SPEEA Legislative Director Chelsea Orvella and Machinists District 751 Legislative and Political Director Larry Brown provide testimony in Olympia last month to the Washington
Citizen Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax Preferences. The commission meets at regular intervals to review tax preferences and recommend improvements to the Legislature.
Aerospace tax incentives – three years later
Who thought ‘maintain and grow’ would
result in thousands of job cuts?
By Bill Dugovich,
SPEEA Communications Director
composite plant to build wing and empennage
parts for the 777X.
could renew the effort
during the upcoming
Since November 2013, The Boeing Company has shed 8,895 jobs from its Washington state workforce.
That’s a job loss comparable to the entire population of the city of Snohomish, or Port Townsend,
“If Boeing employment does not increase in
Missouri, the tax incentive from that state
decreases,” said Chelsea Orvella, SPEEA
Legislative Director. “If employment drops below
a certain amount any time in the next decade, the
company must return the money to the state.”
2017 session which begins Jan. 9.
This is certainly not what state legislators expect-
ed when they voted to extend $8.7 billion in
tax breaks to the state’s aerospace industry to
“maintain and grow Washington’s aerospace
workforce.” However, there is no denying that
by not tying job requirements to the tax breaks,
Washington state left the door
open for Boeing to take advan-
tage of its home state.
Efforts to add accountability to Washington’s aerospace tax incentives have fallen short in the past two
legislative sessions. Most recently, House Bill 2638
would have tied tax breaks to jobs and House Bill
1786 was written to ensure a living wage for aerospace workers down the supply chain. Similar bills
Polling has shown public support for tying jobs
to tax breaks and ensuring a living wage for
aerospace workers. Two-thirds of likely voters across Washington state supported tying
aerospace tax incentives to requirements that
the companies taking the tax breaks maintain
jobs in the state and pay workers a living wage.
Support was on both sides of the Cascades and
across the political spectrum.
Workforce change since Nov. 2013*
Despite continued efforts by
SPEEA, Machinists District 751
and key legislators – including
Friend of SPEEA honorees June
Robinson (D-Everett) and Mia
Gregerson (D-Sea Tac) – efforts
to add accountability have been
stalled in the legislative process
by the relentless political pressure
exerted by Boeing and the industry. With tax breaks unchecked,
jobs continue to flow out of
Washington. Locations on the
receiving end include South
Carolina, Missouri and Alabama
– states that all tied aerospace
tax breaks to job requirements.
Oklahoma gained more than
2,600 jobs from Boeing. Missouri
stands to gain even more with the
opening of a new $300 million Washington’s aerospace tax incentives were signed into law on Nov. 11, 2013. Source: www.boeing.com
With budget issues likely to consume much of the
legislative session in 2017, ensuring aerospace tax
breaks actually meet their intended purpose seems
reasonable. Members of SPEEA, the Machinists
and the taxpayers of Washington state should
start contacting legislators today to ensure the
interests of residents and workers are on an equal
footing with the corporate interests of Boeing and
the aerospace industry.
since Jan. 2016
New Midwest office is a hit with members ......................4
IFP TE LEAP-PAC – Voluntary contributions adding up ......5
Closer look at Prof and Tech benefits ............................ 6-7
Midwest Teller values process for SPEEA elections............8
Wreath-laying ceremony moves members to tears ..........9
Labor Union Bill of Rights...............................................10
SPEEA committees host holiday fun ...............................11
Local 2001, AFL-CIO, CLC
OF PROFESSIONAL AND