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Boeing profits, Obama woos, people die…

Wednesday, October 21, 2015




► From AP — Faster jetliner production gives Boeing a big 3Q profit boost — Faster production of commercial jets continues to drive profits at the Boeing Co., which saw earnings jump 25 percent in the third quarter. It also raised its earnings outlook for the year. Commercial jet manufacturing is playing a larger and larger role at Boeing, also known for military and space programs. In July, August and September, Boeing delivered 199 commercial jets, up from 186 during the same quarter last year.

aerospace-accountability-front► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing opens St. Louis tech site with 700 jobs — Boeing on Tuesday opened its new research and technology center in St. Louis, where more than 700 engineers, technicians and staff will develop advanced technologies. The new facility in Missouri is part of a shift of research work out of the Puget Sound region.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Missouri, unlike Washington, has accountability for its Boeing tax breaks, requiring job creation and maintenance.

► A related story from Al Jazeera America — Starbucks, Fiat in hot water after Europe finds tax breaks illegal — The European Commission ruled on Wednesday that Starbucks and Fiat benefited from illegal tax deals with the Dutch and Luxembourg governments, in cases with major implications for the taxation of multinational companies. Antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager said all firms must pay a “fair share” and ordered the Netherlands to recover $23-34 million in back taxes from the U.S. coffee shop chain.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Can you imagine if U.S. courts insisted that companies like Boeing and GE, which pay little or no federal income taxes because of all the tax breaks they get, actually had to pay their “fair share”?!




obama-Murray-funny► From the Hill — Obama to woo Dem lawmakers on trade — President Obama will host congressional Democrats at a White House reception on Wednesday as he seeks to build support for the TPP trade agreement (that no one, even Congress, is allowed to see yet).

► In today’s Seattle Times — Looking outside Washington’s narrow trade view (by Jon Talton) — Trade seems like a simple proposition in Washington. But nationally, American workers are often on the losing end.




eyman-pez► In today’s Olympian — Send Eyman’s I-1366 idea out with the trash (editorial) — Tim Eyman has become Washington’s garbage barge for bad ideas in state politics. His latest load is actually a blackmail scheme masquerading as an initiative. Initiative 1366 threatens to tie our Legislature in knots and make a hopeless tangle out of the state budget.

ALSO at The Stand — WSLC urges rejection of Tim Eyman’s I-1366




key-arena-waiting-for-free-clinic► In today’s Seattle Times — Free health clinic to offer care at KeyArena — Hundreds of health workers are expected to treat as many as 4,000 patients at the free, four-day Seattle/King County Clinic at KeyArena Thursday through Sunday.

ALSO at The Stand — ACA helping, but more can be done for those who need care (Nov. 11, 2014) — If only a few elected officials had witnessed this heartbreaking scene (at last year’s KeyArena free clinic) as families from places like Federal Way, Lakewood, Marysville, Puyallup and Shelton arrived seeking care. They put a human face on the recent words of Molly Firth, of the Community Health Network of Washington, “we’ve made great progress, but we have a long way to go.”

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Judge deals blow to Millennium backer’s bid to avoid bankruptcy — A backer of the Longview coal terminal is running out of options to avoid bankruptcy. Arch Coal got a big blow Friday when a New York judge sided with lenders who are attempting to block a credit swap deal.




reichert-naked-gun-confused► In today’s Seattle Times — Reichert decided to skip governor’s race after poll — Congressman Dave Reichert’s decision to sit out the 2016 governor’s race came after polling paid for this summer through the state Republican Party.




► From The Hill — Labor, pension managers square off over benefits — The Department of the Treasury is facing mounting pressure over a proposal to cut retirement benefits for hundreds of thousands of union workers. Hurtling toward insolvency, the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund is looking to slash benefits by as much as one-third in order to prevent the program from running out of money in the coming years.

► From NPR — Lawmakers seek federal ‘oversight’ of workers’ comp as states limit benefits — Ten ranking Democrats on key Senate and House committees are urging the Labor Department to respond to a “pattern of detrimental changes in state workers’ compensation laws” that have reduced protections and benefits for injured workers over the past decade.

► From The Hill — Unions mobilize against hair drug testing for truck drivers — The AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department is trying to clip a proposal to test truck drivers’ hair for traces of drugs instead of checking their urine.




morgue-toetag► From Huffington Post — Flu rate would decline significantly if the U.S. mandated paid sick leave — Here’s an incredibly compelling reason for the United States to pass a paid sick leave law: If we did, flu rates in the country would decrease by at least 5 percent, estimates a new working paper from economists at Cornell and the Swiss Economic Institute… Opponents of government-mandated leave like to say that forcing companies to pay workers when they’re ill is a “job killer.” There’s little evidence to support that notion. Still, this study offers an even more striking counterargument. Failing to give workers time off when they’re sick may actually be a people killer.

► From AFL-CIO Now — Union-made Halloween candy shopping list — If you want your Halloween to be all treats and no tricks, make sure all your candy is union-made in America. Check out this list of sweets made by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers and the United Food and Commercial Workers.




middle-class-gravestone► In the Int’l Business Times — Decline in unions weakens U.S. middle class, reduces income mobility between generations: new research — Union members are disproportionately middle class — that is, they earn incomes between 0.5 and 1.5 times the median income level. And as researchers noted, both groups have seen their ranks steadily diminish in the last few decades. From 1979 to 2012, union membership slid by more than one half, from 24 percent of all workers to 11 percent. Over that same time, the size of the middle class shrank by more than 10 percentage points, to 45 percent of the population. Researchers also showed the offspring of union parents earn higher incomes than those from nonunion parents. That difference is especially pronounced among the children of parents who didn’t go to college: Those with a union parent earned, on average, $6,300 or 16 percent more than those with nonunion parents: “This suggests that unions increase opportunity for children who need it most.”


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