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Boeing misreads, ILWU talks, Eyman dispenses…

Monday, September 10, 2012




► At Leeham News — Is Boeing misreading the SPEEA mood — as it did the IAM 751 in 2008 — In 2008, Chicago was convinced that the membership was prepared to accept Boeing’s offer and that the 751 negotiating team and leadership was out-of-step with the membership. Chicago (and Longacres) were stunned when the membership rejected the contract with a vote of around 86%. The membership nearly lynched the negotiating team when they announced they would try another 48 hours to reach an agreement. The effort failed and a 57-day strike ensued.

Chicago figures the SPEEA negotiating team and leadership is out of touch with the membership. We’re not so sure. SPEEA also represents engineers at Spirit Aerosystems in Wichita and those members rejected management’s contract offer by a vote of more than 95% last year. An agreement was ultimately reached, but the vote was stunning. We think Chicago could be in for a big surprise by the resoluteness of SPEEA and we think it’s entirely possible if not likely that Chicago is totally misreading the solidarity between the membership, the leadership and the negotiating team.

ALSO at The Stand — SPEEA seeks contract recognizing members’ role in Boeing success (by SPEEA Negotiating Team)




► In Saturday’s Olympian — Bargaining to continue for state workers — State labor negotiators ended their two-day bargaining session late Thursday night without agreement on new wage and health care benefits for thousands of state agency workers. No new bargaining sessions are scheduled, although spokesmen for the WFSE and Gov. Gregoire’s budget office say conversations are continuing away from the negotiating table.

► At — Disabled advocates are asking Gregoire to drop appeal of ruling blocking budget cuts— The governor has asked the U.S. Supreme Court for extra time to consider an appeal of a 9th Circuit Court ruling in a case that has growing interest for disability activists in Washington and across the country. The case deals with across-the-board budget cuts the Democrat ordered in 2010.




► From AP — Grain terminal operators, dockworkers begin contract talks — Dockworkers and grain-terminal operators have begun contract negotiations with stakes far higher than in disputes that caused chaos at the Port of Portland this summer, diverting ships and clogging cargo as far as Idaho and India. The talks are the latest dispute over jobs and working conditions between employers and the 42,000-member International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which is trying to preserve its jurisdiction as employers automate ports and curb labor costs.

► In the PS Business Journal — Seattle Port boss Yoshitani talks about controversial new post — Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani said the port job is his first priority — “there’s no question about it” — but he didn’t rule out taking legal action against his employer if the commission were to threaten his ability to continue in both the $230,000-a-year Expeditors post and his $367,000-a-year port job.

EDITOR’S NOTE — While we take great comfort in his assurances that his Port job will be his first priority (?!), what message does it send that he might sue the Port to keep his lucrative second-priority job? By the way, we learn in this interview, that he solicited the Expeditors job while at local trade events, presumably when he was on the Port’s clock. Nice.

► At PubliCola — Yoshitani’s outside gig would violate Congressional rules — An ethics rule that governs members of Congress says, “Members of Congress are prohibited from earning outside income above 15 percent of their yearly Congressional salaries, and from serving as officers or board members for compensation.”

► In Sunday’s Yakima H-R — Plastics manufacturing is being very good to Yakima Valley these days




► In today’s Seattle Times — Voters may make it tougher for Legislature to raise taxes — again — Tim Eyman’s I-1185 comes at a time when the state budget and the economy are still struggling and the state Supreme Court has mandated increased funding for public schools. Also, a lawsuit challenging the legality of the two-thirds requirement is to be argued this month before the state’s highest court.

► In the News Tribune — PDC turn focus to initiative signature piggybacking — Even as Tim Eyman asks voters to renew one of his most popular initiatives this fall, a different, little-known Eyman proposal has come surprisingly far along the way to making next year’s ballot. But the details of how it flew under the radar, piggybacking on other ballot measures, have brought it under state authorities’ microscope.

► From AP — Paul Ryan in Seattle today raising funds— Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will be in the Seattle area today as part of a fundraising swing through the Northwest. No public events are planned.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Wonder why?




