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Ratified contracts, uppity union leaders, ‘I’m Just an Ad’…

Wednesday, October 1, 2014




► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Wash. minimum wage will rise 15 cents to $9.47 an hour — Washington’s minimum wage will climb by 15 cents to $9.47 an hour starting Jan. 1, the Department of Labor & Industries announced Tuesday. The gains will affect more than 67,000 workers statewide, bringing each about $312 more per year, according to officials.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Many say workers need $15, not just 15 cents

WFSE-14-contract-COLA-time-front► At — All contracts ratified by WFSE members — The online votes are in and all nine Washington Federation of State Employees, AFSCME Council 28 contracts and the Health Care Agreement for 2015-2017 have been ratified. Online voting ended at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The results: CWU ratified 51-13; Community College Coalition ratified; EWU ratified 97-73; General Government ratified 3,698-481; Evergreen Classified Staff ratified 52-4; UW ratified 524-144; UP Police ratified 8-0; WSU ratified 45-1; WWU ratified 136-4; and the Health Care Agreement ratified 4,546-368.

► In today’s Olympian — State government’s biggest union ratifies contracts for pay raises totaling 4.8% over two years — The Washington Federation of State Employees reported overwhelming support for pay raises and also for plan keeping health coverage almost identical to current terms.

► In today’s Columbian — States granted extension on CRC funding — At the request of Washington and Oregon, the Federal Highway Administration has granted a five-year extension on the money it doled out for the now defunct Columbia River Crossing project. The extension means the two states won’t immediately have to repay tens of millions of dollars they were given for the proposed I-5 Bridge replacement. Now, both states will have until Sept. 30, 2019, to come up with something to show for that money.




Boeing-defense-layoffs-front► In today’s Oregonian — Boeing plans more Pacific Northwest downsizing, less than a year since mega-package of tax breaks — Nearly a year since Boeing got what may be the largest package of tax breaks and other incentives in modern business history from the Washington Legislature, the airplane giant is moving another 2,000 jobs out of the Northwest.

YESTERDAY at the Stand — Tax-subsidized Boeing snubs state again

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Union officials: Boeing job cuts larger than expected — Union officials have responded to the cuts by proposing legislative action to stop Boeing from receiving tax incentives if it makes these kinds of cuts. “We are trying to find a rationale for [these cuts] that makes some sort of sense,” said Bill Dugovich, a SPEEA spokesman.

st-boeing-keating► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing exec has harsh words for SPEEA chief — Tim Keating, Boeing’s top lobbyist in Washington, D.C., a pillar of its inner leadership circle, on Tuesday launched an unusual attack on the company’s engineering union and its executive director, Ray Goforth. Keating complained about Goforth’s “toxic remarks” concerning the job shifts cuts. “Everything Boeing does is not for nefarious reasons,” Keating said, adding that “business realities” necessitated the move.

EDITOR’S NOTE — We get it. Nobody — other than a handful of aerospace industry analysts — criticizes you and what you call your “business realities.” Not the yes-men on your board, not the fawning business reporters, and certainly not the government officials who grant your every tax subsidy. So when a representative for your employees criticizes your unexpectedly large job cuts — just months after you lobbied for and got the biggest tax break in U.S. history (nice work, Tim!) — it’s embarrassing for you. Well, you should be embarrassed. You deserve some criticism. And you should expect it, especially from a representative of the 2,000 people whose jobs you just cut. So just take it as one of the costs of your “business realities,” instead of attacking uppity union leaders for “disengaging” and suggesting that they toe the line alongside your sycophants.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Uncertain future for 747, ‘Queen of the Skies’ — The 747 is certainly a legend, and with its characteristic hump, it likely is the world’s most iconic jetliner. It revolutionized long-haul flying, connecting farflung destinations with one flight. The 747-8 is an extensive overhaul of its predecessor, the 747-400. Boeing stretched it, redesigned the wings and put new engines on it, among other changes. The makeover brought 120 orders, mostly for freighters, and bought a few more years of life. But industry analysts overwhelmingly say the 747’s reign will likely end in the next few years.




► In today’s Yakima H-R — Yakima, ACLU voting district plans remain far apart — The city of Yakima and the American Civil Liberties Union will propose different plans for resolving a voting rights lawsuit in federal court, the city’s attorney who is defending the case said Tuesday. Yakima City Council members support a plan that would create five geographic districts from which members would be elected — including one Latino-majority district — and two positions voted on citywide in the general election. The ACLU is said to have rejected any plan that did not involve seven geographic districts.

► In Time Magazine — Voting rights battle heats up before mid-term elections — After Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Texas may send voting rights cases to the U.S. Supreme Court.

► From MSNBC — Koch group faces investigation in N.C. over bogus voting info — Last week, the public learned that the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity created quite a mess sending out incorrect voting materials to many North Carolina voters. This week, the group finds itself under investigation.




► At In These Times — New Orleans union membership set to double after hotel, casino workers win — The number of union members in New Orleans’s tourism industry is set to double. The hospitality and gaming union UNITE HERE and Teamsters Local 270 are in contract negotiations with Harrah’s Hotel and Casino after winning a card check election among 900 hotel and food workers.

► In today’s NY Times — De Blasio expands the living wage (editorial) — The executive order signed by the mayor that raises the city’s wage to $13.13 an hour is a step toward getting the fortunes of some working-class New Yorkers to inch forward.




fernandes-maria► In the NY Times — For a worker with little time between 3 jobs, a nap has fatal consequences — In death, 32-year-old Maria Fernandes has been held up as a symbol of the hardships facing our nation’s army of low-wage workers. Her friends say she earned little more than $8.25 an hour — New Jersey’s minimum wage — and passed her days and nights in a blur of iced coffees and toasted breakfast sandwiches, coffee rolls and glazed jelly doughnuts. You might remember her dark eyes and that smile when she handed your change across the counter. She worked afternoons in Newark, overnights in Linden and weekends in Harrison. But she was more than an emblem of our nation’s rising economic inequality. She was Maria, the bubbly woman who worried about her weight, doted on her pet Chihuahua and three cats and fed cast-aside bits of bagels and bread to the neighborhood birds. She adored Michael Jackson and his music. And she took pains to help anyone who needed it, regularly paying for coffee and doughnuts for a homeless man, even when she fell behind on her bills. (He showed up at her funeral this month, to pay his respects.)




► Last night on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart — Schoolhouse Rock gets a makeover


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