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February 9, 2001 Newsletter #1822


Use vacation to avoid loss of accrual

Labor Councils meet with Jay Inslee

Notes from Executive Director:
"A real balancing of interests"

Meeting with Congressman Rick Larsen

Joint Benefits meeting report

Pre-SJC Tech level upgrades

Member's view on Renton closing

Our jobs, our future (part 2): "Diversification"

Cogswell hosts open house

"Successful ERP" seminar

Aviation & Electronic Schools

Free retirement workshops

"Falstaff" opera ticket discount

Balance busy life w/healthy one

Council Vacancy - N-9

Open enrollment planned for LTD

Upcoming Meetings

Make sure you USE your vacation to avoid LOSS of ACCRUAL!

Beginning April 6, 2001, if your vacation account exceeds your maximum allowable accrual amount*, you will STOP accruing vacation hours - and thus LOSE your earned vacation time!

If your vacation account on April 5th exceeds your maximum allowable accrual amount*, the Company will automatically pay you for the excess amount (to appear on your April 26th paycheck). However, if you don't start using your vacation hours on April 6th, you will not ACCRUE any more hours until your vacation use brings you below your maximum allowable amount*.

Thus, if you are planning to receive payment for excess hours calculated on April 5th, be sure to ask NOW for approval to start a vacation on April 6th. If you wait and do not get approval for vacation to begin April 6th, you will LOSE some of your accrued vacation until you can begin using it.


*Maximum allowable accrual amount is based on completed years of service, increasing over time, as shown in the chart below:
Completed years of service
Maximum hours allowed
1 to 4
5 to 9
10 & 11
12 & 13
14 & 15
16 & 17
18 or more

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SPEEA and Snohomish County Labor Council meet with Jay Inslee

On Thursday, January 25th, SPEEA Council Chair Pat Waters and Everett Council Rep Chris Glenn (SCLC Delegate/Board Member) - plus 45 other Delegates, Officers and Staff of Snohomish County Labor Council (SCLC) -met with U.S. Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA, 1st District). Topics of discussion ranged from the current west coast energy crisis (and what could be done by Congress to bring some relief) to H1-B visa workers, & NAFTA and Free Trade Area of the Americas. Congressman Inslee also addressed the state of the economy and what the future looks like, as well as Transportation and Sound Transit.

Also discussed were women's rights and a fair living wage; and how to protect the ergonomics law gains in Washington State as well as at the federal level. Congressman Inslee was very interested in our views, promised to do everything he could to protect Labor's issues and labor laws, and reiterated the importance of our members writing letters for him to show fellow Congressmen how his constituency supports or opposes the issues he faces.

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Notes from the Executive Director

A real balancing of interests

Topping my email list has been the recent Renton rumors.

We've all read the sensational press reports and have traded feelings about what is really going on. It is both fascinating and a bit enlightening to study what has actually been said (more on that later) but, from my vantage point one thing is VERY clear. Unions are essential. If we want someone to protect us, no one will do better than we will do for ourselves. No one can understand and voice our perspective better than we can ourselves. Unions give employees a real voice in processes and decisions that affect them.

It is clear that Boeing's top people understand how important profit and share price is to shareholders. However, one is left wondering if they also understand how important a job is to an employee. Too often, jobs are described as a commodity, something to "shift" to guard against global economic swings and possible reductions to profit. What is missing is that, while "jobs" are one thing, an individual's job is something VERY different. For someone with a mortgage this is not a theoretical discussion; it is a VERY personal discussion with potentially grave implications. An employee is left wondering, "Are shareholders more important than I am?" My answer is a clear and resounding NO. Employees make the product that creates profit; shareholders simply take a cut of the profits.

