Tuesday, August 7, 2018
PRIMARY ELECTION DAY!
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — It’s Election Day, and no stamp is no problem — Drop your ballot in any mailbox, but it must be postmarked today. There also are special ballot boxes.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Find that ballot, fill it out — and make sure you support candidates who support working families — and get it in!
► From CBS News — Missouri to vote on right-to-work referendum — The AFL-CIO and local unions are undertaking a thorough canvassing campaign to convince Missourians to vote down the proposition. Volunteers have knocked on more than 771,000 doors and dialed more than 662,000 phone numbers. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said that union members would be motivated in November to vote against politicians who had supported Proposition A: “We’ll come out in large numbers and vote for people who support the working people’s agenda, and we’ll vote against people who don’t support that agenda, who support out of state interests.”
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Some call for changes to H-2A guest worker program — It’s no secret that farmers are relying more on the guest worker program to fill gaps in a declining field labor force due in part by stiffer control at the Mexico border and President Trump’s anti-immigrant sentiments. And with the increase comes a call for change by growers, who complain the program is too expensive, difficult to access and not available to the year-round agriculture industry such as dairy farmers.
EDITOR’S NOTE — WAFLA, the lead source in this story and other recent reports proclaiming a farm labor shortage, is a Washington corporation that recently generated $7.7 million in revenues charging member growers to help them navigate the H-2A program to import foreign workers. Meanwhile, WAFLA is actively working to suppress H-2A workers’ wages. In a truly free market, employers raise wages when they experience a labor shortage. But growers don’t want to pay more. They want to change the rules so they can import more foreign workers — and pay them even less.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — We marched for the dignity of farm workers (by Jeff Johnson) — We need to do so much more to protect domestic and foreign guest workers from the exploitation that continues to go on every day in the fields in Washington state. Farm workers shouldn’t have to go to work to suffer, but rather to earn family-supporting wages and to be treated with dignity.
► In today’s Washington Post — When a Trump supporter’s wife is deported (by Dana Milbank) — Sgt. Temo Juarez was a Trump guy. An Iraq combat veteran who served as a Marine infantryman and then an Army National Guardsman, his friends called him a “super conservative.” With his wife, he brought up their two daughters in Central Florida. He supported Trump in 2016, eager for a change. But now, “I am eating my words.” On Friday, Juarez and his family became the latest victims of Trump’s zero-tolerance policy on immigration.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Join vigil for immigrant justice Thursday at Seattle ICE office — Wear your union colors and bring signs to the Seattle Labor for Keeping Families Together Vigil from 8 to 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9 outside the Seattle ICE Office, 1000 2nd Ave. in downtown Seattle. UFCW 21 will provide donuts and coffee. See the Facebook event page to RSVP or get more details.
► From NBC News — Now the Trump administration wants to limit citizenship for legal immigrants — The Trump administration is expected to issue a proposal in coming weeks that would make it harder for legal immigrants to become citizens or get green cards if they have ever used a range of popular public welfare programs, including Obamacare.
► In the Olympian — School funding changes are put to the test in salary negotiations: ‘It’s a brand new system’ — Area teachers have spent the summer packing the halls of school board meetings and waving signs on busy streets in the name of better pay. Lawmakers gave schools more state money while putting limits on how much districts can raise through local levies and what levy dollars can cover. They also got rid of the state’s salary schedule that laid out what teachers earn based on their experience and education. They also added nearly $1 billion for salaries. Now, districts will come up with their own salaries schedules, which leaves a lot of room to negotiate.
► From KNKX — Substitute teachers in Seattle push for better health insurance coverage — In Seattle, teachers who work as substitutes said they’ve been largely shut out of the district’s health insurance plan and they’re pushing to have better health coverage included in the new contract.
► In the Olympian — GOP lawmaker attacks Central Washington University ahead of investigation into his conduct — State Rep. Matt Manweller (R-Ellensburg) is offering a pre-emptive defense of his behavior as a Central Washington University professor and attacking the school ahead of the findings of an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct, set to be released soon. Although he is on paid administrative leave, Manweller is still employed at the school.
► In today’s Seattle Times — King County Metro named nation’s top public transportation agency — The American Public Transportation Association picked Metro for the honor based on 12 criteria, including safety, efficiency, maintenance and financial management. “This award goes to each one of the 4,700 employees at King County Metro, in honor of the hard work and amazing customer service they provide every day,” said Metro General Manager Rob Gannon.
► From The Stranger — That EMT who saved your life might be making barely more than the minimum wage — EMTs are calling on the City of Seattle to require their employer, the private company American Medical Response, to increase their pay. Council Member Kshama Sawant has taken up their cause.
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump’s privatization plan would destroy the Postal Service (by Katrina vanden Heuvel) — This week, a task force created following an April executive order from Trump, is scheduled to deliver its recommendations for an overhaul of the Postal Service. Led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, the task force is expected to endorse a Postal Service privatization proposal… Rather than solving the problem, privatization would create a host of new ones. The administration has cited the “successful model” of postal privatization in other countries, but such efforts in Europe have resulted in severe job losses and wage cuts for postal workers, and increased prices and reduced mail delivery access for customers. These are the inevitable consequences of a system that views postal services as a vehicle for private gain instead of a public good.
ALSO at The Stand — Congress: Block privatization of America’s Postal Service! — UPDATE: Since we first posted this call to action, Washington Reps. Suzan DelBene and Denny Heck have signed on as co-sponsors to HR 993 to ensure that the U.S. Postal Service remains an independent agency of the federal government and isn’t subject to privatization. Keep up the pressure! Visit this National Association of Letter Carriers action page to send a message urging your representative in the House to sign on as a co-sponsor of the resolution.
► From TPM — Pence said that lying, having affairs made a president unfit to serve — The vice president wrote: “The Presidents (sic) repeated lies to the American people in this matter compound the case against him as they demonstrate his failure to protect the institution of the presidency as the ‘inspiring supreme symbol of all that is highest in our American ideals.’ … In a day when reckless extramarital sexual activity is manifesting itself in our staggering rates of illegitimacy and divorce, now more than ever, America needs to be able to look to her First Family as role models of all that we have been and can be again.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Did we mention he was talking about Bill Clinton?
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.