Press conference alerts media to jobs leaving the state
In the two years since Washington state lawmakers approved the $8.7 billion tax incentive bill to “maintain and grow” the state’s aerospace industry, Boeing moved 3,669 jobs out of state.
That’s the message shared by SPEEA, the Machinists District 751 and
lawmakers at a press conference held in Seattle Nov. 9, the anniversary
of the bill’s passage.
Rep. June Robinson led the press conference, held at the Machinists hall
in Seattle. “It’s clear tax incentives don’t tie Boeing to jobs, and it’s clear
Boeing is keeping every penny,” she said to an audience of TV and newspaper
reporters. “Every time Boeing moves a job out of state, Washington loses
a little bit of our production knowledge, our research capabilities and our
ability to stay competitive for the next new airplane program.”
More than a dozen SPEEA leaders, including Council Reps, officers and
Executive Board members, along with a laid-off SPEEA member, took
part in the press conference with Machinists President Jon Holden and
SPEEA, IFPTE Local 2001 President Ryan Rule called for tax incentive accountability to
“maintain and grow the aerospace industry workforce” at the joint press conference with the
Machinists District 751 in Seattle and Rep. June Robinson (D-Everett).
Efforts continue to tie state’s $8.7 billion
aerospace tax incentives to jobs and wages
OLYMPIA – More than 200 members of SPEEA and IAM District 751 visited Olympia last month to press the need
to tie Washington's $8.7 billion tax break to jobs
and good wages.
Current, retired and a number of laid-off members visited legislators and key staff on Nov. 20
to explain how the lack of accountability in
Washington’s Aerospace Tax Preference bill has
allowed The Boeing Company to move more
than 3,600 jobs out of the state since legislators
approved the bill to “maintain and grow” the
Passed in a special legislative session in November
2013, the Washington aerospace tax preference
law extends $8.7 billion of tax incentives to
aerospace companies. The bulk of the tax breaks
The contingent of workers included a number
of SPEEA members who were laid off after their
jobs moved to other states.
Work moving to Missouri in the past year included the job of 34-year Boeing employee Mark
Purcell. Laid off in April, Purcell is looking for
“I liked my job,” said Purcell, an engineer who
managed computer databases in Everett. “If the
tax breaks are good for Boeing, they
should also be good for employees.
When there is no accountability,
this is what happens.”
Technical worker Thuy Lam was
laid off in June after 30 years with
“I’m still hoping to get back on at
Boeing,” Lam said. “But, I’m not
hearing anything, so I just don’t
The two unions – which combined
represent more than 51,000 workers – renewed their call to legislators to approve two bills that were introduced
in the 2015 session:
•;House Bill 2147, sponsored by Rep. June
Robinson, (D-Everett), would require
Boeing to maintain the Washington state
workforce of 83,295 -- the number on its
payroll the day the Legislature approved
the $8.7 billion tax break. As Boeing
moves jobs out of the state, the tax incentive reduces incrementally.
•;House Bill 1786, sponsored by Rep. Mia
Gregerson (D-Sea Tac) would give aero-
space suppliers who receive the tax break
the option of either paying workers with
three years seniority a living wage – de-
fined as the median wage for all workers
in Washington state – or paying the same
tax rate as non-aerospace manufacturers.
SPEEA President Ryan Rule said that unless we
stop the movement of high-skilled engineering
and technical jobs, Washington will see its prominent position as a leader in aerospace slip away.
“Adding accountability puts our state on a level
playing field with others competing to build or
enhance their own aerospace industry,” Rule
said. “It’s right for workers. It’s needed by our
state. And, it’s right for Boeing.”
Speaker of the House Rep. Frank Chopp (D-Seattle) meets with SPEEA
laid off member Brian Metz and others in Olympia.