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Hytek workers join IAM, state layoffs, AFL-CIO Super PAC…

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AEROSPACE

 

► At the IAM 751 blog — Kent aerospace workers join Machinists Union — Some 165 workers at Hytek Finishes in Kent have voted to join the Machinists Union. The workers voted in favor of the union by a better than 2-to-1 margin on Aug. 11. The NLRB certified the results on Aug. 19. The Hytek workers specialize in doing various types of metal finishing and coating for aerospace manufacturers, including Boeing, Lockheed and Bell Helicopters. “The health plan and fairness in the workplace” were the top issues, said Jay Lang, a 22-year Hytek employee who does nickel plating and titanium matching.

► Today from Bloomberg — Boeing’s 787 glut casts $16.2 billion cloud over FAA approval — Even with FAA approval expected Aug. 26 and first delivery due next month, most of the planes will sit for weeks and months more — boosting production costs because each needs different fixes and eating into returns on the capital invested.

► At Flightblogger — Delta to order 100 737-900ERs to replace 757 fleet —  Delta Air Lines is expected to announce the purchase Tuesday and is expected to take delivery of all 100 by the end of 2018. The order is a significant win for Boeing. The move blocks a further growth in Airbus’ North American market share.

► In today’s Washington Post — GE is “all in” on aviation deal with China — GE avionics will be on board a new Chinese commercial airliner that is likely to become a rival to aircraft produced by U.S.-based Boeing and Europe’s Airbus. The potential competition with Boeing, coming at a time when the United States is fighting to maintain its own manufacturing base, has stirred some American criticism.

► In today’s NY Times — How Democrats hurt jobs (Joe Nocera column) — A fair-minded person would have to acknowledge that the NLRB’s action against Boeing is exactly the kind of overreach that should embarrass Democrats who claim to care about job creation.

EDITOR’S NOTE — A fair-minded person would have to acknowledge that the NLRB is independent of political parties; that its acting chief counsel who decided to pursue this case, Lafe Solomon, is a career civil servant for 39 years who has served at the NLRB under both Democratic and Republican administrations; and that it is — and should be — ILLEGAL to selectively enforce the law depending on which party is in office. A judge will decide this case, and hopefully, partisan politics will not be a factor, despite the best efforts of people like this author to inject them into a legal matter.

 


GOVERNMENT

 

► In today’s Seattle Times — State government has gotten 7% smaller — For the first time anyone can recall, state government employment has shrunk for two years in a row due to budget cuts, shedding nearly 4,700 full-time jobs since 2009. The trend is expected to continue because of extensive budget cuts made by the Legislature this year, and renewed signs of a weak economy. Gov. Chris Gregoire recently directed state agencies to prepare for additional cuts of up to $1.7 billion because of lackluster tax collections. The governor’s budget director, Marty Brown, said more job cuts clearly will be needed. “I don’t think there is any question,” he said.

Arun Raha, the state’s chief economist, said the picture is more dramatic when you factor in thousands of additional jobs cut by local governments. Combined, those job losses account for about a half percentage point in the state’s 9.3% unemployment rate, he said. The losses create a drag on the economy, and Raha doesn’t expect the bleeding to stop soon. “We’ve lost about two-thirds of what we will eventually lose,” he said.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Longview School Board cuts 17 jobs — The board approved a 2011-12 budget that eliminates 17 jobs and pulls nearly $1.8 million from reserves to absorb $2.3 million in state and federal funding cuts.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — State: Unemployment checks could be late — The state’s 180,000 or so who are unemployed and receive benefits weren’t able to file for them Sunday due to a computer system crash in Olympia.

 


ELECTIONS

 

► In today’s Olympian — Group gives $3.6 million to fight liquor change — The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America contributed more than $3.6 million this month to the Initiative 1183 opposition, which also includes unions, public safety groups and small grocery stores. Alcohol distributors were also the main source of money that helped defeat a 2010 privatization measure.

► In today’s News Tribune – Will liquor-warehouse bid sway voters? — Just before the Nov. 8 election to decide whether Washington should privatize its liquor stores, voters will learn how much the state might save with a competing proposal to contract out only the liquor warehouse and distribution system.

 


NATIONAL

 

► From AP — AFL-CIO seeks to boost clout with Super PAC — The AFL-CIO is getting ready to pump even more money into elections by forming a super PAC and targeting developments in the states. The super PAC — which officials discussed at an executive meeting earlier this month and plan to seek final approval for in the next few weeks — would help the labor group direct funds to state battles where legislative efforts aimed at limiting collective bargaining and cutting union benefits are being considered.

► From AP — GOP may OK tax increase that Obama hopes to block — Many of the same Republicans who fought hammer-and-tong to keep the Bush-era income tax cuts from expiring on schedule are now saying a different “temporary” tax cut should end as planned. Last December, Congress approved Obama’s request to reduce the workers’ share of Social Security taxes to 4.2% for one year; employers’ 6.2% rate did not change. Obama wants Congress to extend the reduction for an additional year. If not, the rate will return to 6.2% on Jan. 1.

► In today’s Washington Post — Opposition to Obama hardens — Last week, the president’s approval rating dipped below 40%. Now, Obama is polling neck and neck with the likes of Michele Bachmann (48-44) and Ron Paul (47-45), suggesting there is a growing segment of the population that is pretty dead-set against voting for the president.

► A related story today in The Hill — Obama calls Buffett, Mulally for advice — President Obama on Monday reached out to billionaire investor Warren Buffett and Ford CEO Alan Mulally for advice as he crafts a major jobs plan to be released after Labor Day.

► In The Hill — White House unveils plans to trim regs, save at least $10 billion — With the administration struggling to stimulate the economy, it is unclear how much growth will be boosted by the streamlining.

► At Huffington Post — Child-labor rules released by White House after 9-month delay — After much delay, the White House has finally released a proposed rule that would update child labor regulations in agricultural work. The rule had been stuck in red tape at the White House for nine months, angering workplace safety advocates who said the regulations need to be modernized.

 


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.


 

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