Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 35° Cloudy

Briefs for Tuesday

Nov. 29, 2021 Updated Mon., Nov. 29, 2021 at 5:56 p.m.

WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says that the appearance of a new COVID-19 variant could slow the economy and hiring, while also raising uncertainty about inflation.

The recent increase in delta cases and the emergence of the omicron variant “pose downside risks to employment and economic activity and increased uncertainty for inflation,” Powell said Monday in prepared remarks to be delivered to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday.

The new variant could also worsen supply chain disruptions, he said.

Powell’s comments come after other Fed officials in recent weeks have said the central bank should consider winding down its ultra-low interest rate policies more quickly than it currently plans. They cited concerns about inflation, which has jumped to three-decade highs.

Yet Powell’s remarks suggest that the additional uncertainty raised by the omicron variant may complicate the Fed’s next steps.

“Greater concerns about the virus could reduce people’s willingness to work in person, which would slow progress in the labor market and intensify supply-chain disruptions,” Powell said.

NLRB orders new Amazon vote

NEW YORK – The National Labor Relations Board has ordered a new union election for Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama based on objections to the first vote that took place in April.

The move, announced Monday, is a major blow to Amazon, which had spent about a year aggressively campaigning for warehouse workers in Bessemer to reject the union, which they ultimately did by a wide margin.

The board has not yet determined the date for the second election.

The rare call for a do-over was first announced Monday by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which spearheaded the union organizing movement.

From wire reportsIn a 20-page decision, the regional director for the NLRB focused much attention on Amazon’s installation of a U.S. Postal Service mail box at the main employee entrance, which may have created the false impression that the company was the one conducting the election process.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.