Boeing profits off, Green River protest redux, majorities don’t rule…

Wednesday, April 27, 2016




► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing misses profit target as charge for tanker crimps earnings — Boeing’s profit fell short of analyst estimates for the first time in five years, after an accounting loss from the first refueling tankers built under a U.S. Air Force contract. Investors are also waiting for Chicago-based Boeing to generate a gush of cash from the 787 Dreamliner as costs stabilize. Deferred production costs for the 787 rose $141 million to $28.7 billion from the end of 2015.

ALSO at The Stand — Jim McNerney’s legacy at Boeing: $29 billion in unpaid 787 bills (by David Groves)




Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, speaks at Friday’s protest of students, faculty and community leaders at Green River College calling for the firing of college President Eileen Ely. See more photos at AFT Washington’s website.

► In the Kent Reporter — Students, faculty walk out amid high tensions at Green River College — The walkout comes on the heels of a contentious Board of Trustees meeting Thursday evening. Faculty, staff and students packed a small board room, forcing many to stand in the hallway. History instructor Mark Thomason captured the atmosphere of the meeting in a statement he made to the board:

“This has been the most bizarre experience I have ever had on this campus. It is absurd what has happened here today. Am I in some giant ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit? Is this a Monty Python movie that I haven’t been told about? I am just awestruck at everything that has happened here. It reflects an enormous vacuum of leadership — of positive leadership.”

► From KIRO TV — Green River College students say school mismanaged — Green River students and faculty accuse President Eileen Ely of mismanaging millions of dollars. An example they cite is the auto body program slated to be housed in the new trades building. It was cut soon after construction was completed.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The instructor for that program just happened to be the President of the local AFT union.




► From KPLU — Inslee wants to eliminate barriers to employment for former prisoners — Across the country, there’s a push to make it easier for people getting out of prison to find employment. In Washington state, Governor Jay Inslee has signed an executive order directing state agencies to work to eliminate barriers felons in the state face looking for a job after being incarcerated.

► In today’s News Tribune — Western State Hospital closes ward where 2 escaped — The windows throughout the ward, C4, were secured after the two escaped, but it would be difficult to make the building more secure, a DSHS memo states. The state cannot add another secure entrance to the building, and long hallways leading to offices are a safety hazard.

► In today’s News Tribune — Jury finds state Auditor Troy Kelley not guilty of lying to IRS, deadlocks on other charges




► In today’s Columbian — Burgerville workers demand union, raises — Burgerville employees and labor supporters made a surprise visit to the company’s Vancouver headquarters Tuesday afternoon to announce the formation of the new Burgerville Workers’ Union. The announcement coincided with a rally in Portland calling for a $5 raise for all fast-food workers. More than 100 people joined the march on the Burgerville restaurant on Southeast Powell Boulevard. The company was caught off-guard about calls for a union and had no immediate response.

► From Salon — One of the most popular arguments against raising the minimum wage is getting demolished — Raise wages, they say, and businesses will have to raise prices to maintain their profits. But they haven’t. At least not yet in Seattle. UW researchers visited grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and retail outlets in the year since initial implementation, and also scraped the Web to check local prices on goods, services, and rent, and concluded: “Our preliminary analysis of grocery, retail, gasoline, and rent prices has found little or no evidence of price increases in Seattle relative to the surrounding areas.”

► From KPLU — Seattle City Council gathers input for possible ordinance targeting erratic work schedules — Seattle has paid sick leave and one of the country’s highest minimum wages. Now, the city is exploring whether to adopt another kind of worker-friendly ordinance, this time one focused on how to make workers’ schedules more predictable.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hanford officials investigating possibility of 2nd tank leak — An unusual radiation reading in Hanford’s second-oldest double-shell tank has officials investigating to see if it may have an interior leak.

EDITOR’S NOTE — “Unusual.” That can’t be good.

► In the Wenatchee World — Area’s jobless rate feels brunt of Alcoa layoffs — Shutdown of Alcoa’s Wenatchee Works — and the resulting loss of hundreds of jobs — has begun to take its toll on the area’s unemployment rate.

► In today’s News Tribune — ‘Friends of KPLU’ group announces terms for purchase of station from PLU — Friends of 88-5 FM, a local nonprofit formed to preserve the independence of public radio station KPLU, announced Tuesday that it “has submitted a Letter of Intent to Pacific Lutheran University setting forth principal terms for its purchase of KPLU.”

