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 …

NLRB Drops Complaint against Boeing; Unions May Be the Real Winner

boeing-787-plantWhen Boeing Co. two years ago announced plans to open a plant in South Carolina to assemble many of its 787 Dreamliner commercial jets, the decision triggered an outcry by the International Association of Machinists. The IAM’s unofficial partner, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), filed a complaint against the company this April to block its opening of the facility, located in a Right to Work state. Last Friday, December 9, the board dropped its action. With the plant up and running for a half year, Boeing won a “victory” — so says CNN. Or did it? The union, with an able assist from the NLRB, in fact, already had realized its desire to intimidate companies out of relocating or expanding in a Right to Work state by finalizing a favorable contract extension with Boeing only days earlier.

This side of Wisconsin, it would be difficult to find …

NLRB Sues Boeing; Seeks End to Commercial Jet Production in South Carolina

787 Dreamliner photoThe National Labor Relations Board must have a broad definition of “coercion” when it comes to employers. With unions, the standard seems a lot narrower. On April 20, the board filed a 10-page complaint (see pdf) against Boeing alleging the company’s decision in 2009 to locate its second assembly plant in South Carolina represented illegal retaliation against employees belonging to the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM). As a remedy, the NLRB is seeking a judicial order for the company to shift all production of its 787 Dreamliner commercial jet back to its original planned facility in Washington State. The IAM, predictably, is delighted. Boeing and South Carolina officials are furious. That South Carolina, unlike Washington, is a Right to Work state has more than a little to do with the unfolding drama.

Back on March 26, 2010, the Machinists filed a complaint against Boeing with the …