Boeing plans to appeal NLRB decision allowing some South Carolina employees to vote to unionize

A small group of South Carolina Boeing employees will vote on whether or not to join the International Association of Machinists (IAM) union at the end of the month.

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A small group of South Carolina Boeing employees will vote on whether or not to join the International Association of Machinists (IAM) union at the end of the month.

The choice to vote comes after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that the 178 technicians at the Boeing facility in North Charleston, South Carolina, can vote on May 31.

Victor R. Scott II, the communications director for Boeing South Carolina, said that the company was disappointed in the NLRB's decision. 

“Boeing is disappointed in this decision and will appeal the ruling," Scott said in a statement provided to Palmetto Business Daily. "Our position on this issue has not changed: we strongly believe that this micro-unit is prohibited under federal labor law and is not in the best interests of our teammates, our site or our community."


Victor R. Scott II, communications director for Boeing South Carolina  

Boeing has said it would appeal the NLRB ruling; and Scott said Boeing would share all relevant facts and information about the realities of bargaining as a micro-unit.

"Our teammates, their families and this community need to understand the potential impact this decision might have," Scott said.

The North Charleston Boeing facility produces the 787 Dreamliner. There are nearly 3,000 production employees at the facility.

In March, IAM filed the petition to attempt to unionize the facility. This was IAM's third attempt at unionizing Boeing employees in recent years.

Last year, nearly 75 percent of a larger group of employees voted against unionizing. That group was just over 2,000 employees. The year before, IAM called off an attempt before it could be voted on.

IAM represents Boeing employees in other locations nationwide. South Carolina is typically known as an anti-union state and has the lowest union participation rate in the country.

South Carolina's union membership rate is 2017 was 2.6 percent with only 52,000 of its workers as union members, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average rate in the United States is 10.7 percent.

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