Nothing is constant except change. Most of us will agree that, in the long run, jobs will shift. Any movement is possible. Anything we can imagine will happen at one time or another. However, as individuals, our major concern is NOT the shifting of jobs over the years. It is whether our job will be sacrificed by attempts to boost shareholder gains. Every employee's top priority is their job and it is both right and reasonable that we should fight for them. As one member wrote, "I will not go quietly into the night." What gets lost in the discussion is the difference between moving work over time and stripping people of their jobs. This is a discussion about people who have lives to live and families to support, not one about factors of production. For individual employees, jobs are more important than profits. Just as management's responsibility to shareholders, Unions protect what is most important to employees.

It is encouraging to note that if one reads the articles carefully, words about balancing interests are found. In one of the first articles, Condit said Boeing has promised the unions that it will offer education and training programs for workers who lose their jobs. In another article, written some time after the people and the unions representing them pushed back, a Boeing official is quoted, "We will approach any decisions carefully, seeking the best balance for our employees, communities, unions, customers and shareholders." Employees have expressed concern that management isn't including all factors in their current trade studies and I think they are right. Unions will push to ensure that all factors (including the ones most important to employees) are considered. One of the biggest is the impact that threatening people's employment has on productivity and Boeing's ability to retain the very people essential to our long-term survival.

My advice to Boeing's leaders is this "Create an environment in which employees feel as respected and valued as shareholders. Create an environment in which employees feel you will fight just as hard for their jobs as you do for shareholders' profits." I don't think we need a survey to know this is NOT the case today. However, if it were, Boeing would be a much stronger company with a more productive workforce, higher profit margins and a brighter future. A real balancing of the interests is in everyone's best interest. Unions will help us find that balance.

There is hope. Boeing has done some things right. By most accounts, the transition of jobs in St. Louis was handled well. Guess what, work was shifted while the jobs of individual employees were maintained and protected. In fact, many feel better about their employment now than before the shift. There are ways to do this right. And there are ways to do it wrong. Once again we're back to the value of unions. Unions will push from the perspective of employees. We will work hard for a real balancing of interests.

Unions fighting for individuals' jobs are fighting for a worthy cause that is in everyone's best interest. As the member wrote, we will not go quietly into the night- instead we will work to create a light that shines on everyone.

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SPEEA meets with Congressman Rick Larsen

On Friday, January 26th, SPEEA representatives, along with other Snohomish County Labor Council members, met with U.S. Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA, 2nd District) at the Snohomish County Labor Temple. SPEEA's legislative staff focal Kristin Farr was accompanied by Brenda Carlson [Chair of SPEEA's Legislative and Public Affairs Committee (L&PA)], and Chris Glenn (E-8 Council Representative and SCLC Delegate).

Congressman Larsen started the meeting with a lively discussion on labor's view on the state of the Economy, ranging from issues like the current energy crisis (and its impact on businesses and workers) to tax cuts. SPEEA representatives discussed economic issues specific to Boeing, such as how foreign subsidies received by rival Airbus affect the local economy through cut-backs in jobs at Boeing. Congressman Larsen offered assistance in investigating whether Airbus' trade practices were legal. SPEEA representatives also discussed that increasing
H1-B Visas was detrimental to the Puget Sound's hi-tech workforce and their salaries. A few people expressed that there was no mechanism in place to retrain displaced American workers or to replace H1-B visa workers with retrained workers.

Other labor issues which Congressman Larsen is committed to supporting are the current labor laws and protections of overtime and the "40 hour workweek". He also shared his views on future legislation that would affect labor, such as ergonomics and the protection of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA). He said he would support domestic partner benefit legislation to exempt domestic partners from paying taxes on the health benefits they receive (just as spouses currently are exempt).

Although Congressman Larsen has not received his Committee assignments yet, he announced he was hopeful of being assigned to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Congressman Larsen stated he would enjoy speaking to the SPEEA Council in the near future, and strongly encouraged the Labor representatives and their members to write letters to their respective State Congressional Delegation to protect workers rights. Back to Contents

Joint meeting to discuss benefits issues

On January 24th, Union and Company representatives on the Joint Benefits Discussion Group met to discuss benefits issues. The Company talked about some patient safety initiatives which they hope to review with plan administrators in an effort to reduce medical errors in hospitals and contain costs. One initiative involves having physicians in hospitals enter prescription orders into a computer. Another identifies certain complex treatments where patients can be referred to certain hospitals where high volume results in better treatment. And a third initiative suggests a physician certified in critical care medicine be assigned full-time to manage intensive care units.

