The Stand

Boeing ‘Centers of Cheapness,’ 15 Soon, ‘Happy Days’ no more…

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Monday, April 28, 2014

 


BOEING

 

► In Sunday’s Seattle Times — Boeing sees big savings, others see big risks in job transfers — Boeing expects to save more than $100 million a year by transferring 1,100 research engineering jobs out of the Puget Sound region and an additional 200 from Southern California to lower-pay locations, according to internal Boeing documents. Boeing employees and some industry experts warn these plans have already undermined the morale of the entire engineering workforce here and that the company is at serious risk of losing essential expertise. But Boeing is moving ahead. The stark financial calculus outlined in the BR&T documents suggests cost-cutting is the prime driver.

Boeing-McNerney-thanks► In Sunday’s Seattle Times — A CEO of ceaseless talent, McNerney does stand-up (by Ron Judd) — Deftly sensing that Seattle-area outrage over Boeing’s most recent backstabbings of longtime employees was dimming to minor roar, Jim “Light Bulb” McNerney, CEO of America’s reigning corporate-welfare queen — probably phoning in from a lavender-infused steam room at Sprawling Mansion No. 8 — assured investors that turning one’s workforce into a seething hate group is a savvy business move. Spreading engineering work around the country to other strategic (cough, choke, nonunion) locales, he said, is a savvy move to put thousands of miles of space between design and manufacturing by establishing regional “centers of excellence.”

 


MINIMUM WAGE

 

► At PubliCola — Negotiations continue on minimum wage — Down to the wire, and with May Day looming, negotiations continue on the details of the minimum wage proposal by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s income-inequality committee.

15-Now-hearing-Q13FOX► In the Seattle Times — Signature drive to start for $15-wage vote — The organization 15 Now voted Saturday to begin gathering signatures to get a Seattle City Charter amendment on the November ballot. Signed petitions for a $15 minimum wage could be filed if city officials fail to come up with a measure that meets the group’s approval.

► At PubliCola — 15 Now’s ‘class warriors’ vote in favor of phased-in wage bump for small businesses — The votes (at Saturday’s 15 Now conference) proved that those who depict 15 Now supporters as fanatics allergic to compromise and pragmatism are wrong. 15 Now sounded like the opposite of Occupy — even as speakers, including Kshama Sawant, repeatedly paid homage to the movement.

 


STATE GOVERNMENT

 

► In the Olympian — Microsoft: Tax breaks not ‘the’ factor in choosing Iowa for data center — Washington lawmakers let a pair of tax breaks for high-tech industries lapse in their 2014 legislative session, including one for sales tax due on server equipment and power installations at new data centers in rural parts of the state. At least one Republican lawmaker is warning that Microsoft’s choice of West Des Moines, Iowa, for a $1.1 billion data center project is a harbinger of things to come in Washington.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — The limit to good intentions (editorial) — On education policy, Washington’s push-the-envelope M.O. — forehead slapping at times — throws light on a federal law that needs to be overhauled or given the heave-ho.

shea-matt► At PubliCola — Republican Rep. Matt Shea stands by Bundy — Bundy’s ally Rep. Matt Shea has long been a controversial figure, drawing attention from the hate-monitoring Southern Poverty Law Center and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow for addressing militia members; earning rebukes from Spokane County’s Republican sheriff and others for posting a Facebook picture of himself standing in a female opponent’s driveway; and displaying a gun in a road-rage incident. Shea’s late Republican Senate colleague, Bob McCaslin, told Spokane County commissioners that he didn’t consider Shea fit for any public office, and one commissioner, Republican Todd Mielke, accused Shea of subjecting him to “spontaneous, extreme anger.”

► In the NY Times — High Plains Moochers (by Paul Krugman) — It is, in a way, too bad that Cliven Bundy — the rancher who became a right-wing hero after refusing to pay fees for grazing his animals on federal land, and bringing in armed men to support his defiance — has turned out to be a crude racist. Why? Because his ranting has given conservatives an easy out, a way to dissociate themselves from his actions without facing up to the terrible wrong turn their movement has taken. For at the heart of the standoff was a perversion of the concept of freedom, which for too much of the right has come to mean the freedom of the wealthy to do whatever they want, without regard to the consequences for others.

