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777 cuts loom, MultiCare heal thyself, GOP attack on Social Security…

Tuesday, December 13, 2016




eh-Boeing-777► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing to make fewer 777s; Everett job cuts likely — Cuts are coming to the Boeing Co.’s 777 line — deeper and sooner than previously planned by company leaders. The company announced plans Monday to cut production from the current 8.3 airplanes a month to five a month in August — a roughly 40 percent cut. The decision likely will mean job cuts next year in Everett, where the 777 is assembled, though how many and exactly when is not clear.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing cutting output of 777 cash cow, dealing a blow to jobs and revenue — A 2012 economic study conducted for the state by consultancy CAI estimated that at that time more than 12,000 Boeing employees worked directly on the 777 program. The most vulnerable to layoffs are the machinists who build the airplane. Roughly 3,400 mechanics work directly on assembling the 777 in the Everett factory, and hundreds more work on fabricating the jet’s tail and wing components in Frederickson.

► From IAM 751 — Holden responds to report on 777 production rate cut — Machinists Union District Lodge 751 President Jon Holden: “Going forward, we will discuss with the company the potential for using voluntary layoffs, with the hope of avoiding involuntary layoffs. We also will monitor other Boeing job moves during this time. We have great concern about the number of jobs leaving our facilities in Puget Sound for new locations where the company is creating jobs, capacity and capability outside of Washington state.”




tnt-tacoma-general-nurses-picket► In today’s News Tribune — MultiCare, heal thyself and avert a nurse walkout (editorial) — Many months of hard-line negotiations and hard feelings between MultiCare Health System and the state nurses union have brought the participants to a difficult crossroads, and Tacomans have a right to feel anxious… At the core of the Tacoma General dispute are longstanding staffing issues raised by RNs, which have morphed into allegations about overwork, burnout and patient safety… What’s needed now in Tacoma is a sense of urgency.

ALSO at The Stand — Support Tacoma General nurses at safe staffing action Dec. 14

► In the (Aberdeen) Daily World — Hospital increases UFCW wages by 2 percent — All UFCW employees at Grays Harbor Community Hospital will notice a two percent increase in wages in their Dec. 23 paycheck, but that does not mean negotiations between the hospital and the union are anywhere near an end.

► In the (Longview) Daily News — PeaceHealth St. John technical workers vote to align with union — More than 100 technical workers at PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center in Longview voted to join SEIU Local 49.

► In the PSBJ — Alaska Airlines, aircraft mechanics union reach tentative five-year deal — The airline and the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association say the deal has “significant pay increases and added job protection provisions.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Minimum-wage raises ahead next month; in Seattle, $15 for some — The minimum wage will climb in 2017 in a patchwork fashion: Washington workers not covered by the increases in Seattle, Tacoma or SeaTac will get a 16 percent boost to $11 per hour.

ALSO at The Stand — On Jan. 1, state minimum wage rises to $11

► In today’s Seattle Times — Portland targets CEO pay to save the American dream (by Jerry Large) — A lot of research now suggests the American dream of earning more than your parents is pretty much dead. Don’t look to the federal government for help in the near future. Look to your local jurisdiction — and don’t give up.




kuow-grant-nicole► From KUOW — Labor braces for reversals under Trump — Labor unions are not the only ones concerned with what they’ve seen since the mixture of messages from voters on election night. “On every single issue that we fought for as a labor movement, we won,” said Nicole Grant of the M.L. King County Labor Council. Voters in Washington state approved a $13.50 minimum wage. Seattle voters agreed to protect hotel workers. And regional voters said yes to a generation of unionized construction work through Sound Transit 3. But as these results flooded in, so did the national results: Trump would be president, and the Republicans would control Congress. “It was impossible to enjoy yourself on election night,” Grant said.  “Such was the shock and such was the pain.”

saldana-rebecca► In the Seattle Times — Rebecca Saldaña to fill state Senate seat vacated by Pramila Jayapal — The Metropolitan King County Council chose Rebecca Saldaña to be South Seattle’s state senator on Monday, filling the 37th District seat that was vacated by Pramila Jayapal’s election to the U.S. House of Representatives. Saldaña, a former union organizer, is the executive director of Puget Sound Sage, a progressive advocacy group.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Saldaña’s appointment is/was strongly supported by organized labor.

► In the Seattle Times — Preserve state’s legacy of ethical government (editorial) — 1) End the Legislature’s self-serving exemption from the Public Records Act. 2) Stop shielding “dark money” campaign spending. 3) Feed the campaign-finance watchdog: the Public Disclosure Commission.




► From Huffington Post — Top House Republican unveils plan to gut Social Security — President-elect Donald Trump distinguished himself on the campaign trail as the rare Republican candidate promising not to cut Social Security and Medicare. But Republicans in Congress have other plans for the two popular social insurance programs — and they are wasting no time rolling them out.

WA-GOP-social-security► From Huffington Post — No one voted to destroy Social Security (by Nancy Altman) — Not a single candidate in 2016 campaigned on a promise to repeal and replace Social Security or Medicare. Anyone who did would have been soundly defeated. Indeed, unlike the Republican opponents he beat, Donald Trump promised not to touch Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. But now that the Republicans will soon be in charge of all branches of government, destroying Social Security and Medicare is on the top of their agenda.