ALSO at The Stand — Help save KPLU, the state’s only unionized NPR station

► From Physicians for a National Health Program — ZoomCare Ballard Clinic demonstration April 19 in Seattle




► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Chimacum school bond gets majority vote, but not enough for passageA $29.1 million Chimacum School District construction bond barely lost in early returns Tuesday, gaining a majority of votes but not the 60 percent required for bond passage. The special election vote was the third attempt to pass a bond for the school district. The bond won 2,994 votes, or 58.69 percent, to 2,107 votes, or 41.31 percent opposed.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — South Kitsap bond just shy of passing — The bond, which includes $2 million for upgrades to South Kitsap High School, needs 60 percent to pass and got 58.8 percent approval.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Lake Washington district voters backing school-bond measure — It’s a huge relief for a crowded district that has failed three previous bond measures to build new schools.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — School district measures passing in Everett, failing in Marysville




► From TPM — Donald Trump: ‘It’s over’ — Donald Trump declared himself the “presumptive nominee” of the Republican Party after he won five Northeastern states in a self-described “massive landslide” that dealt a serious setback to the anti-Trump forces pushing for a contested convention.

► From The Hill — Hillary Clinton vows to ‘unify’ Democrats after big wins — “With your help we’re going to come back to Philly for the Democratic National Convention with the most votes and the most pledged delegates,” she said. “And we will unify our party to win this election and build an America where we all rise together, where we lift each other up instead of tearing each other down.”

► From Think Progress — Trump unleashes brutally sexist, totally incoherent attack on Clinton — Donald Trump said, “Well, I think the only card she has is the women’s card — she’s got nothing else going. And frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get five percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card.” In her own victory speech Tuesday night, Clinton responded:

“Mr. Trump accused me of playing the, quote, ‘woman card.’ Well, if fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in!

► From AP — Sanders’ bid reaches turning point after Northeast losses — The Vermont senator said after losses to Clinton in Tuesday’s primaries that he would now seek as many delegates as possible to “fight for a progressive party platform,” acknowledging that he had only a “very narrow path” to the nomination.

► From Salon — Why Bernie Sanders will, should and must stay in the race (by Jim Hightower) — Sanders’ vivid populist vision, unabashed idealism, and big ideas for restoring America to its own people have jerked the presidential debate out of the hands of status quo corporatists, revitalized the class consciousness and relevance of the Democratic Party, energized millions of young people to get involved, and proven to the Democratic establishment that they don’t have to sell out to big corporate donors to raise the money they need to run for office… Bernie and the mass movement he’s fostering aren’t about to quit — they’ll organize in every primary still to come, be a major force at the Democratic convention, and keep pushing their ideals and policies in the general election — and beyond.

► From KUOW — All 3 GOP presidential candidates are coming to Washington state




► In the Milwaukee J-S — Dane County judge keeps Wisconsin right-to-work union ruling in place — A Dane County judge declined to put on hold his ruling that found unconstitutional a Wisconsin law barring unions and businesses from reaching labor deals requiring workers to pay union fees. Attention now turns to the Court of Appeals as judges there consider whether to restore the measure advocates call the state’s “right-to-work” law. Judge C. William Foust:

“The decision perhaps boils down to something as simple as there is no free lunch, there is no right to be a free rider. It’s not about a right to work. And it’s not about a right to join or not join a union. It’s about whether or not a nonmember has an obligation to pay for the services they receive or whether an entity can be required to provide services at no charge to someone.”

► From AP — Governments struggle to enforce ‘living wage’ laws — Seattle and San Francisco, and the states of Oregon, California and New York are phasing in wage increases that will grow to $15 an hour or more. Evidence of compliance is plain to see in the hours-worked total on most pay stubs, but state and federal laws don’t require employers to routinely provide this crucial detail to the government. Without this data, wage enforcers who are empowered to investigate generally wait until a worker complains. And many workers — especially those in precarious situations — fear they’ll be fired if they speak up.

► From The American Prospect — Uber, Airbnb, and other labor dilemmas — The union strategy for gaining ground among app-based drivers so far appears to be a rather chaotic approach of throwing everything — organizing, lawsuits, legislation — at the wall and seeing what sticks. An alternative route, pioneered by Seattle, is to push for collective bargaining rights for independent contractors, which would ensure workers’ right to organize but gives employers flexibility and enables them to duck many of traditional employers’ legal responsibilities.




► In The Nation — In the time it takes to read this article, a person will die at work in the U.S. It could happen in virtually any job, but it’s especially likely to happen to a Latino worker, maybe someone working on your office building’s roof. There’s also good chance they’ll be killed in a rigging mishap while extracting the natural gas powering your laptop, or perhaps they’ll be an immigrant woman killed in a farming accident while harvesting your groceries… The roughly 3.8 million occupational injuries and illnesses reported in 2014 represent the myriad ways that the economy values capital over human life: from unmonitored toxic exposures at lucrative oil and gas fields, to construction workers falling from faulty scaffolding on million-dollar office towers — 150 work-related deaths daily. Tragedy was often preventable, but risking lives more profitable.

ALSO at The Stand:

Worker Memorial Day events across the state this week — Events are happening today in Seattle and Everett, and tomorrow in Tacoma, Bellingham, and Olympia/Tumwater.

Republicans on silica: It’s OK for corporations to kill people (by Leo W. Gerard)


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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