► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Bellingham T-Mobile call center plans to add 350 employees in next 12 months— T-Mobile is closing seven call centers across the U.S. and planning to expand in the ones that remain, including in Bellingham. The call center currently has about 250 employees, down from about 450 in the fall of 2010.
EDITOR’S NOTE — What’s good news (for now) for Bellingham is bad news for thousands of workers across the country. After receiving tax breaks to open call centers in Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, Kansas, Colorado and Oregon, the Bellevue-based company is in the process of closing down seven call centers and laying off more than 3,300 workers. Some of those jobs are coming to Bellingham, but many of them are being outsourced to call centers overseas. For more information, see WSLC President Jeff Johnson’s April 17 column, Tax Day is perfect day for T-Mobile to save U.S. jobs.
► At AFL-CIO Now — T-Mobile’s ‘alter ego:’ Job killer — You may have seen T-Mobile’s “Alter Ego” ad where a stylish young women in a big city luxury high-rise trades her chic designer party dress and high-fashion footwear for motorcycle leathers and boots. Check out this CWA-produced parody commercial about T-Mobile’s alter-ego as a job killer.
► From AP — HP to lay off 27,000, profit slides 37% — Hewlett Packard plans to lay off roughly 27,000 employees or about 8% of its workforce over the next couple of years after reporting second-quarter profits of $1.59 billion compared with $2.3 billion a year ago.
EDITOR’S NOTE — In an extraordinary display of empathy and insight, CEO Meg Whitman says, “(Layoffs) adversely impact people’s lives, but…”
► In today’s Columbian — HP mum on whether layoffs will affect local lab— HP offers no clues as to whether its job-cutting plan will affect its 500-employee lab in east Vancouver.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — First South Carolina-built 787 takes to the sky — The first Boeing jetliner assembled outside Washington took flight Wednesday, less than a month after the 787 Dreamliner was rolled out of the company’s North Charleston, S.C., facility.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Labor activists plan Amazon protest — Working Washington, an SEIU-founded coalition, says more than 500 protestors will rally at an Amazon.com shareholder meeting today in downtown Seattle to draw public scrutiny to the Internet retailer’s tax policies and warehouse conditions. Amazon’s shareholder meeting is set for 9 a.m. at the Seattle Art Museum. (Learn more at WorkingWA.org.)
► In today’s News Tribune — 189 jobs to end when Delta closes SeaTac center — Delta Air Lines acknowledged Wednesday that it plans to close its SeaTac sales and call center by Sept. 1. The airline said 189 positions at that center will be eliminated.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Obstruction charges against ILWU supporters dismissed — Charges of obstructing/delaying a train were dismissed May 16 in District Court against five women accused of involvement in the Sept. 21 ILWU protest against EGT grain terminal.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Traffic study gives arena green light; critics see red — A $70,000 traffic study paid for by arena investor Chris Hanson says the arena won’t worsen traffic, but doesn’t seem to sway anyone in the debate over a new basketball arena proposed for Sodo.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Quit drinking beer on the job, 520 builders told— The drinking occurred in a temporary office of Kiewit-General-Manson construction team. It didn’t involve 35 state employees in another part of the office park, and there’s no evidence of alcohol use in the construction zone.
► In today’s Seattle Times — BP’s Whatcom County refinery partially running again
► At AFL-CIO Now — On the phones and at the doors in Wisconsin recall battle — Wisconsin working families, students and community allies are out in force in the neighborhoods, on the job sites and at the phone banks as the June 5 recall election of Gov. Scott Walker (R), Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R) and four of Walker’s allies in the state Senate approaches.
ALSO at The Stand — Volunteer for Wisconsin GOTV phone banks in Seattle
► At TPM — Brown, Warren in dead heat in Massachusetts
► At AFL-CIO Now — Hello, Mitt? The auto industry is booming. Thought you’d want to know — With all the great news out today about U.S. automakers pushing factories to the limit because of demand for new vehicles, surely
Mitt Romney is praising the industry’s comeback? Well, maybe not. This is the man who said, “Let Detroit go bankrupt.”
► In today’s NY Times — Bain strategy against Romney may have pitfalls for Obama — Debates over how much to blame — and regulate — Wall Street have stoked tensions between Democrats and the financial industry.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Oh, heaven forfend! Wall Street executives are the ones who are stoking tensions with American working families. They have rigged the system — using our tax dollars to back up their risky bets that crashed our economy. And now they are buying political influence to promote profits before people’s best interests, and to avoid paying their fair share to keep America strong. You’ll have to excuse us if we agree that Mitt Romney’s Wall Street history of personal enriching himself while dismantling U.S. companies and killing good jobs is relevant to whether he should serve as President of the United States.
► In today’s NY times — For hospitals and insurers, new fervor to cut costs — After years of self-acknowledged profligacy, hospitals, doctors and health insurers say there is a strong effort under way to bring medical costs under control. Their goal is to slash the rate of growth in the nation’s $2.7 trillion health care bill by roughly half to keep it more in line with overall inflation. Private insurers, employers and government officials are providing urgency to these efforts, and the federal health care law passed two years ago helped accelerate them.
► At TPM — Congress ignores obvious policy solution to major economic threat (by Brian Beutler) — Congress could promote real growth by keeping deficits high now, and avoid the future downside risks of large, structural budget deficits by enacting sequential legislation to reduce deficits that won’t take effect until the economy’s growing at a decent clip.
► In The Hill — Pelosi asks Boehner for immediate vote on middle-class tax cuts — Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urges Republicans to stage an immediate vote on extending the Bush-era tax rates for the middle class and making those rates permanent.
► The entire staff of The Stand is taking Friday off for a long Memorial Day weekend of backpacking with our sons in the Olympic National Park. We plan to regale these high schoolers with tales of what it was like when we were their age — our silly haircuts, our synthesizer music, our brightly colored suits. Wait. That wasn’t us. That was Split Enz as seen in 1980 on Fridays, ABC’s ill-fated answer to NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Enjoy, and have a great weekend — brought to you by the Labor Movement.
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.