The National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) advised The Boeing Co. that the International Association of Machinists (IAM) union has filed a new petition seeking to organize workers at Boeing South Carolina (BSC), the assembly complex in North Charleston where the OEM has established assembly for its 787 Dreamliner wide-body jets. It is the third such petition filed by the union in three years, but as noted by Boeing the most recent approach is specifically (and exclusively) focused on unionizing the flight-line technicians.
“This union refuses to hear the clear message our team has voiced repeatedly,” commented Joan Robinson-Berry, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina. “Now they want to pit our teammates directly against each other. The company will challenge this filing because we strongly believe that the IAM’s attempt to isolate our flight line teammates is unreasonable and is prohibited by federal law.”
According to the IAM, about 180 Boeing flight-line employees approached the union with concerns about arbitrary management decisions over overtime, bonuses, and work rules, a union spokesman explained.
Because Boeing will challenge the IAM petition, no vote on the petition will be scheduled until after the NLRB rules on that challenge.
The IAM is the largest union in the aerospace industry, representing about 600,000 workers in total and over 35,000 Boeing workers at plants in states other than South Carolina.
In February 2017, approximately 74% of Boeing South Carolina workers voted against organizing a local IAM union.