Friday, 25 May, 2018

Workers At Boeing's South Carolina Plant Reject Union Just Before Trump Visit

From Boeing Boeing workers in South Carolina reject efforts to unionize plant From Boeing
Kristopher Love | 17 February, 2017, 00:54

Production workers at Boeing's SC 787 assembly plant have voted against representation by the IAM union.

Boeing is the largest aerospace company in the world, and the largest USA exporter with 148,000 employees.

The U.S. President is scheduled to visit the Boeing plant soon and the union's defeat will make the situation awkward for all organized labor unions in the country, as they were openly endorsing Hillary Clinton in the Presidential election.

SC is a right to work state which means workers cant be compelled to join unions, even if the organizations represent them.

The machinists union have argued that unionisation is a key to protecting jobs and boosting pay so that SC closes the wage gap with Boeing workers in similar jobs in the state of Washington. Under NLRB rules, workers must wait one year before having another vote for union representation.

The Machinists initially tried to unionize the plant in 2015 but called off that vote because of what the union called a toxic atmosphere and political interference.

The results come just before U.S. President Donald Trump is due to visit Boeing in SC on Friday, as the company rolls out the first completed 787-10, the largest version of its Dreamliner. IAM plans to continue to encourage the formation of a union at the SC plant. The specific time of President Trump's visit and the ceremony has not been announced yet.

Trump arrives aboard Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida on February 3, 2017.

The vote preserves the status quo on the factory floor at Boeing in SC and is unlikely to alter relations with the 30,000 IAM members at Boeing's factories near Seattle, Shaiken said.

"We think people are ready to get the respect and dignity they deserve through a union contract", union spokesman Jonathan Battaglia said. It comes two days ahead of the factory rollout of the largest 787 Dreamliner, Boeing's marquee carbon-fiber jet, an event the president is expected to attend. It blamed the lack of Boeing union votes on the aerospace company. In her State of the State address in 2015, Haley stated that SC is a "state that doesn't want unions, because we don't need unions".

In South Carolina, right-to-work laws have helped drive union membership down to 1.6 percent of the workforce.