IAM suffers stinging defeat as Boeing workers reject union

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UPDATE, 2/16:  According to Boeing, 2,828 Boeing employees of the about 3,000 eligible to vote cast ballots, with 74 percent voting to reject the union. 

“We will continue to move forward as one team,” said Joan Robinson-Berry, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina. “We have a bright future ahead of us and we're eager to focus on the accomplishments of this great team and to developing new opportunities.

After a hard-fought battle, in which Lowcountry airwaves have been filled with ads for weeks, Boeing workers rejected the International Association of Machinists' (IAM) efforts to unionize the aerospace company's North Charleston, SC plant.

“We’re disappointed the workers at Boeing South Carolina will not yet have the opportunity to see all the benefits that come with union representation” said IAM lead organizer Mike Evans in a press statement. That statement also noted that South Carolina has the lowest percentage of union members in the entire country.

This is a stinging defeat for the IAM, which had called off a planned vote among Boeing workers in 2015. That same year, the IAM garnered headlines by postponing a unionization vote by Delta Airlines’ flight attendants, saying that the union had discovered that some worker authorization cards had been submitted with "insufficient information or questionable signatures."

As of the publication of this article, the vote count from today's vote was not yet available. Under National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rules, the union must wait one year before holding another vote. 

This is proving to be a big week for Boeing South Carolina. Following today's win, President Donald J. Trump will visit the facility, becoming the first-ever U.S. president to do so.

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Boeing South Carolina International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

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