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Boeing cuts, Seattle’s thriving, lame (duck) TPP…

Thursday, September 15, 2016




► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing curtails OT pay for 80,000 workers in latest cost-cutting move — In another move to cut costs, Boeing told white-collar, salaried employees across the company on Tuesday that starting next month overtime pay will be severely limited. The new policy, effective Oct. 14, includes both nonunion salaried employees and some groups of unionized employees — including engineers. It covers about 80,000 employees, the company said. “For many, this is a pay cut,” said one employee.

Muilenburg-Dennis► In the P.S. Business Journal — Boeing CEO on why there may be more cuts coming — Boeing has already announced a modest production cut for the 777 in 2017 and said it was unlikely to go ahead with a previously announced production increase for the Dreamliner. More cuts could come if sales don’t pick up over the next few months, especially for the 777s, said Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

► In the P.S. Business Journal —  Boeing CEO claims controversial efforts to improve supplier partnerships ‘have been good for all of us’ — Muilenburg seemed to brush aside recent concerns from suppliers about pressure to cut costs, saying the second wave of the Partnership for Success effort is now underway and revolves around what he called “value engineering.”

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Late ‘Father of 747’ urged caution about globalization — Legendary Boeing engineer Joe Sutter had said: “When you’re spreading your work all over the world, you have language problems and more things to try and control. So, it’s a harder job, it’s a tougher job.” Boeing learned that lesson when it aggressively outsourced much of its 787 program. It had to take over design and production work done by suppliers and program partners.




sakuma-familias► From the Capital Press — Sakuma workers vote to join union; boycott over — In an election supervised by outside observers, workers at Sakuma Brothers Farms in northwestern Washington voted Monday for union representation, a rare case of farmworkers organizing in the state. The berry farm, which agreed to the election after three years of labor unrest, said 195 workers voted yes, while 58 voted no. CEO Dan Weeden said in a written statement that the company will negotiate with the union, Familias Unidas Por La Justicia.

ALSO at The Stand — Sakuma farmworkers vote to join Familias!

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle area jobless rate dips to 8-year low — After eight months of not budging, the state unemployment rate finally dipped ever so slightly in August (from 5.8% down to 5.7%), while the Greater Seattle area’s jobless rate dropped to its lowest level in eight years (4.1%).

► In today’s Seattle Times — $80,000 median: Income gain in Seattle far outpaces other cities — Seattle’s median household income broke the $80,000 mark in 2015, jumping nearly $10,000. It was the highest rise of any major U.S. city.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Where are the sky-is-falling critics of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinance now? Oh yeah, they’re predicting that Secure Scheduling will kill the city economy.




► From KEPR TV — Local worker struggles without paid sick leave

EDITOR’S NOTE — For more information about I-1433, visit

sound-transit-3-map► From PubliCola — Sound Transit 3 campaign kicks off with big agenda, nagging footnote — It was the the kickoff event for “Mass Transit Now,” the campaign that’s stumping for this November’s $54 billion regional ballot measure to build out light rail to Everett, downtown Redmond and Issaquah, Tacoma, and add two new lines in Seattle, from West Seattle and Ballard respectively to downtown.

ALSO at The Stand — It’s time to invest in Sound Transit Phase 3 — and our future (by Jeff Johnson)

► From NewsWorks — More than third of union workers in swing states support Trump — More than one-third of union workers in swing states — including Pennsylvania — are backing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, according to a recent member survey by the AFL-CIO. But that support is starting to wane, and the percentage of union workers for Trump has fallen by 5 points since the labor federation’s last survey in June.

► From The Hill — Trump’s son: Not releasing tax returns because scrutiny would be distraction

EDITOR’S NOTE — It would definitely be a distraction to find out he doesn’t pay any.

► In today’s NY Times — When a crackpot runs for president (by Nicholas Kristof) — Journalistic efforts at fairness may risk normalizing Donald Trump, without fully acknowledging what an abnormal candidate he is.




WA-congress-TPP► From The Hill — Hatch: TPP deal will get done in lame-duck session — Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said Wednesday that Congress will pass a sweeping Asia-Pacific trade agreement before the end of the year. The Utah Republican said he is working with the Obama administration to resolve several lingering issues that could ultimately pave the way for a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the lame-duck session after the November elections… But Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, said that more Democratic votes are needed to ensure passage of the TPP amid any Republican defections and called on the president to find more support.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Did you miss yesterday’s National Call-In Day to Stop the TPP? No worries. You can still call your representatives in Congress today toll-free at 1-855-712-8441 and tell them DON’T ram the TPP through during the post-election lame-duck session of Congress.





► In today’s Washington Post — Workers pay more for health care as companies shift burden, survey finds — State health insurance exchanges created under the new health care law are in turmoil. By contrast, the employer market — where the majority of Americans still get their coverage — seems like a bastion of stability. A new analysis shows that the share of employers offering coverage remained steady this year, and that the cost of premiums for health plans remained largely unchanged. But underneath some of those figures, some important changes are underway. The biggest shift is that workers continue to pay an ever-greater share of their medical bills, a trend for several years now.

► A related story from AFL-CIO Now — EpiPen profits flow into Mylan executives’ pockets — Mylan, which sells the EpiPen, paid its CEO and other top executives nearly $300 million over the past five years. That’s the second-highest executive pay in the entire U.S. pharmaceutical and biotech industry, even though Mylan is a relatively small player. The drug company recently has been denounced for hiking the price of the EpiPen to more than $600 for a two-pack. That’s nearly a 550% increase since 2007, when the company acquired the rights to sell the EpiPen.

► From Huffington Post — Senate progressives, activists plan big public option push — Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are among the leaders of the effort, which also includes three members of the Senate Democratic leadership: Dick Durbin (Ill.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Patty Murray (Wash.)




► In today’s NY Times — A rebounding economy remains fragile for many — While the economy finally is moving in the right direction, the real incomes of most American households still are smaller than in the late 1990s. And large swaths of the country — rural America, industrial centers in the Rust Belt and Appalachia — are lagging behind.

► A related story from The Atlantic — Ford’s Mexico move — Ford Motor Company will transfer its U.S.-based small-car production to Mexico “over the next two to three years,” CEO Mark Fields said Wednesday. The decision will send production of the Ford Focus and Ford C-Max Hybrid outside of the United States. Both models are currently manufactured at the Big Three automaker’s assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan.


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