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SPEEA urges ‘no’ vote, Benton’s big threat, Mitt’s big mouth…

Tuesday, September 18, 2012




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — SPEEA urges members to reject Boeing contract — Boeing made its first complete contract offer last Thursday to SPEEA’s bargaining council members, who unanimously decided to send the contract to members for a vote with the recommendation to reject it. Union negotiators could have chosen to continue contract talks with company leaders this week. “A strong rejection by members of these contract offers will send a loud message to Boeing corporate leaders that they must return to negotiations ready to actually negotiate a contract that respects our contribution,” SPEEA leaders said in a message to union members.

The union represents 22,765 Puget Sound-area workers who design and test commercial airplanes and their components. The contract expires Oct. 6.

► In today’s Seattle Times — SPEEA leaders urge members to reject Boeing contract offer — The union called the company’s proposed terms “full-scale assaults on engineers and technical workers… This proposal fails at every level to recognize our contributions or respect the professionalism and dedication we bring to work each day.”




► In today’s Seattle Times — State plans no change in workers’ comp rates — The state’s Labor and Industries Department proposed Monday to keep the average workers’ compensation insurance rate unchanged for the coming year, citing unexpectedly large cost savings from reforms enacted in 2011.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Workers’ comp rates steady again in 2013

► In today’s Seattle Times — Key state lawmakers wants Highway 99 tunnel tolls kept low — House Transportation Committee Chairwoman Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Is.) said she’s ready to relax an existing budget target that would support $200 million in construction bonds with toll income. That figure already was cut from $400 million.




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Almost 290 at Hanford to get layoff notices this week — Close to 290 Hanford workers will receive layoff notices this week, with most receiving the bad news Monday. The layoffs were expected, with primarily just the exact numbers to be announced and individual employees waiting to hear if they were included in the total this week.

► In today’s Seattle Times — $1.3 million more possible misspent in Seattle schools scandal — Silas Potter Jr., the man charged in Seattle Public Schools’ 2011 financial scandal, may have had a hand in allowing an additional $1.3 million in questionable spending, state auditors said Monday.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — County close to $20M-a-year deal with trash hauler— The County Council next week is scheduled to discuss, and likely vote on, extending for up to five years the county’s long-haul garbage contract with Allied Waste.




► In the News Tribune — Sen. Don Benton threatens to sue his opponent for a million dollars if he doesn’t stop saying mean things about him — Democrat Tim Probst has told voters about Benton’s 299 missed votes during his current four-year term. In response, Benton has hired an Oregon lawyer who sent the proverbial strongly worded letter to Probst demanding that he “must cease and desist or Senator Benton will consider commencing litigation against you (and) the damages to Senator Benton’s reputation would exceed one million dollars.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — “One mee-llion dollars. Muh hu hu ha ha ha!




► In The Hill — Romney deals with fallout from ‘47% dependent’ leaked video — Mitt Romney’s campaign dealt with a new distraction Tuesday after an undercover video surfaced of him telling a group of fundraisers that “47 percent” of voters are “dependent on government.”



► At TPM — Romney dismisses video footage as ‘off the cuff’ — Romney took only three questions at the hastily arranged press conference, and dismissed his remarks as “off the cuff” and “not elegantly stated.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — More like “off the cliff.”

► From AP — Romney’s latest video: Palestinians ‘not interested’ in peace

EDITOR’S NOTE — Which brings us to the Republicans’ only hope at electing Romney president, stopping certain Americans from voting…

► In today’s Washington Post — Penn. voter ID law sends non-drivers on a bureaucratic journey — Cheryl Ann Moore stepped into the state’s busiest driver’s licensing center, got a ticket with the number C809 on it and a clipboard with a pen attached by rubber band, and began her long wait Thursday to become a properly documented voter.




► From AP — Chicago teachers to consider offer, ending strike — Teachers will pore over the details of a contract settlement Tuesday as the clock ticks down to an afternoon meeting in which they are expected to vote on ending a seven-day strike that has kept 350,000 students out of class.

► In today’s Washington Post — Standing up for teachers (by Eugene Robinson) — Teachers are heroes, not villains, and it’s time to stop demonizing them. It has become fashionable to blame all of society’s manifold sins and wickedness on “teachers unions,” as if it were possible to separate these supposedly evil organizations from the dedicated public servants who belong to them. News flash: Collective bargaining is not the problem, and taking that right away from teachers will not fix the schools.




► From AP — Walmart warehouse workers strike in Illinois on heels of California walkout — The walkout by roughly 30 employees of a labor agency in Elwood, Ill., near Joliet, mirrors another strike, begun last week, by another group of 30 warehouse workers in Mira Loma, Calif. Both the Illinois and California facilities handle products headed to Walmart stores throughout the country, although none of the workers in question are directly employed by the retail giant.

ALSO at The Stand — Walmart warehouse workers walk out in California

► At Politico — End of payroll tax cut: $125 billion hit to economy— Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle argue that the tax holiday — which expires after Dec. 31 — was always meant to be temporary, and seemingly everybody hates that it routes money away from the Social Security trust fund. Ending the 2% reprieve in the payroll tax would mean a tax increase for 160 million Americans.

► In today’s NY Times — Limits placed on immigrants in health care law — The White House has ruled that young immigrants who will be allowed to stay in the United States as part of a new federal policy will not be eligible for health insurance coverage under Obama’s health care overhaul.

► At Hispanic Business — Coca-Cola fighting union battle in Texas — The Coca-Cola Co. is opening all the spigots to keep the corporate-owned Fort Worth bottling plant from becoming its only unionized facility in the South. If a majority of voting employees cast ballots to join Teamsters Local 997 on Wednesday, it could flag an important victory by organized labor over the soft drinks giant. Some 427 workers would be covered.

► In today’s NY Times — Ford, Canadian Auto Workers in tentative deal — The president of the union said contract negotiations with GM and Chrysler have been extended, but warned that the two automakers would face a strike unless they agreed to the same key terms as Ford.

► In the Business Journals — Palermo Villa pizzas in Walmart stores nationwide for a short time — Palermo currently delivers pizzas directly to Walmart stores in the upper Midwest, but the short-term promotion expands its footprint nationwide.




► JUST IMAGINE if local transit systems (and other functions of government, for that matter) were allowed to market themselves like a private business, as opposed to having their budgets scrubbed of all such “unnecessary” expenses. Maybe we’d see cool ads like this one from Denmark promoting bus service. And maybe we’d be expanding transit service instead of continually cutting it.



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