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Boeing accountability, Spokane wages, shutdown silence…

Thursday, September 24, 2015




Boeing-China► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing chief defends China 737 center, unveils 300 jet orders — Boeing welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping and announced plans for a 737 completion center in China. Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner said the deal is necessary to keep a big piece of that key market, but union leaders immediately criticized the move… IAM District 751 President Jon Holden said his members have worked hard to introduce the efficiencies that made Renton the most productive airplane assembly plant on the planet. He cited the $8.7 billion in tax breaks that the state granted Boeing in 2013 in return for agreeing to build the 777X here. “It speaks to the lack of accountability,” said Holden. “You give away $8.7 billion in tax incentives to maintain and grow aerospace jobs and instead you have work leave.”

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Chinese airline exec: ‘Dreamliner was your dream.’ We want to build more of our own airplanes — Liu Shaoyong, chairman of China Eastern Airlines, called on the FAA to support the Chinese-made C919 aircraft. The single-aisle plane is built by the government-funded Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China or COMAC to directly compete with Boeing’s 737 series.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Union gets seat at table on Haggen bankruptcy — The union representing Haggen workers (UFCW) has been picked as one of the seven members of a committee representing unsecured creditors, giving it some influence in the bankruptcy process.

► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Logger from Quilcene killed by falling treetop near JoyceScott Perkins, 49, of Quilcene was working as a timber feller west of Sadie Creek just off state Highway 112.

envision-spokane► From TruthOut — Campaign for a ‘Worker Bill of Rights’ puts ALEC in Spokane’s crosshairs — On Nov. 3, voters in Spokane will decide whether or not they are willing to act on their collective frustration by enacting what community activists have termed a “Worker Bill of Rights” via a ballot initiative called Proposition 1… The family wage portion of Proposition 1 is the first time anyone anywhere in the United States will be voting on such a provision. The Envision Spokane coalition’s plan is for the family wage to be based on the amount needed to meet the basic needs of a two-person household, specifically a single parent with one child.

► From Slog — Will Fair Scheduling be the next labor fight to hit Seattle? — San Francisco has already passed a Retail Workers Bill of Rights, which, among other things, requires employers to give workers at least two weeks’ notice of their schedule and one week’s notice of schedule changes. It also requires employers to pay workers who are required to be on-call but don’t actually get called in to work.

► A related story in the Chicago Tribune — How erratic schedules hurt low-wage workers — Several legislative efforts seek to regulate scheduling practices that make it difficult for low-wage hourly workers to plan for child care, go to school, work a second job or have comfort that they will earn enough to pay their bills.

► In today’s Columbian — Madore proposes property tax cut — A proposal by Clark County Councilor David Madore to reduce property taxes could lead to countywide cuts, possibly including layoffs, county budget staff said.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Snohomish County hiring freeze proposal dropped — The Snohomish County councilman who tried to pass an emergency hiring freeze for county government last month has decided it’s unnecessary.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Pasco teacher contract issue could resolve quickly — Representatives from the Pasco School District’s teachers union have identified problems in the final draft of a new contract that led the school board to stall a Tuesday night vote to approve the deal with teachers.




► In today’s Bellingham Herald — L&I proposes 2% rate increase to workers’ comp — A 2 percent increase to workers’ compensation rates is being proposed for 2016. The rate increase is needed to help build the reserve funds, said L&I Director Joel Sacks.

ALSO at The Stand — L&I proposes 2% rate increase to promote long-term stability

F-mccleary-court-education► In today’s (Everett) Herald — They’re talking McCleary again, but that won’t be enough (by Jerry Cornfield) — The chasm between the Democrat-controlled House and Republican-run Senate on the best way to do that could not be bridged in this year’s record-setting 176 days of session. So another hour of talking in a SeaTac hotel Thursday won’t achieve an accord either. However, it may reveal how deeply individual lawmakers and the governor are digging in on their positions ahead of the 2016 session and ensuing election season when most of them, including Inslee, will be on the ballot and could face this issue… Dunshee pondering exit? Turns out Rep. Hans Dunshee’s appointment as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee may not be a long term deal. The Snohomish Democrat is in the midst of his biennial soul-searching on whether to continue his legislative career.

