Pot Industry Versus its Workers

A new political action committee, People for Legal Cannabis, is gearing up to fight any effort by outsiders such as the UFCW to empower their workers. 

Unionize @Starbucks? But… but… We’re Family!

Drives to unionize are a dynamic that, despite sophisticated efforts by employers to make employees feel like “part of the family,” can crop up in any large company. 

Workers United: A Rebirth of Unions?

Gallup Polls show that 60 percent of Americans currently favor unions. That's certainly true in Washington state, which ranks third (after New York and Hawaii) for the percentage of unionized workers – 20.1 percent of state workers, twice nationwide numbers.

On Lockdown: Ice Cream? Capitol Hill QFC??

Granted, Capitol Hill isn't 12th and Jackson, or even 3rd and Pike, but if you're going to operate a supermarket there you have to find a way to both protect and serve.

The Port of Seattle is Lagging. It’s all about the Speed

Bottleneck problems are coming home to roost in Seattle’s once-thriving Port. Whether such problems will also be a wake-up call for local leaders remains an open and urgent question.

Early Holiday Gift for the Cannabis Industry

The departing Russ Hauge, who spent 20 years as Kitsap County Prosecutor, was a chief gripe for the association and its allies in Olympia for an approach they found, well, too prosecutorial toward the now-legal weed business.

Jane the Tax Planner: Sell Satya, Sell!

While a handful of progressive rich folks will embrace paying the new state capital-gains tax as a civic duty, or even as atonement for many years of benefit under a tax system that falls lightly on them and heavily on the poor, most will make a clear-eyed decision with an eye on the bottom line.

You Can Move But You Cannot Hide: 136 Countries Agree on a Minimum Corporate...

The global minimum tax will now face the vagaries of U.S. politics, including questions of how the U.S. will enact it and whether it would survive a 2024 Republican election victory.

The Billionaire Tax: Good Idea? Could It Happen?

Taxing the fat cats has undeniable political appeal, but the Wyden proposal is loaded with unintended adverse consequences, such as the impact on revenue from estate taxes.

Why You Should Care About This Year’s Port Of Seattle Election

One key problem is that Port of Seattle Commissioners are poorly compensated, poorly staffed, and often motivated by other concerns—like advancing in the political game or carving out a business niche. They get cultivated by powerful companies managed by the Port and hungering for development opportunities.

Unsafe: A Pioneer Square Restaurateur’s Plea to City Hall: Help!

Our chef called MID. They informed him that they didn’t handle these issues. He then called the police, four different times throughout the day. They did not come until well after the fourth call, at which time they parked and watched from their car as our staff dealt with the harassment of customers on the patio.

Seattle Gets a Mixed Economic Forecast

Nationally office space vacancy rates are running a few percentage points higher than before the pandemic, but in Seattle and neighboring cities, it’s much worse.

Eataly — When Even Italy is trying to Fake Italy

Already Eataly has outlets in 37 major cities around the world, and the American invasion (New York, Chicago, Boston, Vegas, Dallas, Hollywood) is under way, providing merchandise, food, takeout, delivery, classes, and spectacle. Among the various ideas floated for the empty ground floor of Seattle's downtown Macy's: an Eataly.

The CEO Scam: A System Built to Over-Pay the .01 Percent

Last year, CEO pay jumped 14.1% for these CEOs while their median workers got a meager 1.9 %. The ratio of CEO pay to that of the median employee in this group was 274, as compared to 26 in 1978. That ratio is 4.6 at America’s most respected institution, the U.S. Military.

Has Hazard Pay for Grocery Workers Reached Its Pull Date?

Even if the hazard-pay measure is suspended, grocery stores will still be footing this bill until late August. The original bill, now under legal attack, stipulated that if pandemic cases dropped significantly, as they have, the bill would be reviewed.

Will Tech Workers Come Back to the Office? The Case for Seattle

Now workers have had an enforced taste of working at home, rebuilding family bonds, and learning to garden. So the appetite for a fuller, more balanced life might come back. Employees might demand such features, and companies might see them as competitive advantages.

The Chamber of Commerce Disarms Itself Politically. Sorta.

The Chamber's unilateral disarmament will last through 2021. Beyond that, no guarantees.

Fifty Years Ago Today I was the First Starbucks First Customer

That first Starbucks store had just unlocked its doors. Only the proprietors were inside. We joined them in a deep room with high ceilings and glass-fronted cases to our right. I bought a pound of Sumatra beans. I was the first customer.

How Local Business Giants Drove Down Seattle’s COVID Rates

In the past, Boeing would set a high bar for corporate participation, with other companies finding their proper levels below. Microsoft now orchestrates such efforts.

Covid Relief Rescues Amtrak’s Historic Long-distance Routes

The Empire Builder was once a signature train for the Great Northern Railroad, advertised by a drawing of a mountain goat. Then and now, the train gives a sense of America’s vast spaces and scenic grandeur.

Will Washington Really Have A Capital Gains Tax?

A relative handful of whales, some of whom you’ve heard of, will likely pay the lion’s share. For those high rollers, SB 5096 could carry a seven-figure price tag.

Tutta Bella Restaurants: Reinvented for the Pandemic

Restaurateur Fugere says, "I never thought of myself as someone that resilient but when the call came for it to surface, to come out, there it was. In an odd way, an unexpected way, it’s been energizing.”

Data Show: Relief Checks won’t do What’s Needed

So, here we go with another round of proposed payments that will strengthen household balance sheets but probably won't stimulate much of anything. Two key measures came out last week that give us a view of the economy at year end and what the new relief package might mean.

What Might an Andy Jassy Amazon Look Like?

Jassy is different from Bezos in important ways. He is more progressive politically than his libertarian boss, and better attuned to the social change happening around him.

Good News In the “Bad” Jobs Report

Nearly all of the job loss occurred in activities that were curtailed by government order in November and December.

Why Those $600 COVID-Relief Checks Make Bad Economic Sense

Retail sales of goods are higher than they were a year ago, thanks in part to online retail, but services remain stubbornly down and won’t recover until customers feel comfortable patronizing high-touch businesses. No amount of stimulus money can change that reality.

How to Save Downtown Seattle? A Tax Deal for Streetside Retail

Property tax exemptions designed to lower rents for street-level businesses may be just what’s needed to resuscitate stores and restaurants gasping from Covid 19 restrictions and restore vitality to downtown and neighborhood business areas.

ALCOA’s Whatcom County Furnaces go Dark, Extinguishing 700 Jobs

With the possibility of full closure now on the table, locals are looking at the possibility of using the recycled site for green-economy manufacturing.

After Trump-Solving: Seattle Needs Problem Solving

The situation calls for local politicians to walk (fight Covid's spread) and chew gum (salvage the local economy) at the same time.

Is Seattle’s Brand Damaged?

One possible idea for Bellevue business leaders would be that all marketing materials should include a reference to "Seattle's premier side, the Eastside."