After heavy scrutiny, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) recently determined workers in Washington laid off by Boeing
are eligible to apply for federal Trade Adjustment
Assistance (TAA or “Trade Act”).
Machinists District Lodge 751, in partnership
with SPEEA and the Washington State Labor
Council (WSLC), AFL-CIO, petitioned for TAA
benefits in May in anticipation of the certificate
expiring on June 12. TAA helps industries and
workers adversely impacted by international trade.
“TAA rarely makes someone whole after losing a
good job, but it is the best possible reemployment
support available in what can be a devastating
time,” said Chelsea Orvella, SPEEA legislative
The new certification is retroactive to June
12 and covers union and non-union layoffs from,
or supporting, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Triumph Composite Systems (Spokane) and
Spirit AeroSystems (Wichita) are currently certified by separate petitions filed by IAM and
If determined eligible (individual basis), workers
using TAA may receive extended income support, paid tuition, relocation assistance and other
benefits otherwise not available.
“Every laid-off member should seek out the
program immediately after their last day on the
job – whether they think they will use the benefits or not,” said Orvella. “There are important
deadlines they don’t want to miss.”
Learn about layoff tools at SPEEA
SPEEA hosts informational sessions for members to learn more about layoff benefits and job retraining options. Shown
here at a meeting earlier this year were presenters (from left): Charles Best Jr., director of the King County Reemployment
Support Center – Worker Center, AFL-CIO, Antje Koenig, WorkSource Seattle-King County and Fran Kwak, King County
Community and Technical Colleges. Linda Collins, Washington State Employment Security Department (not shown), also
presented. The next meeting is at SPEEA headquarters, Monday, Sept. 14. See details at www.speea.org (Northwest calendar).
Trade Act a lifeline, but sign
of deeper problems
By Chelsea Orvella
SPEEA legislative director
The recent certification of the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance ( TAA) benefits for laid-off workers at Boeing Commercial
Airplanes in Washington is great news.
In my career, I’ve worked with TAA in several different capacities - first for Congressman Smith, a
key figure in expanding the federal program, next
at the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC),
AFL-CIO, assisting dislocated workers and now
at SPEEA, IFPTE Local 2001.
There is no other state or federal dislocated worker
program that comes close to offering the income,
tuition, relocation and other reemployment support available through TAA.
The benefits ease the strain
of unemployment during
one of the most difficult times in a person’s life.
TAA operates differently, however, at the policy
level than where the rubber meets the road for laid-off workers. For people who lose their jobs, it is a
lifeline and often an opportunity for a new career.
In terms of the public policies that shape our
country, TAA is a band-aid for the deeper problems – namely the loss of good, middle-class jobs
– caused by flawed international trade policies and
the growing weight of shareholder profits over
investments in workers and communities.
Still, in recently talking to a former SPEEA
member laid off from Boeing, I am reminded
how valuable the TAA program can be in someone’s life. His path forward after losing his job
was not without financial stress and concerns about the future for himself and his
family. Yet, using TAA, he is completing
a Bachelor of Applied Science degree and
is enthusiastic about getting his foot in
the door in a new, cutting-edge industry.
He offered the advice that TAA is not for
the faint of heart. It can be difficult to
navigate the forms and steps to receive
the financial support. Individual workers have
to apply for benefits within certain time limits
and then doggedly pursue the support needed to
make the program work for them. With perseverance, this former SPEEA member navigated
TAA to ultimately begin an exciting new career.
In Washington, TAA is administered at
WorkSource offices throughout the state. For
more information about TAA and applying for
benefits, visit www.speea.org (look for Layoff
Laid-off workers from The Boeing Company in
Washington may be eligible to apply for training, income support, and other benefits through
the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program
(TAA or ‘Trade Act’).
Laid-off workers receive a letter detailing the
benefits and next steps.
• Out-of-area job search allowances
• Relocation assistance
• Training/tuition assistance
• Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) -
• Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance
(RTAA) for older workers
• Worked for or support-
ed Boeing Commercial
Airplane (BCA) pro-
grams or products
• Laid off between April 26,
2012 and August 6, 2017
• Live or work for Boeing in Washington
* Separate petitions (filed by SPEEA and the
Machinists) cover Triumph Composite Systems,
Spokane, and Spirit AeroSystems, Wichita
Learn more at www.speea.org (Member Tools/