Boeing South Carolina workers face union membership vote

By UnionsFOXBusiness

A small group of workers at Boeing’s South Carolina plant will vote on whether to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) union on Thursday.

The IAM is looking to unionize about 180 flight-line workers at the North Charleston campus into a “micro unit,” potentially separating the group from the rest of the thousands of employees at the facility.

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Boeing, worried that parsing out different rules for a subset of employees might hamper efficiency, failed last week when it asked labor regulators to delay the vote until it could appeal the decision that allowed it to go forward.

Thursday’s vote marks the third time the IAM has tried to organize Boeing workers in South Carolina. The group already represents more than 35,000 Boeing employees.

Last year, a union vote among a larger group of employees failed at Boeing’s South Carolina facility. Both sides faulted each other’s tactics to influence employees’ votes, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Boeing had not responded to a request for comment from FOX Business at the time of publication.

Workers at the South Carolina plant, which opened in 2011, manufacture 787 Dreamliners. The facility is the only one  that produces the 787-10, the largest of the Dreamliner models.

South Carolina has the lowest union membership of any state, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is a right-to-work state, meaning workers are not required to sign up for a union as a condition of employment.

Meanwhile, Washington state, the home of Boeing’s other manufacturing facilities, has one of the highest rates of union representation.