 


FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

 

► In Sunday’s NY Times — In poorest states, political stigma is depressing participation in health law — Officials say the health care law has been stigmatized for many it could help, especially in states that are medically underserved but hostile to President Obama.

mcmorris-rodgers-L► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Optimistic words not enough to make urgent immigration fix (editorial) — McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) says she supports a path toward citizenship that would not require immigrants to return home to start the clock on legal status. The undocumented, she says, must be allowed out of the shadows. Yet Congress stalls, and each day of inaction costs the U.S. and Eastern Washington economies millions.

► At Politico — Wall Street Republicans’ dark secret: Hillary Clinton 2016 — Two dozen interviews about the 2016 race with unaligned GOP donors, financial executives and their Washington lobbyists turned up a consistent — and unusual — consolation candidate if Jeb Bush demurs, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie doesn’t recover politically and no other establishment favorite gets nominated: Hillary Clinton.

 


NATIONAL

 

► In today’s Oregonian — Monday is Worker Memorial Day: How safe is your workplace? — Each year, millions of Americans get sick, injured or killed because of hazards they face on the job, which is reason enough for Worker’s Memorial Day, observed annually on April 28.

ALSO at The Stand — Worker Memorial Day events continue today — In TACOMA, the Pierce County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO will hold its annual Worker Memorial Day event with Washington Federation of State Employees Local 793 at one of the most dangerous workplaces in the state — Western State Hospital, 9601 Steilacoom Blvd SW in Tacoma — from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, April 28. Lunch will be provided, courtesy of WFSE Local 793. For more info, call 253-473-3810.

In BELLINGHAM, the Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO will conduct its annual Worker Memorial Day commemoration at noon on Monday, April 28 by the Worker Memorial Monument on the lawn of the Bellingham Library.

mcdonalds-help-me► In today’s NY Times — Recovery has created far more low-wage jobs than better-paid ones — The deep recession wiped out primarily high-wage and middle-wage jobs. Yet the strongest employment growth during the sluggish recovery has been in low-wage work, at places like strip malls and fast-food restaurants. In essence, the poor economy has replaced good jobs with bad ones. That is the conclusion of a new report from the National Employment Law Project, a research and advocacy group, analyzing employment trends four years into the recovery.

► In the LA Times — Truck drivers set for 2-day strike at Ports — In their largest demonstration yet, truck drivers who haul cargo in and out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will go on a limited strike Monday to protest what they contend are widespread workplace violations.

► From St. Louis Public Radio — Missouri Republicans still seeking needed votes for ‘right-to-work’ ballot proposal — After two weeks of vigorous lobbying, Republican leaders in the Missouri House acknowledge that they have yet to obtain the extra four votes needed to send to the state Senate a measure to put a right-to-work proposal on the August ballot.

► In Sunday’s NY Times — Union effort at Northwestern may not mean much for public colleges — The vast majority of Division I universities are public but the NLRB has no power over them, only over private-sector employers like Northwestern.

► In the NY Times — High Plains Moochers (by Paul Krugman) — It is, in a way, too bad that Cliven Bundy — the rancher who became a right-wing hero after refusing to pay fees for grazing his animals on federal land, and bringing in armed men to support his defiance — has turned out to be a crude racist. Why? Because his ranting has given conservatives an easy out, a way to dissociate themselves from his actions without facing up to the terrible wrong turn their movement has taken. For at the heart of the standoff was a perversion of the concept of freedom, which for too much of the right has come to mean the freedom of the wealthy to do whatever they want, without regard to the consequences for others.

 


TODAY’S MUST-READ

 

happy-days► In the Washington Post — ‘Happy Days’ no more: Middle-class squeezed as expenses soar, wages stall — Wages for millions of American workers, particularly those without college degrees, have flat-lined. Census figures show the median household income in 2012 was no higher than it was 25 years ago. Men’s median wages were lower than in the early 1970s. Meanwhile, many of the expenses associated with a middle-class life have increased beyond inflation. This includes college tuition, whose skyrocketing cost has laid siege to a bedrock principle of the American Dream: that your children will do better than you did.

 


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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