa or anywhere else. They’re the most driven people, who want to better themselves and help us build as a country. We should be blessed to have a lot more of them come here.”

► In today’s NY Times — Why my state won’t close its doors to Syrian refugees (by Gov. Jay Inslee) — People are right to be angry and hurting because 129 innocent people who thought they were safe were slaughtered in Paris. But we cannot condemn all Syrians or all Muslims for those heinous acts. America has been victimized by domestic and foreign terrorists. The blame for those acts should be with the radicals who committed them, not any religion, race or country of origin.

► In today’s Washington Post — ‘Rabid’ dogs and closing mosques: Anti-Islam rhetoric grows in GOP — One of the front-runners in the Republican presidential race said Thursday he would “absolutely” want a database of Muslims in the country and wouldn’t rule out giving them special ID cards that noted their religion. Another top candidate likened Syrian refugees — who are largely Muslim — to dogs. Some of them might be rabid, he said, which was reason to keep them all out. And a third stood up in the Senate on Thursday and called for banning refugees from five Middle Eastern countries. He was explicit that the point was to keep Muslim refugees out while letting Christians from the same places in.

► From Think Progress — Rubio trumps Trump: Shut down any place Muslims gather to be ‘inspired’ — not just mosques

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Let’s not repeat history by identifying a type of person as an enemy (by Shawn Vestal) — After Peal Harbor was bombed, American citizens of a certain shade and ethnicity were boarded up and hauled away, forced to live in tarpaper shacks behind barbed wire, on the basis of “military necessity.” For no reason other than satisfying the impulses of ignorance and fear.

► From The Hill — House defies Obama, approves bill halting Syrian refugees — In a 289-137 vote, the House on Thursday easily approved legislation that requires new screening requirements on refugees from Syria and Iraq before they can enter the United States.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington GOP Reps. Dave Reichert, Dan Newhouse, Cathy McMorris-Rodgers and Jaime Herrera Beutler all voted “yes,” while all six Washington Democrats voted “no.” Some excellent statements explaining those “no” votes were issued by Reps. Derek Kilmer, Denny Heck, Rick Larsen, and Adam Smith.

And while at least one Republican had the courage to stand up to his colleagues’ “xenophobic and knee-jerk reaction” to the Paris attacks, Washington’s brave GOP delegation not only voted for this bill, they cloaked their votes in rhetoric about “keeping America safe” and saying we “do not currently have the necessary intelligence to properly vet refugees from Syria.” Shame on them for their votes and shame on them for not condemning the outrageous, offensive remarks being spewed by their colleagues today.

► From Wonkette — Congress votes to crap its pants, surrender to Isis — The bill was passed mostly by Big Strong Republican Daddies, with the help of 47 mom jeans-wearing Democrats. And while we needn’t wonksplain to you, at this point, the strict two-year vetting process already in place for Syrian refugees who turn for help to a country that doesn’t want ’em — no sir, not even their children — we’ll let the White House, which has already threatened to veto the bill, remind you of this minor detail:

The White House said that 2,174 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, and “not a single one has been arrested or deported on terrorism-related grounds.”

► In today’s NY Times — The farce awakens (by Paul Krugman) — What explains the modern right’s propensity for panic? Part of it, no doubt, is the familiar point that many bullies are also cowards. But I think it’s also linked to the apocalyptic mind-set that has developed among Republicans during the Obama years.

► From The Onion — Strategies to defeat ISIS — They include:

  • Spend $1.7 trillion
  • Stop flow of new ISIS recruits from West by encouraging disaffected youth to join violent extremist groups back home
  • Simply coordinate with our allies on a comprehensive strategy that targets ISIS militants while limiting civilian casualties, while simultaneously addressing the longstanding socioeconomic struggles that drive young Arab men to embrace radicalism, reaching out to liberal and moderate factions within Syria, and addressing our own prejudices that galvanize support for terror around the Islamic world
  • Train and arm somebody else’s kids to go over there and shoot them




► From The Hill — Poll: Clinton leads Sanders by 25 points nationally — Clinton holds strong leads over Sanders on issues of who can best combat Islamic terrorism, who has the better temperament to be president and who would work most effectively with Congress.




► In the Washington Post — Not all employers hate unions. These ones are trying to save them. — A host of government entities have come to the defense of public sector unions at a moment when they could be wounded by a Supreme Court ruling on whether they’re allowed to collect dues from nonmembers. Twenty-two states (including Washington), 14 school districts, 27 cities and counties, 48 Republican state legislators (including three from Washington), New York City, and the federal government all filed briefs on behalf of the union being sued by teachers who say they shouldn’t be forced to pay dues at all.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Bipartisan support for unions in Friedrichs case

► From AFL-CIO Now — As Supreme Court prepares for Friedrichs v. CTA, public-sector workers advance the common good

► In today’s NY Times — More Mexican immigrants leaving the U.S. than entering, report finds — The shift is the first time since immigration from Mexico began to rise in the 1970s that fewer Mexicans came into America than returned home, the Pew report found. The reversal is primarily the result of a steep drop in Mexicans coming into the country.




► Today, the Entire Staff of The Stand wishes a happy 50th birthday to Mike Diamond of the Beastie Boys. And without further ado, we’ll let the beat… mmmDrop.


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

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