T-Mobile layoffs, ‘diversified’ Boeing, DNC runs…



► In today’s Seattle Times — Broad new layoffs at T-Mobile USA; 900 jobs cut— The company informed employees Tuesday of a net loss of about 900 jobs and even more jobs are likely affected by “organizational changes,” which include layoffs and shifts to outsource more work. These layoffs are a major blow to the largest remaining wireless company in the Seattle area after a series of mergers over the last two decades.

ALSO at The Stand — 100,000 petition T-Mobile to save U.S. jobs

AND — Tax day is perfect day for T-Mobile to save U.S. jobs (by WSLC President Jeff Johnson)

► In today’s Seattle Times — City, county could announce arena agreement Wednesday — Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, County Executive Dow Constantine and hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen are expected to announce this morning that they are sending legislation to the city and county councils to finance a new $490 million sports arena in Sodo.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — BP Cherry Point restarting after fire, could be ready by end of May— The refinery near Ferndale needs to be completely restarted after workers finished maintenance work as well as repairs from the Feb. 17 fire in the crude vacuum distillation unit.

► From AP — West Coast spike in gas prices tied to refineries — Analysts blame the current West Coast price spike on the failed restart of a BP refinery in Blaine, and maintenance work at several California refineries.

► In today’s Daily News — Longview’s teachers’ aides must reapply for jobs— All 105 remaining teacher aides (SEIU 925) in the Longview School District will have to reapply for their jobs because budget cuts are causing so much upheaval in job descriptions and workload.




► In the PS Business Journal — Boeing execs:  Company poised for growth, looking to protect its position — Boeing CEO Jim McNerney on Boeing’s view about opening more facilities in right-to-work states, such as South Carolina, where there’s a higher threshold against union organizing: “I don’t think we have specific percentages. Opening up capacity, we do see a big growth opportunity, diversifying risk. It does lead to a more diversified future from where we are today. We’ll have to see how things go. We will keep putting money behind teams that show they can deliver inside the company.”

Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh on the importance of the 2011 four-year labor agreement between Machinists District Lodge 751 and Boeing: “I really believe we have a new dawn here, an new opportunity to build on the trust that went into getting the contract signed. Building on open and honest communication, being very clear about what the threats are, understanding the market, having a shared view, all went into getting that contract done. Having labor peace for five years will be something new, and something we can truly build on.”




► In The Hill — Senate approves Export-Import Bank in 78-20 vote — The Senate passed legislation reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank on Tuesday after voting down five amendments that would have limited the program’s scope and power. Senate Democrats were visibly frustrated at the lengths it took to win passage. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said the five amendments were just the GOP’s way of trying to kill the bank all together.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — HAMTC worries bill could erode Hanford nuclear safety — Hard-won safety protections for Hanford workers could be lost under a bill the U.S. House may consider today, according to the Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council. However, Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., disagrees that the bill would affect Hanford.

ALSO today at The Stand — House Republicans threaten nuclear safety

► In today’s Washington Post — Boehner threatens a new debt-limit fight — Washington is bracing for a replay of last summer’s tense battle over the burgeoning national debt as House Speaker John Boehner threatens again to block an increase in the federal debt ceiling without significant new cuts in spending.

► In today’s NY Times — Boehner and the debt (editorial) — Speaker John Boehner pushed the country to the brink of default last year and now wants to do it all over again.

► In The Hill — Union to highway bill conferees: Steer clear of government workers’ pensions— A union that represents federal workers (NTEU) is urging members of the committee of lawmakers who are attempting to negotiate a new federal transportation bill to not take money from government pensions to help facilitate a deal.




► In today’s Olympian — State support for higher education dwindling, needs stabilizing (editorial) — The next legislature will have to address higher education funding in 2013. One item at the top of that to-do list will undoubtedly be faculty and staff salaries. Salaries for the professors and instructors at Washington’s public higher education institutions have been stagnant for three years or more, especially in relation to their peers in other states. But none of the revenue from tuition increases is allowed to go toward salaries.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Audit calls for tighter DSHS internal controls after $300,000 theft




► In today’s Olympian — Inslee makes run official, takes education theme— Democrat Jay Inslee made his run for governor official Tuesday, filing paperwork and leading a small rally for his jobs-and education-themed campaign. Says Inslee: “When I am governor of the state of Washington, all workers in every part of the state of Washington are going to get the full respect of the state of Washington.”

► At Politico — DNC is MIA in Wisconsin — The Republican National Committee has said it’ll kick in whatever it takes to keep Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in office. But Democrats in Washington won’t commit to spending big, even though their candidate has been out raised 25-to-1 so far. And in Wisconsin, that’s left the local activists fuming.

► At TPM — Walker still leads Barrett by 5 points in Wisconsin recall — May 11-13 numbers: Walker 50%, Barrett 45%, and independent Hari Trivedi 2%.

► In The Hill — Deb Fischer pulls off upset victory in Neb. Senate primary — State Sen. Deb Fischer (R) pulled off an upset victory Tuesday in Nebraska’s GOP Senate primary, dealing a blow to both the Republican establishment and the Tea Party.




► In today’s NY Times — Needy states using housing aid cash to plug budgets — Hundreds of millions of dollars meant to provide a little relief to the nation’s struggling homeowners is being diverted to plug state budget gaps. Only 27 states (including Washington) have devoted all their funds from the banks to housing programs, according to a new report.

► At AFL-CIO Now — Older workers have highest long-term jobless rate — In 2011, more than half of jobless workers, ages 50 years and older, were out of work for more than six months. The trend continues this year.

► In today’s NY Times — As one JPMorgan trader sold risky contracts, another one bought them — Even as a trader for JPMorgan in London was selling piles of insurance on corporate debt, figuring that the economy was on the upswing, a mutual fund elsewhere at the bank was taking the other side of the bet.




► At TruthOut — Union rights are civil rights (by Dick Meister) — The right of U.S. workers to organize and bargain collectively with their employers unhindered by employer or government interference has been a legal right since the 1930s.  Yet there are workers who are unaware of that, and employers who aim to keep them unaware, meanwhile doing their utmost to keep them from exercising what is a basic civil right. The Civil Rights Act, which makes it illegal to discriminate against workers on the basis of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion or national origin, should be expanded to include a specific prohibition of discrimination against pro-union workers.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m. These links are functional at the date of posting, but sometimes expire.

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