IAM District 751, which represents more than 26,000 aerospace workers at Boeing and its suppliers, is calling for action as China becomes a global competitor in the aerospace industry.
In a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai hosted at its Seattle union hall, District 751 President Jon Holden called for immediate Chinese recertification of the IAM-built 737 Max and outlined concerns over China’s growing aerospace footprint. Holden thanked Tai for focusing efforts on worker-centered trade and sounded the alarm on the transfer of U.S. technology and jobs to China, as well as unfair Chinese government subsidies to its aerospace industry.
Holden also raised concerns about worker and human rights in China.
“China’s continued refusal to honor basic human rights, including those concerning forced labor, discrimination, child labor, the right to form and join a union and engage in collective bargaining, are moral issues,” said Holden. “They are also economic issues, which drive standards down around the world. We see U.S. and European aerospace companies continuing to outsource work and build production plants in Mexico to take advantage of low wages and no workers’ rights.”
“Our members at IAM District 751 will benefit from President Holden’s advocacy,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “We will fight for the immediate recertification of the 737 Max and to stop China’s unfair trade practices that are causing harm to aerospace and manufacturing workers in the Puget Sound.”
READ: USTR Tai, DelBene meet with labor on worker-centered trade The Stand
Holden was joined at the meeting by IAM District 751 Chief of Staff Jason Chan, U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), and other Washington state labor leaders.