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Sakuma strike update, Boeing profits soar, TPP secrecy…

Thursday, July 25, 2013




st-sakuma-strike-July25► In today’s Seattle Times — Striking farmworkers say Sakuma threatened to evict them — About 100 striking migrant farmworkers at Sakuma Bros. Farms protested Wednesday after wage negotiations with the company broke down and the latest work stoppage entered a third day.

ALSO at The Stand — Farmworkers strike again, claim retaliation

► In today’s Seattle Times — SeaTac voters to decide on $15 minimum wage for airport workers — Nearly 4,300 of the city’s 27,000 residents live in poverty, and 17% of households are on food stamps — the third-highest percentage in King County. Now, a group backed by the SEIU wants to raise the minimum wage in SeaTac to $15 an hour, a move aimed at raising the incomes of thousands of baggage handlers, cabin cleaners and other workers in and around Sea-Tac Airport.

► From KING 5:

► In the PS Business Journal — Labor board accuses Providence St. Peter Hospital of unfair labor practices — The NLRB wrote Providence urging the hospital to revert back to its 2012 employee contract until a new agreement can be reached with SEIU HealthCare 1199NW, or the two sides reach impasse. If the hospital does not do that, the NLRB could file a complaint, which would send the issue on to an administrative judge.

► In The Columbian — Port of Vancouver unanimously approves oil terminal lease — Port of Vancouver commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved leasing 42 acres for a controversial oil terminal, despite overwhelming public testimony against the plan by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies to build what would be the largest such facility in the Pacific Northwest.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — New poll shows 60% support for export of coal, other commodities — About 60 percent of registered Washington voters support development of export terminals for coal and other commodities on the Lower Columbia River and in Whatcom County in Northwest Washington, according to a new statewide Elway Poll.




boeing-profit► In the Spokesman-Review — Boeing has soaring report — Shares of aerospace giant Boeing Co. briefly hit an all-time high Wednesday after the company posted a larger-than-expected 13% jump in second-quarter profit that was driven by higher deliveries of passenger jets. Boeing reported a profit of $1.09 billion in the quarter.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing aims to ramp up jet output, not local jobs — Executives underscored Boeing’s unrelenting campaign to lower costs, which may come at the expense of local jobs. While production of the 787 and other jets is to boom here, employment apparently is not.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing execs on 787 production, 777X and 787-9 progress — State and local leaders in Washington state have been paving the way to have the 777X’s composite wing built here in Everett. They’ll likely know whether their efforts are successful later this year or early next.

► In the Seattle Times — 787 fire investigation looks at pinched battery wiring — Investigators believe the July 12 fire on a 787 Dreamliner at Heathrow was likely caused by incorrect installation of a battery that pinched some wires and caused a short circuit.

► From KIRO Radio — ‘Right-to-Work’ may be key to keeping Boeing in Washington — As Boeing continues to expand its operations in South Carolina and fears the company is looking for an exit out of Puget Sound grow, the debate over making Washington a right-to-work state is gaining steam.

cookie-cutterEDITOR’S NOTE — The only place this discussion is gaining steam is among a handful of journalists. This story is basically a rewrite of a story from the P.S. Business Journal. So is this story from The (Everett) Herald. Same story. Same people quoted. All of these hand-wringing cookie-cutter articles give freshman Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) a platform to talk about his bill to make Washington a “right-to-work” state. No mention that his bill had zero co-sponsors. No mention that a handful of ideological right-wingers introduce a “right-to-work” bill every session and nobody notices or cares because it has so little support it doesn’t even merit a hearing. The only thing “gaining steam” here is sloppy, lazy journalism.

► At AFL-CIO Now — ‘Right-to-Work’ vs. Right to Prosper — Having a job, says this new video (see below) from the Laborers is not the end goal itself, but something that traditionally puts workers on a path to prosperity and opened the door to the American Dream:




► In today’s Columbian — Gov. Inslee to talk CRC during visit — Gov. Jay Inslee will make a stop in Vancouver on Friday to discuss with community leaders the now-defunct Columbia River Crossing project.

► From AP — State to pursue retirees’ padded pensions — Washington retirement officials said Tuesday they have identified four people who received raises that were improperly counted toward retirement compensation, but several other workers who got late pay bumps may be allowed to keep their larger pensions.




obama-portrait► From AP — Obama: Washington has ‘taken eye off’ the economy — Seeking to build momentum for looming fiscal fights, President Barack Obama on Wednesday cast himself as the champion for middle-class Americans struggling to make ends meet. He chided Washington for having “taken its eye off the ball” and declared that the economy would be the “highest priority” of his second term.

► In today’s NY Times — The middle class at center stage (editorial) — President Obama tries to get the country to focus on the economic issues that really matter.

► In today’s NY Times — Some Democrats look to push party away from center — Liberals, pointing to a bankrupt Detroit and new reports of diminished class mobility, believe the plight of lower-income and young Americans is so severe that the party must shift away from the center-left consensus that has shaped its fiscal politics since Bill Clinton’s 1992 election and push more aggressively to reduce income disparity.

► From AP — Postal Service contemplating no more delivery to door — Mail delivery service could be virtually phased out by 2022 under a proposal by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) Curbside delivery, which includes deliveries to mailboxes at the end of driveways, and cluster box delivery would replace letter carriers slipping mail into front-door boxes.

► From AP — NLRB picks pledge fairness, despite union history — President Barack Obama’s newest picks for the National Labor Relations Board sought to assure Senate lawmakers Tuesday that they can be fair and impartial in resolving business-labor disputes, despite backgrounds that include advocating for unions.

EDITOR’S NOTE — That’s a ridiculous headline.




corporate-flag-trade► In The Hill — Stop secrecy in new trade negotiations (by IBEW President Edwin Hill and IAM President Tom Buffenbarger) — The controversy still raging over the National Security Agency’s surveillance of domestic phone calls is overshadowing an abuse of privacy that could undermine our nation’s democracy in ways the NSA spying never could. Only five of 29 sections in the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement actually focus on trade. Leaked sections would further weaken regulation of Wall Street financial firms and pharmaceutical companies and make it even harder to keep more U.S. companies from outsourcing their production. How does that help us compete?

► At AFL-CIO Now — Workers in Walmart supply chain strike against unsafe conditions — At 5 a.m. Wednesday, workers at a Mira Loma, Calif., warehouse that ships goods for Walmart launched a two-day strike to protest alleged unsafe working conditions and retaliation against workers who are exposed to those conditions.


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