23 Groups Sign Letter To Lawmakers Calling For New KC-X
Twenty-three unions, labor
federations and affiliated organizations have signed and delivered
a letter to House and Senate lawmakers calling for Boeing to be
immediately awarded the Air Force refueling tanker contract.
Government Accountability Office (GAO) report
that said the Airbus tanker lacked the ability to refuel all of the
Air Force's aircraft, and calling Boeing's KC-767 "the clear
winner" in the competition to replace the Air Force's aging fleet
of tankers, the labor groups are urging Congress to award the
contract to Boeing without delay.
"The Air Force needs new tankers now," said the letter, which
was delivered to all 535 members of Congress. "Continuing this
phony "competition" only adds unnecessary delays and costs to the
tanker refueling program. The Boeing KC-767 fulfills the
requirements of the original Request for Proposal (RFP) and has
over 85 percent domestic content -- a clear win for America."
The Air Force decision to award the contract to the Northrop
Grumman/EADS Airbus tanker, was rebuked by the GAO report, which
cited the Air Force for failing to follow its own guidelines and
awarding the massive contract to a more costly aircraft that is too
large for many airfields.
Additional concerns outside the scope of the GAO report were
"The GAO report did not evaluate the impact of awarding a $100
billion contract to a foreign competitor on our defense industrial
base, or the fallout on our economy from the loss of good paying
jobs associated with the highly unionized domestic aerospace
industry," said the letter. "Further, the GAO did not take into
consideration that European governments gave billions in illegal
subsidies to EADS, which put Boeing at a competitive disadvantage
and American jobs at risk.
"Only Boeing has the skilled workforce and fully operational
production line to immediately meet the Air Force's demand for new
tankers. We strongly urge that Congress act now and award the
tanker refueling contract to the original winner, the Boeing
The IAM, which initiated the letter, is among the most
politically active industrial trade unions in the United States,
representing workers in aerospace, transportation, shipbuilding,
manufacturing and defense related industries.