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Get ready to vote ● Ending asylum ● Silent on racism

Monday, July 15, 2019




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Ready, set, vote: Primary ballots will be arriving this week — Ballots for the Aug. 6 primary will be sent Thursday to registered voters across the state. For the first time, a person will be able to go into any county election office in Washington on Aug. 6, register to vote, get a ballot and cast it. Same-day registration is the result of a law enacted in 2018.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Most of the election involve city and county races, so union voters should check with their regional Central Labor Councils to find out which candidates have earned labor’s endorsement. Voters in the 40th Legislative District in San Juan County and parts of Skagit and Whatcom counties should know that the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO has endorsed Washington State Sen. Liz Lovelett (D-Anacortes) in her bid to retain that Senate seat in that special election. She was appointed to the Senate in February following the resignation of Sen. Kevin Ranker. Learn more.




► In the Washington Post — Airlines cancel thousands of flights as Boeing works to fix 737 Max software problems — Airlines are planning for the possibility that Boeing’s beleaguered 737 Max commercial jetliners will remain out of commission late into the fall, as the company works to fix a host of technical problems that have rendered the planes grounded since early March.

ALSO at The Stand — Boeing’s cost-cutting business model is failing (by Stan Sorscher)




► In the Tri-City Herald — Congressman blocks DOE from reclassifying high level Hanford radioactive waste — The Department of Energy would be blocked from using its controversial new interpretation of high level radioactive waste at Hanford under a key military spending bill for the next fiscal year. DOE announced in early June that it believed some waste now managed at Hanford and other nuclear weapons sites as high level waste has low enough radioactivity that DOE could appropriately make the decision to treat and dispose of it to the standards used for low level radioactive waste.

► In the Tri-City Herald — Feds reject 2 of Washington state’s requirements for cleanup of Hanford radioactive waste — The Department of Energy has rejected two of the five new requirements and related deadlines for Hanford cleanup recently set by the Washington state Department of Ecology, including a requirement that it design new waste storage tanks.




► BREAKING from the AP — Trump issues new rule to end asylum protections for Central Americans — The Trump administration on Monday moved to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants in a major escalation of the president’s battle to tamp down the number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. According to a new rule published in the Federal Register , asylum seekers who pass through another country first will be ineligible for asylum at the U.S. southern border. The rule, expected to go into effect Tuesday, also applies to children who have crossed the border alone.

► From KING 5 — ICE raid protests outside Tacoma’s Northwest Detention Center — A group gathered outside Tacoma’s Northwest Detention Center on Sunday to protest ICE raids nationwide.

► From Yahoo — Marriott, Hilton, Choice Hotels refuse to serve as detention centers in Trump-backed immigration raids — The hotel chains confirmed plans to deny requests made by ICE to use their properties as temporary detention centers ahead of planned raids scheduled for Sunday.

► In the Washington Post — ‘No tech for ICE’: Protesters demand Amazon cut ties with federal immigration enforcement — Hundreds of protesters had a message for Amazon at a company summit Thursday in New York: “Cut ties with ICE.”




► From Reuters — Trump tells Democratic congresswomen to ‘go back’ to ‘fix’ countries they came from — Trump on Sunday told a group of mostly American-born Democratic congresswomen to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” a comment that was condemned by Democrats as racist.

► From The Hill — Ocasio-Cortez: Trump comments ‘hallmark language’ of white supremacists — “It’s important to note that the President’s words yday, telling four American Congresswomen of color ‘go back to your own country,’ is hallmark language of white supremacists,” tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), one of four freshmen lawmakers at whom the comments were apparently directed. “Trump feels comfortable leading the GOP into outright racism, and that should concern all Americans.”

► In today’s Washington Post — Republicans are quiet as Trump urges minority congresswomen to leave the country — Insinuating that people of color are foreigners, the president used a trope broadly viewed as racist against the Democratic women, only one of whom was born outside the United States and all of whom are American citizens. The silence of Republican leaders appeared to suggest either that they agreed with the views expressed by their standard-bearer or that he has so effectively consolidated his control over their party that they have grown disinclined to voice dissent.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump calls on minority congresswomen to apologize after he said they should ‘go back’ to their countries




► From The Hill — House Democrats seek to move past rifts with minimum wage bill — House Democrats riven by infighting between centrists and progressives will take on a new challenge this week: passing legislation to raise the minimum wage for the first time in a decade.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — U.S. House to vote on raising minimum wage to $15 by 2024

► In the Washington Post — House passes bill providing paid family leave for federal workers — Federal employees who take leave for parental or other family-related purposes — time that currently is unpaid — would receive their regular salaries for that leave instead, under a bill that has passed the House.

EDITOR’S NOTE — “With this amendment, the federal government takes a leading role promoting paid family leave in America, providing much-needed support and relief to working families,” said Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee which amended the bill into the National Defense Authorization Act.

► In today’s NY Times — The workers in our homes deserve rights (by Ai-jen Poo, the founder of the National Domestic Workers Alliance) — The nannies, housecleaners and home care workers who fought for generations to be included in federal labor protections will take a big step toward this goal when Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) introduce the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights this week.

► From Politico — Republicans ready to dive off a cliff on Obamacare — Republicans have no real plan to establish a new health care system if the courts strike down the Affordable Care Act before the 2020 election. But plenty of them are rooting for its demise anyway — even if it means plunging the GOP into a debate that splits the party and leaves them politically vulnerable. After a decade of trying to gut Obamacare, Republicans may finally get their wish thanks to a Trump administration-backed lawsuit. Its success would cause chaos not only in the insurance markets but on Capitol Hill.

► From Bloomberg TV — USMCA is totally unenforceable, AFL-CIO President Trumka says — Trumka discusses the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), his views on the 2020 presidential election candidates and the Trump administration’s approach to U.S. immigration policy.

► From Politico — Trump’s big USMCA deal gets battered by 2020 Dems and Pelosi — The leading White House contenders are amping up their opposition to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement, which has been stalled for months. And Speaker Nancy Pelosi is showing no signs of bending without major changes to tilt the agreement to the left.




► In today’s Washington Post — For Amazon workers in Minnesota, Prime Day means protest — One hundred employees, many of them East African Muslim immigrants, plan to walk off the job today as part of one of the largest Amazon strikes among U.S. workers.

► From HuffPost — Here’s why thousands of autoworkers could end up on strike soon — The United Auto Workers union is set to start bargaining new contracts covering 150,000 workers at Detroit’s Big Three on Monday in what could be the most contentious negotiations the auto industry has seen in years.




► In the NY Times — The Labor Movement Can Rise Again (by SEIU 32BJ President Hector Figueroa, who died on July 11, the day before this was published) — As the American economy continues its record-breaking expansion, the question for labor leaders across the country is: What can unions do to make economic growth work for the workers left behind by the bonanza of the past decade? Workers are ready to do more. In the United States, about 80 million workers make less than $20 an hour. And many of them are more than willing to take risks and demand dignity and respect on the job. There are signs of renewed worker militancy everywhere. In 2018, nearly half a million workers in America went on strike or stopped work because of a labor dispute, the largest number since 1986. From teachers to aircraft cleaners, workers are showing a return to the kind of collective action that brought us Social Security, the weekend and a federally guaranteed minimum wage.


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