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Boeing boosts 737, pension promises, food stamp cuts, ‘Wake Me Up’…

Friday, November 1, 2013




grocery-webcam-thank-you2► In today’s News Tribune — Unions formalize agreement with grocers — After an overwhelming vote to strike, after picket signs were printed and after a last-minute settlement arrived within less then two hours of a stop-work deadline — and then after a contract vote taken earlier this week — the unions representing grocery workers in the Puget Sound area have formalized an agreement. Their long struggle is over, said a union representative, and victory is the result.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Workers overwhelmingly ratify grocery deal

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Another delay for Hedreen’s mega-hotel project in downtown Seattle — The city of Seattle this week put up a new hurdle that a real estate developer must clear before starting construction on a $450 million hotel project in downtown Seattle. Also slowing down the city’s approval process is that a labor union of hospitality workers, Unite Here Local 8, is showing up at public meetings to question the effects of the project.

ALSO at The Stand — Hyatt workers urge boycott of Seattle hotels — Seattle Hyatt workers also say the hotels’ local owner, Richard Hedreen, has refused to agree to a fair process for workers to form a union free from management intimidation — a process backed by Hyatt Hotels in a recent national agreement. In response, workers are calling on customers to not eat, meet or sleep at the two local hotels until the matter is resolved.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing 737 production in Renton to soar — Boeing says that in 2017 it will increase the rate of 737 production in Renton to 47 single-aisle jets per month, more than 560 per year. The rate today is 38 jets per month, already an all-time high. The rate increase will come just as the newest 737 model, the 737 MAX, enters service.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing to increase 737 production to 47 per month — With the current order backlog filling up more than seven years of production, the rate boost will give airlines the opportunity to take delivery of airplanes sooner.

ALSO at The Stand — Washington is the clear choice for designing, building the 777X (by David Groves) — Boeing has said is that the company is increasing Everett’s already accelerated 787 production rate to pick up South Carolina’s slack. There is absolutely no question that the highly trained, experienced Boeing workforce in Washington state is operating more efficiently and effectively.




protect-our-pensions► In today’s News Tribune — State should keep compensation promises to all workers (by Brendan Williams) — Thousands of state employees changed from the defined benefit Plan 2 to Plan 3 based upon the promise of gain-sharing — 17,135 in the Teachers Retirement System alone. In selling Plan 3, the state never intimated that gain-sharing could go away. Yet, even if this implied a promise, the state now says its own retirement agency had no authority to make such a promise as the law itself made no guarantees. Do we want bait-and-switch government? Do we want to endorse public sector practices that would surely be illegal in a private context? We should be careful in answering those questions: The next ox to be gored may be our own.

► In today’s Olympian — Pot taxes might not go toward health care — Lawmakers must take action if they want to rededicate the money that Initiative 502 intended for the Basic Health Plan (which is being eliminated under the ACA). At least some of the money, which could amount to tens of millions of dollars a year, might wind up going toward local law enforcement costs or other uses.




► In today’s Seattle Times — $2.5M to enforce SeaTac ‘living wage’ law? Figures in ad ‘way on high end’ — The No on Prop 1 ad fails to mention that the estimate for enforcement costs covers a five-year period. What’s more, the study seems to use exaggerated estimates of the number of city workers needed to oversee the measure.




► At TPM — Poll: More Americans want to keep or expand Obamacare than repeal it — The Kaiser Family Foundation found that 47% of Americans want to expand (22%) or keep the law (25%). Conversely, 37% said they wanted to either repeal the law and replace it with some Republican alternative (13%) or repeal it without replacing it (24%).

► At TPM — What really happens to people whose insurance is ‘cancelled’ because of Obamacare — The bottom line: Almost all of them are going to receive the same or much better coverage, and many of them are going to receive financial help to purchase it.




food-assistance► In The Hill — Millions hit by food stamp cuts — Millions of American food stamp recipients saw their benefits cut on Friday as a scheduled across-the-board reduction was allowed to go into effect. Both the House and Senate were out of town as the nation went over the so-called “food stamp cliff.” The cut to the benefits of an estimated 47 million recipients came as a result of the Nov. 1 expiration of provisions in the 2009 Obama stimulus law that temporarily boosted benefits.

► In the Yakima H-R — Food stamp cuts to hit 35,000 Valley residents today

► At Huffington Post — Walmart is one of the biggest beneficiaries of food stamps — Americans spend about 18% of all food stamp dollars at Walmart. That’s about $14 billion of the $80 billion Congress set aside for food stamps last year. The company’s total profits for 2013 were $17 billion. The news comes just as food-stamp benefits are about to be cut for 47 million Americans.

► In today’s NY Times — A war on the poor (by Paul Krugman) — Republican hostility toward the poor and unfortunate has now reached such a fever pitch that the party doesn’t really stand for anything else — and only willfully blind observers can fail to see that reality. The big question is why.

robin-hood► At Mother Jones — Economists to Congress: It’s time for ‘Robin Hood tax’ — Congress resolved the shutdown and debt ceiling crisis (for now) by agreeing to hash out a budget agreement by mid-December. Already, hopes are dim. Budget experts say that if any deal at all is worked out to replace the deep budget cuts that went into effect in March, the most likely outcome will be a short-term plan involving slightly less severe spending cuts — but with no new revenue, a big Democratic priority. Now, several prominent economists, along with a coalition of labor, health, and community groups are pushing progressive lawmakers to aim higher, calling for what they term a “Robin Hood tax” on the rich.

► In today’s LA Times — A great idea for making Wall Street pay its fair share (by Michael Hiltzik) — A proposal for a financial transaction tax would exempt stock and bond trades of ordinary people who don’t make their living from fancy trading — individuals with income up to $50,000 and couples earning up to $75,000. (Sponsors call it the “Robin Hood Tax,” which is an unfortunate way of poking the Wall Street tiger with a stick.) The idea is backed by progressive economists such as Columbia’s Jeffrey D. Sachs, who calls it “a solid idea that has been resisted by Wall Street for years.”

Bill Maher has a must-see New Rule about poverty wages at fast-food restaurants and raising the minimum wage. Parental advisory: Language alert!




► The Entire Staff of the Stand™ presents a new video for Swedish DJ Avicii and Aloe Blacc’s hit “Wake Me Up,” which features DREAMer Hareth Andrade-Ayala, who arrived in America when her father Mario came to the United States in 2004 seeking a brighter future for his family. But now after nearly a decade of hard work supporting his family, including Andrade-Ayala and two other younger sisters, her father faces deportation. Andrade-Ayala, now 20 years old, told her family’s story at the 2013 AFL-CIO Convention. The song’s lyrics are in the voice of a young person lost on a journey with an unknown end.

If you like Aloe Blacc — and we do — also check out the most awesome “I Need a Dollar.”


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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