Monday, November 7, 2022
► From the Seattle Times — WA voter turnout lagging behind pace of last midterm election — Voter turnout in Washington for Tuesday’s election is running behind the pace of the last midterm four years ago. About 1.5 million ballots have been returned statewide — about 32% of registered voters, as of the last update Friday, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. That’s down from nearly 35% at the same point in 2018. Voters have until Tuesday to get their ballots postmarked or dropped in a drop box by 8 p.m.
TODAY at The Stand — Vote NOW in your family’s best interests (by WSLC President Larry Brown) — Care about crime and inflation? Support the candidates who are doing something about it — besides just stoking fear and anger.
► From the WSLC — Union members: Got your ballot?
● WSLC 2022 Election Endorsements
● Find a secure election dropbox in your community
● Not registered? No problem! Under Washington’s same-day registration law, you can go to your local County Auditor’s office and voting centers until 8 p.m. on Election Day to register and vote!
► From Crosscut — Latina candidates in Central WA seek to increase representation — When Dulce Gutierrez canvasses Latinx neighborhoods in her campaign for Yakima County Commissioner, she isn’t just explaining why they should vote for her; her conversations can be more basic than that. Gutierrez is often explaining how to vote. Among the materials she brings is a postcard outlining her platform. On it is a sticker that says, “Vote by Nov. 8!” Gutierrez made history when she was one of three Latinas elected to the Yakima City Council in 2015 — the first Latinas ever. Now the Democrat seeks to be the first Latina to serve on the Board of Yakima County Commissioners, which has been predominately white, male and conservative.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Gutierrez is also Union, Community & Naturalization Organizer for the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
► From the Philadelphia Inquirer — In Philadelphia, organized labor is making a final push as Democrats try to win back working-class voters — Organized labor typically takes a leading role in get-out-the-vote efforts, but the push this year underscores the national role that voter-rich Southeastern Pennsylvania can play. On Saturday morning, AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler rallied in South Philadelphia with gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro and a bevy of local elected officials who spoke to 150 workers preparing to knock on doors through the city:
“All these important labor leaders, national people, are coming into Pennsylvania because this race is the race. And you all are the most important people that will make this victory happen.”
► From the Washington Post — Republicans sue to disqualify thousands of mail ballots in swing states — Republican officials and candidates in at least three battleground states are pushing to disqualify thousands of mail ballots after urging their own supporters to vote on Election Day, in what critics are calling a concerted attempt at partisan voter suppression.
► From the Washington Post — Lawsuit seeks to block counting of military ballots in Wisconsin — A Wisconsin Republican who has been a frequent promoter of false election claims is suing to prevent the immediate counting of military ballots in her state. Will Attig, director of the Union Veterans Council, expressed alarm at the attempt to prevent counting military ballots.
THANK YOU to all the line crews and other workers who have worked throughout the weekend (and continue today) in the cold and rain across the state to restore power to our communities. And THANK YOU to the snow removal crews working today in Eastern Washington to make our roads safe and reopen our schools. Stay safe out there!
► From KOMO — Thousands waking up Monday without power
► From the Tri-City Herald — Ferocious Tri-Cities winds knock out power, topple trees. Top gusts nearly 70 mph
► From the Seattle Times — Wait times for mental health services in WA jails worsen as fines spiral — Hundreds of defendants across Washington state remain in a legal limbo, jailed while waiting for a psychiatric bed as state hospital wait times balloon in violation of a federal court settlement. Four years after that settlement, the state Department of Social and Health Services is still struggling to meet required time frames. In fact, wait times are getting worse, costing hundreds of people in jails, and their loved ones, weeks or months of their lives. The settlement includes fines, so the failure also has cost Washington taxpayers an estimated $98 million since 2018.
► From Politico — Biden won on infrastructure. Democrats are struggling to get voters to care. — Democrats facing voters on Tuesday can boast of a landmark achievement from their two years of running Washington — a $1.2 trillion infrastructure law that promises to rebuild the nation’s roads and bridges, expand broadband service, put more electric vehicles on the road and provide millions of Americans with cleaner drinking water. But nearly a year after President Joe Biden signed the biggest infrastructure bill in decades, decisions about how to spend all that money are just getting underway. And his party is struggling to reap the electoral rewards.
► From the AP — Rail union approves deal offering hope of avoiding strike — Another one of the 12 railroad unions narrowly approved its deal with the major freight railroads Saturday, offering some hope that the contract dispute might be resolved without a strike even though two other unions rejected their agreements last month. Now that 52% of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers members who voted approved their deal, seven railroad unions have ratified contracts that include 24% raises and $5,000 in bonuses, but all 12 have to approve contracts to prevent a strike.
► From The Hill — Delta CEO: ‘No possibility’ pilots strike on holidays, or ‘any time’ — Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian told NBC on Monday that there is “no possibility” of the carrier’s pilots striking during Christmas after its pilot union voted to authorize a strike as it negotiates a new contract.
► From Vice — Activision Blizzard is trying to stop a union vote at its Albany office — Activision Blizzard is asking the NLRB to stop a union vote at its Diablo quality assurance department in Albany, NY because, it claims, game development is unlike any other form of labor, making years of NLRB precedent irrelevant. Following a successful union organizing drive, the company has requested that the votes be impounded until a review is completed.
► From HuffPost — Home Depot workers reject effort in Philadelphia — Workers at a Home Depot in Philadelphia voted decisively against unionizing in an election held this week, turning back an effort to form the home-improvement chain’s first organized store.
► From HuffPost — Days after laying off half the company, Twitter asks some employees to come back — Twitter is reportedly trying to reverse course and hire back dozens of workers it just laid off – continuing the chaos Elon Musk has brought since taking over. Some workers were laid off by mistake, sources say, while others were fired before management realized their experience was necessary to build the new features Musk wants for the platform.
► From the Guardian — This job pays $60,000 – or maybe $150,000: companies skirt New York salary law — The city is seeking transparency in job ads – but employers aren’t exactly abiding by the spirit of the measure.
► From Reuters — How corporate chiefs dodge lawsuits over sexual abuse and deadly products — Scandals brought down Harvey Weinstein’s movie studio and major opioid supplier Mallinckrodt. But their wealthy owners, directors and executives were granted lifetime immunity from related lawsuits in bankruptcy court — an overwhelmingly common tactic in major U.S. Chapter 11 cases.
► From Jacobin — Ontario’s education workers are on strike — Ontario’s conservative government refused to bargain with its public education workers. But the decision to impose a contract on the workers appears to have backfired — it has increased worker solidarity and organizing and provoked an “illegal” strike.
► From Reuters — Strikes, protests in Europe over cost of living and pay — European countries are facing strikes and protests due to high energy prices and mounting costs of living.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.