Grocery Unions Prep For Strike As Talks Heat Up

Oct 16, 2013
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

As they debate their contracts, grocery workers insist they’re serious about striking: Picket captains have been tapped at hundreds of stores throughout the region, and strike headquarters have popped up in five counties.

A final inspector general's report released Tuesday condemns the Bonneville Power Administration for discriminating against veterans and other applicants during jobs hires.

Bonneville is this region's biggest wholesale electricity and transmission provider. 

BPA issued a contrite response to the scathing report from the U.S. Energy Department's inspector general.

KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

The economic future of this region is still tied to the future of  Boeing, the region's bellwether employer.  The aerospace industry pays 7.5 percent of the wages in Washington state, and Boeing remains the region’s largest private employer, with 85,000 local jobs.

Flickr Photo/Canadian Pacific

Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance is a year old this week. The law requires employers with more than four workers to provide paid time off for illness or a safety issue. But not all employers are on board with it.

Flickr Photo/woodleywonderworks

  According to the most recent numbers, about seven percent of Washingtonians are currently unemployed and seeking work. But more companies are requiring online applications, and hitting the pavement and handing out resumes might become a thing of the past. When your first impression is a PDF how can you stand out from the rest?

David Hyde gets the answer from Dr. Tracy Wilen-Daugenti. She’s a visiting scholar at Stanford University's Media X program and a former Silicon Valley executive. She has held leadership positions at Apple, HP, Cisco Systems and the Apollo Group, and she’s the author of a number of books on business.

Seattle Workers, What Are Your Rights?

Jun 17, 2013

 In 2011, Seattle became the third city in the nation to mandate paid sick leave for employees. But the specifics of the law have been very confusing for workers and their employers. Not surprisingly, sick leave isn’t the only employee rights law that causes confusion. In many industries, long hours and sporadic schedules can make employee protection laws pretty murky. Employment lawyer Lindsay Halm answers questions from listeners and talks to David Hyde about the rights of Washington state workers.

For more information, please visit Washington Labor & Industries.

City Council Might Change The Rules For Hiring Criminals

Jun 10, 2013

The Seattle City Council is voting this afternoon on whether to ban employers from immediately asking about the criminal history of new applicants. They would have to wait until after an initial review of the application. After that, a past conviction can still figure into the hiring process. But that’s only if the employer proves that there’s a direct relationship between applicant’s crime and the job they’re applying for.

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce has opposed this legislation from the beginning. Due to its influence, several changes have been made since November. However, the chamber still takes issue parts of the proposal. David Hyde talks to George Allen, the chamber's senior vice president of government relations. We also hear from local attorney Merf Ehman, one of the driving forces behind the City Council’s proposal.

Pop Your Blue Collar: The Evolution Of Blue Collar Work In The US

May 22, 2013
Flickr Photo/WSDOT

 In the past decade, blue collar jobs have diminished. But in the coming decade, that tide is expected to change. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an additional 2.7 million new blue collar jobs such as home health care aides and rebar and iron maintenance workers by 2020. Ross Reynolds talks with Tim Sweeney and Dan Jacoby about the future of blue collar work and education. 

Should Unpaid Internships Be Banned?

May 16, 2013
Flickr photo/Edwin and Kelly Tofslie

A lawsuit against Fox Searchlight Pictures has sparked a fierce debate over whether the US should ban all unpaid internships. Eric Glatt is the plaintiff in the case. He interned at Fox for free, but now he says that his unpaid internship was illegal and that every unpaid internship should be banned.

Steve Cohen is also a former unpaid intern, and he disagrees. Cohen says interns cost time and money and paying them misses the point. Glatt and Cohen debate the issue, and David Hyde takes calls from listeners.

How Does Washington State Help Workers With Developmental Disabilities?

May 9, 2013
Flickr Photo/Tony Hall

Washington State’s Developmental Disabilities Administration helps people with disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy and down syndrome find work. The DDA serves nearly 9,000 adults over the age of 21.

Ross Reynolds interviews Dr. Pat Brown, director of the University of Washington’s employment program. Ross also talks with Doug Wilson, a sales manager at Copiers Northwest, who employs people with developmental disabilities and Shawn Christensen, a man with cerebral palsy who works at Regal Cinemas in Renton.

The production line at a Boeing facility.
Courtesy/Boeing Company

Boeing officials say pink slips will go out Friday to about a hundred engineers in the Puget Sound area. It’s the first round of more expected cuts for the engineering staff, which Boeing said it plans to reduce by 1,500 to 1,700 positions through layoffs and job openings that will not be filled.

Greendays Gardening: Open Phones

Mar 26, 2013
Cherry trees
Flickr Photo/Camknows

With temperatures near 60 in the forecast, gardening season is in full swing. Did your plants survive last week's cold snap and snow? How do you keep your garden alive in the ever-changing weather? Our experts are here to answer your questions. Call us at 206.543.5869 or send an email to weekday@kuow.org.

Will Your Job Be Terminated By A Robot?

Mar 14, 2013
Flickr Photo/Eirik Newth

Earlier this year IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, took a job with health care company WellPoint. Watson isn’t the only robot taking our jobs. By the end of the century, an estimated 70 percent of current occupations will be replaced by automation. Digital labor will take over assembly lines, write articles and even give legal advice. Where will that leave humans? 

There were 236,000 jobs added to payrolls in February — many more than expected — and the jobless rate unexpectedly dropped by two-tenths of a point, to 7.7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Nationally the private sector added 5 million jobs since a low point in June of 2009. But during that same time period the public sector cut 721,000 jobs. What effect is the shrinking public sector having on the economy? And what’s the story here in Washington state?