U.S. Senate Funds C-17 Program, Saves 30,000 Jobs

Thirty-thousand workers across America, including thousands of IAM members, are thankful that a bipartisan group of senators approved the continued funding of the C-17 Globemaster cargo plane.

By a 64-36 vote, the Senate rejected Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) amendment to end production of popular plane and approved the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that includes an order for ten more C-17s. The continuation of the C-17 program saves over 30,000 jobs in 43 states, from IAM members who make the engines in Connecticut to the assemblers in California and all the parts suppliers in between.

“Continued production of the C-17 Globemaster will help ensure America’s ability to support our troops, as well as our aerospace industrial base and the quality jobs associated with one of the last industries in which the U.S. is an export leader,” wrote IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger in his letter to all Senate members last week.

The high-tech C-17 is a massive and versatile cargo plane known for its ability to land on short, bumpy runways, and has been especially beneficial in Iraq and Afghanistan. C-17s are able to deliver troops, supplies and equipment to the battlefield quickly and efficiently. Because of its versatility, the C-17 has also been used in humanitarian efforts to rapidly deliver vital goods at times of natural disasters in the U.S. and around the world.