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Boeing ‘trickery,’ Skagit union vote, Congress’ all-time low…

Wednesday, August 15, 2012




► In the (Everett) Herald — SPEEA: Boeing using ‘trickery’ in contract talks — Boeing negotiators are “going to conduct a public relations campaign directly to the membership and then drop a bad offer at the last minute to give you as little time as possible to study it,” writes Ray Goforth, SPEEA executive director, in a message to union members. “Think about that. Boeing is afraid to let you see their contract offer until after they’ve spent a couple months selling the individual components to you.”

► At — Acrimony over aerospace group endorsement of McKenna — Last month, the Aerospace Futures Alliance endorsed Republican Rob McKenna for Governor. That didn’t sit well with some powerful Democratic politicians and other supporters of McKenna’s Democratic rival, Jay Inslee. They viewed the sole endorsement as something of an insult after all that Democrats have done for Boeing and aerospace — from fighting for the Air Force tanker deal to securing special tax breaks. Inslee also has singled out aerospace as a sector he’d give special attention to as governor. After a behind the scenes brouhaha, the AFA board is scheduled to interview Inslee Wednesday, and may be asked to proclaim an endorsement of him as well.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Former IAM 751 Political Director Linda Lanham is the AFA, and the AFA is Linda Lanham. The AFA’s office is her home and she is its sole employee. She is funded primarily (if not exclusively) by Boeing. Her job is to lobby for the state’s aerospace companies during the session, and in the interim, to host breakfasts and lunches featuring speakers who advocate for aerospace interests.




► In today’s Skagit Valley Herald — Ballots to go out to form hospital workers’ union — Workers at Skagit Regional Clinics celebrated another step forward in their effort to form a union Tuesday, announcing Aug. 28 as the date ballots will go out to approximately 840 workers eligible to join. More than 30 pro-union employees, their supporters and representatives of UFCW Local 21 gathered outside the main entrance of Skagit Valley Hospital Tuesday to announce the date, hold up signs and take photos.

► In the NW Labor Press — Major union win: 500 Portland security officers vote to join SEIU — Four enormous national and global security companies have agreed to recognize SEIU — and begin negotiating a union contract — for about 500 Portland-area security guards. Securitas, ABM, G4S (Wackenhut), and AlliedBarton will begin bargaining jointly with SEIU Local 49 in late August, though it’s not yet known whether that will result in individual contracts or an area master agreement.

► From AP — Electricians are given disputed jobs at Port of Portland — The NLRB has awarded a pair of disputed jobs at the Port of Portland to union electricians, setting the table for renewed tension at the North Portland container terminal with the ILWU.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Waivers point young illegal immigrants toward a dream (editorial) — Young adults brought to the U.S. illegally as infants and children should emerge from the shadows and take advantage of an Obama administration temporary waiver on deportations.




► In today’s News Tribune — Parks step up marketing, seek more money from state— Sales of the Discover Pass for state recreation lands continue to disappoint. The pass’s first-year haul was $13 million, down from a projected $23 million or more.  The parks commission is taking a two-pronged strategy: step up marketing, and ask the Legislature to cancel plans to completely wean the more than 100 state parks off of taxpayer money.




► At Huffington Post — Judge won’t block Pennsylvania Voter ID law — A tough new voter identification law championed by Republicans can take effect in Pennsylvania for November’s presidential election, a judge ruled Wednesday, despite a torrent of criticism that it will suppress votes among President Barack Obama’s supporters and make it harder for the elderly, disabled, poor and young adults to vote.

► In today’s NY Times — Overt discrimination in Ohio (editorial) — Republican elections officials curtail early voting in Democratic counties, but not in theirs.




► At Huffington Post — Congress approval hits all-time low in new Gallup poll — Just one in 10 Americans approves of the job Congress is doing, tying the branch’s lowest approval rating in 38 years. The approval rate for Congress hasn’t passed 20% in more than a year. Prior to 2007, it sank below 20 percent only twice.

► From ABC News — Paul Ryan tax plan could raise middle class taxes, says panel — While Mitt Romney would reportedly pay less than one percent of his income in taxes under Paul Ryan’s previous tax plan, most Americans making less than $200,000 would see a tax hike under the budget of Ryan proposed before his selection to be Romney’s running mate.

► At Huffington Post — Medicaid health care denied to needy due to red tape, costs — The political debate of the moment is focused on whether Medicaid should be expanded or shrunken — but this mostly ignores the fact that the program today leaves out millions of needy people who already are eligible for health care and aren’t getting it.

► From Bloomberg — Michigan begs for $100,000 engineers after auto rebound — Recruiters say the demand for engineering and IT workers is requiring additional pay and bonuses, with the normal pay range of $80,000 to $120,000 commonly stretching toward the high end.


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