Wooing Boeing, election results, defending ‘public postal service’…

Wednesday, November 6, 2013




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing to build 777X in Washington, if Machinists approve contract — The first Boeing Co. 777X would take off from Paine Field here under terms of a tentative agreement between the company and the Machinists union. The IAM said Tuesday that the 32,000 members of IAM District 751 will vote on an eight-year contract extension, which wouldn’t expire until 2024. If members approve it next week, the pact will provide “an unprecedented degree of labor stability in the volatile and competitive industry.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing machinists face hard choices to secure 777X jobs — Machinists union members face a watershed vote next week on a contract offer from Boeing. To ensure they will fabricate the 777X’s giant composite wings and assemble the airplane here, they’ll have to hold their noses and sign off on the loss of long-cherished benefits.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Welcome home, Boeing (editorial) — The agonizing courtship of the 777X has been reduced to the sweetest suitor of all, the working women and men of the Boeing Co. The bargaining savvy of Machinists outring the white noise of steering committees and chamber resolutions. The contract is legacy-defining, but there are bite-hard trade-offs, such as the loss of pension accruals for current employees (cushioned by a $10,000 signing bonus) that some members will find disheartening.

“Only a project as significant as the 777X and the jobs it will bring to this region warrants consideration of the terms contained in Boeing’s proposal,” the IAM’s Tom Wroblewski said in a statement.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing and 777X: Next steps — The union has released a detailed summary of the proposed contract extension, and voting will be one day only — on Wednesday, Nov. 13.


► From AP — Governor calls special session to keep 777X in Washington — Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday called for a special session of the Legislature in hopes of swiftly approving a package of bills that are part of a broad bid to get Boeing to build the composite wings and fuselage of its new 777X in Washington state. Inslee, surrounded by key lawmakers, and officials from Boeing Co. and the Machinists union, said he wants lawmakers to return to Olympia on Thursday and approve the measures — which would likely include tax breaks for Boeing but possibly higher taxes for drivers — in just one week. “If we can do this in the next seven days, we can be certain that Washington’s aerospace future will be as bright as its past,” Inslee said.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee has tall order for special session — Gov. Jay Inslee wants the Legislature to pass a $10 billion transportation-tax package within a week as part of a special session that’s also supposed to extend tax breaks for the aerospace industry.  But members of the Republican-led majority in the Senate hinted strongly Tuesday that reaching a deal could take longer.

EDITOR’S NOTE — An excerpt from today’s statement by WSLC President Jeff Johnson: “If Boeing workers have one week to make decisions that will impact their families and hundreds of thousands of people in our communities, then the Legislature should be able to make decisions on something they have been working on for more than 10 months.”




► In today’s Seattle Times — SeaTac wage measure’s early lead buoys hopes of its backers — With about 3,283 votes counted in a city with 12,000 registered voters, SeaTac Proposition 1 led 54 percent to 46 percent. At a campaign event in SeaTac, supporters were optimistic that uncounted votes would go their way.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Reaction from WSLC President Jeff Johnson: “The little community of SeaTac made history last night. This is one community that is saying ‘no’ to inequality, ‘no’ to poverty wages, and ‘no’ to jobs with few benefits. The workers and community members in SeaTac are taking the first step on the road to shared prosperity. All of us at the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO are so proud of them. This was a great first step — now the real work begins as we keep moving forward.”

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — SeaTac workers’ win is a model for our nation (by Rebecca Smith)

► In today’s News Tribune — Angel, Schlicher in tight race for Senate — The mostly Republican coalition that runs the state Senate was waiting Tuesday evening to learn the size of its majority next year.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The latest returns, as of this writing are: Jan Angel (R) 51.4% with 14,170 votes and Nathan Schlicher (D) 48.6% with 13,400 votes. Get the latest numbers here.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Conservatives lose control of Spokane City Council; voters oust state senator — Progressives appear poised to regain control of the Spokane City Council, and in northeastern Washington voters have ousted a state senator with a history of unpaid taxes, business failures and links to a controversial church. In northeast Washington’s 7th legislative district, incumbent John Smith appears to have lost his state Senate seat in an upset to Ferry County Commissioner John Dansel. Both are Republicans.

EDITOR’S NOTE — In his one year in the Legislature, John Smith co-sponsored legislation to create a sub-minimum wage and earned a 0% voting record on working families issues. Good riddance.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Victorious Murray ready to show ‘government can work again’ — State Sen. Ed Murray’s promise of a more collaborative leadership style carried him to victory Tuesday night, as voters signaled they were fed up with four years of Mayor Mike McGinn’s political brawls.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Food-labeling initiative failing so far




► In today’s NY Times — Higher minimum wage approved in New Jersey —  Voters overwhelmingly approves a measure to raise the minimum hourly wage to $8.25 on Jan. 1 and then step it up annually to keep pace with inflation. Business leaders and GOP Gov. Chris Christie opposed it, arguing that the measure would harm the state’s fragile economy and could cause the loss of jobs.

► In today’s Washington Post — Democrat Terry McAuliffe wins bitter race for Governor of Virginia — Despite winning back the state’s top two positions, McAuliffe and Democrats will preside over a divided government and a restless, almost evenly split electorate.

► In today’s Boston Globe — State Rep. Martin J. Walsh, champion of unions, wins Boston mayoral race

► In The Hill — Democrat De Blasio wins convincingly in NYC mayor’s race

► In The Hill — Chamber-backed Republican beats Tea Party candidate in Alabama race




► In today’s NY Times — A Pacific trade deal (editorial) — A good Trans-Pacific Partnership would lower duties and trade barriers on most products and services, strengthen labor and environmental protections, limit the ability of governments to tilt the playing field in favor of state-owned firms and balance the interests of consumers and creators of intellectual property. Such a deal will not only help individual countries but set an example for global trade talks.

► In today’s NY Times — New chance for a budget compromise (editorial) — If Republicans on Capitol Hill agree to revenue increases, the job-killing sequester could finally be lifted.

► In The Hill — Scorekeeper tells Republicans that their numbers don’t add up — House Republicans have run into another roadblock in their efforts to rewrite the U.S. tax code — Congress’s official tax scorekeeper.




► In today’s Washington Post — New postal union leader promises more aggressive defense of ‘public postal service’ — Taking over as president of the American Postal Workers Union during a time when the U.S. Postal Service is a financial wreck doesn’t sound like fun. But Mark Dimondstein, the 30-year veteran of the Postal Service from Greensboro, N.C., didn’t unseat incumbent Cliff Guffey to have a good time. He did it to protect union members from what he sees as the creeping privatization of postal services and to give the workers a union leadership that more aggressively defends their interests as management tries to dig out of an ever-sinking financial hole.

► In today’s NY Times — In public education, edge still goes to the rich — Funding for many school districts comes from local property taxes, which skews the playing field between wealthy and poor students early on.

► In today’s NY Times — Idaho town struggles after pinning hopes on failed factory — Pocatello, a railroad town, welcomed a Chinese polysilicon factory with a land deal, banking on a high-tech future. But the company filed for bankruptcy.




► Watch former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich explains the top reasons to support an increase in the minimum wage and refutes the arguments against it… in 2 minutes and 25 seconds.

If you agree with Robert Reich, sign the petition to raise the federal minimum wage. It’s time for the rest of the nation to catch up to Washington state!

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

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