Fighting for Good Aerospace Jobs With Tax Incentive Accountability
In the 2015 and 2016 Legislative Sessions the Members’ Choice team led by District President Jon Holden challenged the state of Washington to support living wage aerospace jobs by sponsoring the Aerospace Tax Incentive Accountability Act (ATIAA). Partnering with our Brothers and Sisters in SPEEA, our union initiated this groundbreaking legislation with two goals:
1) to protect aerospace jobs for Washington and
2) to provide living wages for workers at companies receiving part of the largest state tax breaks in the history of our nation.
Basically asking for accountability to the taxpayers of this state in exchange for the largest tax break in U.S. History.
In November 2013, to secure final assembly and the manufacturing of the 777X wing, our union supported the extension of the 2003 special aerospace preferential tax rate. However, no sooner did the state pass the largest tax break in history for Boeing, the company began to purposely ship jobs out of state. Our union responded to this betrayal by promoting passage of the ATIAA understanding if there was no criteria to compel Boeing to comply and at least maintain jobs here, Boeing would continue to collect tax incentives from Washington State while moving jobs to other states to collect incentives from those states as well. Another real danger with this lack of accountability for our state is as Boeing continues to create capability and capacity in other states, it will make it that much harder for us to compete for the next airplane program.
The tax incentive accountability jobs legislation is designed to directly connect the tax breaks to the number of jobs at Boeing. To date, the company has shipped out, laid off or otherwise reduced employment by over 8000 jobs. Not exactly a fair exchange for the biggest tax break in U.S. History.
Our efforts, which are ongoing, have changed the conversation in the state legislature going forward to include accountability and criteria for companies to collect these reduced tax rates.
In addition, our wage standard bill would require aerospace companies that are collecting the tax incentives to pay their workers the state’s medium wage ($19.67) after 3 years of employment. Over 6000 aerospace workers are earning less than $15 per hour; some as little as $10-$11 per hour.
Just another way our Members’ Choice candidates are working to build better communities and improve lives for our members by taking action in the legislative and political arena so we all have a stronger future!