Holden: Legislature should act now to fix incentives

OLYMPIA — The president of Machinists Union District Lodge 751 urged legislators to act now to hold companies accountable for the way they use the nation’s largest package of corporate tax incentives.

“The intent of the original tax incentive language, which this union supported, was to maintain and grow good aerospace jobs,” said IAM 751 President Jon Holden. “Yet rather than growing with that prosperity, our state’s aerospace workforce has been reduced by more than 4,000 jobs.”

Holden spoke during a Washington State Labor Council press conference Wednesday, where the federation of labor unions presented its “shared prosperity” agenda.

The complete text of Holden’s statement is below:

JonOly3I’m Jon Holden, president for aerospace machinists District Lodge 751, which represents more than 33,000 Machinists across this state.

A little over two years ago our state passed the largest tax incentive package of any state in the history of our nation. Unfortunately, when these tax incentives were extended, they did not secure guaranteed numbers of employment or any wage standards for those jobs.

We now know since those tax incentives were passed, the Boeing Co. has outsourced to other states and other countries more than 4,000 aerospace jobs that were in Washington in November 2013.

Other states have required employment guarantees and levels of capital investment in exchange for their incentives. Those states are acting responsibly on behalf of their citizens for the tax incentives they grant.

Our state needs to be responsible as well. We cannot emphasize enough that in exchange for the biggest tax incentive package in U.S. history, Washington state citizens must receive guaranteed numbers of jobs and wage standards.

The intent of the original tax incentive language, which this union supported, was to maintain and grow good aerospace jobs. Since the incentives have passed, the aerospace industry experienced record production and delivery of airplanes, yet rather than growing with that prosperity, our state’s aerospace workforce has been reduced by more than 4,000 jobs. Our aerospace workers and citizens deserve to maintain and grow with the record production.

While Washington state invested in the aerospace industry with record tax incentives, Boeing has purposely chose to secure tax incentives in other states by moving jobs out of Washington state while still collecting incentives here.

The time to pass the Aerospace Tax Incentive Accountability Act is now!

Originally formed in 1935 by hourly workers at Boeing, District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents more than 33,000 working men and women at 52 employers across Washington and California.

Click here to tell your representatives in Olympia to support Aerospace Tax Incentive Accountability!

 

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