NFL Scab-tacular, Boeing retirees at risk, workers’ comp reforms…
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
► In today’s Seattle Times — Wilson’s Hail Mary might help end NFL dispute with officials (by Steve Kelley) — How amazing was the Hail Mary that Russell Wilson threw to Golden Tate that gave the Seahawks the most unlikely win in their history? It was so good it just might have ended the lockout, might have signaled the end of the replacement officials, might have finally brought sanity back to the NFL. This is what happens when amateurs are asked to call a professional game. This is the result of the deal with the devil the NFL made. This is what happens when the league is more concerned with winning a labor dispute than it is with maintaining the integrity of its product.
► EDITOR’S NOTE — The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel coverage — headlined “Officially lost” — refers to the “scab crew” of refs and specifically names the one who first signaled a touchdown and the replay official in its lead paragraphs (but neglecting to list their home addresses). More headlines: The straw that broke the NFL’s back (ESPN), Ref rage (Wash. Post); Refs blew the call (Bill Clinton!), and finally, Union-buster Scott Walker calls for return of union officials (Wash. Times).
► But seriously folks, yesterday at AFL-CIO Now — With safety at stake, NFL Players call for end to ref lockout — Any fan of the NFL who has watched the season unfold with replacement officials because the league locked out the skilled and veteran officials knows calls are being missed or called incorrectly and the replacements have a tenuous control of each game. But even worse, say the players, their safety is at stake.
OUT WITH THE OLD…
► From CNBC — Boeing contract allows cancelling medical coverage for SPEEA retirees — At a time when retirement security is increasingly at risk, a fundamental issue included in The Boeing Co.’s contract offers to engineers and technical workers is that the aerospace giant gains authority to cancel retiree medical insurance for employees who are retired prior to the contract being implemented. The benefit could end even if they are already enrolled in the early retiree medical plan.
► AWT Online — Boeing’s Alpaugh: We must inspire new generation of engineers — “Unless we get more people interested in what we do … we could fall behind,” he said. “We have to start by inspiring the next generation with big, bold ideas.”
ALSO at The Stand — SPEEA: ‘Nothing worth accepting in Boeing offer’ (Sept. 19), plus SPEEA seeks contract recognizing members’ role in Boeing success (Aug. 2)
► In today’s News Tribune — Positive changes on our workers’ compensation system are paying off (by Brendan Williams) — Just two years ago, citizens were confronted with an initiative – I-1082 – to allow private insurers to operate within workers’ compensation. Voters in every county rejected this argument. In 2011, statutory changes were made to the workers’ compensation system. What’s clear is that the best reforms are those business and labor agreed upon. This existing private sector success makes it clear that any further campaign talk of injecting the for-profit motives of private insurers into our workers’ compensation system is foolish.
EDITOR’S NOTE — In defiance of voters, Republican Rob McKenna says he wants to privatize our state workers’ compensation system.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington students bucking trend on SAT — Bucking national trends, Washington students’ combined average score on the SAT was the highest in the nation among states in which at least 45% of the eligible students took the test.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Thank a public school teacher, and Don’t Be Charter Fooled!
► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee, McKenna spar: Who’ll create more jobs? — Jay Inslee takes an activist view, saying state government should create a new state economic agency and offer tax breaks to specific sectors, including clean energy, aerospace, biotech and maritime companies. Republican Rob McKenna dismisses the notion state government can do much to create private-sector jobs — beyond getting out of the way.
► At TheOlympian.com — McKenna’s ’02 resume lists fundraising for George W. Bush — Our Smell Test story found some truth in Our Washington’s latest ad hitting Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna but said one allegation in the ad was unproven: that McKenna had raised funds for his party’s nominee, George W. Bush. In fact, a copy of a 2002 resume for McKenna does list McKenna raising funds for Bush.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Here’s the ad in question:
► At SeattlePI.com — City Council approves financing plan for SoDo arena– The Seattle City Council on Monday approved a financing plan for a new multipurpose sports arena in the Sodo neighborhood, marking a huge step in the effort to bring the NBA back to town.
► In the PS Business Journal — In defense of Seattle’s paid sick leave law (by Tutta Bella owner Joe Fugere) — It’s really quite simple. Without paid time off, people will go to work sick… Wringing savings out of my employees’ quality of life is false profit. More money has been lost in businesses to waste, fraud and greed than the cost of implementing this policy will ever match. I’m confident that by making this investment in my staff, the result will continue to ensure that Tutta Bella is a meaningful business — a fun, nurturing and rewarding place to work.
► At AFL-CIO Now — Workers’ kids appeal to American Crystal to end lockout — Ten-year-old Sophia Frank wants American Crystal Sugar CEO Dave Berg and the firm’s board members to stop the 13-month lockout of her father and the more than 1,300 workers because, as she wrote in a letter to company officials: “I’m sorta worried that we’re about to run out of food or lose our home because my dad’s out of work for so long.”
► In today’s Washington Post — Health insurance costs speeding up — Research suggests the culprit is not people seeking more treatment, but the rapid growth of the price of care.
► In today’s NY Times — Seeking allies, teachers’ unions court GOP, too — As traditional political alliances have shifted, teachers’ unions have pursued some strange bedfellows among lawmakers who would not appear to be natural allies.
► In today’s NY Times — Riot at Foxconn factory underscores rift in China — State-run news media said 5,000 police officers had to be called in to quell a riot that began as a dispute involving a group of workers and security guards at a dormitory for a factory that supplies companies like Apple, Dell, HP and Microsoft.
► At The Hill — Race to be GOP chairman heats up — The intraparty race for the chairmanship of the House Republican Conference has intensified in recent weeks, pitting a veteran conservative leader, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, against a rising female star, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington.
► A related story at Huffington Post — Mitt Romney wonders why airplane windows don’t roll down– Making post-fundraiser comments this weekend, presidential candidate Mitt Romney revealed a tenuous grip on the science of aviation.
► Which brings us to today’s NY Times — Why Mitt Romney is slipping (editorial) — By refusing to supply America with intelligent answers, all the reliable national polls now show that his campaign is driving voters away.
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