► In the Washington Post — Obama authorizes larger raise for federal employees — President Obama has authorized a larger-than-expected pay increase for federal employees, just in time for the Christmas bills. In letters to the House and Senate, Obama authorized an average pay raise for 2017 of 2.1 percent, instead of the 1.6 percent he submitted in August.

► From AFGE — AFGE applauds Obama action giving federal employees 2.1% pay raise in January — “Federal employees certainly deserve this modest boost in their pay, following years of pay freezes and minuscule increases that have left them worse off today than they were at the start of the decade,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.

perry-rick-L► From Politico — Trump picks Rick Perry for energy secretary — On a presidential debate stage five years ago, Rick Perry blanked on the Energy Department’s name when trying to include it in a list of agencies he promised to abolish — memorably concluding with “oops.” Now Donald Trump has chosen the former Texas governor to lead the sprawling department, which oversees the security of the nation’s nuclear weapons and has played major roles in President Barack Obama’s climate agenda and nuclear deal with Iran.

► In today’s NY Times — Veterans groups urge Trump to keep Obama’s VA secretary — The nation’s largest veterans groups are urging President-elect Donald J. Trump to keep President Obama’s secretary of veterans affairs, Robert A. McDonald, out of concern that his rumored candidates’ inexperience and ideological leanings could cripple the massive veterans health care system.

puzder-andy► From Politico — The hidden powers Andy Puzder would hold at the Department of Labor — Puzder’s power would be expansive, touching on every corner of the economy. The decisions and priorities of the labor secretary—from overseeing jobless benefits to administering visa programs to enforcing labor laws—filter down through the department, affecting state and local workforce agencies and the 150 million workers in the United States.

► From Huffington Post — Trump’s Labor pick should know worker safety laws. His company’s been fined for breaking them. — Several Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. locations have been investigated and cited by the Labor Department for not paying workers what they’re owed during Puzder’s time at the helm of CKE. The company and its franchisees apparently have plenty of experience dealing with workplace safety fines as well, according to a review of OSHA inspection records.

► From Yahoo Finance — Trump’s choice for Labor is under fire from the left – and the right — The right-wing news site Breitbart is attacking the Puzder nomination because it sees him as soft on immigration.

cash-black-hole► In the NY Times — Corporate welfare won’t create jobs (by Frank Clemente) — Companies like United Technologies/Carrier are delighted to receive handouts like Trump’s proposed tax giveaway that independent analysts say will cost about $6.2 trillion in lost federal revenues over a decade, and which mostly benefits large corporations and the wealthy. But lowering corporate taxes won’t prompt firms to create American jobs. Instead, we need to close a major tax loophole that actually creates an incentive for multinationals to shift jobs offshore, even as it substantially lowers taxes for them. That loophole, known as deferral, lets corporations avoid paying any United States taxes on their offshore profits until they are brought back here.




► From The Hill — State revenue growth slows, sparking fear of recession — State tax revenue growth slowed in the first several months of the new fiscal year, forcing legislators and budget officials in states across the country to slash projections and spending plans while raising concerns that the next economic recession is just around the corner.

► In the N.H. Union-Leader — Right-to-work legislation changes considered for NH — Republican Gov.-elect Chris Sununu said he’s “fairly” confident the Legislature will pass a right-to-work bill in 2017 that he will sign, but it’s too early to say whether it will include unions representing public — as well as private-sector — union members.

UAW► In the NY Times — Columbia graduate students vote overwhelmingly to unionize — The union will be the first to represent graduate students since the NLRB ruled in August that students who work as teaching and research assistants have a federal right to unionize. The vote to unionize was 1,602 to 623, according to the UAW, which will now represent some 3,500 Columbia graduate students.

► In the Washington Post — Contract workers at National, Dulles airports vote to strike — Contract workers at Dulles International and Reagan National airports will walk off their jobs sometime this month, joining a growing number of workers across the country staging strikes as part of a national push for better working conditions and a $15-an-hour “living wage.”

► From The Guardian — Amazon accused of ‘intolerable conditions’ at Scottish warehouse — Amazon has been accused of creating “intolerable working conditions” after allegations that workers have been penalized for sick days and that some are camping near one of its warehouses to save money commuting to work.

jones-chuck-usw► From Daily Kos — Chuck Jones is not a ‘union boss’ (by Berry Craig) — Memo to the media: Chuck Jones is president of United Steelworkers Local 1999 at the Carrier factory in Indianapolis. He’s not a “union boss.” “Union boss” implies a shady character who wields arbitrary and unchecked power over the “bossed.” By calling an elected union leader “union boss” (all union leaders are elected, from shop stewards to international presidents), union-haters want Jane and John Q Citizen to envision some mythical, paunchy, bald-headed, cigar-puffing guy in a tailor-made suit with his Salvatore Ferragamo-shod feet propped on a big desk piled with cash he bilked from the poor, unsuspecting membership.


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