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Why we advocate
No workforce is more iconic to Washington state than the aerospace industry. Washington’s aerospace workforce, and union-wage jobs, play a vital role in the health of the state and local economy. The aerospace workforce in Washington, anchored by The Boeing Company and stretching across a vast supplier network, continues to be a major pillar of the statewide economy and a leading source of employment and wealth creation across the state. In fact, the total economic impact of aerospace jobs in the state was roughly $20.5 billion in 2018.
Much like their Washingtonian counterparts, SPEEA members at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, and their union-wage jobs, play a crucial role in the strength and vitality of the Kansas economy. As the “Air Capital of the World,” SPEEA members’ work at Spirit is critical to the overall health of U.S. manufacturing and international trade. Spirit’s work on Airbus products ties SPEEA members to fellow union members in the European Union and Great Britain.
Given the essential work of our membership, state and federal legislators take great interest in our industry and workforce. Every year, state and federal lawmakers consider countless policies that have a direct impact on our wages, working conditions, retirement security, education, job security and collective bargaining rights. Decisions made by elected officials affect infrastructure, trade, outsourcing, public safety, defense and many other public policies that shape the competitiveness and strength of U.S. aerospace manufacturing.
SPEEA members know what can happen if we rely on politicians and industry lobbyists to do the right thing for workers. We also know what happens when we roll up our sleeves, put our heads together and go to work to ensure our interests are considered. Involvement is the only way to ensure better results. Together, through SPEEA’s legislative advocacy, we have a powerful and effective voice to shape public policy and our industry.
Five areas of SPEEA legislative action
One important way to help advocate for aerospace workers is to participate in union member “calls to action” communications, union-hosted events, lobby days and remote campaigns. These calls are announced in the biweekly newsletter and when time allows, the monthly Spotlite magazine. Calls to action also are made through emails to members who sign up for Legislative Action Alerts. Sign up for SPEEA’s Legislative Updates and Action Alerts.
Members guide our work
Through the SPEEA, Northwest and Midwest Legislative & Public Affairs (L&PA) committees, union members can help guide the public policy and legislative agenda for our union and play an active role in reviewing and advancing SPEEA’s legislative priorities. Look for information on L&PA committees.
Invest in legislative action
No part of SPEEA members’ union dues go to political action. Instead, members who choose to support our legislative work donate to the IFPTE Legislative Education Action Program (LEAP), Political Action Committee (PAC). LEAP PAC is funded completely by the voluntary contributions made by members of all IFPTE local unions.
LEAP PAC is an important tool that allows union members, including members of SPEEA, IFPTE Local 2001, to advocate at the state and federal level for issues and support candidates important to aerospace families. It also gives our union members the ability to “flex our political muscle” when we need to hold lawmakers accountable.
As little as $5 a paycheck (a coffee a paycheck), can make a big difference in IFPTE’s ability to support worker issues at the federal, state and local level. Every dollar helps grow our union’s political power. Get more information about IFPTE LEAP PAC.
While SPEEA today does not endorse candidates, we provide candidates the opportunity to answer questionnaires and be rated on issues important to professional aerospace workers. We also aim to provide union members access to candidates and decision-makers so they can help educate politicians and policy officials on the issues important to our workforce and industry. Register or update your voter registration here.
Connect and get involved!
SPEEA has many more ways union members can engage in the legislative process, including providing public testimony, letters to the editor, phone-banking, legislative candidate training, and more.
If you are interested in learning more and getting involved in our efforts, contact SPEEA Legislative Director Brandon Anderson via email at email@example.com.
International Federation of Professional
and Technical Engineers (IFPTE)