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Helping Hanford workers, hurting veterans, remembering MTM…

Friday, January 27, 2017




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Bill would help ill Hanford workers get compensation — Hanford workers would receive the same protections as firefighters in Washington if they developed serious illnesses, under a bill submitted Thursday for consideration by the state Legislature. The extra protection is needed because of a lack of real-time monitoring and data for chemical vapors at the Hanford tank farms, said Nick Bumpaous, vice president of the Central Washington Building Trades.

► In today’s Seattle Times — ‘Levy cliff’ school-funding showdown looms in state Senate — There could be a McCleary-related showdown Friday in the Washington Legislature. But Democrats and Republicans disagree over whether Democrats could actually push a bill through the Senate to delay what’s known as the “levy cliff” for K-12 schools.




► In the PSBJ — Boeing’s 747 jet program gets reprieve, lifted by big UPS order — Boeing has taken its 747 jet manufacturing program off of life support, saying the Queen of the Skies is doing much better.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Port of Seattle CEO on paid leave for ‘personnel issues’ amid performance review — Ted Fick, who has led the Port for the past 2½ years, is on paid leave for an undetermined amount of time. Officials declined to say why, but said port operations will continue as normal.

► In today’s Seattle Times — King County will pay return postage for 2 special elections in February — King County will test out prepaid postage on ballots in two small elections in February. Expected to cost about $12,000, the test aims to see if prepaid ballots help boost voter turnout.

EDITOR’S NOTE — This should be done in ALL elections in Washington state to remove this barrier to voting.




► From The Nation — Immigrant workers are already fighting back against Trump Over a decade ago, the immigrant-rights movement seized the national spotlight with a risky act of civil disobedience: It turned May Day 2006 into A Day Without Immigrants, an unprecedented day of strikes and protests in more than 50 cities to prove immigrants’ vital role in the economy, and to demand comprehensive immigration reform. Now, facing a president who threatens to launch even more oppressive border regime, immigrants are once again taking industrial action one workplace at a time — this time, a little bolder, a little angrier, and a little more confident that their communities have their back.

ALSO at The Stand — Trump’s immigration orders ‘bring shame to the U.S.’

► In today’s Seattle Times — Sanctuary cities should fight Trump’s bullying (editorial)

► In today’s Olympian — Olympia mayor vows to defy Trump ‘sanctuary city’ threat

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Border Patrol chief resigns after clashing with powerful union, which backed Trump — The chief of the U.S. Border Patrol has resigned after only six months on the job, one day after President Donald Trump announced plans to ratchet up immigration enforcement and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, officials said Thursday.

► In today’s NY Times — Tax plan sows confusion as tension with Mexico soars — President Trump’s decision to build a wall along the length of the United States’ southern border with Mexico erupted into a diplomatic standoff on Thursday, leading to the cancellation of a White House visit by Mexico’s president and sharply rising tensions over who would pay for the wall.




► From McClatchy — One of Trump’s first moves is already hurting a loyal group of supporters: Veterans — President Trump’s temporary hiring freeze on federal jobs is disproportionately affecting a group of his most loyal supporters: veterans, who receive preference in federal hiring. Some already have had job interviews canceled or postponed… The hiring freeze also applies to the Department of Veterans Affairs, something that deeply troubles veterans groups and lawmakers, who say the freeze complicates the provision of veterans services by an agency that is chronically understaffed.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Trump’s hiring freeze comes as VA in Spokane seeks doctors, nurses

ALSO SEE — Rep. Adam Smith’s statement on President Trump’s indiscriminate federal hiring freeze — “This across-the-board hiring freeze only serves to undermine the efficiency and effectiveness of our Federal government, create uncertainty for our economy, and impose untold impacts on both Washington state and the country.”

► From AP — Labor Secretary nominee’s company outsourced jobs — The fast-food empire run by President Donald Trump’s pick for Labor secretary outsourced its technology department to the Philippines, a move that runs counter to Trump’s mantra to keep jobs in the United States.

► From Huffington Post — Trump’s labor nominee still hasn’t turned in his ethics paperwork — Senate Republicans announced Thursday that the hearing for Andrew Puzder, the chief executive CKE Restaurants, would be pushed back yet again. He was originally slated to go before a Senate committee last month, but the meeting was delayed to Feb. 2, and now it’s been moved to Feb. 7. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ranking member of the committee, told Puzder they were tired of waiting for his paperwork detailing any conflicts of interest he may have as labor secretary.

► CBS Market Watch — Budget nominee says increasing Social Security retirement age should be considered

► In the Tri-City Herald — Access to affordable health care is essential (by Wes Luckey, former regional program director for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange) — Repealing the ACA is not the solution. And more needs to be done to cover those who have not sought health care coverage. As a country, if we are to pursue happiness, then this must mean securing our basic needs. We cannot claim to be free if our basic needs are not being met. One of the most basic needs of any individual is access to affordable health care.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s definition of ‘voter fraud’ now appears to include his daughter and three top advisers — The list of voters who are registered in two different states includes his chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, Treasury secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin, White House adviser (and Trump son-in-law) Jared Kushner, White House press secretary Sean Spicer, and Trump’s own daughter, Tiffany Trump.

EDITOR’S NOTE — “Lock them up! Lock them up!”




► From The Hill — Union membership hits a new low — The Bureau of Labor Statistics said just 10.7 percent of American workers were members of labor unions in 2016, down from 11.1 percent the previous year, and down from 20.1 percent in 1983, the first year the bureau collected union statistics.

ALSO at The Stand — Union membership up again in Washington state

► From AFL-CIO Now — What the BLS union numbers don’t tell you about people organizing and collective action — There are millions of working people who want and need a union but who are being prevented from forming one by their employer. And instead of penalizing bad actors, our outdated labor laws have made union avoidance nothing more than the cost of doing business. This must change.

► In today’s Washington Post — In sudden change, a business group opts to rent event space at a Trump hotel — The American Chamber of Commerce in Canada suddenly switched its plans and chose to rent space at the glittering new hotel tower bearing the U.S. president’s name.




► Actress Mary Tyler Moore passed away this week at the age of 80. She will be fondly remembered for transforming from 1960’s housewife in The Dick Van Dyke Show into 1970’s single working woman in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, inspiring many young women of the era that they could “make it after all.” In Moore’s honor, The Entire Staff of The Stand presents Weezer in this memorable Happy Days-inspired video, singing: “Ooo-ee-oo I look just like Buddy Holly. Oh-oh and you’re Mary Tyler Moore.” (Incidentally, tickets go on sale this morning at 10 a.m. to see Weezer at The Showbox in Seattle in April.) Enjoy.


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

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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!