Machinists Union Encouraged by USTR Efforts to Resolve U.S.-EU Aerospace Disputes

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2021 – The 600,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the largest aerospace labor union in North America, released the following statements on efforts by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to resolve the long-standing aerospace dispute between the U.S. and the European Union:

“The IAM applauds the efforts of the USTR as it takes a significant step forward to finally resolve aerospace disputes with the EU that were filed 17 years ago,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “We are confident that the USTR will make the interests of U.S. aerospace workers a priority as it proceeds to resolve these matters with the EU. As thousands upon thousands of U.S. aerospace jobs are outsourced throughout the world to countries like Mexico and China, we are also heartened by an acknowledgement that at least one non-market economy, China, has become the focus of these talks.”

“The IAM especially welcomes USTR’s long awaited efforts to coordinate with the EU in challenging China’s trade violations,” said IAM District 751 President and Directing Business Representative Jon Holden. “As Boeing and Airbus shift production to China, it is the workers in the U.S. and the EU who suffer as they see their livelihoods moving to a country that does not recognize the right to form a union and engage in collective bargaining. It is simply unacceptable for Boeing workers to have their jobs sacrificed to China and other countries like Mexico in the name of unfair global competition. Coordination between the U.S. and the EU to confront China’s trade challenges in aerospace is urgently needed. While today’s announcement is a solid step forward, if the EU is not willing to join us, the U.S. should move ahead with its own challenges to China’s unfair trade practices.” ​

“IAM members have proudly been the backbone of the U.S. aerospace industry for generations,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “Our trade policy must preserve and grow our aerospace workforce. The future of our economic and national security depends on the important decisions we make today.”

“As someone who comes from the shop floor building commercial aircraft, I’ve seen the destructive impact of offshoring jobs on our families and communities,“ said IAM Aerospace General Vice President Mark Blondin. “It is imperative that the government take an active role leveling the playing field in the global aerospace industry. It’s time to move forward so we can create an economy that works for workers worldwide.”

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in the manufacturing, aerospace, defense, airline, railroad, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, health care, and other industries.

 IAM District 751 represents approximately 30,000 members at the Boeing Co. in Washington state and Oregon. | @MachinistsUnion

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