Boeing unions pony up, Times frets, voter anger…



► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing unions chip in $200,000 in effort to keep 737 line in state — The money — $100,000 from IAM 751 and $100,000 from SPEEA — will be used by the Washington Aerospace Partnership to fund an aerospace study outlining the state’s strengths and weaknesses in the industry. The study will give Washington leaders a “clear picture of what we need to do” to land Boeing’s re-engined 737 line, said Tayloe Washburn, co-chairman of the partnership. Machinists President Tom Wroblewski is confident that the study will show the state’s advantages but will do it in “a language that Wall Street money managers — and executives at Boeing and other aerospace companies — understand.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — As noted in the most recent SPEEA newsletter, the expense amounts to about $4 per SPEEA-represented employee. Says SPEEA’s Auburn Council Rep. Dave Baine, “The money is nothing if we can’t keep the jobs.”

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing, Delta confirm order for 100 planes — Delta ordered 100 737-900 Extended Range planes to replace its 757s, which have been in service 18 years on average. Boeing doesn’t build the 757 any more. The 737-900ER is Boeing’s highest capacity, longest-range single aisle jet.




► At Publicola — Rep. Reykdal takes on newspaper industry tax break — The Olympian recently published a story about which state legislators will (and won’t) voluntarily take a 3% pay cut — tacking to the 3% pay cut the legislature mandated for state employees this year during the budget crisis. Titled “The Op-Ed the Olympian Won’t Print,” freshman state Rep. Chris Reykdal (D-Tumwater) challenged the newspaper to give up its share of the $32 million “annual” industry-wide tax break on newspapers.

► In today’s Columbian — Cantwell stumps in Vancouver to preserve tax credit program — Sen. Maria Cantwell chose the Clark County’s business construction site of Farwest Steel Corp. to send a message to her colleagues in the U.S. Capitol: Congress should renew a tax credit program that helps finance company expansions.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Ferry system to increase fares 2.5% Oct. 1, another 3% May 1 — The increases are needed to help the ferry system raise the $310 million it needs to run the system through June 2013, according to the Transportation Commission.

► In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma, School District, union spar — Talk from the Tacoma School District and the union that represents its teachers heat up, after the School District broadcast an electronic message to the community in which Superintendent Art Jarvis speaks of a “frustrating week” of labor negotiations.

► In today’s News Tribune — Bethel School Board OKs teacher contract — The board unanimously approved a two-year contract with district teachers that cushions them from a funding cut handed down by the state Legislature this year.




► From AP — CBO: Deficits to decline — if tax cuts expire — The federal budget deficit will continue at historically high levels, congressional budget analysts say, but it will ebb substantially over the next decade if the Bush-era tax cuts and other measures are allowed to expire as scheduled.

► In The Hill — We are already hard at work, say Supercommittee! chairmen — Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), a longtime appropriator who advocates stimulus spending, and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), an anti-tax conservative of the “cut, cap and balance” school, issued a statement Wednesday saying that they are working together to come up with a work schedule and chose a staff for their new group

► In Publicola — Lefties seek ‘listening session’ with Sen. Murray — The coalition wants Murray “to come listen to stories of constituents who care deeply about the fate of our country and these programs.  We want to support the Senator’s efforts by providing her with the stories and voices of workers and community members who need to be heard.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Sen. Murray must balance all needs on Supercommittee! — A public “listening session,” called at this time by these groups, feels more like an exercise to paint our senior senator into a corner. … Everything is on the table. Sen. Murray knows that and is setting the right tone. Her supporters need to accept it.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The Times broke the story yesterday of the request for a “listening session,” and apparently that prospect of our state’s U.S. Senator meeting with a group of her constituents to listen to their concerns about federal budget cuts was so alarming, that Times editors were compelled to warn against Murray participating in such a session. Really? If she was to schedule a meeting with area business executives, can I see a show of hands about whether that would prompt similar heartburn at The Times? Can I see a show of hands of who thinks such a meeting has already taken place during this congressional recess?




► In today’s NY Times — Feds check conditions for workers in Hershey walkout — The Department of Labor and the State Department opened investigations this week of job conditions at a Pennsylvania packing plant for Hershey’s chocolates where several hundred international exchange students walked off their jobs last week, protesting low pay and strenuous work.

► In today’s NY Times — America’s sweatshop diplomacy (Jennifer Gordon column) — The America that the Hershey’s workers have seen is surely not the one the J-1 visa was created to promote. But perhaps it is the America we have become. Hershey’s business strategy is a microcosm of the downsizing and subcontracting that so many American companies have pursued during the past few decades in search of ever cheaper labor.




► At Huffington Post — AFL-CIO’s Trumka outlines strategy — Faced with hostility from Democrats and Republicans alike, as well as scant hope that his organizational objectives can be accomplished, one of the most powerful union officials in the country is pledging to fundamentally revamp the way his outfit conducts political business.

► In today’s LA Times — Carmakers’ rebound is driving jobs in U.S. — A leaner, more aggressive auto industry is hiring workers, ramping up production — and maybe saving the nation from another recession.

► At Politico — Poll: 51% still blame George W. Bush for economy — Though more Americans see the economy in bad shape than did at the beginning of the summer, their views of whether to re-elect President Barack Obama have barely changed – and a majority blame George Bush for the problems, a new poll says.

► In The Hill — House GOP worries voter anger over economy may sting them — Fearing angry protests, some GOP lawmakers have decided to skip public town-hall meetings. Others have mustered courage to face constituents in unpredictable settings, sometimes with uncomfortable results.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Republicans’ clear strategy was not only to ignore jobs and the economy in favor of debt reduction, but to actually block any efforts to stimulate job creation in an effort to doom Obama’s re-election bid. Meanwhile, congressional approval ratings have dropped to the lowest level (12%) ever recorded. Of course, voters are angry at them.

► In today’s NY Times — U.S. may back refinance plan for mortgages — The Obama administration is considering further actions to strengthen the housing market, but the bar is high: plans must help a broad swath of homeowners, stimulate the economy and cost next to nothing.




► In today’s NY Times — Online enterprises gain foothold as path to college degree — While many students at the nascent online institutions offer glowing reviews and success stories, a recent Columbia University study that tracked 51,000 community college students in Washington state for five years found that those with the most online course credits were the least likely to graduate or transfer to a four-year institution. And traditional professors like Johann Neem, a historian at Western Washington University, see places like Western Governors University as anti-intellectual, noting that its advertising emphasizes how fast students can earn credits, not how much they will learn.


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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