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TPP revelations, paid sick leave gains, not Buble…

Friday, September 9, 2016




► In the Skagit Valley Herald — Sakuma workers set to hold union vote — Farmworkers at Sakuma Bros. Farms will vote in the coming days on whether Familias Unidas por la Justicia should represent them as a union. Maru Villalpando, a spokesperson for Familias, said the vote will be on September 12. Neither Familias nor Sakuma are supplying further details.

ALSO at The Stand — Union election set at Sakuma; boycott of Driscoll’s berries ends

I-124-seattle-protects-women_sq► P.S. Business Journal poll — Do you support I-124, which aims to protect hotel workers by requiring panic buttons in rooms and banning guests accused of harassment?

EDITOR’S NOTE — Support hotel workers. Vote YES!

► In the Kitsap Sun — ‘Pit-to-pier’ appears to be dead — A gravel company has dropped its legal challenge of conservation protections in Hood Canal, likely putting to rest the legal fight over a “pit-to-pier” mining operation proposed for the canal’s west side.




WA-congress-TPP► From Huffington Post — There’s a new front in the battle for the TPP — The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has taken a drubbing from all directions during the presidential campaign, will not get a vote before the election. But as Congress returns to Capitol Hill from a seven-week break, the battle over the TPP continues. The fight has been given renewed urgency by revelations about the nature of a secret court system embedded in trade agreements. The court system, known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, has recently been hijacked by hedge funds and other investors, who have discovered that challenging governments over obscure regulatory reforms can be a path to extraordinary profits — leaving those governments crippled in its wake.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, from Washington’s congressional delegation… crickets.

► In today’s Washington Post — Top Obama trade official was partial to luxury hotels while he traveled on taxpayers’ dime, investigators say — Stefan Selig liked to travel in style. He rode with luxury-car services, spending $1,800 during a two-day trip to Boston last year. And when he stayed at hotels that were beneath his standards, Selig admonished his staff, complaining about “lousy” accommodations.




► From Huffington Post — Trump is slipping among union voters, says AFL-CIO — Throughout Donald Trump’s run for the presidency, press reports have suggested the GOP nominee possesses a unique allure for union voters. The AFL-CIO says not to buy it. The nation’s largest union federation took the unusual step of releasing some of its internal polling numbers on the general election… Trump’s support came in at 36 percent, a drop from 41 percent in mid-June.

clinton-hillary-L► In today’s Washington Post — Democrats rally around Clinton, paint Trump as unfit for office — On Thursday, the full force of the Democratic Party, including President Obama, rallied around Hillary Clinton, saying that rival Donald Trump is unfit for office. On the Republican side, there was no such unity as lawmakers struggled with how to respond to the GOP nominee’s claim that Russian President Vladi­mir Putin was a stronger leader than Obama.

► From The Hill — Trump policy staffers quit after not being paid — “It’s a complete disaster,” one campaign adviser told The Washington Post.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Join the club.

trump-donald► In today’s NY Times — The conscience of the contrarian voter (by Timothy Egan) — In a normal year, an independent or a Democrat could vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson and feel O.K. about it. But this year, in a tight election, any vote by an independent or a Democrat for Johnson could burden that citizen with a lifetime of guilt for handing the world over to Donald Trump… Trump should scare anyone with a brain and a heart. Just this week, he showed again how far he would move the United States to the dark side, gushing about his soul mate Vladimir Putin, and dreaming of a plunder force under our flag, stealing oil from the Mideast. In years to come, every American voter will be held to account for what they did in 2016. There’s no free pass.




► From Reuters — U.S. coal miners hit Congress to rally for pension protection — About 10,000 retired coal miners and their families descended on the U.S. Congress on Thursday to pressure lawmakers to pass stalled legislation that would prevent 22,000 of them from losing their pension and health benefits as soon as early 2017.




paid-sick-days-popular► From Think Progress — Midwest continues its paid sick leave winning streak — There is no national law ensuring that American workers can take a paid day off of work if they or their family members get sick. But there are now more than 30 of these laws in cities and states throughout the country. On Wednesday, St. Paul became the second city in Minnesota to pass a paid sick leave law, following Minneapolis in May. Once it goes into effect, more than 68,000 workers in the city’s private sector who have gone without the benefit should be able to take a paid day for illness.

EDITOR’S NOTE — If voters support Initiative 1433, more than 1 million workers in Washington state who are currently denied any paid sick days will have the opportunity to earn some. Learn more at

► From WAVY 10 — Voters to decide if ‘right to work’ law goes into Virginia’s constitution — State lawmakers have scheduled a November showdown for the state’s “right to work” law by approving a ballot measure to make the law part of the state’s constitution.

AP-fishermen-hawaii► From AP — Hawaiian seafood caught by foreign crews confined on boats — Hundreds of undocumented men are employed in this unique U.S. fishing fleet, due to a federal loophole that allows them to work but exempts them from most basic labor protections. Many come from impoverished Southeast Asian and Pacific nations to take the dangerous jobs, which can pay as little as 70 cents an hour. With no legal standing on U.S. soil, the men are at the mercy of their American captains on American-flagged, American-owned vessels, catching prized swordfish and ahi tuna. Since they don’t have visas, they are not allowed to set foot on shore. The entire system, which contradicts other state and federal laws, operates with the blessing of high-ranking U.S. lawmakers and officials, an AP investigation found.

► From The Nation — A $15 minimum wage would stop 1.2 million households from going hungry According to The Century Foundation, bringing the nationwide hourly base wage to $15 by 2023 would free 1.2 million households from hunger. The households who would achieve food security — the ability to consistently meet basic nutritional needs — mirror the demographics of the low-wage workforce as a whole: about 44 percent, or half a million, would be black and Latino households. Nearly 350,000 would be single-parent households, who suffer disproportionately from hunger.




► The Entire Staff of The Stand wishes Canadian crooner Michael Buble a happy birthday today. However, we can’t stand him. So in his stead, we present a Canadian crooner we do like, Rufus Wainwright. Here he sings about a few of his favorite things, which apparently include making googly eyes at the camera a la Susanna Hoffs. Enjoy!


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

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