Friday, February 1, 2019
► In today’s Seattle Times — For the first time in six years, Boeing employment grows — In 2018, Boeing added almost 4,000 jobs in Washington state and nearly 9,000 companywide, the aerospace giant’s first employment increase in six years. This uptick follows five straight years of employment declines. In Washington state, Boeing shed more than 6,000 jobs in 2017 and more than 7,300 in 2016.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing’s move toward fewer inspectors is questioned following quality control audit — In the last quarter of 2018, Boeing failed one element of its quality control audit on the 747, 767 and 777 legacy airplane programs in Everett, a setback in its plan to shift its quality system to one that relies on fewer inspectors overseeing the work of mechanics.
► In the Charleston Post and Courier — Boeing ‘well into’ 787 Dreamliner ramp-up in North Charleston, Washington state — Boeing Co. is moving its 787 assembly lines at a faster pace in anticipation of building more of the wide-bodies during the second quarter of 2019, executives said. Work to meet the new output rate, including hiring hundreds of workers and getting suppliers up to speed, began last year and accelerated in January.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — The Spokane City Council wants you to support tax to maintain 30 firefighters and hire 20 new police officers. The mayor doesn’t. — Spokane voters will decide on a $5.8 million-a-year levy to pay for firefighters and police, a tax that six of the seven members of the City Council support but Spokane’s mayor opposes. Citing slower growth in sales tax collections, City Council President Ben Stuckart said the city may not be able to continue budgeting for 10 new police officers a year without a new tax. He said the area could be heading for an economic slowdown and there might not be extra money to invest in public safety. If the levy passes, 30 of 48 firefighters hired through a two-year Homeland Security grant will be able to keep their jobs.
► From Crosscut — Seattle educators hope voters will open their wallets to fix frigid, overcrowded schools — Six years after the McCleary case compelled state legislators to reform funding for public education, Seattle Public Schools risks losing nearly a fifth of its operating budget if the levies don’t pass.
FROM The Calendar at The Stand — MLK Labor is urging all union members of quality public schools to a neighborhood canvass to tell fellow union members why we’re voting YES on the Seattle Public Schools Levies. It will be Saturday, Feb. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meet at SEIU 925 (1914 N 34th St, Seattle). Get details.
► In today’s News Tribune — Say yes to school bonds in Peninsula, Bethel and Yelm – and no to unfair state supermajority law (editorial) — We strongly urge Peninsula, Bethel and Yelm residents to support their schools on Feb. 12. But it’s inexcusable that the majority of voters in those communities keep getting thwarted by the state’s repressive supermajority barrier.
► From The Stranger — Senator cuts controversial bill that would impact hairstylists — After outcry and organizing, the bill in the State Senate that would jeopardize independent hairdressers and stylists is dead… Susie Powers, a stylist in Seattle, expressed joy that the bill was defeated. But, she followed up a triumphant “woohoo” with a word of caution: “Now we watch for 1515 and 1513.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — HB 1515 and SB 5513 are bills strongly supported by the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO that would clarify and simplify who can be considered “independent contractors.” When the hairstylists came to Olympia to oppose a different bill (which now dead), business lobbyists who oppose HB 1515/SB 5513 told them that these bills were also a threat to their livelihoods. They are not. Business lobbyists even printed up T-shirts for the hairstylists that expressed opposition to all three bills.
The truth is HB 1515/SB 5513 acknowledges that some workers choose to work as independent contractors by renting booths in a salon or a barbershop, or by selling products to friends and family from their home. SB 5513/HB 1515 ensures they could continue to do so. The legislation explicitly carves out their arrangements as legal, as it does for people who work independently selling products from Mary Kay, Avon, Vector, Rodan+Fields, and other network marketing companies. Under the bills, the classifications of such workers as independent contractors would stay the same.
SB 5513/HB 1515 specifically addresses workers who are wrongly classified as independent and therefore have the worst of both worlds. They lack the freedom to set their own rates and choose their own customers that is the hallmark of a truly independent business. But they also lack access to the rights and benefits traditionally associated with employment. SB 5513/HB 1515 would give workers who don’t want to be independent contractors a way to appeal that misclassification.
► From AP — Cleanup estimate for Hanford nuclear site increases by $82B — The Hanford nuclear site in Washington state became contaminated following the production of about two-thirds of the country’s plutonium for nuclear weapons programs. A new estimate puts the cost of remaining cleanup efforts at $242 billion, which is $82 billion more than previously thought.
► In the Amsterdam News — Government reopens, but federal workers won’t forget — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he’s glad the shutdown is over, but he isn’t giving the president credit for it. According to Trumka, the president was forced to give in and capitulate to the people… “This fight is far from over,” he said. “Federal workers urgently need their back pay distributed; in the case of federal contractors, they still need it to be authorized. And both deserve a long-term funding bill—not one that leaves them hanging with just a single guaranteed paycheck.”
► From Politico — Pelosi says no wall funding in border security deal — Speaker Nancy Pelosi has drawn a firm line in the ongoing border security negotiations: There will be no wall funding in any deal congressional negotiators reach to avert another government shutdown.
► In the NY Times — Trump, in interview, calls wall talks ‘waste of time’ — A defiant President Trump declared on Thursday that he has all but given up on negotiating with Congress over his border wall and will build it on his own. He made no mention of closing the government again, a move that backfired on him, but instead suggested he plans to declare a national emergency to build the wall.
► From Politico — How the presidency became a billionaire’s ultimate prize — Compared to the professional presidential candidates who have achieved maximum political socialization by running for city councils, working in state legislatures or other governments, or serving in Congress, the billionaire candidate stands as a loner, somebody who has gotten good at balancing at the top of the hierarchy and barking orders to underlings. This is the strongest case against a billionaire chief executive (and a flaw apparent every day in Trump): He fancies himself a king whose powers know no limits.
► From Business Insider — A minimum-wage worker needs 1.5 jobs just to afford half the rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in most of the U.S. — A minimum-wage worker needs 2.5 full-time jobs to afford a one-bedroom apartment in most of the US, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) annual report. But that’s nothing compared to how many jobs they’d have to work to afford a two-bedroom rental apartment in most of the US — three.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Get paid. Get a union! Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!
► From the AP — Foxconn factory jobs touted by Trump will not come to pass — The much-ballyhooed facility was heralded by Trump and then-Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to return manufacturing to the Midwest and the United States. Now the plan no longer includes manufacturing.
► Singer-songwriter Ben Rector, who grew up in Tulsa, Okla., had a great idea for a video about old friends. (Rector will perform on April 16 at Seattle’s Moore Theater.) Enjoy!
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.