► At Huffington Post — Obama convention bounce confirmed in latest tracking polls — The latest results from two daily telephone tracking surveys conducted by Gallup and Rasmussen Reports show Obama leading Republican nominee Mitt Romney by similar margins (5 and 4 points, respectively).

► In The Hill — Romney plan for Medicare would cost seniors ‘thousands,’ Obama says — The president said that the Republican “voucher plan” would “bankrupt” the program, while he touted his own reforms. “We will reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul — but we’ll do it by reducing the cost of healthcare, not by dumping those costs on to seniors,” he said.

► In today’s Washington Post — Romney now says he wants to keep some parts of Obama’s health-care law — Independent health-care analysts have said that Romney’s promise to retain coverage for those with preexisting conditions would be difficult to keep without enforcing the individual mandate, which the GOP opposes.




► In today’s NY Times — More young adults have insurance under Obama’s health-care law — The share of young adults without health insurance fell by one-sixth in 2011 from the previous year, the largest annual decline for any age group since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began collecting the data in 1997, according to a new report released on Monday.

► At Politico — Defense firms say layoff warnings loom— Dismayed at a returning Congress still struggling to avert automatic budget cuts, defense contractors could soon alert thousands of employees their jobs are at risk.

► In today’s NY Times — Obstruct and exploit (by Paul Krugman) — A cynical Republican strategy: block all efforts to strengthen the economy, then exploit the economy’s weakness.

A nationwide boycott covers Palermo’s brand pizza, “Classics” brand pizza and private label brand frozen pizza produced by Palermo, including Costco’s Kirkland brand.

► At AFL-CIO Now — No justice, no piece: Update on Palermo’s pizza boycott — After more than three months on strike, workers at Palermo’s Pizza and their supporters continue to put pressure on Costco, the largest retailer of Palermo’s products. Because of mounting public pressure and more than 50 actions at various Costco locations all over the country, Palermo’s CEO Giacomo Fallucca met with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka last Friday, to begin a discussion to resolve this issue for workers and Palermo’s customers. But Fallucca is still refusing to meet with the organizing committee of the Palermo Workers Union, reinstate fired workers or recognize the union.

ALSO at The Stand — Costco urged to support Palermo’s workers

► In today’s Washington Post — Chicago teachers strike for first time in 25 years — The two sides were not far apart on compensation, but were on other issues, including health benefits — teachers want to keep what they have now — and a new teacher evaluation system based partly on students’ standardized test scores, said the union.

► In the Madison Cap Times — Wisconsin’s cuts to K-12 school aid 4th largest in nation — Most states have slashed funding for their K-12 school systems since the Great Recession, which hit in late 2007 and caused a collapse in tax collections. But a report released last week indicates Wisconsin has made deeper cuts than most.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Remember, Republican Party bosses have already promised that Rob McKenna would do to Washington what Scott Walker did for Wisconsin.

► At Huffington Post — The biggest economic challenge of Obama’s second term(by Robert Reich) — America’s middle class and poor need to be able to refinance their mortgages at today’s low interest rates. They need a larger Earned Income Tax Credit — a wage subsidy for lower-paying jobs. And a higher minimum wage that’s automatically adjusted for inflation. They could use a new Works Projects Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps designed to put the long-term unemployed back to work. They need stronger unions to bargain for a larger share of the gains from economic growth. And a Social Security payroll tax that exempts the first $25,000 of income and eliminates the ceiling (now $110,100) on income subject to it. And they need an industrial policy designed to create high-wage jobs in America.




► At AFL-CIO Now — ‘Unions win it’ facts sheets on working family benefits — The Labor Project for Working Families recently released a series of new “Unions Win It” fact sheets on bargaining for work-family benefits such as child care, family leave, worker-controlled flexibility, low-wage worker benefits, paid sick days and more. Download the fact sheets from its website and stay tuned for more fact sheets to be released in the coming months.

These short and informative fact sheets give a snapshot of the issues to consider when bargaining for work–family benefits. See below for links to the sheets:



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