Business

Helping Hand
5:00 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Catholic Seafarers' Center Provides A Lifeline To Sailors During Their Hours In Seattle

Father Tony Haycock of the Catholic Seafarers' Center demonstrates the kind of engine order telegraph found on ships.
Justin Steyer KPLU

These days, Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood is dominated by wine bars and night clubs. But on one block of First Avenue, there’s a living reminder of the city’s dependence on the waterfront. Outside a two-story corner building, a few doors down from a Starbucks, is a vertical sign that reads "Catholic Seamen’s Club."  

These days, the place is known as the Catholic Seafarers’ Center and it’s run by the Archdiocese of Seattle. But for decades, the center has provided a lifeline to sailors, whether they’re here for just a few hours or months.

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Minimum Wage
5:12 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Alaska Air CEO: SeaTac Ordinance The Wrong Way To Tackle Income Inequality

FILE - Brad Tilden, center, CEO of Alaska Airlines, is flanked by two pilots on Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Seattle-based Alaska Air Group, which has fought a local living-wage ordinance, concedes that low-wage workers may need a raise, but the company's CEO doesn't think SeaTac's initiative is the answer.

About 4,700 workers at Sea-Tac International Airport were hoping to get a bump to $15 an hour at the beginning of this year. But a judge has blocked that voter-passed ordinance from taking effect at the airport.

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Boeing Incentives
2:01 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Boeing To Throw Party To Thank Lawmakers For Tax Incentives

File - In this Nov. 11, 2013 file photo Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, center, adjusts his glasses as he prepares to sign legislation in Seattle to help keep production of Boeing's new 777X in Washington.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Boeing lobbyists are throwing a "thank you" party for lawmakers who helped provide the company with billions in tax breaks.

An invitation obtained by The Associated Press shows Boeing executives will host a reception for lawmakers on Tuesday evening. The event will take place at a house across the street from the Capitol campus and is slated to thank lawmakers for their efforts on the 777X airplane talks.

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Business
2:26 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Longtime Microsoft Executive Satya Nadella Likely To Become Software Giant’s Next CEO

Multiple news reports say Microsoft is likely to choose company veteran Satya Nadella its next CEO, ending a very public search that’s taken almost half a year. 

A Microsoft spokeswoman declined to confirm the reports, but if Nadella does take the reins from Steve Ballmer, he’ll become only the third CEO in the company’s 39-year history.

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Business
12:56 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Battered Coastal Paper Mill Now Closed For Good, Faces Demolition

Harbor Paper in Hoquiam reopened in October of 2012 only to close a few months later.
Austin Jenkins

 

A paper mill in Hoquiam has had its share of ups and downs over the past seven years.

It was a major employer and once even referred to as the “greenest” paper mill in the country. It was also a symbol for Grays Harbor County’s effort to reinvent itself after the timber market collapsed.

But now the mill is closed for good.

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Microsoft
9:19 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Reports: Insider Satya Nadella Likely To Be Microsoft's CEO

Satya Nadella, who's reportedly in line to be Microsoft's next CEO.
Stephen Brashear AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 10:15 am

The nearly six-month-long search for Microsoft's next CEO is nearing an end, and news reports indicate it's likely the technology giant will turn to Satya Nadella, executive vice president of its Cloud and Enterprise group, to lead the company.

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Refinery Explosion
2:34 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Feds Find Culture Of 'Complacency' At Tesoro Before Deadly Refinery Fire

This screen capture from CSB's animation shows the location of the explosion.
Chemical Safety Board

A culture of complacency at Tesoro’s Anacortes refinery led to the deadly fireball that claimed the lives of seven workers in 2010, according to federal investigators who've spent almost four years examining the causes.

The equipment that exploded in the early hours of April 2, 2010 had developed leaks that the company knew about. The carbon steel tubing of the equipment had been weakened over time by hydrogen and that had caused cracks. 

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Growth & Development
4:09 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Tri-Cities Boost: New Energy Laboratory, Growing Environmental Cleanup

A new 22,000-square-foot energy research lab will break ground in the spring. It’s part of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland.
Courtesy of Meier Architecture Engineering

Southeast Washington is getting an economic boost. Two announcements made Wednesday are expected to lead to new jobs in the area. 

