Boeing vows to fight new petition for union at South Carolina plant


SAN FRANCISCO, March 5 (Xinhua) — U.S. aerospace leader Boeing Company said Monday that it will fight a new petition for workers to seek union representation at an aircraft plant in the southeastern U.S. state of South Carolina.

It was the third petition in less than three years that the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has sought to unionize workers at the Boeing South Carolina (BSC) plant, Boeing said in a statement.

This petition is limited exclusively to the flight line teammates, it added.

“These employees — 180 flight line technicians and inspectors — approached the IAM with serious concerns over arbitrary management decisions over overtime, bonuses and work rules,” stated the IAM.

“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,” said Joan Robinson-Berry, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina.

South Carolina is generally known as a state strongly opposed to unions, with the lowest rate of union workers in the nation at 1.6 percent, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017.

In the days ahead, Boeing will file its legal challenge and the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will determine if the petition will proceed as filed.

No election for union representation will be scheduled until the NLRB resolves the legal challenge, said the company.

“Our collaborative culture has been the cornerstone of success at Boeing South Carolina, and we continue to strongly believe that a union isn’t in the best interests of our teammates, our business, our community and our state,” Boeing said.

Last year, almost three-quarters of workers at the BSC plant voted against union representation, which was viewed as a victory for Boeing, which had launched an aggressive campaign against the IAM.

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