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Uninsured rate in Washington state, Puget Sound region drops — The U.S. Census just released data showing how much the uninsured rate has dropped since federal and state health exchanges went live post-Affordable Care Act. From 2013 to 2014, the rate of uninsured people in Washington state dropped from 14 percent to 9.2 percent. In the Seattle metro area, that drop was from 12.4 percent to 8.3 percent.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Allegations Eyman broke finance laws troubling (editorial) — Initiative entrepreneur Tim Eyman is in trouble again with the PDC, facing serious allegations that he broke campaign finance laws by diverting some funds for personal use and not properly recording transactions… If Eyman is found guilty of these charges, he should forever be banished from initiative campaigns.

► In today’s News Tribune — Feds threaten to pull funding from Western State Hospital after beating of restrained patient — The state psychiatric hospital in Lakewood is on track to lose federal funding Dec. 2, but DSHS officials say they are confident the hospital can make changes that will restore its standing.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Legislative leaders urge Auditor Troy Kelley to resign




► From TPM — Hill Republicans walk a tightrope to avoid a government shutdown — Republican leaders think they have a plan to avert a government shutdown. They now just have to hope that the hardliners pushing for one won’t find a way to thwart it — and there are many ways they could make things go wrong.

► From AP — GOP pragmatists protest tea party shutdown tactics — Rank-and-file Republican lawmakers are increasingly protesting the tactics of tea party colleagues who demand that legislation to keep the government open also take away federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

WA-GOP-delegation-15EDITOR’S NOTE — The absence of first-term Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) is notable in this anti-shutdown letter signed by 11 fellow freshmen Republican members. Given that Newhouse joined every other Republican from Washington state in voting last week to defund Planned Parenthood, and given that none of them have spoken publicly about the need to avoid a shutdown, we’re going to go ahead and assume they are all among the GOP’s tea party contingent that’s just fine with that happening.

► From The Hill — Dems push retroactive pay for federal workers in case of shutdown — Senate Democrats are pushing legislation to retroactively pay federal workers who will be furloughed if there is a government shutdown.




pol-pope-congress► From Politico — Pope to Congress: ‘Do unto others…’ — Pope Francis stood before a bitterly divided U.S. Congress on Thursday and reminded lawmakers of that most golden of rules, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Those others, the pope made it clear, include immigrants, the impoverished, the Earth itself, and political rivals.

► From The Hill — Pope Francis pushes Congress to show ‘compassion’ to immigrants — Noting his own status as “the son of immigrants,” the pope urged compassion for immigrants, warning not to repeat “the sins and the errors of the past” by turning them away.

► In today’s Washington Post — Labor sees opportunity in the pope’s arrival, as unions rebuild a historic bond — Labor groups who are making an unprecedented show of unity with the Catholic church at a time when its leader is more focused on issues of inequality and economic justice than any other pope in recent memory.




TPP-this-time-is-different► From AFL-CIO Now — Do U.S. workers really have to rely on Canadian and Mexican negotiators to look out for our jobs? — Those who believe that the TPP will destroy more jobs than it creates have plenty of evidence to support our claim based on prior trade deals like NAFTA and the Korea Free Trade Agreement. When the TPP’s backers say “this time it’s different,” it is hard to prove them wrong — given the secrecy of the negotiations. But it seems like every trade agreement the U.S. trade representative negotiates gets sold to unsuspecting Americans as the “best ever,” and the TPP is no different. This time, negotiators from Canada and Mexico have called foul while there is still time to act — and we’re lucky they did.

► In today’s Seattle Times — The recovery hasn’t dented poverty (by Jon Talton) — Last year saw the largest number of jobs created since 1999. But that doesn’t mean the recovery is as strong as its typical predecessors. The combination of stagnant incomes and continued poverty indicate that the recovery has failed to create enough well-paying jobs, while the longer-term weakness in wages has continued.

► From The Republic — Workers at Alabama automotive seat manufacturing plant vote to join UAW — Workers at an automotive components manufacturing plant in northeast Alabama voted to join a labor union Wednesday, citing issues such as wage caps and growing use of temporary workers.

► From Huffington Post — Think Progress staffers unionize


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