Wednesday, July 23, 2014
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing profit rises, but tanker program worries analysts — Boeing increased its full-year profit forecast after reporting an 1 percent increase in commercial jet revenue,but a $272 million after-tax expense for the KC-46A aerial tanker program overshadowed the raised forecast. Second-quarter earnings also beat analysts’ estimates today, buoyed by faster production that is sending jetliner deliveries to record levels. Boeing is benefiting as its factories churn out 737, 777 and 787 aircraft at the fastest pace ever amid an order backlog that’s valued at about $1 trillion.
► In today’s News Tribune — Boeing employment stabilizing in Western Washington — After declining by nearly 4,000 jobs last year, Boeing’s Washington employment level appears to have stabilized at more than 81,000 workers. New figures from the aerospace company show that despite periodic layoffs in some programs in the Evergreen State, new hires and transfers have actually engendered a small rise in employment for Boeing since the beginning of the year.
► In today’s Olympian — SEIU appears to be offering some home-care workers a way to avoid paying union dues or ‘shop fees’ — Several dozen home-care workers in Washington have been told by their union that they can avoid paying any union-related fees or dues in the wake of last month’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Harris v. Quinn case. The notice to workers appears to have gone from SEIU Local 775 to select home care workers who have already objected to being in the union. News of the notice came from a top critic of SEIU 775 — The Freedom Foundation, a right-wing think tank in Olympia.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — GOP shies from criticizing Matt Shea publicly (by Shawn Vestal) — Did you know state Rep. Matt Shea was an Oath Keeper? Did you know he likes to sit around with other Oath Keepers – self-declared patriots and apocalyptic prophets — and check out night-vision goggles and talk about guns? That he once pulled a gun on an aggressive motorist he thought was targeting him for his work as a legislator, or that he took creepy photos of himself on his election opponent’s property? There is a palpable embarrassment about Shea among his party. Many Republicans will tell you what they really think about him in private, and it can be blistering. Few will dare to say one word about him publicly.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle port raises wages — short of $15 — Hourly minimum wage for airfield support workers at SeaTac Airport will raise to $11.22 in January 2015, and $13 in January 2017, after a final vote by the Port of Seattle Commission. The wage increase applies to about 3,500 contract workers at the airport, including those who handle cargo and baggage, check in passengers, and workers such as wheelchair attendants and those involved in catering, cleaning maintenance, fueling, dispatching and security.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Vapor team set to meet with Hanford workers — The Hanford Tank Vapor Assessment Team has work planned through Tuesday that will include tours, briefings, procedure reviews, observation of work at the tank farms, meeting with the Chemical Vapors Solutions Team and meetings with focus groups of tank farm workers. Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council workers at the tank farms have been given information on how to meet with the team.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Majority of nonunion workers at Waste Sampling and Characterization lab have found work within Hanford — About 75 people have been employed to do work associated with the lab. That includes 34 union workers, who will be eligible to take the jobs of other Hanford union workers with less experience in a “bump and roll.” A few employees also have taken retirement.
► At SeattlePI.com — White House honors labor leader who led minimum wage fight — SEIU Local 775 President David Rolf is among the “Champions of Change,” a bevy of American activists honored by President Obama for fighting for economic justice at the state and local level.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Regional, special interests surface in 4th District fundraising — Big agribusiness likes one Republican, Puget Sound Republicans like another and labor is giving big to the leading Democrat in the race to succeed Doc Hastings.
► In today’s NY Times — New questions on health law as rulings on subsidies differ — Two federal appeals court panels issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on whether the government could subsidize health insurance premiums for millions of Americans, raising yet more questions about the future of the health care law four years after it was signed by President Obama. The contradictory rulings will apparently have no immediate impact on consumers. But they could inject uncertainty, confusion and turmoil into health insurance markets as the administration firms up plans for another open enrollment season starting in November.
► At Huffington Post — This is how much more your health insurance could cost if 2 GOP judges get their way — More than 5.4 million people purchased health insurance on a federally run exchange in the affected 36 states during the first Obamacare enrollment period.
► In today’s NY Times — An ominous health care ruling (editorial) — Millions of low- and moderate-income Americans could find themselves without health insurance if a destructive decision by an appellate court is not reversed.
► In today’s NY Times — Obama signs new job-training law — The legislation, which passed both chambers of Congress this month by wide margins, essentially reauthorizes a Clinton-era law that provided money to states and cities for job retraining. But the new law aims to reduce the bureaucracy of the previous law by eliminating overlapping and duplicative programs.
► In The Hill — Reid tees up bill to end tax break on outsourcing — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) set up a procedural vote on a bill that would end tax breaks for companies sending jobs overseas.
► In The Hill — Senate Dems to take up House highway bill — Congress on Tuesday moved one step closer to preventing a shortfall in federal transportation funding that could stall road projects across the country in August.
► At Huffington Post — Outsider wins Republican Senate runoff — Businessman David Perdue has defeated longtime Rep. Jack Kingston in the Republican runoff for Georgia’s U.S. Senate nomination, setting up a matchup against Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn that will help determine which party controls the Senate for the final years of the Obama administration.
► At Huffington Post — Workers at a Subway sandwich shop vote to unionize — A group of Subway sandwich makers just proved that it isn’t impossible for fast food workers to unionize. Workers at a Subway location in Bloomsbury, N.J., on Friday voted in favor of joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.
► From Bloomberg — Facebook, Amazon, Whole Foods offer subpar 401(k)s, study finds — A first-of-its-kind ranking of 401(k) plans at the 250 biggest companies in the United States found that ConocoPhillips and Abbott Laboratories are among those that provide the most lucrative retirement benefits. Among the least generous are Facebook, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market. The natural-foods grocer offers a maximum contribution of $152 annually.
► At In These Times — The bad boss tax — TakeAction Minnesota is developing the framework for a bill that it hopes will be introduced in 2015 by state legislators. As conceived, the “bad business fee” legislation would require companies to disclose how many of their employees are receiving public assistance from the state or federal government. Companies would then pay a fine based on the de facto subsidies they receive by externalizing labor costs onto taxpayers. TakeAction Minnesota’s plan is one prong of a larger national effort. As progressive organizations grapple with how to turn years of public outrage over income inequality into policies for structural change, a network of labor and community organizing groups has seized upon the bad business fee as a solution that might take off.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.