Washington State Representative Chris Reykdal admits his opinion is the minority, but it has been ever since he voted against a nearly $9 billion tax break for Boeing last fall.
"Rather than demanding that all that money stay in the economy, they got less obligation to pensions, less obligation to healthcare, less obligation to pay increases. So, they put less and less of that resource back into our economy," he said.
Rep. Reykdal was not surprised that machinists voted Friday night to accept Boeing’s latest contract offer by a slim margin of 51%.
He calls the methodology used by Boeing: extortion.
"’To extract something from somebody by force or threat,’” Rep. Reykdal read from his dictionary.
“We were threatened with job losses. We were threatened that the company would leave,” he continued. "When you make people react out of fear, they'll make irrational decisions.”
Even Boeing’s search for a new site, he calls, pure “strategy”.
"It was a matter of dialing up 20 other states, getting them all jacked up, so they could lord it over the workers and say we have other offers if you don't take it or leave it," he said.
While other lawmakers, including the Governor, have applauded the machinists’ vote, Rep. Reykdal predicts taxpayers will suffer because of it.
He points to Washington’s struggle to fund education and other vital services, now with less of a tax base, as well as workers who, he believes, will have less disposable income to support their local economies in 5 to 10 years.
"This is a very bad deal for the taxpayers and voters of this state," he said. “The taxpayer should wonder why they just gave away 8-plus billion dollars to a company that has less obligation to the state than they did before the package.”