Archive of: Work Force

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Boeing, machinists reach tentative deal

Boeing and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers reached a tentative agreement last night on a new four-year contract covering 27,000 employees in Washington, Oregon and Kansas. Union leadership is recommending that employees vote to ratify the contract.

The company retained the flexibility necessary to manage its business, while making changes to the contract language to address the union's issues on job security, pay and benefits. The offer provides general wage increases every year and increases pension benefits. In addition, Boeing is proposing no changes to the cost share employees currently pay for a selection of outstanding health care plans.

October 2008

Equipment leasing index shows growth

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association's Monthly Leasing and Finance Index, which reports economic activity for the nation's $650 billion equipment finance sector, showed overall new business volume for September decreased 2.4 percent when compared to the same period in 2007. When comparing third quarter numbers for 2007 to 2008, new business volume was down 0.1 percent. However, cumulative year-to-date new business volumes show an increase of 1.9 percent compared to 2007.

"It should be no surprise that the turmoil in the financial markets has spilled over into the commercial finance sector and general economy," said ELFA President Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. "Even so, amidst all the bad news, the commercial equipment finance market seemed to hold up in September."

October 2008

Marketing guide now available online

The Business Examiner has posted a free marketing guide on its Web site

October 2008

Boeing, engineers to start talks

The main negotiations for new, three-year contracts that cover some 20,300 engineers and technical workers at The Boeing Co. are set to start tomorrow in SeaTac.

Negotiations between the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, IFPTE Local 2001, and Boeing start after eight months of disappointing preliminary talks. The first meaningful discussion only recently took place, said SPEEA Executive Director Ray Goforth. Union leaders started advising members in May to save money for a possible strike.

October 2008

Regence employees donate despite economy

The weakening economy did not keep Regence BlueShield employees from donating more of their own money this year to nonprofits. Regence employees pledged more than $1.6 million, which will grow to $2.47 million with the company match system. Last year, employees donated about $1 million.

October 2008

People on the move

Rainier Pacific has elected Bruce W. Valentine to the Board of Directors of Rainier Pacific Financial Group, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary Rainier Pacific Savings Bank. Valentine will fill the vacancy created by the death of  Robert H. Combs in June of 2008 and he will stand for election at the company's next Annual Meeting of shareholders.

October 2008

Unemployment rate down in September

The unemployment rate in Washington took a dip in September to 5.8 percent, down from 6 percent in August. Some 186,810 people (not seasonally adjusted) were unemployed and seeking work in Washington last month.

Year over year, Washington has added 28,100 nonfarm jobs from September 2007 to September 2008, a growth rate of 1 percent.  By comparison, the number of jobs nationwide declined by 0.7 percent in the same time period, as it did for the month of September in Washington state.

October 2008

SBA asks lenders to offer loan relief

In response to the financial crisis, the U.S. Small Business Administration today announced it is strongly encouraging its participating 7(a) lenders and Certified Development companies to work with business borrowers to provide them with the flexibility they need to keep their businesses running during these difficult economic times.
As access to credit and capital has tightened, many businesses face increased challenges in meeting their financial obligations. This is especially true of small businesses hit hard by the recent economic slowdown that are now unable to make payroll, or purchase essential inventory.
SBA is reminding participating lenders they have the authority on a case-by-case basis to extend temporary payment relief for qualifying borrowers with 7(a) and 504 loans who are struggling to make their payments.

October 2008

Oak Harbor Freight target of radio protests

The Teamsters Union has launched a nationwide radio ad on Air America as part of its negotiations with Auburn-based freight hauler Oak Harbor Freight Lines. The radio campaign condemns clothing retailer the Gap Inc. for using Oak Harbor Freight Lines to move its merchandise on the West Coast. The retailer is Oak Harbor's largest customer, according to a release.

Some 600 Oak Harbor Freight Lines workers in Oregon, Washington and Idaho walked off the job and into picket lines Sept. 22 in protest of what they call the freight company's violations of U.S. labor laws and hostile efforts by company representatives to intimidate workers.

October 2008

Multi-unit housing market remains good, study suggests

Grubb & Ellis Co., a real estate services and investment firm concentrated in the Puget Sound, announced today in a third quarter 2008 research report that the area's multi-unit housing market posted increases in both rents and vacancy, yet still generated $436 million in sales for the quarter.

October 2008
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