Employees at Boeing Kent have questions answered this week about the company’s decision to move defense jobs out of Washington state. The standing-room meeting addressed questions about layoff processes, retirement, retention rating issues and job search resources. Additional meetings are planned. Learn about meetings in your area by talking to Council Reps or visiting the Northwest Calendar.
Members continue to ask questions and seek clarity regarding The Boeing Company’s decisions to move work out of Puget Sound locations.
Those announcements include sending most of its Commercial Aviation Services (CAS) work to California and dispersing about half of its research and technology division (BR&T). Presently, about 2,000 employees in the Professional and Technical bargaining units are affected. However, indications are the number could go higher.
Council Reps are hosting meetings in the workplace with SPEEA leaders and staff to discuss concerns, issues and impact on contract benefits in more detail.
- Notify SPEEA about work moving from your site and related workplace anomalies (send an email to email@example.com from a non-work email)
- Take advantage of Ed Wells Partnership career workshops and classes
- Complete the work movement survey at www.speea.org (Member Tools – Surveys)
- Look for a new job within Boeing
- Contact your legislators about the need to amend the 777X tax package to protect jobs and wages
- Talk to your co-workers, families and friends to inform them that the 777X tax package did not protect jobs or wages
- Stay connected with SPEEA by signing up for home email, visiting the website and becoming a “Friend of SPEEA” if you leave Boeing
|Ask them to become a “Friend of SPEEA.”
Look for the icon on the SPEEA website. Participants receive a monthly email to keep them connected to the professional aerospace community.
For the next available workplace meeting, talk to your Council Rep or
go to the online calendar.
- Below is an overview of SPEEA actions. To find out more,
attend an informational meeting.
- Filed an Unfair Labor Practice with the National Labor Relations Board over Boeing’s
refusal to provide information on the transfer and relocation of work.
- Investigating legal avenues, including age discrimination. “Our legal team is actively reviewing
the data and members should expect a significant announcement soon,” noted Ray Goforth,
SPEEA executive director.
- Pursuing additional information to corroborate what SPEEA is hearing from whistleblower managers.
- Holding member meetings – including standing-room only crowds with SPEEA Executive Board members, officers and staff subject matter experts.
- Meeting with lawmakers to urge them to reevaluate the $8.7 billion aerospace
tax incentive package passed last year to ensure clear performance conditions
(i.e. job creation and wage provisions) are included. (Read related story on outreach efforts
in Legislative Corner p5.)
- Supporting resume and career workshops through Ed Wells Partnership, a SPEEA contract benefit.
Assisting members and planning actions to raise awareness and pressure Boeing to honor its
commitments to employees and thoroughly evaluate the implications of moving work.
“Go out and talk to your co-workers, your neighbors,” said IFPTE President Greg Junemann at the
SPEEA Convention. “Inform them, engage them and get them to question what Boeing is doing.
“As union members, we believe in partnership,” he added. “We believe in working together. But, if
Boeing wants to wrestle in the mud, we can do that too.”
|Executive Director Ray Goforth, left, and IAM Lodge 751 President Jon Holden testify before the Washington state Citizens Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax Preferences. SPEEA and the Machinists are pushing for more accountability in aerospace tax preferences to ensure companies taking the tax breaks build the industry where they were given.
By Bill Dugovich
SPEEA Communications Director
With The Boeing Company announcing more layoffs and job moves out of Washington, SPEEA and IAM 751 are stepping up efforts to ensure the $8.7 billion extension of aerospace tax preferences are used to grow the state’s aerospace industry with good paying jobs and not by companies moving jobs elsewhere.
Passed by the Legislature during special session, the aerospace tax breaks were granted to secure Boeing’s 777X program and help grow the regional aerospace industry. However, since passage in November 2013, Boeing has announced 4,000 layoffs of engineers and technical workers, made plans to use robots instead of skilled Machinists at its 777X factory and moved whole programs out of Washington.
While supporting aerospace incentives, SPEEA and the Machinists agree with the recent Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) which recommends further review and clarification of the stated goals of the Aerospace Tax Preference Package. The two unions are working with consultants to draft the Aerospace Tax Incentive Accountability Act and meeting with legislators to explain what is happening in the workplace and why change is needed.
As part of the joint effort, SPEEA Executive Director Ray Goforth and IAM Lodge 751 President Jon Holden recently testified before the Washington state Citizens Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax Preferences. The commission is reviewing the state’s litany of corporate tax breaks to judge their effectiveness at achieving intended goals.
“Our union, like the Machinists’ union, has consistently supported these tax preferences for the aerospace industry,” Goforth testified. “It is clear to us, however, that these tax preferences must be modified – as JLARC recommends – to tie our public investment to a clear measurement of jobs maintained and created in the industry in our state.”
Holden expanded on the point by adding that the jobs created by companies taking the tax breaks must also be good jobs that can support families.
“If you outsource jobs to a vendor who pays $15 an hour, you did not improve your community,” said Holden. “Instead of fueling the economy, those same jobs are draining valuable social programs when those employees must be subsidized through state-funded health care, food stamps and free or reduced school lunches.”
Tax breaks have little to do with why engineering supplier Electroimpact located in Washington state, according to Ben Hempstead, a mechanical engineer. Located in Mukilteo, Wash., Electroimpact supplies engineering work to Boeing, Airbus Industries and others.
“Way down the list is tax policy,” Hempstead said. “Electroimpact is in Washington state because our largest customer is here, and it’s a great place to live.”
Reacting to the comment, Commissioner Lily Kahng questioned the benefits of giving tax breaks to businesses.
“States are competing away their tax base in order to attract these businesses,” Kahng said. “To say it’s a wise investment decision by taxpayers in these jurisdictions is a mischaracterization. To some extent it is really not good for states in this competition.”
SPEEA and the Machinists will continue to work together to inform the public and push the Legislature to revisit the aerospace tax preference bill during the 2015 legislative session. The goal is not to kill the aerospace tax preferences but rather to ensure that companies are using them to maintain and expand the aerospace industry to benefit the region providing the breaks.
“They took the tax breaks and immediately started moving engineering jobs out of the state,” Goforth said. “That’s not what taxpayers expected.”
Testimony given at the Sept. 19 meeting of the Citizens Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax Preferences can be viewed at: www.tvw.org.
|SPEEA Spotlite - October 2014
SEATTLE – The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will hold a hearing in January on SPEEA’s request for “any and all” Boeing Company documents relating to the “relocation” and /or “realignment” of work currently being performed by SPEEA-represented employees in the Puget Sound region.
The NLRB complaint and notice of hearing is the result of an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge filed by SPEEA in May after Boeing refused to provide information sought in a formal information request made in response to the company’s rationale that the work moves were necessary.
In July, the NLRB found Boeing violated labor law during contract talks by refusing to fulfill a SPEEA information request for wage rates, regional salary information and productivity data from various company locations. Also the result of a union ULP, the order said Boeing’s refusal to provide the information “undermined and tainted” contract negotiations.