Thursday, August 8, 2019
► In today’s News Tribune — Prepare for debate over diversity, inclusion, privilege after Referendum 88 makes ballot — Washington state voters will head to the polls Nov. 5 to decide a referendum on a state law that allows the use of affirmative action policies in public education, government employment and contracting. The Legislature in April approved Initiative 1000 on the final day of the session, but a group called Let People Vote launched a petition drive to overturn it. On Wednesday, the Secretary of State’s office announced that the group had collected enough signatures to place Referendum 88 on the general election ballot.
EDITOR’S NOTE — With Ref. 88, voters will be asked whether to approve or reject I-1000 as passed by the State Legislature. I-1000, which was unanimously endorsed by the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO ends the state’s ban on programs that provide equal opportunity in education, employment and contracting. I-1000 will ensure fair opportunities for women, veterans, people with disabilities, and all people of color. So the WSLC is urging union members and their families to support I-100 by APPROVING Ref. 88.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers defends right to own guns, criticizes Donald Trump’s rhetoric in Spokane town hall — Her answers to questions about Trump’s speech drew an impassioned response from the small but vocal crowd. Joel Alejandro Velasco, a military veteran and doctoral student at WSU, drew the largest response of the evening after accusing the congresswoman of speaking empty words. “If you really stood against the president’s hate against your fellow congresswomen, you would have voted for the resolution condemning the president’s language against your fellow congresswomen,” Velasco said, referring to a vote taken up by the House shortly after Trump’s tweet to condemn his language as racist and bringing a cheer from the crowd. “So forgive us, ma’am, if we don’t believe you.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle City Councilmember M. Lorena González eyes run for state attorney general — Seattle City Councilmember M. Lorena González is launching a campaign for Washington state attorney general, joining a growing field of Democrats eyeing Bob Ferguson’s job in 2020. But like other Democrats who have declared so far, González isn’t itching to challenge Ferguson in a primary. Instead, she’s preparing a candidacy in case Ferguson runs for governor — which he’s expected to do if Gov. Jay Inslee forgoes a bid for a third term.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing CEO: Lingering engine fix will push back first flight and delivery of 777X — The further delay of Boeing’s big new jet — already running months later than the company had initially anticipated — marks yet another setback for Boeing, as it grapples with the ongoing crisis of its grounded 737 MAX jet program. Delay of the 777X’s entry into service could hit both Boeing’s airline customers and its suppliers.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — In meeting with Sen. Murray, workers and advocates push for stronger protection from workplace harassment — Workers, labor groups and civil rights advocates emphasized the need for stronger laws against workplace harassment and discrimination during a Wednesday roundtable with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray. Eric Gonzalez Alfaro, legislative director of the ACLU of Washington, said his farmworker parents often talked about the injustices they endured. “What’s clear is that the sexual harassment, retaliation, and civil rights violations they endured are just as endemic today as they were then,” Alfaro said during the meeting Wednesday at the UFCW Local 1439 building in Yakima.
► In today’s Washington Post — ICE agents raid Miss. work sites, arrest 680 people in largest single-state immigration enforcement action in U.S. history — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents swept through seven work sites in six cities across Mississippi on Wednesday, arresting approximately 680 people the agency said were undocumented immigrants in what officials said is the largest single-state workplace enforcement action in U.S. history.
► From Payday Report — ICE raids Miss. plant after $3.75 million sexual harassment settlement — The arrested workers, many of them members of the UFCW, were employed by a company called Koch Foods Inc, which employs 13,000 workers throughout the U.S. (Koch Foods Inc. has no connection or relation to the billionaire political donor Koch Brothers.) In 2018, following a nearly eight-year-long legal battle, Koch Foods Inc. settled a $3.75 million lawsuit alleging that company supervisors engaged in both racial and sexual harassment of Latina workers at its Morton, Miss., plant.
► From HuffPost — Children left without parents, communities ‘scared to death’ after massive ICE raids — Several children in Mississippi had nowhere to go on Wednesday after their parents and caretakers were arrested in a series of ICE raids at seven food processing plants targeting undocumented immigrants.
► In today’s Washington Post — A Detroit diabetic was deported to Iraq, where he’d never lived. He died from lack of insulin, family says. — Jimmy Aldaoud crouched on a sidewalk, miserable, hungry and short on insulin. The 41-year-old with diabetes and severe mental illness had spent nearly his whole life in Detroit until just over two months ago, when ICE deported him to Iraq — a country he’d never set foot in.
► From The Hill — Businesses, farmers brace for new phase in Trump trade war — U.S. businesses and farmers are begging Trump for relief from his escalating trade war with China as tensions between the world’s two largest economies reach new heights. Trump’s plan to impose a 10 percent tariff on more than $300 billion in Chinese goods, and China’s decision to suspend U.S. agricultural imports, sets the stage for potential economic and political blowback for the president.
► From Reuters — Goodyear plant conditions raise concerns about Mexican labor reforms: U.S. lawmakers — A group of U.S. Democratic lawmakers on Monday criticized Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co for refusing to let them visit its Mexican plant, and said poor conditions there raised questions about Mexican labor reforms seen as key to ensuring passage of a new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.
► From Politico — White House drafting executive order to tackle Silicon Valley’s alleged anti-conservative bias — The White House is circulating drafts of a proposed executive order that would address allegations of anti-conservative bias by social media companies — a month after Trump pledged to explore “all regulatory and legislative solutions” on the issue.
► From the AFL-CIO — The Labor Movement Responds to the El Paso Massacre (A special edition of the “State of the Unions” podcast) — On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” podcast co-hosts Julie Greene and Tim Schlittner talk with Texas AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Montserrat Garibay (Education Austin/AFT-NEA) in the wake of the deadly mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. They discuss immigration, organizing and the need for solidarity in times of darkness.
ALSO at The Stand — We must call out, condemn white supremacy (by Larry Brown and April Sims)
BREAKING: Approximately 80 mostly East African workers have walked out of the Eagan, MN Amazon delivery station, DMS 1. Worker, Farbowsa Nunow, reports that workers have walked out due to problems over parking. Workers allege that Amazon prioritizes trucks over people. pic.twitter.com/KNeCAOezHe
— Workday Minnesota (@workdaymn) August 8, 2019
OH, AND THEN THERE’S THIS…
► In today’s NY Times — Climate change threatens the world’s food supply, United Nations warns — The world’s land and water resources are being exploited at “unprecedented rates,” a new United Nations report warns, which combined with climate change is putting dire pressure on the ability of humanity to feed itself. The report, prepared by more than 100 experts from 52 countries and released in summary form in Geneva on Thursday, found that the window to address the threat is closing rapidly. A half-billion people already live in places turning into desert, and soil is being lost between 10 and 100 times faster than it is forming, according to the report.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.