Machinists Dispute Boeing Strike Concerns

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ --

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today rejected suggestions by the Boeing Company that the decision to build a new assembly line in South Carolina was based on concerns over future strikes by their unionized workforce.

"Corporate decisions like this are years in the making, and this one is no different," said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger in a statement issued following the announcement. "Until the last minute, executives feign indecision in an effort to dodge responsibility and to squeeze the last drops of goodwill out of a community that is losing a part of its legacy and, more important, its employment base."

Claims by unnamed sources in recent newspaper articles that IAM representatives refused to consider long-term agreements that would assure uninterrupted production are also false. "Boeing's goal was not an agreement that would keep the work in Washington state," said IAM Vice President Rich Michalski. "Their goal was to run out the clock on a charade that included blaming their own workers for a decision to establish operations in yet another distant and high risk environment."

Incentives offered by South Carolina in a last minute bidding frenzy included legislation that would provide $170 million in taxpayer-funded incentives for Boeing, including an agreement that Boeing would pay virtually no corporate income taxes for five years.

"South Carolina's incentives demand that Boeing spend another three-quarters of a billion dollars and guarantee that state more than three times as many jobs as they predicted would be needed for a second line here in Puget Sound," said District 751 President Tom Wroblewski. "Yet this company has not guaranteed any jobs for Washington state, within the Machinists ranks or in any other Boeing payroll."

Additional information is available at the District 751 website at

The IAM represents more than 35,000 Boeing employees among nearly 700,000 active and retired members across North America. For more information about the IAM, visit

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