Wroblewski ‘pleased’ conference canceled
The organizers of a Mexico aerospace outsourcing conference planned for Seattle have canceled the event, citing pressure from Machinists Union District Lodge 751 and the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace.
District 751 President Tom Wroblewski issued a statement saying he was pleased to hear the news. “Clearly, this is the exact wrong time in America to sit back and allow more jobs to be exported,” he wrote.
The Machinists and SPEEA were working together with the rest of organized labor on plans to protest not only the MexicoNow conference at SeaTac on Dec. 2, but also at the Seattle-area offices of three companies taking part in the event: real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, GE Commercial Finance and Boeing.
“The goal of next week’s planned protests was to hold the companies taking part in the conference accountable for their actions,” Wroblewski wrote.
“At a time when 358,000 Washington state residents are unemployed, untold thousands more have given up on ever finding a job – and one in seven are on food stamps – we felt it was essential that someone ask the conference participants a very pointed question: Why are you working so hard to undermine this state’s economy, and send these vital aerospace jobs out of the country?”
Wroblewski called for a frank national discussion of the pro’s and cons of outsourcing. “Sending work to Mexico or China may win short-term gains for the companies that practice it, but our members know first-hand how it can destroy a company’s – or a nation’s – long-term competitiveness in aerospace,” he wrote.
Wroblewski said the Machinists Union is committed to helping any company or organization whose goal is growing Washington’s aerospace industry — even leaders of the MexicoNow conference, should they propose “a plan that realistically grows jobs in this state.”
But “as long as the goal of MexicoNow is to steal American jobs, we will continue to oppose any effort the group might make to organize any outsourcing conference in Washington state,” he said.
Wroblewski also thanked all the groups and invididuals who supported District 751’s efforts to stop the conference. In particular, he thanked SPEEA, whose executive council last week announced its support for the conference protests, and Washington state’s Congressional leadership, including U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, and Congressmen Jay Inslee, Rick Larsen and Jim McDermott.
“My very special thanks,” Wroblewski added, “go to the hundreds of Machinists Union members and stewards who volunteered to turn out and help with any potential protest actions to oppose the conference.”
Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing, District 751 now represents 25,500 working men and women at 42 employers across Washington, Oregon and California.
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