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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - One of Missouri's largest labor organizations has hired a former Republican House Speaker as a lobbyist.
 
The Missouri AFL-CIO hired Steve Tilley this week as the labor organization prepares to combat "right to work" measures this year. The legislation would prohibit labor contracts from requiring that all employees pay union fees.
 
Tilley was first elected to the House in 2004 and became Speaker in 2011. While in that office he shied away from "right to work" and said it was not part of his agenda.
 
He left the House in 2012 to become a lobbyist when term limits barred him from seeking re-election.
 
"Right to work" is a top priority this year of House Speaker Tim Jones, Tilley's successor. Jones says Missouri needs the policy to compete for jobs.
Published in Local News
SEATTLE (AP) - 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.
 
Conner told the politicians that an accepted contract will ensure that the wing work stays in the Puget Sound while a vote to reject the deal will ensure the jobs go elsewhere.
 
Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke says there is no other choice but to vote yes.
 
Local union leaders say the contract involves too many concessions, including a plan to shift workers away from traditional pensions.
 
Published in Local News
Friday, 23 August 2013 15:25

Metro to resume talks with union members

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The agency that operates mass transit services in the St. Louis area will resume contract talks with a labor union on Sept. 9.

The plan to renew talks with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 788 was announced Thursday by Bi-State Development Agency president and CEO John Nations. The union represents operators of St. Louis Metro bus and the light rail MetroLink, along with mechanics and some clerical staff.

Tens of thousands of commuters use Metro buses and MetroLink trains every day in the St. Louis region.

Nations says the union has assured him there will be no work stoppages before the two sides return to the negotiating table.

 

Published in Local News

For a second day local fast food workers are expected to walk off their jobs at major national chains like Wendy’s, Hardee’s, and Domino’s.  They are pushing for higher wages, better working conditions and the right to form a union.

Late Wednesday morning, several Jimmy Johns' employees picketed outside the Soulard location and were joined by dozens of labor protesters. KTRS's Michael Golde was there as well...

"Workers at Jimmy Johns in Soulard say they want a livable wage of $15 dollars an hour. That includes Rasheen Aldridge who says pay isn't the only issue - management often humiliates the employees when they do something wrong.

Jimmy Johns is known for their slogan "subs so fast you'll freak." Aldridge says that when employees lag behind, they have to hold signs reading "I don't make sandwiches fast enough." Reporting from Soulard, Michael Golde, KTRS News"

Several hours later,  several employees walked off the job at a Florissant McDonalds.    Similar protests have taken place in New York and Chicago.

 
Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A union-backed alternative for fixing the Illinois pension crisis gets a test vote Wednesday afternoon in Springfield.

A Senate committee is holding a hearing on the measure giving workers and retirees a choice of benefit packages. Senate President John Cullerton says it saves money and would survive a legal challenge.

Critics say it won't save enough money.

 

Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is touting a recent contract agreement with Illinois' largest union as one way his administration has saved money, including $900 million in health care costs.

In his Wednesday budget address the Chicago Democrat called it "unprecedented" among his gubernatorial predecessors and a "landmark" agreement.

His administration and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 reached a tentative agreement last week. They reached a three-year contract after negotiating for 15 months.

The proposal requires state workers to pay more toward health care and requires retirees to pay health insurance premiums for the first time. All that will add up to the $900 million savings over three years.
Published in Local News

SEATTLE (AP) - Boeing Co.'s engineers have accepted a new four-year contract while technical workers rejected their offer and voted to authorize a future strike.

<br><br>

The union representing both groups had recommended rejection of the contract because it would not provide pensions to new employees. They would have a 401(k) retirement plan instead.

<br><br>

The union called that unacceptable, but the Chicago-based aerospace company said the change was important to its future.

<br><br>

The vote tallied late Tuesday came as the company is trying to solve battery problems that have grounded its new 787s.

<br><br>

The engineers and technical workers in the union work on plans for new planes and solve problems that arise on the factory floor. The two units bargain at the same time, but their contracts are separate and independent agreements, the union noted.

<br><br>

While a strike by the technical workers is not imminent, the vote means the negotiating team can call one at any time, said Bill Dugovich, spokesman for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace.

<br><br>

The engineers' vote means those 15,500 employees have a new contract in place, Dugovich said. Union negotiators hope to resume contract talks soon on behalf of the 7,400 technical workers, he said.

<br><br>

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner said in a statement that the company was pleased with the engineers' vote but "deeply disappointed" in the technical workers' rejection of what he called the company's "best and final" offer.

<br><br>

"The realities of the market require us to make changes so we can invest in new products and keep winning in this competitive environment," Conner said in his statement.

<br><br>

"That's why our proposal to move future hires to an enhanced 401(k)-style retirement plan is so important, as we have repeatedly emphasized over the course of these negotiations."

<br><br>

Boeing spokesman Doug Alder said the company is legally obligated to have discussions with SPEEA, but he noted Conner's statement about the importance of the 401(k) transition for future hires.

<br><br>

"That remains our position," Alder said.

<br><br>

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said he's concerned about the split vote and spoke to union and Boeing representatives, urging them to resume negotiations.

<br><br>

"We cannot overstate the importance of the aerospace industry to the economy of Washington," Inslee said in a statement. "There are more than 131,000 employees in aerospace-related companies working across the state, the vast majority of which are directly reliant on the Boeing Company."

<br><br>

Union members rejected one contract offer in October. The previous contract expired in November.

<br><br>

SPEEA went on strike for 40 days in 2000.

<br><br>

"With this second rejection by technical workers of Boeing takeaways, it's time for the company to stop wasting resources and improve its offer to reflect the value and contributions technical workers bring to Boeing," SPEEA Executive Director Ray Goforth said in a statement. "That way, we can avoid a strike and focus on fixing the problems of the 787 and restoring customer confidence in Boeing."

<br><br>

The latest labor unrest is happening as U.S. regulators launch an open-ended review of the 787's design and construction. Last month, a battery on a parked 787 caught fire in Boston. On Jan. 16, another 787 made an emergency landing in Japan after another battery problem.

<br><br>

All 50 787s that Boeing had delivered so far are grounded until the issue is resolved.

<br><br>

The union's nearly 23,000 employees are mostly in the Puget Sound region. Union leaders believe a strike would shut down Boeing production lines in Everett, Wash., where its big planes are made, as well as in Renton, Wash., where it cranks out the widely used 737.

<br><br>

The factory-floor assembly work is done by the members of the International Association of Machinists. The Machinists approved a new, four-year contract in December 2011, after a walkout in 2008 that contributed to a 3 1/2-year delay in delivering the first 787.

<br><br>

It was also a factor in Boeing opening a plant in South Carolina, where laws make it more difficult to unionize.

 

Published in Local News
A strike could be imminent for one of the nation's largest aerospace companies.

The union for Boeing's engineers and technical workers is counting ballots on the company's latest contract offer. It has recommended that members reject the offer because it gives new members a 401(k) retirement plan instead of a pension.

The union also wants authority to call a strike if talks break down.
Published in Local News

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