U.S. manufacturing workers represented by IUE-CWA expressed their discontent at a demonstration outside the offices of U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton and Rep. Katherine Clark regarding a fast-tracked “technology sharing” deal that puts General Electric (GE) and members of Congress in the center of a controversy around whether GE’s military jet engines, which reflect years of U.S. government investments in innovation and technology, should be manufactured in the United States or in India.
General Electric provides engines and parts for key U.S. military flight vehicles, such as the T-7A Red Hawk advanced jet trainer for the U.S. Air Force and the F-18 Super Hornet for the U.S. Navy. The US-India Military Tech Transfer Deal offsets the production of the F404/F414 military jet engines powering these aircrafts and currently manufactured in Madisonville, KY, and Lynn, MA, to India. Reports suggest that this deal could grant India “access to sensitive technologies that many closest U.S. allies do not have.”
While the parts and engines set to be manufactured by GE in India are intended for the rebuilding of Indian military capacity, workers argue that the U.S. government could compel GE to conduct the manufacturing domestically, implementing greater safeguards around technology and preserving U.S. jobs.
Jeff Cruz, IUE-CWA, GE Employee, and Local 201 Vice President, as well as a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran from Lynn, MA, urged the U.S. government to intervene: “It’s time for the US government to do the right thing and stop this deal until it’s investigated, ensure that our national security is not at risk, and commit to guaranteeing good sustainable manufacturing jobs in the US and for veterans across the country.”
In response to these concerns, GE employees protested outside their U.S. House District Offices, demanding the suspension of the U.S.-India Military Tech Transfer Deal. They delivered a petition signed by over 1,400 impacted workers, urging Congress and the White House to conduct a thorough analysis of the deal in terms of job security and national security. The petition emphasizes the need for mandatory language ensuring job guarantees and new product lines when offsetting work to foreign countries.
Adam “Kaz” Kaszynski, GE Employee, and IUE-CWA Local 201 President, Lynn, MA, highlighted the historical context: “We’ve dealt with offsets in the past to South Korea, Romania, and Turkey. These deals started off as tech transfers, then production, then eventually these countries began selling these products back to the U.S. military from product lines that used to be manufactured here in the United States.”
The rally calls for an immediate pause on the deal until thorough investigations understand and remediate the negative effects on the U.S. domestic military industrial base, GE facilities, jobs, and communities.