Thursday, March 14, 2019
► In today’s Seattle Times — FAA grounds Boeing’s 737 MAX, says doomed flights ‘behaved very similarly’ — The similarities “warrant further investigation of the possibility of a shared cause for the two incidents,” acting FAA Daniel Elwell said in an emergency order grounding the MAX 8 and MAX 9 models. Boeing issued a statement saying it is ”supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution.”
► In the Dallas Morning News — Several Boeing 737 Max 8 pilots in U.S. complained about suspected safety flaw — Pilots repeatedly voiced safety concerns about the Boeing 737 Max 8 to federal authorities, with one captain calling the flight manual “inadequate and almost criminally insufficient” several months before Sunday’s Ethiopian Air crash that killed 157 people, an investigation by The Dallas Morning News found.
► In today’s Washington Post — At tense meeting with Boeing executives, pilots fumed about being left in dark on plane software — Boeing executives sat down last November with pilots at the Allied Pilots Association’s low-slung brick headquarters in Fort Worth. Tensions were running high. One of Boeing’s new jets — hailed by the company as an even more reliable version of Boeing’s stalwart 737 — had crashed into the ocean off Indonesia shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board the flight operated by Lion Air. After the crash, Boeing issued a bulletin disclosing that this line of planes, known as the 737 Max 8, was equipped with a new type of software as part of the plane’s automated functions. Some pilots were furious that they were not told about the new software when the plane was unveiled. Dennis Tajer, a 737 captain who attended the meeting with Boeing executives, recalled, “They said, ‘Look, we didn’t include it because we have a lot of people flying on this and we didn’t want to inundate you with information.’ ” “I’m certain I did say, ‘Well that’s not acceptable,’ ” said Tajer, a leader in the association representing American Airlines pilots.
► In today’s Seattle Times — 737 MAX crashes make it the most troubled airliner debut in modern aviation — You have to go back many decades to find the introduction of a commercial aircraft that has involved such a staggering loss of life, or has raised such uncertainties.
► MUST-READ from Leeham News — Boeing’s Tylenol moment and the need for radical transparency (by Judson Rollins) — Boeing has long been known for a secretive, buttoned-up culture that rarely admits bad news. Following the Lion Air accident, Boeing essentially blamed the pilots – causing the CEO of the airline to threaten to cancel orders for more than 150 MAXes. For an example of how to manage a full-blown crisis of confidence, Boeing would do well to look at how US consumer giant Johnson & Johnson managed a 1982 scandal involving its market-leading Tylenol painkiller… It is time for management to put a full-scale effort into restoring trust in the company’s products and approach to safety issues. The top priority should be full public disclosure of all known problems with MCAS and AOA sensors to regulators, operators, pilots … and yes, even the traveling public.
► From Politico — America last: How Trump followed the world in grounding Boeing’s plane — The fact that Trump made Wednesday’s announcement, stepping in front of an FAA statement that came out shortly after, was surprising to some who have been involved with similar situations. Southwest Airlines, the nation’s biggest user of 737 MAX jets, initially expressed puzzlement about Trump’s announcement.
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump wanted his personal pilot to head the FAA. The critical job is still vacant amid Boeing fallout.
► From Politico — Boeing’s congressional base frays under pressure
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Health care measures pass legislative hurdles before deadline — Washington would study whether to develop a universal health care system and its largest university would study whether to develop a special program for mental health under bills lawmakers approved at a key deadline Wednesday. The Senate approved a plan to set up a “work group” that includes business, labor, and members of the medical community and the general public to try designing a government-run health care system available to all residents. If approved by the House and signed by the governor, the group would draft a preliminary report by Nov. 15 and full recommendations a year later.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Showdown on Inslee’s clean air rule reaches state Supreme Court — In December 2017, a Thurston County judge found that Inslee’s sweeping rewrite of the state’s clean air rules went too far and blocked the rule from taking effect. On March 19, the content of the rule and the breadth of Inslee’s executive authority will be considered by the state Supreme Court.
