October 3, 2008 Volume 109 Number 20
Turbulence continues between IAM, Boeing
No new negotiations between Boeing Company and striking Machinists were planned as this issue of the NW Labor Press went to press, although a federal mediator has been in daily contact with both sides.

PDC staffers ratify first union contract
Non-management staffers at the Portland Development Commission have ratified their first-ever union contract.

Health insurance premiums rise
Health insurance premiums rose again this year — 5 percent. As of early 2008, the average premium for employer-sponsored health insurance was $4,704 for individual coverage and $12,680 for family coverage. That’s a 119 percent increase over what it was when the annual survey began in 1999 —$5,791. But premium increases have slowed in the last few years.

America the Unequal: EPI finds a nation polarizing economically
Once every two years, researchers at the Economic Policy Institute produce The State of Working America, a fact-filled summary of the problems and challenges that face American workers. An advance version of the 2008-2009 edition was released Labor Day weekend, and the story it tells is that America is getting more productive, but the gains in wealth that result are not being shared with the workers who produce it.