The group also discussed the mail order prescription drug plan; problems with automatic dropping of coverage when dependents turn 19 years old; concerns regarding coordination of benefits for our Utah members; a proposed chiropractic network; and possibility of an open enrollment period for Long Term Disability (LTD).

The Company reps explained they have not yet been approached by Regence regarding installation of a chiropractic network, though they have heard from a lot of Regence's members who are currently undergoing chiropractic treatment. Company reps also promised to see if they could hold another open period for LTD
(see article below).

SPEEA will continue to meet in this joint committee in an effort to identify benefits issues that can be worked between the parties in the interim, or during next contract negotiations.

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Case History
Pre-SJC Tech level upgrades

A SPEEA Council Rep notified SPEEA staff that two Technical Unit employees in his group had recently received upgrades of 3 levels, but had only received the new minimum $2000 rather than $2400 (i.e., $800 per step under the old job description system). Staff contacted representatives at The Boeing Company and reached an agreement to correct this problem. Boeing agreed to pay these two employees an additional $400 retroactive to the effective date of the upgrade.

SPEEA Staff conducted additional research and found 10 more Technical Unit employees who had been promoted 3 levels (under the old job description system) but had only received $2000. SPEEA contacted Boeing and arranged for the correction of their salaries (an additional $400) retroactive to the effective date of their upgrades. These corrections were delayed in some cases due to the SJC conversion process, but all employees received the retroactive pay when the SJC conversion was completed. [MN]

SPEEA Making a Difference!

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Another member's view on Renton plant closing

I would like to offer one perspective on the closing of the Renton Plant, in the hopes that it will be of use to SPEEA in helping Boeing understand the impact of its decision. My husband and I are both Boeing engineers, he in Auburn, and me in Renton. We live in Kent, providing a reasonable commute for both of us that allows us to share day care drop-off and pick-up duties, as well as sharing the responsibility for picking up a sick child from day care, and splitting days one of the children is home sick so that neither of us needs to take a full day off work (and sometimes less than half the day each by coming in early and staying a bit late). Within the last 6 months, we've heard rumors of the Auburn plant closing (which would probably send my husband's job to Frederickson, if he had a job left at all) and now the Renton plant closing (which would probably send my job to Everett, if I had a job left at all).!

Needless to say, either scenario, much less both of them, would wreak havoc on a finely tuned juggling act that allows both of us to be full-time valued (so we're told) Boeing employees, while still providing a reasonable amount of family time, plus the time to get to swimming lessons, etc., for our two young children. A 7-10 year phased transition of the Renton plant closing would not really help us -- we'd still be too young to retire before enduring the extended commute for at least a couple years, and our children will still be pre-college age, making the idea of selling our home and moving not just a decision for two adults to make about the relative convenience of the two options for them, but a major disruption in our children's schooling, friendships, etc.

Phil Condit's off-the-cuff "of course we are" response (from Switzerland, no less!) to the suggestion that Boeing is considering closing the Renton plant shows once again that he has absolutely no concern for the 8000 families whose lives his decision would totally turn upside-down.

