No deal in P.A. | Let’s save Boeing together | Wage theft victims wait

Monday, April 8, 2024




► From the Peninsula Daily News — No deal: Port Angeles Paraeducators Association to strike — The union representing paraeducators will go on strike Monday — what would have been the first day of classes after spring break — after bargaining for six hours on Sunday and failing to reach an agreement on a new contract with the Port Angeles School District. The union bargaining team was prepared to continue negotiating Sunday, but district representatives notified them just after 5 p.m. that they were done for the day. The two sides will return to the bargaining table at 8 a.m. Monday.

TODAY at The STAND — Port Angeles Paraeducators on strike Monday — School district fails to reach a deal on a new contract with paraeducators. “Paras really want to be in school,” said PAPEA President Rebecca Winters, who is a paraeducator at Hamilton Elementary. “Unfortunately, the district refuses to settle a fair contract.”

► From The STAND — We’re NOT disposable! 1,000 electricians may strike! — UPDATE (April 8, 2024) — More than 1,000 Limited Energy Electricians represented by IBEW Local 46 in the Puget Sound area are taking a strike authorization vote on Sunday and Monday. Stay tuned to The STAND for the results of that vote and any other developments.

► From KNKX — Guaranteed income programs in Washington continue to see positive results — A recent report studying the impact of a $500 stipend over 10 months showed King County participants’ employment nearly doubled and financial stability increased.




► MUST-READ from the Seattle Times — Boeing’s long fall, and how it might recover — The intense backlash against Boeing after the near catastrophe aboard an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX in January wasn’t a reaction to an isolated manufacturing error but to a yearslong decline of safety standards… Any recovery relies on Boeing’s employees believing the company has a future and pulling together to achieve it. Data compiled by a company engineer shows a serious drop in Boeing salaries relative to inflation and the general rise of salaries in the Seattle region, a decline confirmed by SPEEA. The increased cost of raising salaries can hit the share price. Still, Boeing will certainly have to raise wages significantly for the blue-collar Machinists to avoid a strike when their contract expires in September. “Boeing has to give the IAM just about everything they ask for,” said a former senior Boeing executive. “You’ve got to get the IAM on your side.” Richard Aboulafia, industry analyst with AeroDynamic Advisory, agrees, saying management should approach the Machinist negotiations with a genuine sense of mutual interest:

“Let’s save the company together.”

To convince employees they have a personal stake in the company’s future, there are two expansive gestures Boeing’s leaders could make near term. The first: Move Boeing’s headquarters back to Seattle. The second: An advance commitment from Boeing to build that next all-new jet in its Puget Sound region factories, with significant secondary work allocated to North Charleston, S.C.

► From the Seattle Times — Despite a host of problems, Boeing’s CEO got $23.6 million last year — Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun, who announced last week he’ll step down later this year, received compensation last year currently worth $23.6 million, according to a calculation based on data in a federal filing released Friday. That’s despite Boeing’s $2.2 billion loss in 2023, a year bedeviled by repeated production halts due to quality issues in the Commercial Airplanes division and major write-offs and delays in the Defense and Space unit.

► From the Seattle Times — FAA’s ‘cozy’ relationship with Boeing at issue again after Alaska Air blowout — Following the crashes of two 737 MAX jets that left more than 300 people dead and Boeing’s reputation for safety in tatters, Congress held probing hearings that unmasked limp and malleable federal oversight of how American planes are built. Years have passed since his committee issued that report, but former U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio says the government still hasn’t solved its Boeing problem.

► From Reuters — Loss of engine cover on Southwest Boeing 737-800 prompts FAA probe

► From Reuters — Spirit Airlines to defer Airbus deliveries, furlough 260 pilots




► From the Seattle Times — Wage theft victims are owed $5.4 million that WA hasn’t collected — More than 1,800 Washington workers across all industries are waiting for wages. Since 2018, L&I has failed to collect $5.4 million from employers that the agency itself says is owed to workers, a Seattle Times analysis of the agency’s collections data found. In most cases where L&I finds workers are owed money, business owners settle and pay up before entering the collections process. But for cases the agency escalates to its collections unit, its success rate has plummeted so sharply that in December, it reported to the Legislature that last year it collected nothing — zero dollars — for workers.

► From the Seattle Times — WA unemployment program still struggling, 4 years after COVID — While the number of Washingtonians filing jobless claims — around 5,000 a week — has long since dropped to pre-COVID levels, many applicants are still seeing pandemiclike problems. Since the start of the year, just 62% of Washington applicants got their first benefit payment within three weeks. That “timeliness” rate is not only below the U.S. average of 79% — it also lags the 91% average Washington boasted in the decade before COVID, according to U.S. Labor Department data.

► From the Seattle Times — Why a WA cop group holding a MAGA member to account is a big deal (by Danny Westneat) — The move last week by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs to start expulsion proceedings against former GOP governor and congressional candidate Loren Culp feels like a long overdue cultural moment… The only way this race to the bottom is going to stop, either locally or nationally, is if associates, colleagues and fellow travelers finally say enough. It doesn’t make a ripple anymore for someone like me to denounce Culp for his lynching comments, or for calling a woman in public office a female dog. Just as with Trump, it’s got to come from his own. There’s got to be some cost, some price paid, some accountability. And it has to come from within.




► From the Washington State Standard — The IRS is testing a free method to directly file taxes. But not everyone is thrilled. — Opponents argue the government Direct File program is a waste of resources and will snag business from professional tax preparers.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The “opponents” are the tax-preparing corporations and the elected officials who are their advocates.

From The STAND (Mar. 13)Washingtonians: File taxes for free with IRS Direct File — Made possible by Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, this new service is already saving taxpayers hundreds of dollars.

► From the Hill — Biden announces new student debt relief plan for millions of borrowers — The proposed plans would largely affect those with “runaway interest,” as well as borrowers who have been paying on loans for 20 years, qualify for forgiveness under income-driven repayment plans and those experiencing hardship.

► From the AP — U.S. will push China to change a policy threatening American jobs, Treasury Secretary Yellen says — The focus of her trip was industrial policy, and what the U.S. and Europe describe as manufacturing overcapacity in China. Wealthy nations fear a wave of low-priced Chinese exports that will overwhelm factories at home.




► From the AP — Two years after its historic win, a divided Amazon Labor Union lurches toward a leadership election — Two years after clenching a historic victory at a warehouse in New York City, the first labor union for Amazon workers in the United States is divided, running out of money and fighting over an election that could determine who will lead the group in the near future.

► From Cal Matters — They work 80 hours a week for low pay. Now, California’s early-career doctors are joining unions — In some California hospitals, early-career doctors make as little as $16 per hour working 80-hour weeks. It’s training, known as residency, that every board-certified doctor must complete. The grueling schedules for little pay have been contentious in medicine for decades, and they’re increasingly driving medical residents to form unions.

READY FOR A VOICE AT WORK? Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate for better wages and working conditions. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!


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

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