► In today’s (Aberdeen) Daily World — District Court employees have positions reclassified, get raises — Eight Grays Harbor District Court employees (AFSCME) who had topped out their pay ranges will get raises as their jobs were reclassified to reflect their growing workloads and additional duties added over the years.
► From UCOMM Blog — Trump: Decertify your railroad union — The National Mediation Board , which is stacked with Trump appointees, is looking to create a new rule that would make it easier for employees that are covered under the Railway Labor Act of 1926 to destroy their union. According to Bloomberg, unions that are covered under the RLA have been submitting comments opposing the measure and are preparing to sue if the new rule takes effect. Larry Willis, president of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department, said the rule is “a solution in search of a problem.”
► From The Hill — Senate to rebuke Trump on wall — The GOP-controlled Senate is poised to pass a Democratic resolution Thursday blocking Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build a wall on the Mexican border. Talks within the GOP conference to avoid an embarrassing rebuke for Trump collapsed Wednesday.
► From Politico — ‘Extraordinary’: GOP heads for unprecedented clash with Trump — After more than two years of keeping his veto pen capped, Trump is going to have to put it to use — twice — courtesy of Republicans. In a remarkable bit of timing, the Senate will hold two votes this week placing GOP senators at odds with the president on foreign and domestic policy, likely forcing the first vetoes of his presidency.
► In today’s Washington Post — Labor opposition to Green New Deal could be a big obstacle — In a letter to the Green New Deal’s authors Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the AFL-CIO warned that the resolution could harm U.S. workers and “is not achievable or realistic.” Members of the AFL-CIO’s Energy Committee — UMW President Cecil Roberts and IBEW President Lonnie Stephenson — said they could not support a proposal that did not address their concerns. “We will not stand by and allow threats to our members’ jobs and their families’ standard of living go unanswered,” they reportedly wrote.
► From HuffPost — OSHA attrition under Trump is leading to lax safety enforcement, analysis finds — The National Employment Law Project said staffing and inspection data show the OSHA has “dramatically reduced” its pursuit of complex cases that typically lead to big fines. That, the group argues, indicates the agency is being less proactive in enforcing the law and keeping workers safe. “The Trump administration is scaling back OSHA enforcement activity, putting workers’ lives at risk and undercutting businesses that play by the rules and prioritize worker safety,” the report asserted.
► From Vox — The legal fight over the Trump administration’s most aggressive play to cut Medicaid, explained — Medicaid work requirements will be in federal court on Thursday, as conservative Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and the Trump administration argue they should be allowed to tie poor people’s health insurance to work requirements or other “community engagement.” The underlying case hinges on a pretty simple argument: Does requiring Medicaid recipients to work to receive benefits further the program’s goals? Many advocates, who argue that Medicaid is first and foremost a health insurance program, believe that work requirements are contrary to Medicaid’s purpose if they cut people’s access to health care.
► In today’s SF Examiner — Cheers! Anchor Brewing workers vote to approve union — Raise your glasses, San Francisco — Anchor Brewing Company’s workers just voted to unionize. The 123-year-old brewing company’s fermenters, rackers, office workers, and more will join San Francisco’s tradition as a union town when their vote is certified in just ten days, officially making the roughly 60 workers members of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union.
EDITOR’S NOTE — You, too, can raise a glass to better wages and working conditions. Form 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!
► In today’s Washington Post — Nooses, Confederate flags and monkey imagery: 19 black UPS workers say company ‘encouraged a culture of racism’ — Nearly 20 current and former UPS workers sued the package delivery company Wednesday, alleging it “enabled, tolerated, and purposefully promoted and encouraged a culture of racism and racially discriminatory conduct to take root” at a distribution center in Maumee, Ohio.
► In today’s NY Times — ‘What does it take?’ Admissions scandal is a harsh lesson in racial disparities. — “It’s frustrating that people are able to obtain their opportunities this way,” said Khiana Jackson, 17. “We can put in work from fifth grade to 12th grade, every single day, come in early, leave late, and it’s still not enough.”
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.