Thursday, February 11, 2016
► In today’s Seattle Times — Job cuts planned as Boeing hunkers down to compete with Airbus, consider new plane — No details were given on the timing or scale of the job cuts, but the tone of the announcement suggests a significant impact across BCA. “We will start reducing employment levels beginning with executives and managers first,” said company spokesman Doug Alder. “We will also use attrition and voluntary layoffs. As a last resort, involuntary layoffs may be necessary.” The cuts are expected to hit Everett — where production cuts on the 747 and 777 were announced last month — more than Renton, where the 737 is still ramping up.
► From IAM 751.org — Message to members — Boeing approached your Union about a voluntary layoff program and we have agreed.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing Machinists getting annual bonus of 3 percent — Boeing will pay out a total of $77.6 million in annual bonuses next week to almost 34,000 employees in Washington and Oregon represented by the Machinists union.
► MUST-READ in today’s Olympian — We’re still 35th in tax burden. Is that good? (editorial) — The average state and local tax burden was $94.31 per $1,000 of personal income. That’s below the national average of $104.68 and puts our state third from the bottom among the 13 Western states. Only Idaho and Arizona, which have income taxes, had lower rates… Put bluntly, we are not a high-tax state. Of course, Washington’s tax burden feels pretty terrible for some people. A big reason is that it lands disproportionately on those who earn the least. That’s a function of a heavy reliance on sales tax, property taxes and heavy business taxes that in many cases are passed on to consumers in the prices for products… Other tax revenue may be needed for K-12 schools in 2017. That will evoke the inevitable claim that we’re overtaxed. When you hear that rant, ask the complaining person in your life what they would do to balance the load more fairly. That’s the real issue. Who’s got an idea for making things fairer — not just easy for them?
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Dairy worker bill inspired by Mabton man’s death fails to get out of House committee — A dairy worker safety bill that was inspired by the death of a Mabton man a year ago came up short in Olympia this week. The proposal, pushed by the United Farm Workers and the Washington State Labor Council, failed to get enough votes to move forward from the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — State lawmaker’s gaffe may spur new civil rights law — Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler says he regrets blurting, “She’s racist” moments after his caucus ousted Lynn Peterson as the state’s transportation secretary. Though he’s yet to publicly apologize, the Ritzville Republican did quickly retreat from the remark directed at Peterson in the impassioned verbal scuffle of partisans following the Senate vote last Friday. But once played, the race card can’t be taken back. Its presence on the table, however, could spur passage of a major civil rights bill pushed by Democratic lawmakers that is known as the Washington Voting Rights Act.
► In today’s News Tribune — State Senate should play fair, even in election year (editorial) — Republicans in the state Senate sacked Inslee’s transportation chief Friday with more stealth and savagery than a Denver Broncos linebacker… Even if they don’t care about legislative decorum and fair play, residents should care about the message being sent to outside observers. Imagine a high-demand public-sector manager deciding whether Washington is a good state to work for… Senate confirmation was created long ago as a safeguard to prevent political patronage, not as a weapon to inflict political damage. The end game for the GOP, of course, is to win back the governor’s office after three decades.
ALSO at The Stand — Senate Republicans shame, harm state with Lynn Peterson’s firing (by Jeff Johnson)
► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee appoints acting transportation chief — The appointment of state Deputy Transportation Secretary Roger Millar to the top post follows the state Senate’s move vote to oust Lynn Peterson.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Will surprise ‘firing’ affect legislative session? (by Jim Camden) — Peterson was not new to the job. She was among Inslee’s early cabinet appointees when he took office in 2013. She didn’t have a confirmation hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee until last June, and earned praise from Chairman Curtis King (R-Yakima) at that time. “You don’t know what’s going to happen next,” said Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a 40-year veteran of the Legislature who presided over Friday’s confirmation debate. “It has definitely left very hard feelings and a sense of distrust.”
► In today’s Olympian — State Senate votes to maintain transgender locker room access rule — By one vote, the Washington Senate voted down an attempt Wednesday to repeal a policy that allows transgender people to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.
ALSO at The Stand — WSLC opposes bills discriminating against transgendered people
► From The Stranger — Senate Republicans’ anti-trans bathroom bills are unlikely to pass — but the damage is already done — Republicans either don’t know or don’t care that this is a dangerous argument. It may score them points with a conservative base, but just the hearings could have harrowing repercussions for the trans community.
► In the Seattle Times — Schedule workers as you would have them schedule you (by Nick Hanauer) — When workers are well-rested, they’re better employees. When they can enjoy full lives, they’re happier people, better neighbors and more active members of their communities. When they have predictable schedules, they can plan for expenses and even save up for larger purchases. They can eat family meals in restaurants and go to movies. They can enjoy the trappings of modern life without worrying that they’ll be called away for a last-minute shift for which they’ll barely be compensated. When more consumers are able to spend more money, businesses profit. That’s how the economy works.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Pacific Steel fined in connection with chlorine gas leak that killed a worker — L&I has fined Pacific Steel and Recycling $6,600 in connection with two workplace safety violations found after an investigation into a chlorine gas release in August that left one worker dead and hospitalized seven others.
► In the (Longview) Daily News — KapStone stocks plummet after poor fourth quarter results — KapStone’s stock tumbled 30 percent on the heels of its report showing weaker-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter. On the plus side, though, the company CEO said he does not expect any business-related shutdowns at the Longview mill this year.
► MUST-READ in today’s NY Times — U.S. voters strike back against political status quo — A backlash has been building gradually among American voters for years against “stagflation,” “the middle-class squeeze,” cross-border trade deals and Wall Street bailouts. This week, they let out a primal scream that was heard around the country. The democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and the Republican billionaire Donald Trump recorded smashing primary victories in New Hampshire, and even if neither candidate reaches the general election in November, their supporters will shape the selection of the next president.
The populist revolt is rooted in decades of failure by politicians to improve the living standards to which Americans became accustomed during post-World War II boom times. The United States’ receding economic dominance was masked for years by a surge in two-paycheck households as women entered the work force, an expansion of consumer credit and government borrowing, and surging stock and real estate values that inflated household wealth. Those props have now eroded.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Didier PAC ads targeting Newhouse — A group led by one-time congressional candidate Clint Didier is making questionable claims against his former political rival, U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse.
► From AFP — Admitting failings, Obama urges end to partisanship — Barack Obama returned Wednesday to Springfield, Ill., the city where his White House journey began, making the case for less fractious politics while admitting he had failed to narrow the partisan divide.
► In the Washington Post — Will Democrats get a larger raise for federal employees? — Clad in white AFGE rain ponchos, the workers called for a 5.3 percent pay raise in 2017, much more than the 1.6 percent average increase President Obama proposed in the budget plan that was released as they got wet.
► In the Indy Star — Carrier in Indy, UTEC in Huntington to move units to Mexico, costing 2,100 jobs — Two Indiana plants that make products for the heating, ventilating and air conditioning industry are shifting their manufacturing operations to Mexico.
TODAY’S BIG NEWS
► In The Onion — Obama resigns presidency after Michelle lands dream job in Seattle — “Of course, it will be hard for me to leave my work, but this is what partners in a marriage do: They support each other and treat one another as equals. If giving up my job as commander-in-chief and moving the family out to Seattle makes her happy, then I’m glad to do it,” Obama said. “I love you, Michelle.” When asked how he would keep himself busy in the Pacific Northwest, Obama replied that his main focus would be getting his daughters, Sasha and Malia, settled into the family’s new arrangement before possibly running for mayor of Tacoma.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.