Business

Northwest Farmers
2:35 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Washington Farmers Expecting Third Largest Cherry Crop Ever This Season

Northwest sweet cherry growers say they'll likely pick 20 million boxes full — their third largest haul ever — this season. But there’s plenty that can happen to cherries before then, even on the day of harvest.

Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah grow about two-thirds of the nation’s sweet cherries. And this year, demand should be even higher for those candy-like fruit as a result of the dismal cherry growing weather in California. The continuing drought in that state and poor pollination has thinned out their crops. 

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Cruise Ship Season
8:00 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Large Cruise Ships Call On Small Northwest Ports To Fill Out Itineraries

FILE - A cruise ship sits moored at a pier in downtown Seattle Friday, April 15, 2011.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Cruise season has begun in the Pacific Northwest with the arrival of gleaming cruise ships. They'll be steaming back and forth to Alaska all summer from Vancouver, B.C. and Seattle. At the beginning and end of the cruise season, those large cruise ships also call on smaller Northwest ports such as Astoria, Port Angeles and Nanaimo, B.C.

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Machinists Union
12:08 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Machinists Union Leaders Keep Their Posts After Rare Contested Election

FILE - Tom Buffenbarger speaks to Boeing Co. workers Wednesday, July 16, 2008, at a strike sanction rally in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

After a rare contested election, the incumbents have retained their posts at the top of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

International President Tom Buffenbarger kept the position he’s held since 1997 by a margin of two-to-one, according to preliminary results. About 23,500 members voted for Buffenbarger, and about 11,200 voted for IAM Reform candidate, Jay Cronk.

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Northwest Farmers
5:01 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Fewer Northwest Farms, But They’re Bigger And More Valuable

The number of farms in the Northwest is dropping, according to newly-released federal farm data.

But there's more to the story. The average size and value of Northwest farms are going up.

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Minimum Wage
5:00 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Seattle's $15 Minimum Wage Plan: Eye-Catching, But Don't Forget Inflation

Seattle workers at small businesses would earn $15 an hour in 2021 under Mayor Ed Murray's plan, but that number isn't adjusted for inflation
Andy Ciordia

Seattle City Council members are digging into the details of Mayor Ed Murray’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. That’s an eye-catching number that’s garnered national attention, but it's easy to forget the impact of that pesky thing known as inflation.

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Business
3:52 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Amazon Introduces Twitter Service

Paul Sakuma AP Photo

Amazon wants to make shopping online as easy as a tweet.

The online retailer is introducing a service that lets Twitter users add Amazon.com products to their carts without leaving the social media site.

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Labor Unions
3:04 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Longtime Union Organizer Says Machinists' Reform Push Is A Hopeful Sign For Labor

Machinists and supporters rally against a contract vote in January 2014
Elaine Thompson/AP Photo

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Business
12:38 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Amid Minimum Wage Debate, Alaska Air Gives Contractors A Raise To $12 An Hour

In this Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 photo, wheelchair attendants Erick Conley, left, and Sesilia Vaitele assist a pair of passengers heading to an overseas flight at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, in SeaTac, Wash.
Elaine Thompson/AP Photo

Against the backdrop of a minimum wage debate occurring both locally and nationally, Alaska Air says it’s boosting the starting pay for workers who handle baggage, clean cabins and refuel airplanes to $12 an hour.

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Better Baseball Bat?
11:00 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Axe Bat Wins Converts, But Has To Overcome Baseball Traditionalists

Axe Bat on top versus traditional bat at bottom.
Tom Banse

A family-owned sporting goods company in suburban Seattle is confronting the tension between honoring tradition and embracing innovation in the sport of baseball.

The company is going to market with what it calls a "better" baseball bat.

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Minimum Wage
2:54 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Seattle Mayor Murray's Minimum Wage Plan Reveals An Interesting Divide On The Left

AP Photo

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's incremental approach to raising the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour has revealed an interesting divide among left-wing groups and worker interests.

In one corner is David Rolf, a national leader in the Service Employees International Union and president of SEIU Healthcare 775NW. He's come out strongly in favor of Murray's plan, under which workers at businesses with more than 500 employees would first start earning $15 an hour in 2017 at the earliest. 

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Northwest Farmers
9:00 am
Wed April 30, 2014

High Prices Of Milk And Beef Spur A Northwest Cattle Rush

Dean Hibbs, with All West Select Sires, could be called the date doctor for dairy and beef cows. He’s tallying their traits and seeing which bull might be the best match to produce the highest-quality dairy calf in Sunnyside, Washington.
Anna King

We’ve all heard of the Western Gold Rush. But how about the Northwest cattle rush?

Farmers in our region are taking advantage of record prices worldwide for dairy and beef. And on the front lines of this Northwest herd expansion is your friendly artificial insemination technician. So when you douse milk on your morning cereal, think of guys like Dean Hibbs.

Hibbs has been on breakneck drive to breed more cattle and hasn’t had a day off in weeks. He says cows in heat wait for no man.

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Coffee Industry
5:00 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Coffee Farmers: Why An Extra 20 Cents Per Pound Of Coffee Matters

From left to right, coffee farm workers Norman Gonzalez, Elio Machado, Marcos Camilo and Erwin Ochoa are seen.
Ashley Gross

Marcos Camilo of Brazil had never been on a plane before he flew to Seattle this past weekend. In fact, he’d never even seen the ocean. Now he’s seen the Pacific — something he never imagined.

Camilo was one of thousands of people from the coffee industry who convened at a conference to discuss a variety of topics, from roasting techniques to latte art. He was one of four farm workers from Central and South America joined them to pitch the benefits of buying beans that are Fair Trade-certified.

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Business
2:25 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Alaska Air CEO 'Confident' As Delta Spreads Wings On Home Turf

Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air announced strong earnings for the first quarter of the year on Friday.

The airline group's CEO said he expects good results for the rest of 2014 as well, notwithstanding growing competition from Delta Air Lines on Alaska's home turf. Delta is dramatically ramping up its Seattle operations to build a new hub city oriented toward the Pacific Rim. 

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Minimum Wage
3:52 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Murray: No Committee Consensus Yet On Seattle's $15 Minimum Wage Proposal

AP Photo

The committee exploring the proposal to raise Seattle’s minimum wage to $15 has not reached a consensus, Mayor Ed Murray said Thursday.

Murray, who had called a news conference to unveil a plan for raising the minimum wage, said the Income Inequality Advisory Committee had not yet reached a firm agreement. He added the negotiations are ongoing.

“I’d rather get it late and get it right than rush it and get it wrong,” he said.

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Business
10:47 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Boeing CEO: Moving Engineering Jobs Out Of Wash. Will 'Strengthen Our Company'

A 777 being assembled in Boeing's Everett plant
Ashley Gross KPLU

Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney says he understands that shifting engineering work away from Washington state may be controversial, but he says these moves “strengthen our company, strengthen our engineering capability.”

Over the past year, the Chicago-based aerospace giant has announced several transfers of engineering jobs that affect thousands of Puget Sound-area employees. Most recently, the company said earlier this month that it will move 1,000 engineering positions to southern California as it makes that region the center of customer support for airplanes currently in service.

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