North Charleston, SC -- The machinists union that represents thousands of Boeing employees in the northwest still wants to unionize the Boeing North Charleston facility, according to a spokesperson.
In a report from The Post And Courier, The spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union, Frank Larkin, is quoted as saying "we continue to maintain contact with a lot of employees inside the facility who would like to be represented." The union "understands there's an anti-union atmosphere in the state, but that doesn't stay the same indefinitely," Larkin went on to say.
Following the Volkswagen employee vote against unionizing their Tennessee plant last week, Governor Nikki Haley has returned to the forefront of opposition to organized labor in this state. When Boeing purchased the North Charleston plant in 2009, many workers there were represented by the IAM, but quickly cut their ties to the union that same year.
The IAM had filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, and the NLRB's well-known lawsuit in 2011 against Boeing for the Union, eventually was settled.
After Boeing designated No. Charleston as the final assembly plant for the 787 Dreamliner, the union has been looking to regain a foothold in the facility ever since.
"It's not something we want to see happen," Haley said after an appearance at an automotive conference in downtown Greenville, S.C. "We discourage any companies that have unions from wanting to come to South Carolina because we don't want to taint the water."
Boeing has over 6,500 employees in the 787 Dreamliner final assembly facility in North Charleston, and labor organization efforts there gained national attention when a top executive from Boeing in South Carolina sent employees an email slugged "The IAM is back, and they want your money."
But the Boeing company says their position on organized labor in South Carolina hasn't changed.
Boeing South Carolina Spokesperson Candy Eslinger provided this statement: "As we've said over the past four years, we want to work directly with our employees and we're continuously working on keeping Boeing South Carolina a place where teammates have a voice and can speak for themselves without having to rely on a third party to speak for them. We're very proud of what our teammates have accomplished here in South Carolina, by collaborating and working together, and we don't believe a union is in the best interest of our teammates, our business, our community nor our state."
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