November 10, 2014
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Union slowdown at Puget Sound's two largest ports has cut shipping, slowed ag exports



More than 100 organizations sent a letter to President Barack Obama last week calling for the federal government to intervene in a labor dispute that’s led to a longshore union work slowdown at West Coast ports, including the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Longshore workers have cut productivity by more than half at West Coast ports, including the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, causing problems for eastern Washington apple and grain growers, holiday shoppers across the nation, and truckers who aren't able to load and unload their shipments.

A contract for nearly 13,600 workers at 29 ports along the West Coast between the International Longshore & Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Group expired July 1. Unhappy that negotiations haven't resulted in a new contract, the union ordered a work slowdown going into the holiday season. It's also a crucial time for agricultural exports. One apple exporter reports 100 containers of apples -- each carrying $30,000 worth of Washington-grown apples -- are stuck at Puget Sound ports due to the work slowdown. At least some of these apples are being rerouted for shipment through Canada.

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MOVING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION

State waves goodbye to R&D tax incentive

By Kris Johnson, AWB President

Beginning in January, Washington state will become one of just a handful of states in the country that doesn't offer private employers some kind of a tax incentive to promote research and development activities.

That's because a pair of tax incentives created back 1994 are set to expire at the end of this year, despite attempts during the last legislative session to extend them.

Click here for the full column in The Wenatchee World
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