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WaMu layoffs won’t reach East Side

Tue., Dec. 2, 2008

JPMorgan Chase officials say they will not lay off branch workers in Eastern Washington or North Idaho as they cut jobs at Washington Mutual Bank.

Based in New York City, JPMorgan Chase said Monday it will lay off about 3,400 WaMu workers in King County, about 80 percent of the company’s Seattle-area work force.

Company spokesman Tom Kelly said the WaMu layoffs will be mostly for jobs in headquarters and back office positions.

JPMorgan Chase acquired WaMu in late September after the Seattle-based bank had been taken over by the FDIC. That followed disclosures that WaMu managers had taken on huge amounts of high-risk, high-interest home loans to buyers with shaky credit.


Boeing workers vote on contracts

The Boeing Co.’s commercial airplane operations appeared to be assured of at least four years of labor peace as contract ratification votes by engineers and technical workers were tallied Monday.

Bill Dugovich, a spokesman for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, said there had been no organized opposition to the two contracts, despite occasionally vehement criticism on blogs and in other forums.

Most of the complaints boiled down to “not enough money,” Dugovich said.

Tentative agreements that include pay increases averaging 5 percent a year, higher pension payments and improved medical coverage with small cost increases for employees were reached Nov. 14 following 2 1/2 weeks of negotiations.


Potlatch board OKs split

The Potlatch Corp. board of directors has given final approval to split into two public companies, with a spin-off of its pulp-based businesses, effective this month, the Spokane-based company announced Monday.

Potlatch will continue to operate as a real estate investment trust holding 1.7 million acres of timberland in Idaho, Arkansas, Minnesota and Wisconsin, along with four sawmills and one plywood mill.

The new Clearwater Paper Corp. would own pulp-and-paper and wood products facilities at Lewiston, plus other plants in Elwood, Ill.; Cypress Bend, Ark.; and Las Vegas.

The headquarters for the companies will remain in the Spokane area. Potlatch employs 3,600 people.

From staff and wire reports


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