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More vapors at Hanford, deep doubt on TPP, Bernie’s with her…

Wednesday, July 13, 2016



► In the Moscow-Pullman Daily News — State should take another crack at higher minimum wage (editorial endorsement, subscription required) — It’s called Initiative 1433, and it is sponsored by a grocery worker from Renton. The new minimum wage would be phased in next year at $11 an hour. It would increase every year until it reaches $13.50 an hour in 2020. Several business groups already oppose I-1433. But that won’t stop the I-1433 supporters or other concerned residents from trying to push for higher wages, nor should it. They simply want more Americans to have a chance at a livable wage and for them to not get left behind in an ever-widening income divide.




Hanford-big► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hanford workers continue to report possible vapor exposure — Two Hanford workers reported symptoms consistent with chemical vapor exposure at Hanford Tuesday, despite a stop work called by the Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council. The stop work order requires a halt to any tasks all within the boundaries of Hanford tank farms if workers are not using mandatory supplied air respirators. Washington River Protection Solutions, the Hanford tank farm contractor, complied with the order by continuing work with employees in supplied air respirators Tuesday. The two workers who reported symptoms were outside the boundaries of the AP Tank Farm, a double-shell tank farm, where no work was being done.

ALSO at The Stand — Hanford tank farm work halted by unions over safety concerns

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle police union president resigning amid controversy over Facebook post — Ron Smith, president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, is resigning amid heavy criticism over a Facebook post about the death of five police officers in Dallas last week. It read, in part, “The hatred of law enforcement by a minority movement is disgusting,” and it drew ire on social media.

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Sawant wants to meet with REI CEO to discuss worker demands — After hosting a town hall with REI employees to discuss their demands for better workplace conditions, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant said she wants a meeting with the CEO.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Privatizing crisis response clouds future for about 20 workers — The Benton and Franklin commissions voted June 30 to withdraw from the crisis response business, a move that put the jobs of 20 employees in the Benton-Franklin Human Services division’s crisis response unit in jeopardy.




obama-sad► In today’s Washington Post — Obama’s trade agenda losing critical support as McConnell calls TPP passage unlikely — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday cast deep doubt on winning approval for President Obama’s trade agenda during his last weeks in office, suggesting that it will be up to the next occupant of the Oval Office to determine the direction of trade policy. Acknowledging publicly what had become increasingly clear in private, McConnell said that the presidential campaign had produced a political climate that made it virtually impossible to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the “lame duck” session after the November elections.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Big Airbus win points to single-aisle success while Boeing looks for a response — For years, Airbus executives have routinely stolen the limelight at the big European air shows and this year they did so again.

► In today’s NY Times — Airbus to sharply cut production of A380 jumbo jets — As airline demand dwindles for supersize aircraft, Airbus says it has slashed its plans for annual A380 deliveries to 12 planes per year beginning in 2018, roughly half the number it expects to deliver this year.



► From AP — Group starts fast in opposition Inslee’s proposed carbon rule — More than a dozen people opposing Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed carbon rules say they’ll be fasting for the next three days ahead of a public hearing on the matter. They argue that the proposed rule doesn’t require enough emissions reductions and disregards current science.




► From KUOW — In show of party unity, Bernie Sanders (finally) endorses Hillary Clinton — The lingering chasm between presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her chief primary rival was bridged Tuesday, with Sen. Bernie Sanders teaming up with Clinton at a campaign event, where he formally endorsed her bid for the White House.


► From Politico — Sanders on Clinton support: ‘It’s not about the lesser of two evils’ — Sen. Bernie Sanders: “If you look at issue by issue, we have Hillary Clinton who wants to significantly raise the minimum wage because we have millions of workers in this country working at starvation wages.” Sanders characterized his decision as “a choice about making sure that the middle class of this country, which has been in decline for 40 years, gets rebuilt.”

trump-supporters► In today’s NY Times – For whites sensing decline, Trump unleashes words of resistance — Trump has attacked Mexicans as criminals. He has called for a ban on Muslim immigrants. He has wondered aloud why the United States is not “letting people in from Europe.” In a country where the wealthiest and most influential citizens are still mostly white, Trump is voicing the bewilderment and anger of whites who do not feel at all powerful or privileged. But in doing so, Trump has also opened the door to assertions of white identity and resentment in a way not seen so broadly in American culture in over half a century, according to those who track patterns of racial tension and antagonism in American life.

► From ABC News — Poll: Most young people dislike GOP’s Trump, say he’s racist — Donald Trump is wildly unpopular among young adults, in particular young people of color, and nearly two-thirds of Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 believe the presumptive Republican nominee is racist.

► From AP — NAACP: Trump declines offer to address civil rights group

► From AFL-CIO Now — When Trump had a choice, he chose nonunion labor for his construction projects — Donald Trump has admitted before that when he has a choice between union and nonunion labor for his construction projects, he’d go with nonunion labor. Just how often was that? A new IBEW report reveals some figures about his dealings.

► From The Hill — Philly airport workers to strike during Dem convention — Security workers, baggage handlers and other airport workers voted Tuesday to walk off the job at the end of July, when thousands arrive at the city to pick the Democratic Party’s nominee.




► In today’s NY Times — Child care expansion takes toll on poorly paid workers — While the scramble to find affordable child care has drawn a lot of attention, prompting President Obama to label it “a must-have” economic priority, the struggles of the workers — mostly women — who provide that care have not.

► In today’s NY Times — With competition in tatters, the rip of inequality widens (by Eduardo Porter) — The long decline of competition in many American industries stunts entrepreneurship, hinders workers’ mobility and slows productivity growth. Slowing this trend has emerged as a tempting new avenue to address the plight of a beleaguered working class. Reviving flagging American competition might even help stop America’s ever-widening inequality.




SPEEA-12► In the Wichita Eagle — Laid-off workers file age discrimination suit against Spirit — Twenty-four former Spirit AeroSystems workers — some still emotional about their layoff in 2013 — on Monday filed an age and disability discrimination lawsuit against the company in federal court. All were over age 40 and they, or their family members, had serious medical conditions, said their attorneys. They are part a group of 221 employees laid off. Many of the plaintiffs attended a Monday news conference at the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) in Wichita. SPEEA announced the filing and is seeking others who have been laid off.

ALSO see the SPEEA press release announcing this action.

► From Huffington Post — Tom Brady’s latest ‘Deflategate’ appeal rejected by federal court — Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate was upheld by a federal appeals court on Wednesday morning, the AP reports.


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