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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 12, 2013 at 7:01 AM

Boeing, the Machinists and a crucial vote

The Legislature needs Boeing

Apparently the Machinists and the Legislature feel they can dictate the terms on which Boeing would be “allowed” to build the 777X locally [“Boeing tax help on move at capitol,” page one, Nov.9].

It is not Boeing that needs the Machinists or the Legislature, it is the union and the Legislature that need Boeing. Boeing has other options and clearly the upper hand in dictating the terms. For the sake of the local economy, I hope everyone keeps in mind that the negotiations or the work may go elsewhere.

Wayne Jensen, Kirkland

 Gov. Jay Inslee, stands with Boeing CEO of commercial airplanes Ray Conner, Machinists union president Tom Wroblewski and House Speaker Frank Chopp, right, before at a signing event for legislation to help keep production of Boeing's new 777X in Washington, Nov. 11, at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Gov. Jay Inslee, stands with Boeing CEO of commercial airplanes Ray Conner, Machinists union president Tom Wroblewski and House Speaker Frank Chopp, right, before at a signing event for legislation to help keep production of Boeing’s new 777X in Washington, Nov. 11, at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Tax breaks for Boeing simply greedy

It is sickening to watch Sen. Patty Murray, Gov. Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine and the state Legislature rushing to give Boeing $18 billion in tax breaks — at the same time huge cuts are looming for public transit and other lifeline services.

These elected officials act as though they are doing Machinists and the working people of Washington a favor. In truth, the company has already received enormous tax breaks and subsidies from state and federal government over the years. And now they want even more! This is simple greed.

Their game? Force the various states to compete for work in a race to the bottom. The result is that Washington state now has the most regressive tax structure in the nation — while being home to some of the wealthiest multinational corporations in the world.

If Boeing gets away with cutting pensions and wage raises for Machinists, Washington will also be saddled with even more families living in poverty. Other employers will follow Boeing’s lead in slashing and burning the wages and benefits of their workers. More services will be needed, but fewer taxes will be available, thanks to Boeing.

In standing up against this extortion, Machinists are standing up for all workers and taxpayers in Washington. Hooray for the vote no forces within the Machinists. An injury to one is an injury to all.

Linda Averill, Seattle

The machinists will be the reason why Boeing won’t stay in Washington

How much money would an ordinary person have to save to create a guaranteed lifetime annuity that pays $2,700 per month? Your readers should know what the Machinists are asking Boeing to provide them. Ask yourself how many millions of dollars per worker.

Your readers should also be reminded that tax breaks are made up by — and paid for by — taxpayers. Public taxes are ultimately supporting Boeing retirement annuities.

How should taxpayers, mostly everyone without such an annuity, feel when it comes time for us to retire? We pay in taxes now for someone else to have what we won’t have for ourselves.

The rest of us are more likely to have jobs here if Boeing stays in Washington. The Machinists will be the reason Boeing won’t stay in Washington state — not the taxpayers.

The jobs will still be there though, just in South Carolina.

Laurie West, Woodinville

0 Comments | More in Boeing | Topics: 777X, Boeing

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