Boeing Workers in South Carolina Opt Against Union Representation

Labor News

An employee works on the surface of an overhead compartment at Boeing's building in North Charleston, South Carolina, on December 6, 2016. (Travis Dove / Bloomberg)

Reprinted from The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers‘ press release on February 15, 2017.

Hourly production workers at Boeing’s South Carolina operations have voted not to join the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) at the present time.

“We’re disappointed the workers at Boeing South Carolina will not yet have the opportunity to see all the benefits that come with union representation” said IAM lead organizer Mike Evans. “But more than anything, we are disheartened they will have to continue to work under a system that suppresses wages, fosters inconsistency and awards only a chosen few.”

South Carolina has the lowest percentage of union members in the United States. North Charleston Boeing workers endured a multi-faceted anti-union campaign, which included captive-audience meetings and massive TV, radio and billboard ad buys.

“Boeing management spent a lot of money to make sure power and profits remained concentrated at the very top. The company’s anti-union conduct reached new lows,” said Evans. “The IAM remains committed to getting Boeing South Carolina workers the respect, wages and consistency they deserve.” …

IAM press release 2/15

Reprinted from The New York Times by Noam Scheiber on February 15, 2017.

Union organizers fell short on Wednesday in a bid to enlist workers at Boeing’s South Carolina facilities in what was widely viewed as an early test of labor’s strength in the Trump era.

Organizers with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers failed to persuade a majority of about 3,000 union-eligible Boeing workers in the state to vote for the union amid enormous pressure from management.

Many analysts say that Boeing decided to put its second Dreamliner aircraft assembly line in the state to reduce the leverage of the machinists’ union, which represents Boeing’s work force in the Puget Sound region of Washington State and has used work stoppages to exact concessions from the company in the past. South Carolina is one of the least unionized states in the country. …

NY Times 2/15

About Jeffrey Burman 1739 Articles
Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

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