I was glad to see that SPEEA is "extremely suspicious" of the savings figures quoted in the article. While I understand the need for Boeing to consolidate and to save costs, adding to the already horrendous traffic and parking problems at the sprawling Everett plant seems to me only a way for Boeing the corporation to save money while its employees and the community lose the same amount of (or probably more) money in wasted time sitting in traffic (or hiking from the parking lot to their jobs after driving around the parking lot to find an empty space), increased road-building and other transit improvement costs to the community, schools that will need to be built in Everett but have too few students to be cost-effective in the South Sound, lost housing values in the South Sound, pricing employees out of nearby housing in the Everett area, costs incurred by employees to move (that Boeing will not reimburse and the government will not allow as deductible expenses) because the commute is too great, disruption to local businesses who rely on Renton employees as customers, etc., etc. I hope that SPEEA will continue its pledged efforts to ensure that all such factors are taken into account before a decision is made, and that such costs are appropriately reimbursed, if the final decision is to cause all these disruptions in order to save the stockholders a few bucks.

/s/ Carolyn Woods

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Our Jobs, Our Future, part 2

by Stan Sorscher, SPEEA Staff

Years ago, we regarded aerospace as a growth industry. Lately, industry observers have said our industry is "mature." Just before the merger, a Boeing executive expressed this idea in slightly different terms, saying that commercial airplanes were "approaching theoretical perfection." The result in either case is that product development and research were low priorities.

In any event, we have always looked for growth opportunities by diversifying into other products in aerospace and related markets. Perhaps the most immediate examples of this would be Connexions at Boeing, Sea Launch, operation of the Iridium network, and markets within the air transport industry (such as air traffic control, baggage handling, airplane modifications, maintenance, and ground operations).

Curiously, we haven't seen clear descriptions of how we would diversify.

Develop or Acquire?

If we rely on internal development for diversification, then a strong internal engineering community is required. On the other hand, we might acquire or purchase new business operations. In that case, the "critical mass" needed in our internal engineering infrastructure would be much lower.

Historically, Boeing's diversification was built on internal development and relied on a strong and effective engineering community. Using this model, Boeing won competitions in space and communications, and maintained a very strong position in commercial airplanes.

The Shareholder Value model steadily diminishes our engineering community by out-sourcing, sale of assets, plant closures, and cost cutting. The Shareholder Value business model might be better suited to acquisition and purchase of new business operations.

Consequences for Our People Strategy

About two years ago, an engineer spoke at an "all-hands" meeting in Kent, saying that he had worked for three years on the Space Station program. If that program moved to Huntsville, would he move with it? A senior executive replied that he would like to move the engineer with the project, but it would be too expensive. Instead, Boeing would lay him off in Seattle, and hire someone new in Huntsville.

During the strike, we asked a very thoughtful financial analyst if he expected the engineering community at Boeing to be a critical factor in Boeing's future success. He immediately and enthusiastically replied, "Yes!"

We switched the question around slightly. Will the current Boeing engineers have a direct role in that success? The analyst looked up slightly, and paused to consider the idea. "No, probably not. That's different," was his reply. Boeing's purchase of Hughes and participation in the Iridium network follow that pattern.

If Boeing intends to use our existing workforce, the Company should provide training, learning, or growth opportunities to match our new goals. We should start by identifying the skills and expertise needed to diversify, and make the best match of our existing workforce.

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Cogswell College hosts open house

Want to start or finish your degree, but can't find the courses offered when you need them?

Looking for a college that truly meets the needs of the working adult?

Henry Cogswell College will host a:

Spring Open House

Saturday March 10th
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Peed Hall, 3002 Colby Ave
Everett, WA

This is an opportunity for interested students to meet the department Deans, Admissions staff, current students, and tour the College. Degree programs include Business Administration, Computer Science, Digital Arts, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Professional Management. For more information, please contact the Office of Admissions at (425) 258-3351 or A map, driving directions, and additional information are available at

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APICS sponsors PDM...
Leading the Way to Successful ERP"

Presenter: William Turnquist, CFPIM

Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Over the years, numerous studies have come to the same valid conclusion-- that success or failure of large-scale system implementation, such as MRP, JIT, and TQM, depends largely on the role played by the company's leaders (i.e., top management). While top management leadership is still important, today's new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems can be implemented more easily and successfully by adopting a different, more expansive view of leadership. Because ERP is a complex, comprehensive, integrated resource management system, more and more people, at all levels and in all functional areas, need to take on leadership roles for ERP to be successful. In addition, those who choose not to be leaders need to understand how not to impede the implementation process.

