The Stand

Unions win federal assistance for laid-off Boeing workers

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Machinists 751, SPEEA, WSLC successfully petition for TAA benefits

 

SEATTLE (July 2, 2020) — Workers laid-off from the Boeing Co. will have additional federal assistance benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program because of union action. On June 30, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the Machinists Union District 751 was successful in obtaining a new certification for TAA for all workers laid off from The Boeing Company in Washington and Oregon. The certification was in response to a petition District 751 filed in May in coordination with the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace/IFPTE 2001 (SPEEA) and Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (WSLC).

The TAA certification covers workers who lost or will lose their jobs from May 5, 2019 to June 23, 2022. It will also cover workers laid-off from several onsite contractors at Boeing locations in Washington and Oregon.

“Our members and any workers laid off from Boeing will be able to draw on a wide range of job retraining, income assistance and other benefits through TAA, thanks to the proactive work done by Machinists District 751, the Washington State Labor Council and SPEEA. This gives those laid-off more options for a better future,” said District 751 President Jon Holden. “The Machinists Union is dedicated to helping improve not just the lives of our members, but others throughout our communities. TAA provides a substantial safety net for our members and other Boeing employees who get laid-off. We hope all impacted will take advantage of these enhanced benefits.”

“We are happy to see this petition to support laid off SPEEA members was recently approved by federal administrators,” said Ryan Rule, SPEEA president. “We know SPEEA members continue to be displaced, in part, due to global trade pressures and international economic conditions. TAA is a critical tool to aid in their return to the workforce – and most importantly, provide their families an additional layer of resources to maintain their economic security.”

Members of Washington’s congressional delegation, led by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, also offered support for the unions’ petition via a recent letter to the U.S. Department of Labor asking for timely consideration. Signatories included Sens. Cantwell and Patty Murray and Reps. Derek Kilmer, Denny Heck, Pramila Jayapal, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith, Suzan DelBene and Rick Larsen.

TAA provides a range of federal benefits, which can include:

●  Out-of-area job search allowances,
●  Relocation assistance,
●  Training/tuition support,
●  Extended income support,
●  Partial wage replacement for older workers,
●  And more.

“The TAA program helps laid-off workers get career counseling and retraining. If they can’t quickly find new jobs, it provides extended unemployment benefits and helps maintain health-insurance coverage,” said Bill Messenger, WSLC Workforce Development Director. “For people who have lost jobs through no fault of their own, it may seem like a small consolation — and it is. But it’s an important one. TAA certification gives them access to all of the job retraining and reemployment program opportunities that are available.”

In Washington, the program is administered by the state’s Employment Security Department (ESD), and employment and case management services are provided by local WorkSource offices. Each individual worker must apply for the program at the state level to confirm eligibility and benefits provided are unique to each person’s re-employment needs.

IF YOU ARE A LAID-OFF BOEING WORKER — You will be notified by mail from ESD and you should be offered the opportunity to attend a TAA orientation/enrollment session. At the end of this session, you will be assigned a case manager. But you can go ahead and start researching now about what type of schooling/training could help you on your next employment. Folks at your local Worksource office can help you fill out the necessary paperwork and help you through the next steps of this important enrollment process. If you have trouble with this process or need to talk about options, please contact Bill Messenger via email to make an appointment. But please, wait for your notification from ESD first.

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