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  • What The Failed Delta Union Election Means For Boeing

    In the wake of a botched attempt to unionize Delta flight attendants Thursday, efforts by the Machinists union to organize Boeing employees in South Carolina has come into question.

    The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers was forced to withdraw its petition to hold an election for Delta flight attendants in Georgia after the National Mediation Board found some authorization cards were fraudulent. The incident has prompted concern among employees at the Boeing’s 787 production facility in North Charleston, S.C. which the union is also trying to organize.

    “The Board has reason to believe that some unknown person or persons knowingly submitted authorization cards with fraudulent signatures in possible violation of federal law,” the NMB detailed in a letter.

    Though it is unclear who submitted the fraudulent signatures, Boeing took time to address the growing concern among its employees that the IAM could have been involved.

    “Since the IAM withdrew its petition to represent Delta Flight Attendants following the IAM’s admission to having submitted cards not actually signed by eligible employees, we have received many questions about whether the IAM may have engaged in similar conduct with Boeing teammates,” We Are Boeing SC, which is maintained by the airline, declared on an informational page.

    Noting it does not have access to the authorization cards submitted by the IAM, Boeing is encouraging employees to contact the NLRB directly if there is concern a card was submitted on their behalf without permission.

    “The IAM has announced that it has brought in 125 union salesmen (probably from their failed Delta campaign) to ‘blitz’ BSC teammates at home” a post of the We Are Boeing Facebook page noted. “Teammates have no obligation to let the salesman into their homes.”

    Despite Boeing discussing the Delta controversy, the union notes it has not raised any concerns over how the organizing campaign was conducted at its own plant.

    “Boeing had every opportunity to raise concerns about election authorization cards before the vote was set but did not,” a spokesman for the IAM told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Instead, they agreed that the union had met the required  threshold and that the campaign was properly conducted.”

    It was actually a labor dispute that compelled Boeing to open its plant in South Carolina instead of Everett, Wash. Boeing was founded in Seattle. A New York Times article from 2011 noted that the conflict got so bad, the NLRB accused Boeing of illegally setting up shop in South Carolina to escape union organized strikes. However, some lawmakers became concerned that the NLRB telling Boeing it could not move would set a bad precedent.

    Last month, the National Labor Relations Board approved a request by the IAM to hold an election at the Boeing’s 787 production facility which is expected to begin on Apr. 22.

    The IAM did not respond to requests for comment from TheDCNF.

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