This lively presentation will provide answers to the following questions: What is leadership? ... Why is leadership so important to implementation success? ... How is leadership different in an ERP implementation? ... How can you effectively perform your role (lead, follow, or get out of the way)? ... How can YOU become a better leader?

Bill Turnquist, CFPIM, is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Central Washington University, specializing in Production/Operations Management and Management Information Systems. He holds a Master of Science in Industrial and Management Engineering from Montana State University. Prior to entering the teaching profession 23 years ago, he spent several years as an industrial engineer and systems analyst, primarily with The Boeing Company. In addition, he has taught classes and seminars, and done consulting and training for numerous businesses, non-profit organizations, and professional societies. Bill is also a Senior Member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and a member of the Production and Operations Management Society, the American Society for Quality, and the Society for Health Systems.

Remember, APICS PDM's (Professional Development Meetings) count towards your CPIM (Certified in Production & Inventory Management) maintenance!

Wednesday, February 21, 2001

La Quinta Inn, Tacoma. WA
Dinner 6pm...Business Meeting 7pm...Speaker 7:30pm
Texan BBQ Buffet (ribs, beef, chicken, cornbread, etc.)

Fee: $25.00 cash or check, payable at the door.

Reservations can be made by e-mail to Lon DeNeui at or by visiting their web site at For phone reservations please call (253) 846-4637 or leave a message on (253) 841-2812. RSVP no later than Monday, February 19, 2001. Please include company name and a contact phone number. [Just a friendly reminder, APICS is charged for the dinners ordered so if you find you are unable to attend, please cancel your reservations by February 20, 2001 so the chapter does not incur any undue expenses. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.]

Founded in 1957 as the American Production & Inventory Control Society, APICS has since expanded its focus to include a full range of programs and materials on individual and organizational education, standards of excellence, and integrated resource management. To reflect this new direction, they are now known as APICS- The Educational Society for Resource Management.

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Aviation & Electronic Schools of America

Aviation & Electronic Schools of America (AESA) offers courses in aviation, electronics, telecommunications, and computer science. These courses are available around the world in training seminars, customized employee training programs, degree programs, and distance education.

AESA guarantees that you will pass all parts of the FAA A&P, I.A., and FCC written rating exams upon completion of their courses. If you fail any part, which is not likely, they will give you additional instruction, at no extra cost, until you pass.

AESA often schedules courses in the Wichita area and in Washington State. Some of the courses AESA offers include:

Computer Building & Configuring

Computer Service Technician: Hardware

Computer Service Technician: Operating Systems

Fiber Optics

Fiber Optics Advanced Certification

To find out more information, you can contact Sam Palmer at 1-800-345-2742, ext. 210 - or email Or check out their website at:

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Premier financial educator to hold free workshops

Paul Merriman, America's Premier Mutual Fund Educator, is holding a series of free investing workshops in March. "How to Build and Manage a Million Dollar Portfolio using no-load mutual funds" is designed to help investors properly prepare for a successful retirement. Each workshop delivers strategies and portfolios of no-load mutual funds for a wide range of situations. World-class portfolios for Schwab, Fidelity and Vanguard are provided in a free workbook. Proper allocation of the Boeing VIP/FSP program is also discussed. Each workshop is free but registration is required. Please call 1-800-423-4893.


Wednesday, March 7, 2001
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Renton Holiday Inn
1 S. Grady Way


Saturday, March 10, 2001
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Lynnwood Embassy Suites
20610 - 44th Avenue W

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Free retirement planning seminars

Kevin Cahoon, Associate Vice President, Retirement Planning Specialist, and Andrew Hergert, Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, will be presenting these free seminars for people who are close to retirement, considering a lump-sum distribution or rollover from their VIP/FSP and asking themselves: Do I have enough money to retire? What taxes and IRS penalties can be imposed on my lump-sum distribution? What are appropriate long-term strategies for my lump-sum or rollover that will best achieve my goals? If you are close to retirement and don't have answers to these questions, take an hour of your day to attend

SPEEA members and spouses are invited although space is limited. Box lunches will be provided. To reserve your space and request a box lunch, call Andrew Hergert at (206) 224-4203 or 1-800-733-4873.


