The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 171 passed this resolution on August 9, 2017.
Resolution: No F-35 Fighter Plane
Whereas, the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet may be deployed at Madison’s Truax military Air Guard base and the decision should be announced by the end of 2017, and
Whereas, the F-35 performs poorly in its stated role and compared to other fighter jets and is unlikely to address terrorism or be effective against today’s security threats, and
Whereas, the F-35 program is the most expensive weapons system in history ($11.6 billion in U.S. taxpayer spending a year*, city of Madison residents are paying $9.6 million a year) and a symbol of runaway military spending, a “scandal and disgrace” for its waste according to Senator John McCain, and President Trump has criticized its cost as well, and annual tax dollars toward the program surpasses the budget of each of the following: the EPA, the NSF, the Army Reserve, and the Military Families Support programs, and
Whereas the F-35 program is promoted as an economic development tool by the Madison Chamber of Commerce even though deploying it in Madison comes with no promise of new jobs in the area and decades of research shows dollars toward military uses create fewer jobs than dollars put toward civilian uses, and
Whereas, this war profiteering by Lockheed-Martin is unacceptable when American workers lack basic protections such as healthcare, and sales of unneeded armaments have contributed greatly to the collapse of Greek and other economies in recent years, and
Whereas, workers have the right to decide the economic and security direction of the country, therefore be it
Resolved, AFSCME Local 171, demands a “just transition” including full employment and re-employment for F-35 and other defense workers as a priority, with comparable wages and benefits, and
Resolved AFSCME Local 171 calls for an end to the F-35 program.