Business

Business
8:47 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Embattled Local Leader Of The Machinists Union Announces Resignation

Machinists union president Tom Wroblewski speak at a signing event for legislation to help keep production of Boeing's new 777X in Washington, Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Citing health concerns and two hospital stays brought on by stress connected to the Boeing 777x contract extension proposal, the embattled local leader of the machinists' union says he'll resign at the end of the month. 

Tom Wroblewski, 59, has been president of District Lodge 751 of the machinists' union since 2007. Prior to the post, he served as a grievance coordinator as well as a business representative for the union, with assignments throughout the Puget Sound region. 

The experience of the 777X contract proposal "changed my perspective on work-life balance," Wroblewski said in a statement. "Your job should not destroy your health."

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Boeing Dreamliner
9:44 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Boeing Confirms New 787 Battery Incident In Japan

File image
AP Photo

Boeing is confirming an incident with a battery on a Japan Airlines 787, in a reminder of the problems that grounded the plane for three months last year.

Boeing says it appears that a single battery cell "vented," or released gas. It was discovered during scheduled maintenance on the ground at Tokyo's Narita airport on Tuesday. No passengers were on board.

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Business
11:02 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Forecast for Pierce County's Economy in 2014: Partly Sunny

It’s taking longer for Pierce County to bounce back from the recession than counties to the north, such as King and Snohomish. But economists at Pacific Lutheran University expect the economy in Tacoma and the region to show some improvement this year. 

PLU economists Martin Wurm and Neal Johnson have been crunching the numbers on everything from Pierce County’s housing market to retail sales to come up with an economic forecast. 

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Business
12:50 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Inslee Bemoans Corporate Incentive Competitions

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks about the upcoming legislative session, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the AP Legislative Preview in Olympia, Wash.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wishes states weren't in constant competition to provide financial incentives in order secure jobs from big companies.

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Minimum Wage
3:26 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Airport Workers Urge Port Commission To Adopt $15 Min. Wage Passed By Voters

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

Airport workers are urging Port of Seattle commissioners to adopt the $15 per hour minimum wage that voters in the city of SeaTac passed last November. 

The Port of Seattle, which oversees the seaport as well as Sea-Tac International Airport, argued in court late last year that it doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the SeaTac minimum wage initiative. King County Judge Andrea Darvas agreed, and as a result, baggage handlers, cabin cleaners and other airport workers who had been hoping for a jump in pay at the beginning of this year haven’t gotten one.

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Microsoft
3:00 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Ford CEO Mulally Not Leaving For Microsoft

FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2013 file photo, Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company speaks during a news conference in Hong Kong.
Vincent Yu AP Photo

Ford CEO Alan Mulally says he will not leave the automaker for Microsoft and will stay at Ford at least through 2014.

Mulally is widely credited with saving Ford after being hired away from Boeing in 2006. But in recent months there have been numerous reports that he was in the running for the top job at Microsoft, where CEO Steve Ballmer has said he plans to leave the company sometime this year.

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Liquor Laws
10:56 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Wash. Liquor Privatization Leaves Northwest Craft Distilleries Hungover

Courtesy of Dry Fly Distilling in Spokane, Washington.

A Hood River distillery has the top-selling brand of liquor, according to sales numbers released by the state of Oregon. But other craft distillers say those hot numbers don’t reflect their experience.

Before liquor sales were privatized in Washington state in mid-2012, small local distilleries were featured in state-owned shops there and throughout the Northwest. Now, top craft distillers say national brands are hogging the shelf space in Washington, the biggest market in the region.

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Machinists Vote
10:04 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Local Machinists Narrowly Approve Boeing's Best And Final Offer For 777X Work

A volunteer vote counter tallies ballots Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, at the Boeing machinists union hall in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Local machinists narrowly approved Boeing’s “best and final” offer that guarantees assembly of the next 777 wide-body jet and the fabrication of the plane's carbon-fiber wing for the Puget Sound region.

Some 30,000 local machinists accepted the deal with a 51-percent vote, said International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers spokesman Jim Bearden late Friday.

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Boeing Decision
6:46 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

On Eve Of Union Vote, Machinists Protest Boeing's Latest Offer

Ashley Gross

Several hundred Boeing machinists and supporters gathered in a Seattle union hall Thursday to urge members to reject Boeing’s contract offer.

The rally came on the eve of a crucial vote on what Boeing has called its best and final offer. Acceptance of the labor deal by some 30,000 local machinists would guarantee 777 assembly work for the Puget Sound area.

But local union leaders are urging members to reject the offer, saying the workers are asked to make concessions even though the company is having a profitable run.

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Boeing Decision
12:59 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Some Workers Set To Reach $100K Pay In Boeing Deal

AP Photo

Boeing's contract proposal to machinists in the Puget Sound region would likely increase some workers' annual base salaries to more than $100,000 in the coming years.

The offer going to a vote this week would slow the growth of machinists' wages starting in 2016, but workers would still get regular cost-of-living adjustments and an additional 1 percent raise every other year.

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Boeing Decision
1:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Boeing Says Union Vote Will Decide Fate Of Jobs In Puget Sound Area

Former Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel, Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke, Snohomish County Executive John Lovick, Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson, Renton Mayor Denis Law and Port of Everett Commissioner Troy McClelland are seen on Monday, Dec. 30, 2013.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Boeing has told local political leaders that this week's vote by Machinists will determine the fate of some jobs on the new 777X airplane.

In a press conference Monday morning, local politicians gathered in Everett to discuss the importance of approving the contract. They said Boeing executive Ray Conner told them in a meeting that the union vote will decide whether the new 777X composite wing is built in the region.

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Boeing Decision
9:18 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Wash. Political Leaders To Tout Importance Of 777X

AP Photo

Local political leaders in Washington state are gathering to discuss the importance of the 777X airplane.

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson and others plan a press conference Monday to discuss Boeing ahead of a Friday vote by the Machinists union. Local Machinists leaders oppose the new contract offer, but Stephanson and others have urged them to approve the deal.

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Boeing Decision
2:11 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Union Chief Says Boeing's Latest Offer A $1 Billion Gain

File image
AP Photo

The international president of the machinists union says Boeing's revised contract offer is an improvement of more than $1 billion.

In a letter to union members, Tom Buffenbarger said the offer that workers will consider next week is a significant improvement over a contract the union rejected last month.

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Life Reinvented
5:00 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Seattle Architect Giving Up Designing Million-Dollar Houses To Help The Homeless

Cindy Hohlbein

Rex Hohlbein had been designing luxurious homes for more than two decades when his life began to shift.

He began inviting homeless people into the office of his architecture firm to warm up, use the bathroom and get a cup of coffee. Pretty soon, he found it hard to spend his days designing million-dollar homes when he was meeting so many people he found sleeping in tents or under a doorway.

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Business
9:19 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Nader Says Boeing Pressure On Machinists Union 'Unseemly'

FILE - Ralph Nader is seen in Washington, on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009.
Jacquelyn Martin AP Photo

Consumer activist and failed presidential candidate Ralph Nader has some words for Boeing.

In an open letter to Boeing CEO Jim McNerney on Thursday, Nader said the company's effort to squeeze worker pensions and pay is "unseemly." He cited McNerney's salary as one reason and the tax advantages the company is receiving as another.

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