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Engineering exodus, postal win, D.C.’s worst person…

Thursday, September 25, 2014




Boeing-McNerney-thanks► In the P.S. Business Journal — Boeing’s new South Carolina facility moves jobs out of Washington — Boeing announced yesterday it has leased a space for a new Research and Development Center in South Carolina. This move brings the company one step closer to a commitment made in December to open five new research facilities in the U.S. The plan to spread out and restructure R&D facilities means a loss of 800 to 1,200 jobs in the Puget Sound area.

► In today’s Oregonian — NLRB asks judge to find longshore union in contempt for slowdowns — In a motion filed last week, NLRB regional director Ronald Hooks said the ILWU has continued to “disobey and fail and refuse to comply” with a July 2012 court order to end the slowdowns at Terminal 6. He asked the judge to declare each union organization in contempt and to fine them up to $25,000 each, plus an additional fine for each day the slowdown continues. The longshore union has been locked in a bitter dispute with ICTSI Oregon, the company the Port of Portland hired in 2010 to operate Terminal 6.

► From KUOW — King County Metro: Prepare for bus cuts this weekend — This weekend, King County Metro will make its largest round of service cuts in its history, affecting more than 10,000 people. The agency will eliminate 28 routes, including numbers 19, 61 and 202. Service on 13 other routes will be reduced, and 250 bus stops will be closed. This will be the first of several rounds of cuts that are planned for Metro. The agency says it needs to trim about 11 percent of its budget in order to balance its books.




apwu-logo► In the Washington Post — Postal union wins arbitration; At least 9,000 jobs to become labor positions — At least 9,000 U.S. Postal Service jobs will become union positions over the next three months due to an arbitration ruling this month that said post offices must use APWU bargaining-unit employees at sites with reduced operating hours. The ruling requires the postal service to use union clerks at the facilities that have cut back to four hours or six hours per day, but it allows the agency to continue using non-union employees at sites that have been reduced to two hours per day.

► MUST-READ at Labor Notes — High-flying drones and basement wages: Alarming trends in package delivery — Their employer is the U.S. Postal Service, but a few unlucky Bay Area letter carriers were hired only to find out their job is actually delivering groceries for online retailer Amazon at 4 a.m. It’s an experimental program being staffed with City Carrier Assistants — the lowest tier of union letter carriers, permatemps who make $15-17 an hour.

► In today’s Washington Post — Post office made excessive use of overtime amid staffing shortage — An Iowa post office racked up more than twice the U.S. Postal Service’s goal for overtime hours and paid out nearly three times the agency’s national average for overtime grievances last year due to staffing shortages.




politicians-minimum-wage► From AP — Middle-class squeeze: costs rise 32 percent while wages stagnate — For a typical married couple with two children, the combined cost of child care, housing, health care and savings for college and retirement jumped 32 percent from 2000 to 2012 — and that’s after adjusting for inflation. Compounding the pain is that average pay for Americans is barely topping inflation. The figures help explain why many Americans feel stressed even as the economy has strengthened.

► From McClatchy — Labor activists look for wage-hike support from red states — President Obama isn’t expected to get the federal minimum-wage increase he’s wanted anytime soon, but advocates hope that public support for the issue gets a boost from an unusual set of states this Election Day. Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota — four solid-red states whose voters often oppose the president’s agenda — might be next to raise the wage floor of America’s lowest-paid hourly workers.

► In today’s NY Times — Air France-KLM gives in to striking pilots’ union, scaling back Transavia plan — Air France-KLM has bowed to a key demand of its striking pilots’ union, raising prospects that an 11-day walkout that has grounded more than 6,000 flights and inconvenienced hundreds of thousands of travelers might end as early as Thursday.

► In today’s NY Times — Long lines at minority polling places (editorial) — It may not be a coincidence that some of the longest lines on Election Day occur in black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

► In the Washington Post — Robert Poli, who led 1981 strike that led Reagan to fire traffic controllers, dies at 78 — Robert E. Poli, the president of the nation’s air traffic controllers union whose striking members were fired and replaced by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 in a high-stakes showdown pitting organized labor against federal law, died Sept. 15 at his home in Meridian, Idaho. He was 78.




► In the Washington Post — Center for Union Facts says AFT’s Randi Weingarten is ruining nation’s schools — Richard Berman, a D.C.-based corporate communications consultant, has waged a highly personal attack on AFT President Randi Weingarten for the past year, paying for two billboards in Times Square that featured an unflattering two-story image of her, a full-page ad in the New York Times, radio spots and, now, lengthy mailings. He also paid workers to hand out anti-Weingarten flyers during Labor Day weekend in East Hampton, N.Y., where she has a home. Berman won’t disclose who is funding the campaign. Weingarten called Berman “a well-known hired hand,” adding:

He’s attacked Mothers Against Drunk Driving and opposed raising the minimum wage. I shouldn’t be surprised, but still, after a year of ads, billboards, op-eds and now this 11-page letter, I’m left asking: Why would someone go to such depths to attack teachers and their representatives?

EDITOR’S NOTE –Meet The Worst Person in Washington, D.C.™ and learn more at


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