U.S. residents losing jobs to overseas workers

Seattle P.I. Editorial Oct. 7, 2002

This year 30,000 Boeing employees and Washington State residents have been laid off while not a single overseas contract worker has been laid off. Boeing is conducting a covert campaign of discrimination based on national origin. Overseas workers pay no U.S. taxes and are a key factor in our abysmal unemployment rate.

All foreign contract employees belong to overseas subsidiary organizations such as Boeing Overseas International, Boeing Russia, etc. These groups report directly to Chicago headquarters and have been unaffected by the layoffs endured by the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group in Seattle. In effect, all foreign contract workers are shielded from layoff. A neat shell game ploy by Boeing. Right?

My boss in sales told me, "Jerry, I'm sorry, Your job was eliminated, and your next promotion position was taken by a Hungarian citizen. Your performance was not a factor." My future with Boeing in effect was taken by a foreign contract worker.

Certain Boeing ads now say, "This Position is Open Only for European Residents." I am incensed that a European resident has a greater right to a job than an equally qualified Washington state resident. Another fact: Not one Russian contract worker in the Boeing Moscow office has been laid off.

I urge readers to contact our state's political leaders. It's time to combat Boeing in the courtrooms of this state and to produce some creative legislation. Incidentally, forget the Washington State Human Rights Commission or the EEOC. They told me my complaint was "outside of their jurisdiction." I just wonder who they're supporting?

Jerry Lisewych