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Union ramps up effort to organize Boeing plant (Read More…)

Warren L. Wise Oct 3 2014

The union trying to organize Boeing Co.‘s 787 Dreamliner factory in North Charleston has mailed out pamphlets and knocked on doors since it set up an office on Dorchester Road in March.

Now, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is trying a new campaign to drum up support.

The union has placed billboards along major arteries in North Charleston that say “Demand Better” or “Justice on the Job.”

The IAM is trying to get enough of Boeing’s 7,500 local workers to sign cards for an election to be called.

It’s not saying how close it is to calling for a vote, but one local union organizer said the IAM has gotten a “mixed” reaction.

Setting up the union in a state known for its anti-union sentiment and a governor who openly opposes unions would be a huge victory for collective bargaining, but it’s an uphill climb by most measures.
South Carolina is a right-to-work state where workers don’t have to join a union to reap the benefits of wage negotiations and grievance hearings, and Boeing is definitely against the IAM organizing the plant.

“We encourage those who are considering the union’s bluster to take a hard look at the IAM’s track record in the state,” Boeing said in a statement. “The IAM has not contributed to job growth in South Carolina, and they’ve repeatedly insulted our teammates, their experience and capabilities. Even to suggest that BSC teammates “Demand Something Better” insinuates that our teammates are somehow mediocre and don’t already demand better every day in their jobs - which is far from true.”

Boeing also said, “We’d like to remind everyone who sees one of these billboards that the IAM is the same union that tried to shut down 787 final assembly and delivery in South Carolina by filing an NLRB lawsuit against Boeing in March 2010. This is the same union, who just last month, criticized South Carolina workers’ abilities to build the new 787-10.”

Workers in North Charleston will begin assembling the 787-10, the largest in the Dreamliner family, in 2017. It’s the only site where the plane will be built.

South Carolina’s union membership rate is between 3.7 percent and 4.2 percent of the state’s workforce, according to Erin McKee of Mount Pleasant, president of the Swansea-based S.C. chapter of the AFL-CIO.


Posted by Admin on 10/04 at 03:53 PM