Tuesday, November 26, 2013
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Build 777X outside Washington? It would be illogical, analyst says — If the choice about where to build the 777X is really about Boeing’s bottom line, two recent communications, one from a union coalition and the other from an aerospace analyst, contend Washington state remains the best choice. Aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia, in his monthly letter Monday, contends that, “From an industry and economics standpoint, the (777X) line will stay in Puget Sound.” He is still betting on Everett, giving it an 89 percent chance of winning the 777X and giving just 10 percent odds for the only alternative site he takes seriously, North Charleston, S.C., but he adds: “But with the psychology of fear and loathing driving any part of the decision, numbers like these are largely meaningless.”
ALSO at The Stand — Boeing unions: We are ‘clear choice’ for 777X
► Check out photos posted on Facebook of the Washington Education Association’s sign-waving solidarity on Monday in support of Boeing Machinists outside the Everett factory.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Getting inside the heads of the Machinists (by Jon Talton) — Why did they do it? Many in the Puget Sound are still asking this question after the Machinists decisively rejected Boeing’s offer to build the 777X here. To understand, read the letter a union member sent to Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief Ray Conner in response to his open letter, which ran in newspapers, urging acceptance of the deal.
► MUST-READ in the Renton Reporter — Remembering Alan Mulally’s mantra: ‘Working Together’ (by Tish Gregory) — Alan Mulally left Boeing to become the CEO and president of the Ford Motor Co. in 2006. With him went that infectious spirit that inspired both management and the workforce — a unique style of leadership that Boeing has not seen since. I’m from that earlier era when employees mattered. We were considered an essential part of the team and we responded by building one of Boeing’s best jets ever. How ironic that the derivative to the 777, the 777X, will be built under the cloud of deep division, rather than the collaborative philosophy of a winning program. It’s now all about the bottom line.
► From KEPR TV — Overnight mail taking 3 days after Pasco changes — Recent cutbacks and changes at Pasco’s post offices mean it’s taking longer for your mail to get to your home — and also out of town. An influx of Christmas cards and packages will only add a new burden. KEPR talked with the President from the local Postal Workers Union and USPS to get both sides about how your mail is being impacted in new ways.
ALSO at The Stand — Pre-funding mandate masks USPS profit for 2013
► From AP — SeaTac $15 wage holds ballot lead — King County officials are expected to certify the election today after counting some straggling votes that likely won’t change the outcome. The measure involving workers in and around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has steadily expanded its lead in recent days and held a 77-vote advantage after Monday’s vote count.
► In today’s News Tribune — Foss hotel legal battle victory goes to hotel proponents — Backers of a new hotel planned for the Thea Foss Waterway have won another court victory in a long legal battle against the owners of Tacoma’s Murano Hotel.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington state to try dual Medicare-Medicaid program — Washington state’s Medicaid program that gives free health insurance to poor and disabled people is working with the federal government on an experiment that is expected to save taxpayer dollars and improve services. The new program would combine Medicaid with Medicare, which is the federal health insurance for older Americans.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
► In The Hill — Republicans blast ‘union bailout’ under Obamacare — A top Senate Republican is blasting regulations he argues will exempt unions’ multi-employer health plans from a key tax under ObamaCare. Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (S.D.) pointed to a section of a 255-page regulatory filing and said it would amount to a “bailout” for the labor moment, which has grown increasingly dissatisfied with the new healthcare law. The Obama administration recently indicated that it would propose exempting certain self-insured, self-administered insurance plans from two of the healthcare law’s three-year reinsurance fees. The policies that would escape the fees include the multi-employer or “Taft Hartley” plans commonly held by union members.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Republicans fight for higher taxes! On unions and their members.
► In The Hill — CMS: ACA has saved seniors $8.9 billion in drug costs — According to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, 7.3 million people who reached the “doughnut hole” in their Medicare prescription drug coverage have saved $8.9 billion on their prescription drugs since the law was enacted in 2010. That’s an average savings of $1,209 per person.
► At Politico — Oregon’s Obamacare sign-up is ‘an epic failure’ — Oregon once led the country in implementing Obamacare. Now it’s just about dead last. Not one person has yet enrolled in the Cover Oregon insurance exchange — a major embarrassment to state policymakers who early on had wholeheartedly embraced the Affordable Care Act even as other states tried their best to hinder it.
► In The Hill — Budget ax may fall on federal employees’ pensions — Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) are working behind closed doors to reach a deal that would replace some of the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester with other reductions. They are believed to be looking at hiking federal worker employee retirement contributions, which would effectively lower federal pay. The savings would be used to prevent sequester cuts to the Pentagon and non-defense discretionary spending. Unions representing workers are worried about the cuts already on the table.
► In today’s NY Times — Obama calls for quick action on immigration, and so does a heckler — A young man who was part of a White House-approved backdrop yelled that President Obama had “a power to stop deportation for all undocumented immigrants.”
► In today’s NY Times — Conservative leads effort to raise minimum wage in California — Ron Unz, who rose to fame by promoting a ballot initiative that essentially eliminated bilingual education in California, is taking on a goal that has stymied liberals.
► From AP — Amazon workers on strike in Germany — Hundreds of Amazon.com Inc. workers are staging a strike in Germany and the union says there will be more to come in the run-up to Christmas unless the online retailer raises wages.
► From Al Jazeera’s Faultlines — Stolen wages — How low-wage restaurant workers in the U.S. are fighting an uphill battle to be paid what they are owed.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.