Washington, D.C., July 21, 2009 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today pledged to continue fighting for additional funding for F-22 Raptor aircraft, despite a vote in the U.S. Senate to end production at the 187 jets currently on order.
“This is a critical economic security issue as well as a national security issue,” declared IAM President Tom Buffenbarger. “More than 95,000 jobs in 44 states are at risk from the shortsighted decision to terminate this program. Entire communities will suffer grievous economic harm and a critical skill base could be lost forever if this decision is not reversed.”
IAM members build, assemble and maintain F-22 components in dozens of states, including Connecticut, Georgia, California and Texas.
“Ending the F-22 will result in immediate layoffs in the supplier base and begin the costly dismantling of a vital part of our defense industrial base — at a time when our nation is facing the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression and unemployment continues to rise month after month,” said Buffenbarger.
The IAM is among the nation’s largest industrial trade unions, representing nearly 700,000 active and retired members under more than 5,000 contracts in aerospace, transportation, shipbuilding and defense-related industries. For more information, visit www.goiam.org.