Wednesday, October 19, 2016
► In today’s Seattle Times — Sound Transit 3 is the transit system our region has needed for 40 years (by Dow Constantine, Dave Somers Marilyn Strickland) — As leaders in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, we represent 3.5 million people. And we share an interest in making sure that all of those people, and a million more to come, can get where they need to go. With Proposition 1, we have the plan. Now we need your vote.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Meanwhile, not content to simply fight for lower pay for public employees and minimum wage workers, Tom McCabe’s anti-union Freedom Foundation also weighs in today in the Times against family wages for building and construction trades workers. This anonymously funded right-wing think tank calls Sound Transit’s Project Labor Agreement — which guarantees that all construction workers get area-standard wages and benefits — a “cancer” on the community. FF boss McCabe is the guy who was ousted from the Building Industry Association of Washington amid internal BIAW acrimony over his decision to blow more than $6 million in 2008 in a failed attempt to get Republican Dino Rossi elected as governor amid a housing crunch that was devastating most homebuilders. To get rid of him, the BIAW had to pay him a $1.25 million buyout and a year’s health-care coverage. Now, McCabe runs an organization that says its goal is to “defund and discredit the union political machine.” Who’s the cancer on our community: the skilled construction workers making union wages and benefits, or this guy?
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Polling finds strong support for minimum wage increase — Initiative 1433 has a simple pitch: Give Washington’s lowest-paid workers higher wages and paid sick leave. Supporters say it will help individuals and families struggling to get by, and will boost local spending. The limited polling done on I-1433 has voters backing the measure.
► In The Stranger — Labor leader to Seattle Police Union: Don’t isolate yourselves, show solidarity with other workers — Nicole Grant, the King County Labor Council’s Executive Secretary-Treasurer: “Look, this is the most heartfelt and important thing I’m going to say about policing, police unions, and the labor movement: Being a part of something bigger, which SPOG is doing more of — like when SPOG supported secure scheduling… — that’s the kind of stuff that’s going to bring them out of isolation. I think being part of the labor community and not being so specific to their own issues is important. It’s happening more with officers who start their careers today, who have different ideas. There’s a role for the labor movement to play that’s special. The relationship around workplace issues is authentic, and this is a way for police to show solidarity with low wage workers, workers of color on specific policy issues.”
► In today’s News Tribune — MultiCare physicians form union in Auburn, say Tacoma could be next — Physicians at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center overwhelmingly voted to unionize with the American Union of Physicians and Dentists last week. Now, one of the local leaders of the unionization effort has her eyes set on unionizing other facilities operated by the Tacoma-based nonprofit health care provider.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Skin of Hanford workers contaminated with radioactive waste — At least seven workers at a Hanford tank farm had skin contaminated with radioactive waste Tuesday morning. The workers were in a pit at the AX Tank Farm when contamination was detected in the pit.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Worker improves after explosion at Intalco smelter in Ferndale — An Alcoa Intalco Works employee injured in an explosion at the aluminum smelter last week has been moved from intensive care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
► From Univision — Latino working people’s vote key to defeat Donald Trump (by Richard Trumka) — When Latino working families are determined and speak with one voice there is nothing that can stop them – not even a self-proclaimed billionaire who does not respect anyone.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Donald Trump has invented a conspiracy that could do serious damage (editorial) — His claims about “large-scale voter fraud” and a “rigged election” are self-serving and, worse, damaging to the American electoral process.
EDITOR’S NOTE — But…
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump didn’t invent the ‘rigged election’ myth. Republicans did. (by Sen. Elizabeth Warren) — Senior Republican leaders are scrambling to distance themselves from his dangerous claims. But Trump’s argument didn’t spring from nowhere. It’s just one more symptom of a long-running effort by Republicans to delegitimize Democratic voters, appointees and leaders. For years, this disease has infected our politics. It cannot be cured until Republican leaders rethink their approach to modern politics.
► From The Week — Will tonight’s presidential debate be another national embarrassment? — The final debate before the 2016 presidential election is tonight. It will be moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who has promised to ask the candidates about social programs and the national debt, immigration, the economy, the Supreme Court, and “fitness to be president.” The overwhelming background is Donald Trump’s ongoing meltdown.
► In today’s NY Times — Social Security at stake on Nov. 8 (editorial) — Hillary Clinton has a rational plan for fixing Social Security. Donald Trump’s approach would inevitably lead to insolvency.
► From BuzzFeed — A union is building a wall of taco trucks outside Trump’s Las Vegas hotel — The Culinary Union, long a Donald Trump antagonist in Las Vegas, is going to “build” a wall of taco trucks outside Trump’s hotel, just a couple miles from UNLV, site of the final presidential debate. “We’re reminding Mr. Trump that immigrant workers here and across the country will be watching the debate and voting in November,” said Yvanna Cancela, the political director for the majority Latino and predominantly immigrant union.
► From The Atlantic — How the ‘losers’ in America’s trade policies got left behind — Though Trade Adjustment Assistance is one of the government’s most robust retraining and support programs, it has not been very successful in helping those who lose jobs in manufacturing move on to equally lucrative careers. This is perhaps not surprising to people in the policy community: Retraining, as it exists now in America, doesn’t often work.“It’s not just that TAA isn’t working. It’s that the entire portfolio of labor-market adjustment policies in the U.S. isn’t working,” said one analyst. The biggest reason, according to another expert, is that communities that see factories shutting down are often suffering economically. That leaves few other opportunities for people, no matter what skills they can learn.
► From Think Progress — You are almost assuredly living in the hottest year ever recorded, according to NASA — Last month “was the warmest September in 136 years of modern record-keeping,” reports NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). This follows a record-setting July and August, which were so hot, they tied each other for the “warmest month ever recorded.” Indeed, it now appears 2016 will crush the previous record for hottest year, set in 2015, which itself crushed the previous record for hottest year that was set in 2014 — a three-year run never seen before in the 136-year temperature record. And this means the recent bouts of extreme weather “will be routine all too soon, but then even worse records will be set,” as climatologist Kevin Trenberth said.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.