Business

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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Business
5:00 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Seattle Business Owners Turn To An Unlikely Source Of Consultants: UW Undergrads

Kristi Brown Wokoma, a Seattle chef, makes a unique kind of hummus out of black-eyed peas. She's turned to UW undergraduates for consulting help.
Ashley Gross KPLU

Business owners in Seattle and around the state are lining up to tap the expertise of an unusual group of consultants: undergraduates at the University of Washington.

That may sound surprising, since the students mostly just have a few internships on their resumes. But their consulting class pushes them to dive deep into their clients’ business problems and deliver tangible, practical advice.

For one local chef, it’s a partnership that has yielded results.

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Minimum Wage
4:45 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Seattle Council Member Licata Calls For New Department To Enforce Labor Laws

Seattle City Council member Nick Licata is seen talking to the media on Wednesday, April 16, 2014.
Ashley Gross KPLU

This may be the year that Seattle adopts one of the highest minimum wages in the country. But labor advocates and Seattle City Council member Nick Licata say without tough enforcement, a new wage law will be toothless. 

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Northwest Farmers
11:13 am
Tue April 15, 2014

'This Is The Kind Of Hay Year That Makes A Hay Farmer Smile'

Drex Gauntt grows some of the earliest-harvested alfalfa in the Northwest near Burbank, Wash.

 

Many Northwest alfalfa growers had a rough year with bad weather last summer. Rain can leach nutrients out of drying hay and rot away any profits. 

But this year, hay markets are primed if growers can duck the storm clouds. Drought in California and parts of the Midwest means hay buyers are focusing in on Northwest crops. 

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Ski Season
12:18 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Extended Season For Some Northwest Ski Areas, But Profits Scarce

Notice the brown hills around Sun Valley in this Dec. 29, 2013 file photo. Snowmaking allowed the famous resort to operate during the crucial holiday period.
Tom Banse

Thanks to late-season snow that fell in many areas, some Cascade ski areas will welcome skiers and snowboarders well past Easter.

There will be end-of-season parties at at least nine Northwest ski resorts this weekend. Timing means everything for the bottom line of these resort companies. But a strong finish doesn't necessarily make up for a late start like we saw this season.

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Labor Practices
4:24 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Hearing Set For T-Mobile Workers' Unfair Labor Practice Claims

Mark Lennihan AP Photo

The union that has been trying to organize T-Mobile workers says a recent action by the federal government will boost its efforts.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ordered the various labor complaints against the telecom giant to be consolidated into one case.

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Boeing Jobs
10:45 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Boeing Moves 1,000 Customer Support Jobs Out Of Wash. State To SoCal

AP Photo

Boeing is moving about 1,000 of its customer support jobs out of Washington and into Southern California.

The company said Thursday that it is centralizing its customer support to its engineering design center in Southern California. It already employs 1,800 people at its Long Beach and Seal Beach sites there.

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Minimum Wage
10:39 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Why Are Seattle Restaurant Owners Pushing For A So-Called 'Tip Credit'?

File image
Mary Ann Chastain AP Photo

If you’re a restaurant server in Texas or Mississippi, you probably earn $2.13 an hour from your employer. That’s the federal minimum wage for people who earn tips.

But here, servers earn at least $9.32 an hour, and then earn tips on top of that. Washington is one of seven states that require that tipped workers get the same minimum wage as everyone else. But with talk of a $15 an hour minimum wage, restaurant owners are pushing back.

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Living Wage
4:27 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

San Francisco Officials: Living Wage For Airport Workers 'Has Gone A Long Way'

A baggage handler drives a cart below a United Airlines 747-400, at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011.
Eric Risberg AP Photo

Since San Francisco set a higher minimum wage for its airport workers back in 2000, the city has seen a positive effect, officials from San Francisco International Airport told Port of Seattle commissioners Tuesday.

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Cyber-Currency
11:27 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Central Wash. Home To Nation's Biggest Bitcoin Mine, More Coming

MegaBigPower CEO Dave Carlson inside North America's biggest bitcoin mine.
Tom Banse

Here's a surprising fact: the largest bitcoin mine in North America is located on the outskirts of Wenatchee, Washington.

It's not a mine in the traditional sense. In these mines, you won't have helmets, lamps or pickaxes, and there's no danger of cave in. In this case, the mine consists of two warehouses that have been converted into a data center.

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Northwest Farmers
5:00 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Low Prices Prompt Northwest Asparagus Growers To Try To Delay Harvest

Northwest asparagus growers are just starting to harvest spears in the warmer sites around Pasco. The green points are the first crop harvested in spring.

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Labor Union
11:03 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Machinists Union Reform Candidates Explain Why They're Running

Reform candidates Jay Cronk, left, and Jason Redrup, right.
Ashley Gross KPLU

Editor's Note: The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, a union of about 333,000 dues-paying members across the country, has not had a contested election for its top posts since 1961. People have tried to get through the nomination and endorsement process in the past to challenge the union's leadership, but they haven't succeeded, until now. Machinists are voting throughout the month of April, and the results will be known next month.

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Labor Union
5:01 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Boeing Contract Fight Fuels Effort To Oust Top Leaders Of The Machinists Union

Machinists union members and supporters chant at a rally asking members to vote against a proposed contract Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Boeing machinists in the Puget Sound region have a rare chance to head to the polls Thursday and vote on who should run their union’s national headquarters. It’s the first contested election for the top leadership posts in more than 50 years, and lingering anger over the recent Boeing contract extension vote is fueling an effort to oust the union leaders.

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Labor Union
4:50 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Machinists Union President Buffenbarger On Boeing, Reformers’ Challenge

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

Editor's Note: Tom Buffenbarger has held the top job of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers since 1997. He’s been in the public eye in the Pacific Northwest ever since the contentious Boeing contract-extension votes that took place last November and in January.

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Minimum Wage
4:18 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Group Pushing A $15/Hour Minimum Wage In Seattle Plans To File Ballot Initiative Language

A $15/hour minimum wage has been Seattle city council member Kshama Sawant's signature issue
Shannon Kringen

Ever since Seattle Mayor Ed Murray set up a committee to study how to hike Seattle’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, there’s been the faint sound of a clock ticking. Now that clock is getting louder. 

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