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California Labor Federation AFL-CIO Urges Air Force Not to Harm State’s Workforce

California Labor Federation AFL-CIO Urges Air Force Not to Harm State's Workforce and Growing Local Economy

One of the largest labor federations in the country asks U.S. government to stand up for America's workers and halt outsourcing of defense contracts to foreign manufacturers


Sacramento, CA –- The California Labor Federation (AFL-CIO), released a letter today sent to Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne in which it questions the United States government’s commitment to the workers of California and the nation. The Federation’s concern stems from the potential award of the next generation of refueling tankers by the Air Force to French-based manufacturer EADS/Airbus.

“EADS’s violation of trade laws should be enough to disqualify this European company from receiving any U.S. government contract; however the consequences of this contract go far beyond legalese and impact the well-being and prosperity of middle-class American families,” said Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, California Labor Federation.

The other bidder for the air tanker contract, Boeing Corporation, is a major engine of economic growth and job creation in the state of California. Boeing supports more than 4,000 jobs and contributes an estimated $175 million to the state. By contrast, EADS plans to only do the final assembly of their tanker in the US, with the overwhelming majority of the manufacturing process taking place in Europe.

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has filed the largest-ever suit in the history of the World Trade Organization against the EADS corporation regarding an illegal $100 billion subsidy it received from the European Union. The suit alleges that EADS is intentionally trying to undermine our economy and our nation’s prosperity.

As a result of the current global concerns, protecting U.S. national security assets and our economy should be the number one priority for the U.S. Air Force and the government. The California Labor Federation is asking that the Air Force halt any actions that would lead to the outsourcing of defense contracts, in particular the current contract for building refueling tankers.

The California Labor Federation is the state AFL-CIO, with more than 1,200 local union affiliates and representing 2.1 million union members in manufacturing, service, retail, construction, public sector and private industry unions. The California Labor Federation is committed to protecting and advancing the rights and interests of all California workers.


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