Freedom Socialist editorial
Stand with Machinists
volume 34
issue 6
December 2013

The Boeing company, not satisfied with $8.7 billion in tax breaks and $4 billion in profits, is threatening to move production of its 777X out of Washington state. Why? Because Machinists won’t suck up huge concessions or sign a no-strike pledge. In November 2013, the International Association of Machinists (IAM) Local 751 rejected Boeing’s demands 2 to 1, despite treachery from top union officials, Gov. Jay Inslee, and U.S. Senator Patty Murray, who secretly helped Boeing craft the rotten deal.

Machinists now face bipartisan pressure from public officials to surrender. But veteran IAM members know that concessions don’t save jobs. The last time Boeing got an anti-labor tax-break package, the corporate giant still moved a 787 production line to the “right to work” state of South Carolina.

Boeing’s blitzkrieg is designed to gut wages and benefits for working people everywhere. One state Senator, Michael Baumgartner, is using Boeing’s threat of departure to justify anti-labor legislation. All unions should help Machinists fight these attacks. A good push-back? Demand that Washington confiscate Boeing’s state-subsidized land, buildings and equipment if the company moves. Boeing workers could run operations better themselves without interference from top management. And the entire state would benefit — not to mention the boost it would give to workers everywhere!