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is building a $10 million facility in north Richland, near the rest of the lab’s campus. The facility will house research on the power grid's reliability, renewable energy and greater energy efficiency in buildings.

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Boeing Machinists
1:47 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Boeing CEO Says It’s Time To Rebuild Relationship With Machinists

File image
AP Photo

(Corrects to clarify that the agreement the machinists passed phases out the pension over time  and replaces it with a company-funded 401(k) retirement plan.)

Boeing's Chief Executive Jim McNerney says he’s looking forward to the prospect of no strikes for the next decade by Washington state machinists. McNerney told Wall Street analysts it made the most sense to build the next version of the 777 jet in the Puget Sound region, as long as the workers accepted the company’s contract extension offer.

Machinists narrowly approved the deal that preserves job security but phases out their pension and replaces it with a 401(k) retirement plan. McNerney says his deputy, Ray Conner, is now trying to improve morale in the wake of the vote.

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Business
5:00 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Bill Would Make Washington The First State To Mandate Paid Vacation Days

Credit Camping on West Maui. / Felix Ruess

About one out of four American workers gets no paid vacation time, and the U.S. is the only industrialized country that doesn’t guarantee that workers receive some. Now lawmakers in Olympia are considering a bill that would make Washington the first state in the country to mandate that employers provide paid vacation days.

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Business
1:39 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Microsoft Earnings And Revenue Climb, Still No CEO Announcement

Wally Santana AP Photo

In the face of a steadily declining market for personal computers, Microsoft succeeded in boosting both revenue and profit in the most recent quarter, coming in ahead of analyst estimates. 

Sales climbed 14 percent to $24.5 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31, and net income rose 2.8 percent to $6.6 billion, or 78 cents a share. The consensus estimate of analysts was 69 cents a share, according to Bloomberg. 

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Jobless Rate
12:27 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

State Unemployment Rate Lowest In 5 Years

FILE - A woman looks over a job information sheet Tuesday, June 16, 2009, at a job fair in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

The unemployment rate in Washington state has fallen to the lowest level in five years.

New numbers for December from the state Employment Department peg the current jobless rate at 6.6 percent. The figure hasn’t dipped lower since November 2008.

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Machinists Union
5:00 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Reform Candidates Try To Dislodge Top Leaders Of The Machinists Union

Machinists are seen rallying against Boeing's contract extension offer.
Ashley Gross KPLU

The contentious Boeing contract extension offer that machinists narrowly passed earlier this month left many workers unhappy with their union leaders. This Saturday, they’ll have a chance to nominate new candidates for top positions in the union’s national headquarters. 

But the reform candidates face an uphill battle in their effort to dislodge the top leaders. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers hasn’t had a contested election for its highest jobs in more than half a century.

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Business
5:01 am
Tue January 21, 2014

NLRB Once Again Caught In The Middle Of A Thorny Boeing-Machinists Dispute

Boeing machinist Eddie Bjorgo greets fellow workers heading to a union hall to cast ballots with signs urging a "no" vote Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Everett, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

The National Labor Relations Board once again is being called into the middle of a thorny dispute between machinists and the Boeing Company. Could the agency find itself in as much political hot water this time as three years ago?

2011 is the year the NLRB exploded onto the national consciousness, all because the agency’s general counsel filed a complaint against Boeing over its decision to build a Dreamliner plant in South Carolina. That drew heated responses from many political conservatives.

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Business
4:31 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Economist: 'We Owe 51 Percent Of The Boeing Machinists A Big Thank You'

A worker wiring a plane in Boeing's Everett facility
Ashley Gross KPLU

Regional economist Dick Conway says even though we have lots of big, vibrant companies in the Puget Sound area these days, our economy still rises and falls with the fortunes of one, a certain aerospace giant.

And that's why he says it's so critical that Boeing's 777x jet will be built in Washington state after members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers voted narrowly to accept a contract extension. They agreed to cuts in hard-fought retirement and health benefits to preserve those jobs. 

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