Monday, November 25, 2013
► In the (Everett) Herald — We’re committed to 777X, unions say — Six labor unions representing workers at Boeing Commercial Airplanes sent an open letter Friday to Washington elected officials and Boeing Co. executives, saying that their members are committed to building and delivering the company’s new 777X on time and on budget.
ALSO at the Stand — Boeing unions: We are ‘clear choice’ for 777X
► From AP — Boeing solicits bids for site of 777X production — Boeing is soliciting bids from more than a dozen locations that want to build the new 777X airplane and secure thousands of jobs along with it. A company spokesman said requests for proposals began going out Friday. Boeing wants the proposals returned in a few weeks, and the company hopes to make a final decision early next year.
► In the Seattle Times — Both sides brace for impact of SeaTac wage measure — People on both sides face uncertainty that probably will extend beyond the initiative’s Jan. 1 start date. Affected employees are mulling whether Proposition 1, if it holds up, will bring them bigger paychecks or fewer work hours, while affected employers at the airport wonder if they can revise leases that lock in their prices and rents.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Obama stops in Seattle to raise big money for Democratic campaigns — The president came to raise money for congressional Democrats, attending a discussion at the North Seattle home of clothing retailer Tom Campion and a dinner at the Medina home of former Microsoft executive Jon Shirley.
► In today’s News Tribune — Puyallup to vote on bigger budget — A proposed boost in funds for street and utility work and a slight increase in staff would lift Puyallup’s budget in 2014, following several years of cutbacks in Pierce County’s third-largest city.
► In the Olympian — Senate Democrats challenge dismissals — Sen. Karen Fraser, chairwoman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, said Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom and two Republican senators exceeded their authority when they told two top nonpartisan committee staff directors that they should find new jobs by early January.
► In the (Everett) Herald — Eyman’s I-517 may have lost him key support in future — Tim Eyman’s last ballot measure put him at deep odds with longtime allies in the business community, and it could take a while to regain their trust — and their all-important financial support.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
► In today’s Seattle Times — Thousands of calls to state health exchange go unanswered — Exchange CEO Richard Onizuka told the exchange board Wednesday that his agency has been working to double the number of customer-service representatives, but that “we continue to have struggles with the call center.”
► In the Spokesman-Review — Providence facilities, doctors excluded by two large insurers in state exchange — Competition to control the cost of new individual health policies has led two of Washington’s biggest insurance companies to exclude Eastern Washington’s largest hospital, and many of its physicians, from their networks of preferred providers.
► From McClatchy — Federal site no match for most states’ performance — With millions of dollars in federal funding, a more harmonious political environment and the benefit of early planning, most of the state-run health insurance marketplaces are outperforming the clunky, glitch-prone federal website that serves the other 36 states.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Good thing we didn’t listen to the Republicans in the minority of our State Legislature. They fought against (and voted against) against establishing our own Washington Health Benefits Exchange, in favor of accepting whatever the feds set up.
► In today’s Washington Post — In rural Kentucky, health-care debate takes back seat as the long-uninsured line up — If the health-care law is having a troubled rollout across the country, Kentucky — and Breathitt County in particular — shows what can happen in a place where things are working as the law’s supporters envisioned. One reason is that the state set up its own health-insurance exchange, sidestepping the troubled federal one. Also, Gov. Steve Beshear (D) is the only Southern governor to sign on to expanded eligibility parameters for Medicaid, the federal health-insurance program for the poor.
► In today’s NY Times — California, here we come? (by Paul Krugman) — If Obamacare can work in a state of 38 million people, it can work in America as a whole.
► In The Atlantic — What happened to immigration reform? — A powerful, well-organized coalition did everything it could, with no results. Now advocates are preparing to shift from lobbying to revenge.
► At Think Progress — Walmart strikes hit 3 more cities in Florida, California — Walmart workers went on strike on in Miami on Monday morning, following strikes in Tampa on Saturday and in Sacramento, CA on Friday. Katie, who has worked at a store in Miami for three years and makes $8.75 an hour, told ThinkProgress she’s striking to improve conditions for both herself and her coworkers. “We’re going on strike for better benefits, for better pay for associates, and for respect,” she said.
► From Reuters — Walmart names new chief executive — Wal-Mart Stores Inc named the head of its international division, Doug McMillon, to replace Chief Executive Mike Duke, who will retire on January 31 after five years at the helm of the world’s largest retailer.
► MUST-READ at Huffington Post — Working poor this Thanksgiving (by Rebecca Smith) — While most of us will spend it sitting down to a sumptuous dinner in the company of our loved ones, some of us will be stocking shelves and working the shop floor. Walmart, the largest employer of low-wage workers in the United States, has decided to get a jump on Black Friday by making a treasured national holiday into Black Thursday for its employees. Walmart workers are planning more protests this week on Black Friday, as many as 1,500 across the country. They are asking for your help, and you can find out how by going to this Working America site.
WHAT’S WALMART’S SECRET?
► Walmart workers have started a petition to get President Obama to meet with them and hear firsthand why they’re calling on Walmart to stop obstructing the creation of good jobs. In 2008, President Obama said he’d stand up for Walmart workers. Now’s his chance.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.