► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing suggests it may build 737 elsewhere — Despite reporting better than expected earnings, Boeing Co. executives left Puget Sound-area workers and observers puzzled about the company’s plans for the 737 and Renton. After surprising the industry last week with its decision to refit the 737 with new engines, Boeing suggested on Wednesday that the company might not build the updated jet in Renton, where workers are gearing up for a series of production increases. “We haven’t made the final decision where we’re going to produce the re-engine airplane,” said Jim McNerney, Boeing’s chief executive, during a call with analysts and journalists.
► In today’s Seattle Times — McNerney: Renton can’t count on new 737 — “We have other options and we’re going to study them all as we think this through,” the CEO says. Afterwards, Boeing public-relations executives immediately scrambled to soften the impact of McNerney’s suggestion that the plane could be built elsewhere. Then later in the day, Boeing corporate headquarters in Chicago issued a statement disavowing the comments of those executives and insisting McNerney’s remarks “stand as delivered.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing commercial-airplane unit drives financial surge — Worldwide demand for airplanes is fueling what’s likely to be an extended boom in Boeing’s business, and it’s already showing up on the bottom line. The company said Wednesday that second-quarter revenues in its commercial-airplanes division were up by $1.4 billion, or 19%, compared with the previous year. Profit from operations in that division rose 35%.
► At KIRO-TV — Third-world mechanics paid $2/hour for Boeing, Airbus jet repairs — From engine overhauls, to drilling out rivets to fixing faulty flaps, Boeing and Airbus-made passenger jet repairs are increasingly being done in third-world countries. The outsourcing is definitely an economic threat to U.S. union workers, but KIRO Team 7 Investigators also found it’s raising new concerns over safety.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Layoff notices out today for Hanford contractors, subs — Today will be a tense day for many Hanford workers as contractors and subcontractors begin notifying up to 1,200 workers they will be laid off at the end of September. With most of $1.3 billion in federal stimulus money for CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. expected to be spent before the start of the new fiscal year Oct. 1, decisions have been made on what jobs to cut.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Fine urged in prison slaying — The state Department of Corrections faces a $26,000 fine after investigators found Washington State Reformatory staff didn’t follow safety policies the night officer Jayme Biendl was strangled in the prison chapel. If policies and post orders had been enforced, they would have realized Biendl was missing much earlier, the state Department of Labor and Industries concluded.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Also see coverage here at The Stand.
► At SeattlePI.com — Costco liquor privatization initiative makes ballot — The Costco-sponsored measure to privatize liquor sales in Washington, Initiative 1183, has qualified for the November general election ballot, Secretary of State Sam Reed said.
► At SeattleTimes.com — Kucinich back in state next week to speak at union confab — Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich will return to Washington state again next week to speak at the Washington State Labor Council’s annual convention. WSLC President Jeff Johnson said he invited Kucinich to speak at the convention after he shared a stage with him at a February rally in support of public workers in Wisconsin. “He is one of the leading politicians in the country defending the rights of working people to collectively bargain,” Johnson said.
EDITOR’S NOTE — See the WSLC 2011 convention agenda.
CAREENING TOWARD THE CLIFF
► From AP — House GOP to vote on revamped debt plan — House Republicans pushed toward a vote Thursday on a newly modified plan to stave off an unprecedented government default next week, even though the legislation faces a White House veto threat and unanimous opposition among Senate Democrats.
► At Politico — Boehner doesn’t have the votes yet — As the House raced toward a vote to raise the debt ceiling, Speaker John Boehner told lawmakers Thursday that Republicans don’t yet have the votes to pass the package.
► At The Hill — House to cast vote tonight after markets close — The decision means lawmakers won’t be casting their votes with plunging or rising markets as a backdrop.
► At TPM — House GOP unprepared for Senate rejection of Boehner plan — There is no Plan B.
► In today’s NY Times — America’s credibility is at risk (editorial) — The cost of fecklessness in Congress should be clear to everyone. The markets and the rest of the world are worried. We all should be.
► At AFL-CIO Now — FAA shutdown costs taxpayers $200 million a week — As if the wimpering U.S. economy and the suffering American worker hadn’t had enough, the FAA shutdown is further slashing into the nation’s potential to recover. House Republicans are refusing to advance the multi-year FAA Reauthorization bill in the conference committee process unless it includes an unrelated union-busting provision they inserted into the House version of the bill.
► At Politico — FAA impasse continues — Unions and the Obama administration pressed Congress Wednesday to reauthorize funding for the Federal Aviation Administration, urging lawmakers to end a five-day partisan stalemate that has put thousands of FAA employees on furlough, shut down dozens of airport construction projects nationwide and allowed airlines to pocket millions of dollars in uncollected ticket fees.
► In today’s NY Times — This is called “small” government (editorial) — The slash-and-burn budget games of House Republicans have cost the F.A.A. its operational authority.
► From Bloomberg — IKEA’s Virginia manufacturing plan workers vote for union — Workers complained about low wages, discrimination, long working hours, eliminated raises, frenzied pace and mandatory overtime. Workers would find out on a Friday evening that they’d have to work a weekend shift, and there would be disciplinary action for workers who didn’t show up, a union organizer said. (See the original L.A. Times story that exposed the abuses at this plant.)
► In today’s NY Times — Justices asked to hear health care challenge — The Supreme Court was asked on Wednesday to hear a challenge to the health care overhaul law, raising the possibility that the justices could rule on the matter by next summer, just months before the presidential election.
► From AP — Government: Health tab to hit $4.6 trillion by 2020 — The nation’s health care tab is projected to account for about $1 of every $5 in the economy, says a report issued Thursday. How much is that? Including government and private money, health care spending in 2020 will average $13,710 for every man, woman and child.
► In today’s NY Times — Ford to increase its plant capacity in India — Ford plans to invest almost $1 billion in northwest India, building factories to make nearly a quarter of a million cars a year, says CEO Alan R. Mulally.
► From Reuters — Microsoft use of low-tax havens drives down tax bill — If you want to know why tax from surging corporate profits isn’t making much of a dent in the United States’ crippling budget deficit, a glance at Microsoft’s recent results provides some clues. Things were rosy in the giant software company’s just-ended fiscal fourth quarter, which produced record sales of nearly $17.4 billion, a 30% increase in after-tax profit. But for the IRS, things weren’t so rosy. Microsoft reported only $445 million in taxes in the U.S. and other foreign countries, just 7% of its $6.32 billion in pre-tax profit. Given the rancor in Congress and in the country about how to tackle the nation’s budget deficit and debt, including how companies stash profits overseas and enjoy lucrative tax breaks, it is instructive to see how the top brass at Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters achieved this eye-popping tax result.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m. Make this electronic “clip service” your first stop each morning! These links are functional on the date of posting, but sometimes expire.