unions

In the post-WWII period, 40 percent of Americans were private sector union members. That number is now below 7 percent.

The reasons behind this drastic decline are hotly disputed. Union supporters say greedy corporations, helped by politicians, have worked systematically to bust the movement. Detractors say leadership corruption, improved labor laws and global competition served to make unions less relevant over time.  

Ross Reynolds moderates a debate on the role of public sector unions in a Seattle Town Hall debate January 13. Guests include Daniel DiSalvo, a critic and the author of, "Government Against Itself," and University of Washington political science professor Michael McCann, a supporter of public unions.

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

South Carolina has won the exclusive right to build the 787-10, the longest version yet of the Dreamliner. The decision means South Carolina will make as many Dreamliners as Washington state does by the end of the decade.

Ann Dornfeld / KUOW

Patti Oliver Bailey sat on a sunny wooden deck in Seattle’s Rainier Valley on a recent afternoon, surrounded by toddlers digging through a box of pink sand and bright toys.

Marcie Sillman talks to Marcia Coyle the chief Washington correspondent for the National Law Journal about the Supreme Court's decision on a few recent important cases.

Then, Jim Mischel, co-founder and co-owner of Everett based Electric Mirror, responds to the Supreme Court's 5-4 vote on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores. His company filed an amicus brief with Hobby Lobby. We also hear from Christine Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.

And Jackson Holtz, spokesperson for SEIU Local 775, gives his view about the Harris v. Quinn decision on union dues.

One of the last two Supreme Court decisions of this term was billed as a potential "final destruction" or "kill shot" for public sector unions. They seem to have been merely nicked by a bullet.

Seattle Education Association's Facebook page.

Ross Reynolds talks to Jonathan Knapp, president of the Seattle Education Association, about No Child Left Behind and his narrow victory over challenger Jesse Hagopian for union president.

Photo IAM District 751

The drama over the Boeing 777X jet has claimed its first casualty.

Tom Wroblewski, president of the Machinists Union District Lodge 751, announced on Tuesday night that he is retiring to a small group of elected representatives from local lodges. His last day is Jan. 31.

Boeing handout

There’s a proposal on the table.

The Machinists Union says it has presented Boeing with a contract that could secure the 777X production line for the Puget Sound region.

KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

Marcie Sillman talks with Everett mayor Ray Stephanson about his efforts to bring Boeing and the machinist union back to the negotiation table.

Boeing said Thursday it has no further plans to negotiate with its Machinists after the union voted against a  contract extension Boeing said was key to its decision to build the 777X in the Puget Sound region. Now the company said it is looking at other locations. It said it would continue to consider the Puget Sound region, but as part of a competition with other places.

Inside Everett's Boeing factory.
Flickr Photo/Jetstar Airways (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Gary Chaison, professor of industrial relations at Clark University, about how the Boeing machinist vote will affect the future of labor negotiations in Washington and across the country.

Flickr Photo/Pylon757

Ross Reynolds and Marcie Sillman tackle the complex issues around the machinists' rejection of the Boeing contract offer. First, they speak with Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, about the implications for labor here in Washington state. Then, Wall Street Journal's aerospace reporter Jon Ostrower explains just what resources are necessary to build a brand new airplane like the 777X in another state.

The machinists' two-to-one rejection of the Boeing contract was not the outcome Washington Governor Jay Inslee had hoped for.

KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

In a vote that could ultimately move Boeing out of Washington state, Boeing's machinists rejected the company's proposed contract, with 67 percent of union members opposed.

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