Wednesday, February 21, 2001
11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Oxbow Activity Center
Building 9-150, room 201


Thursday, February 22, 2001
11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
18-25 Cafeteria
partitioned meeting area

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"Falstaff" opera ticket discounts

SPEEA still has a few tickets left for the opera "Falstaff" on:

Saturday, May 19, 2001

Tickets are available at a 30% discount in two sections: "Orchestra Center" (OCT) @ $63 each (reg. $90), and "Orchestra Center Back" (OCB) @ $50 each (reg. $70).

Place your order now to confirm your reservations, first-come, first-serve.

SPEEA "Falstaff" Opera ticket order form
Saturday, May 19, 2001

Please send me the following tickets. Enclosed is my check (payable to "SPEEA") in the amount of $________
-- OR charge $_____ + $2 handling fee to my credit card:
* VISA * MasterCard * AmEx

Card # ________________________ Exp. Date ________
Signature ________________________________________

___ OCT @ $63 each (only 8 left)

___ OCB @ $50 each (only 19 left)

Name ______________________________ Clock #________

Email ______________________________________________

Address ____________________________________________

Phone: h: (____)______________ w: (____) ______________

Mail to: SPEEA Opera tickets, 15205 - 52nd Ave S,
Seattle, WA 98188
(please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope)

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Balance a busy life with a healthy one

Work. Eat. Sleep. For many of us, that pretty much describes the extent of our physical activities on any given workday. What happened to recess? Eating lunch with your best friend?

When we leave childhood behind, we often leave behind those very things that brought us health and happiness on a daily basis -- being physically active and connected.

Learn how you can add this back into your life by visiting Working Solutions at the Family Care Resources website: log onto familycare ... or, using pin number 5041.

Working Solutions provides counseling, resources, referrals and educational materials to help Boeing employees and their family members meet the demands of life and work. To receive your free packet of information or talk with a Working Solutions counselor, call 1-800-358-8515.

This month's topic, "Busy Life, Healthy Life," includes articles on staying fit when you sit all day, and eating healthy at the office. Try the online quiz to evaluate how well you balance your life.

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Council Vacancy

Steve Konen has resigned his position as Council Rep in District N-9 (Wichita, Profs, 4-023L, 4-056G, 4-118F, 4-140H and 5-5007 Buildings). If you reside in that district, have been a member for at least one year, and would like to apply to fill this vacancy - please obtain a petition, complete it and return it no later than close of business Wednesday, February 14. If seated unopposed, this will allow you to participate in the February 15th Midwest Region Council meeting.

Petitions should be faxed to (316) 682-4668, or delivered to the SPEEA-Wichita office. If you have questions, please contact Lacey at (316) 682-0262 or Terry at 1-800-325-0811.

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Open enrollment planned for long-term disability insurance

The Company has agreed to hold an open enrollment for the Long Term Disability Plan (Aetna) for SPEEA-represented employees who did not opt to take such coverage when they hired in. It has been some time since an open enrollment was held, and this was something SPEEA requested during the last negotiations. The open enrollment will be held in the spring along with the regular medical/dental open enrollment period for SPEEA-represented employees. Watch our publications for exact dates of the open enrollment period.

Weekly Meetings

Feb. 13
Everett Site Assembly
4:30 PM
Feb. 15
Executive Board
4:00 PM
Feb. 19
5:00 PM
Feb. 20
Organizational Planning
5:00 PM
Feb. 21
Legislative & Public Affairs Committee
5:00 PM

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