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AEROSPACE WORKERS RALLY TO SAVE AMERICAN JOBS

 AEROSPACE WORKERS RALLY TO SAVE AMERICAN JOBS
 EL SEGUNDO, Calif., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Workers determined to


save their jobs on the F-15 radar production lines are holding a noontime rally April 29, at Hughes Aircraft Co.'s Radar Systems Group here to demonstrate support for a proposed sale of 72 additional F-15 aircraft to Saudi Arabia.
 "Saudi Arabia has been a long-time ally of the United States and has once again come to the U.S. for the aircraft needed to defend itself," said C.J. Jackson, president of the Electronic and Space Technicians union, which represents more than 9,000 aerospace workers.
 "In 1986, and again in 1989, the Saudis asked to buy more American- made F-15s from the United States," Jackson continued. "When the government turned its back on the Saudis, they bought Tornadoes from Europe -- giving our European competitors work for hundreds of thousands of people and billions of dollars to keep their industry strong.
 "But in today's economy, and with the decline in the defense budget in this country, we can't allow that to happen again. Labor is strongly behind this sale, even if our congressmen aren't."
 Jackson said the rally, one of many to be held across the nation during the
next week in support of the sale, has a message for the politicians: "Listen to the people you are supposed to represent, or join them in the unemployment lines."
 British Aerospace Corp. announced earlier this month it had received approximately $3 billion in funding for additional items that Saudi Arabia ordered when the United States refused to sell the Saudis additional F-15s in 1986. The total value of the Saudi business sent to Europe is projected to be $60 billion over the 15-year life of the program, which translates into an average of 125,000 jobs a year.
 More than 40,000 American workers, including more than 700 at Hughes, are in danger of losing their jobs without the Saudi sale because the U.S. Air Force is not buying any more F-15s after the last of those now on order is delivered in 1994, which means layoffs could begin this summer, Jackson said.
 The "U.S. Jobs Now" coalition, formed with the support of organized labor along with Hughes, McDonnell Douglas Corp., United Technologies Pratt & Whitney, and more than 2,000 of their suppliers who have a part in the production of the F-15, this week is releasing the results of a national public opinion survey that shows 54 percent of voters surveyed support the sale while only 20 percent disapproved.
 "The survey shows that the American public supports our efforts to preserve 40,000 American jobs and to prevent the pain and anguish of unemployment for these workers and their families," said coalition spokesman Kearney Bothwell. "However, time is running out. If the government does not act fast, layoffs will begin this year."
 "One of the main concerns of those opposing the sale is the security of Israel," said Jackson. "And it is one of my concerns as well. Israel has long been one of our staunchest allies in the area and the United States remains firmly committed to its security.
 "That's another reason I support this sale," he said. "The Saudis have been an important player in the Mideast peace process and supplying them with these aircraft strengthens their ability to stand up to petty despots like Saddam Hussein and others who are the real threats to peace in the region."
 EAST and many other labor unions, including the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the International Union of United Plant Guard Workers of America, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, and Helpers of America (AFL-CIO), and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America UAW, support the sale.
 Other speakers at the rally include Hughes Vice President Luke Bogdanovic; Tom Spires, F-15 Radar program manager for Hughes; Clara Osborn, an electronics assembler whose job is at risk; and George Priest, a Desert Storm veteran who works on Hughes' F-15 program.
 -0- 4/27/92
 /CONTACT: C.J. Jackson of Hughes Aircraft Co., 310-219-3800/ CO: ST: California IN: ARO SU:


EH-TM -- LA037 -- 3470 04/27/92 19:35 EDT
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Date:Apr 27, 1992
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