IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger called for changes to the proposed American Jobs Act and called for more support of America’s aviation manufacturing industry and a strong “Buy American” provisions in the bill.
In an op-ed, entitled “Breaking Faith With Jobless Over an Applause Line” that appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Buffenbarger called for dropping a provision in the Act that limits depreciation on business jets. “President Obama may think he is clipping the wings of high-flying corporate CEOs,” said Buffenbarger. “But the people who will really pay the price for this change in the tax code are the people who build these planes, as well as those who fly them, maintain them and service them.
“America’s aviation manufacturers shipped a total of more than 6,000 airplanes in 2007 and 2008. The total for 2010 was 1,334,” said Buffenbarger. “The biggest losers have been industry workers who have lost their jobs.” Overall, changing the tax will generate little revenue, make the Jobs Act harder to get through Congress and do long-term damage to the workers in the business jet industry.
In a letter to the editor that appeared in the Washington Post, Buffenbarger also called for strong “Buy America” provisions in the American Jobs Act. “In the past few years, more than three million manufacturing workers have lost their jobs. Requiring companies to use federal money to purchase domestic materials and manufactured goods will not harm American workers,” said Buffenbarger. “Quite the contrary, it will provide much-needed jobs to the millions of manufacturing workers who have lost theirs. It will also help restore our nation’s economy.”