Boeing South Carolina has ramped up its efforts to counter the ongoing push by the Machinists’ Union that seeks to organize Boeing workers.
“We continue to believe that a union is not in the best interest of our teammates, our business, our community or our state," Rob Gross, Boeing South Carolina communications specialist told Palmetto Business Daily. "Our Boeing South Carolina team is focused on what we’ve always been focused on: working together to build the highest quality airplanes in the world.”
Specifically, Boeing South Carolina “teammates,” as the company refers to its employees, are being urged to sign union authorization cards by representatives of the International Association of Machinists (IAM), which recently ran radio pro-union advertisements during the Republican presidential primaries. Boeing ran competing ads.
“The IAM is actively soliciting. The union’s goal is to get enough cards signed so that they can file a second petition for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB),” Gross explained.
In April 2015, IAM canceled a vote to certify the union when it determined that anti-union campaigning by Boeing and several state lawmakers had won over the majority.
At that time, in fact, Boeing South Carolina had established a still-existing website (www.WeAreBoeingSC.com) and social media presences on Facebook (www.facebook.com/WeAreBoeingSC) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/WeAreBoeingSC) to share company news with its teammates, Gross said, as well as to share factual information with employees and the public about the IAM and its attempts to unionize Boeing’s workforce.
“Our teammates deserve to know relevant facts about the union that seeks to represent them and we will continue to share these facts about the Machinists Union with our workforce throughout this process,” Gross said.
Such facts include IAM's federal legal troubles, which most recently include a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Secretary of Labor charging that the union illegally used members’ retirement monies to fund "lavish" trips, meals, parties, and consultants with whom union members’ have personal relationships, creating conflicts of interest.
The labor lawsuit against IAM, filed in January, is on top of an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into charges of voter fraud that allegedly occurred during an IAM attempt to organize Delta Airlines’ Flight Attendents.
“The next time someone asks you to sign a union card, consider whether this is an organization you can trust with your money, your career and your future. Know the facts about the Machinists; keep your own voice and don’t sign a union card,” Boeing’s Facebook page says.
Nevertheless, IAM continues trying to organize Boeing South Carolina's workers. On the heels of erecting a new highway billboard advertisement this month, a union spokesman also has said the organization now plans to petition the NLRB for a new vote once it garners signatures on the authorization cards from more than 50 percent of the approximately 3,300 production workers in the area.
“We have achieved great things at Boeing South Carolina [with our teammates] and continue to make tremendous progress by working together, listening to each other, respectfully sharing thoughts, ideas and concerns, and then taking action," Gross said. "We believe that is the right approach for our business.”