Boeing profits up, NLRB rule stands, Obama slow jams…
► Today from AP — Boeing’s 1st quarter earnings rise on aircraft sales — Airlines around the world are updating their fleets with new, more fuel-efficient planes, and that’s good news for the aircraft maker. It said Wednesday that first-quarter profit soared 58%, beating analysts’ expectations, as sales at its commercial airplane division surged. Boeing delivered 137 commercial airplanes in the quarter, winning bragging rights over European rival Airbus, which had 131 deliveries.
A RELATED STORY last week in the (Everett) Herald — Boeing, SPEEA talks already under way — (Just sayin’.)
► At AFL-CIO Now — Republican attack on fair union election rule fails in Senate — Congressional Republicans on Tuesday failed in their latest attempt to roll back workers’ rights. The U.S. Senate defeated (45-54) a measure (S.J. Res. 36) to kill a new National Labor Relations Board rule that makes modest changes in the procedures for workers who want to vote on whether to form a union. It also would have banned the NLRB from ever issuing any similar fair election rule.
► In today’s NY Times — Bid to block Postal Service bill fails in Senate — The Senate had hoped to have a final vote on the legislation on Tuesday, but Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) raised a point of order to try to derail the bill. Now a final vote could come Wednesday on the wide-ranging measure, which would allow the USPS to study the elimination of Saturday deliveries, among other things.
WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY
► At Huffington Post — End the delays that are deadly to workers (by USW President Leo Gerard) — Wear black on Saturday. It is Workers’ Memorial Day, a time devoted to commemorating those killed on the job. It’s also a time to fight to restore the shield Congress erected in 1970 to protect workers — the Occupational Safety and Health Administration — which has been mutilated from relentless attacks by corporations and their battering ram — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The GAO found it takes OSHA longer than seven years to issue a new work safety standard. In one case, it was 19 years. And it’s getting worse. It took 70% longer to finalize standards in the 1990s than it did in the 1980s, and another 30% longer in the 2000s. These occurred as corporations sued to stop enforcement and new mandates for review of proposed rules were stacked on top of existing ones. The GAO said defenders of the delays argue that the layers of obligations balance worker protections with employer costs. So the very corporations and Chamber of Commerce that constantly deride government red tape demand it for this special case — to delay implementation of rules to protect workers. And this is their justification: Corporate profits trump worker lives.
ALSO at The Stand — Workers Memorial Day events across state this week — The Snohomish County Labor Council’s event in Everett is TODAY from 5 to 6 p.m.at the Workers Memorial in the Mission courtyard of the County Administrative Center at Wetmore & Pacific. The L&I event in Tumwater is tomorrow (Thursday), events in Seattle and Bellingham are Friday, and Spokane’s event is on Saturday.
► In the Seattle Times — T-Mobile should take the high ground (by MLKCLC’s David Freiboth) — If T-Mobile is serious about doing business in the U.S., it should bring back jobs it sent overseas, reverse plans to shut seven call centers, and allow workers to unionize.
ALSO at The Stand — Tax Day is perfect day for T-Mobile to save jobs
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Senate proposes increase to Hanford budget — The Senate is proposing a $12 million increase in the Hanford budget for next year from the amount requested by the Obama administration, but the House is proposing a reduced budget.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Everett Transit plans cuts — The tough economic times that led to Community Transit cutting nearly 40% of its bus service over the past two years have spilled over to Everett Transit. The city’s bus system has to cut 10-15% because of declining revenue. No layoffs are currently planned, but many drivers will have their hours cut, one official says.
► In today’s News Tribune — New bulk terminal in Tacoma?– The site of a former massive Kaiser aluminum smelter could become a bulk goods terminal if the Port of Tacoma is successful with a new plan to attract iron ore and potash exports to the port.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — In-home care providers offer help, from the heart — Demand for in-home services like those Wanda Roberts provides is steadily growing as baby boomers age and chronic illness requiring long-term care is common.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — New study: Washington’s wine industry worth $8.6 billion
► In today’s Seattle Times — King County’s 7.1% jobless rate is lowest among state’s counties
► More county unemployment coverage — Clallam (11.2%▲), Cowlitz (12%), Grays Harbor (14.2%▲), Jefferson (10.4%▼), Kitsap (8.2%▲), Pacific (13.6%▲), Pierce (9.8%), Snohomish (8.4%▼), Spokane (9.9%), Thurston (8.4%), Tri-Cities (9.6%▼), Whatcom (8.1%▼), Yakima (11.5%▲)
► In today’s Yakima H-R — $28 million on way to Yakima County for big projects– The county will get capital projects focus on subsidized housing, water storage, water-system and waste-water treatment, and groundwater pollution under the $1 billion supplemental capital budget signed Monday by Gov. Chris Gregoire.
ALSO at The Stand — Jobs Bonds ‘a great victory’ for workers, state
► In today’s Seattle Times — 14 state liquor stores to close Thursday — The State Liquor Control Board says it will close 14 mostly Puget Sound-area liquor stores early and redeploy their employees — about 60 in all — to fill job vacancies at some of its other locations as employees are leaving for other jobs.
► In the Seattle Times — Lobbyists give Legislature a C- in Elway Poll — (We wonder what grade the legislators would give lobbyists.)
► In the Columbian Basin Herald — Lt. Gov. Brad Owen plans to run for 5th term — Owen, 61, was elected in 1996. He is being challenged by former GOP state Sen. Bill Finkbeiner, Rep. Glenn Anderson (R-Fall City), and Clifford Mark Green, who lists his party preference on Public Disclosure Commission forms as Party of Commons.
► At Politico — Two conservative Penn. Democrats fall in primary– Two conservative Democrats, Reps. Jason Altmire and Tim Holden, both of whom voted against the president’s health care plan went down in defeat Tuesday, falling victim to primary opponents who cast them as far out of step with their party.
► In today’s LA Times — Let’s beef up Social Security benefits instead of cutting it (Michael Hiltzik column) –The best way to improve Social Security’s value is by increasing benefits to better serve the neediest workers and expanding its reach to cover workers and dependents who have been excluded.
ALSO at The Stand — The simple Social Security fix no one wants to talk about
► At AFL-CIO Now — Walker turns Wisconsin into a job-loss leader — A report today from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Wisconsin is the only state in the nation to suffer “statistically significant” job loss during the 12 months from March 2011 to March 2012. In other words, while the rest of the nation is at least holding its own or seeing improvement in job growth, Walker’s Wisconsin experiment is a miserable failure.
► In today’s NY Times — Considering Arizona law, justices again in political storm — Less than a month after the Supreme Court heard three days of arguments over President Obama’s health care law, the justices on Wednesday will consider another major politically charged case about the scope of federal power, this one concerning Arizona’s aggressive 2010 immigration law.
► At Politico — A public power play over CEO pay– The SEC has yet to finalize a requirement from the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform that companies disclose how much their chief executives earn compared with a typical employee. But already, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is turning up the pressure on the White House to deliver on Obama’s rhetoric about income inequality and lean harder on the SEC to finish things up.
► In today’s NY Times — Subsidize students, not tax cuts (editorial) — When many young people are struggling, House Republicans seem more interested in cutting taxes than they are in helping college students get an education.
► Your president slow jams the news…
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