South Carolina Boeing Workers Reject Machinists Union Representation

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has never lacked for persistence.  But after more than seven years of trying to organize workers at the Boeing assembly plant in North Charleston, S.C., it has little choice right now but to lay low.  On February 15, three-fourths of the employees at the facility, which builds the Boeing Dreamliner 787 commercial jet, voted against union representation.  The vote also represents a rebuke to the National Labor Relations Board, which back in December 2011 dropped an Unfair Labor Practices complaint against the company in the wake of an IAM victory in contract talks.  Significantly, the vote came one day before a visit by President Donald Trump, who has made domestic manufacturing a top priority issue.

Union Corruption Update covered this test of wills more than once in 2011, explaining the implications of the South Carolina situation for labor-management relations throughout …

Trump and the Unions: How Close of a Working Relationship?

President Donald Trump and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka would seem to have nothing in common, save for the first four letters of their last names.  Yet each shares a conviction that government must protect domestic industry.  This common interest became clear on Monday when Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and later met that day with union officials.  Trumka, who during the 2016 campaign had called Trump a “fraud,” now praised his nemesis though without mentioning his name.  Teamster President James Hoffa called Trump’s order “the first step toward fixing 30 years of bad trade policies that have cost working Americans millions of good-paying jobs.”  One asks:  Is there an alliance in the making?  The answer:  Probably not.

There can be no doubt that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, unexpected as it was successful, altered some basic “Right vs. Left” assumptions about …