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Calm caution on COVID-19 ● Hanford morality ● Meet The Nobs

Friday, February 28, 2020




► In today’s Seattle Times — Caution, calm: Keys to coronavirus response (editorial) — For individuals, that means following long-established best practices for minimizing exposure to any virus — washing hands and covering coughs, being aware of symptoms and seeking prompt medical treatment if they appear. For workplaces and institutions, that means routine environmental cleaning, reminding workers to stay away if they show signs of respiratory illness and sending sick employees home.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Washington state will begin testing for COVID-19, lawmakers allocate $10 million to virus preparations — Testing for the novel coronavirus is now available in Washington state at the public health lab in Shoreline, shortening the turnaround time for results. Previously, tests had to be sent to the CDC in Atlanta. Turnaround times varied from three days to a week. Now, results will be as soon as same-day… Washington state lawmakers have prioritized funding for keeping COVID-19 at bay in recent days.

► From NPR — As U.S. preps for coronavirus, health workers question safety measures — Some U.S. health care workers on the front line worry they are not properly prepared. Maureen Dugan, a veteran nurse at the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center where two coronavirus patients were transferred this month, says her frustrations are mounting because she says her employer offered little notice or training to those caring for the infected patients… Coronavirus has yet to sicken American health workers, but deaths of hospital workers in Asia have heightened scrutiny of the U.S. health care system’s ability to protect people on the front line.

► In today’s Washington Post — U.S. workers without protective gear assisted coronavirus evacuees, HHS whistleblower says — Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services sent more than a dozen workers to receive the first Americans evacuated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, without proper training for infection control or appropriate protective gear, according to a whistleblower complaint.

► From Vox — America’s bad paid sick leave policy could make the coronavirus outbreak worse — The COVID-19 illness, caused by the coronavirus, is here and likely here to stay for a while. The CDC is warning people to be prepared for major disruptions in their daily lives. That could mean staying home for days if they get sick. But that is easier said than done for millions of American workers. Employees in the service industry especially, like food workers or personal care assistants, are much less likely than their peers in more lucrative fields to have paid time off if they get sick.

► In today’s NY Times — When a pandemic meets a personality cult (by Paul Krugman) — So, here’s the response of the Trump team and its allies to the coronavirus, at least so far: It’s actually good for America. Also, it’s a hoax perpetrated by the news media and the Democrats. Besides, it’s no big deal, and people should buy stocks. Anyway, we’ll get it all under control under the leadership of a man who doesn’t believe in science… Maybe Trump — and America — will be lucky, and this won’t be as bad as it might be. But anyone feeling confident right now isn’t paying attention.




► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Judge: Trump Administration can’t take $89 million from Bangor pier project for border wall — Congress intended the money for military spending and had set its own limit on how much the border wall should get, Judge Barbara Rothstein said, in a ruling in favor for Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s September 2019 lawsuit that challenged removing the funds.

The Stand (Sept. 5, 2019) — Trump’s border-wall military cuts hit home at Naval Base Kitsap

► In today’s Seattle Times — Sound Transit fast-tracks North Seattle’s 130th Street Station — The elevated train stop could open by 2025, some six years earlier than the 2031 goal promised in the regional Sound Transit 3 tax measure passed by voters three years ago.

► From Crosscut — ‘No supervisors, no boss’: Upending farm labor by owning the land — Tired of mistreatment and not being able to afford the food they harvested, two Bellingham farmworkers left corporate agriculture to start their own berry cooperative.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle to sponsor workshops to educate immigrants on new ‘public charge’ rule for green cards — Seattle will sponsor a series of 10 workshops over the next month to educate immigrants and others about the Trump administration’s new “public charge” rule, which applies to some people seeking U.S. visas and green cards.




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — U.S. energy secretary defends $700 million cuts proposed for Hanford, praises Richland lab — The Trump administration’s Hanford budget request would cut more than $700 million from the current spending of a little more than $2.5 billion in the fiscal year that starts in October. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette that, although he appreciated Rep. Dan Newhouse’s concerns about the cuts, the proposed budget would meet DOE’s moral obligation to the state of Washington and the nation to cleanup Hanford.

► From The Verge — Unions are pushing the FTC to investigate Amazon for anti-competitive practices — A coalition of some of the largest labor unions in the U.S. have formally petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Amazon’s effects on the economy and whether the structure of its sprawling empire gives it unfair advantages in the marketplace.

► From Reuters — Aluminum smelter resurrected on Trump tariffs may close as losses mount — A bankrupt aluminum smelter that re-opened in 2018, after Trump imposed tariffs on imported metals, is losing money at such a rapid clip that it could close within 60 days, the top executive at the Missouri plant said on Thursday.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Protecting more of the Olympic Peninsula would be a win for public lands and the economy (by U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer and Roy Nott) — We are proud to see the U.S. House of Representatives pass the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act this month with bipartisan support. This bill would permanently protect some of the most environmentally sensitive areas on the Olympic Peninsula — designating more than 126,000 acres of public land as wilderness, and 19 rivers and their major tributaries as Wild and Scenic Rivers… Based on input from local and regional leaders, significant changes have been made over the years to make sure it worked for everyone. Thousands of acres were removed from the initial proposal to ensure the legislation would have no impact on the harvestable timber base in the Olympic National Forest.




► From The Guardian — Target raised wages. Then it cut workers’ hours and doubled their workload. — Workers say Target is making drastic cuts to their schedules and doubling their workload as it increases its minimum wage under its “modernization plan” to increase efficiency. Target Workers Unite recently released a survey of more than 500 Target workers around the U.S., representing 382 different stores in 44 states. Only 12.7% of the workers who responded said they could survive on the wages from Target alone, with 56% of workers citing they have ran out of food while employed at Target, and 12.8% of workers reported experiencing homelessness.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Target workers (and all others): Are you tired of being disrespected at work? Get a union! Find out more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

► From Deadline — IATSE petition telling President Matt Loeb to hang tough in Netflix contract talks grows to 11,0000 signatures — More than 11,000 IATSE members and their supporters have signed a petition urging IATSE president Matt Loeb to work out a contract with Netflix “that moves us above and beyond” the union’s basic agreement with the major studios and networks.

► In the Columbus Dispatch — Oscar-winning film shows anti-union acts at Dayton-area factory, leading to federal probe — Federal and state officials are reacting to possibly illegal treatment of workers in a Chinese-owned factory in the Dayton area that was exposed in the Academy Award-winning documentary “American Factory.”

► From ESPN — NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith confident players will approve CBA — NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith expressed confidence the players will approve the new collective bargaining agreement with the NFL, but said he understands why some players might be upset.




► Fifty years ago today, a rock ‘n’ roll band called The Nobs played their only concert. They couldn’t play in Copenhagen under their real name because Eva von Zeppelin, a descendant of the German inventor who manufactured and popularized zeppelin airships in the 1910s, threatened to sue these “shrieking monkeys” if her family’s name was used in Denmark. Here’s that same band performing a couple of years later in America. Question: The Beatles or The Stones? Answer: Led Zeppelin!


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!