Labor Board Rejects Union Scheme to Organize Boeing’s South Carolina Plant

‘The attacks from far-left Democrats on South Carolina’s workers must stop…’

NLRB Rejects Union Scheme  to Organize Boeing's South Carolina Plant

Boeing’s North Charleston plant / IMAGE: Charleston Regional Development Alliance via Youtube

(Dan E. Way, Liberty Headlines) A union attempt to sever a small part of the labor force at Boeing Co.’s North Charleston, S.C., plant to form a collective bargaining unit has been grounded.

The International Association of Machinists union attempted to organize 178 flight-line workers into a local union at the plant, which employs 2,700 maintenance and production workers, The Charleston Post and Courier reported.

The National Labor Relations Board ruled 3-1 on Monday that doesn’t fly.

The NLRB majority reasoned that the flight-line bargaining unit represented only two job classifications. Those job descriptions were not markedly different from those of most of the other plant workers. Therefore, the union violated federal standards.


“We are pleased that the board agreed that the IAM’s attempt to isolate our flight-line teammates from the rest of the site is prohibited by federal law,” Brad Zaback, vice president of Boeing’s 787 program, said in a written statement.

“With this decision behind them, Boeing can move on and continue to focus on making an amazing product, employing thousands of South Carolinians, and significantly contributing to our state’s economy. The attacks from far-left Democrats on South Carolina’s workers must stop,” Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., said in a statement.

The NLRB decision overturned an initial ruling by the agency’s Atlanta regional director, and union officials were angered.

Boeing refused to negotiate with the union pending  appeal of that earlier decision. Duncan previously condemned Senate Democrats for sending a letter to Boeing urging the company to drop its appeal.

IAM spokesman DeLane Adams said the union will continue organizing efforts at the plant, where Boeing builds its 787 Dreamliner commercial jet.

“This decision is irresponsible and reckless. American workers are under attack from those who value corporations over working families,” Adams told the Post and Courier.

The union, which represents workers in Boeing’s west coast plants, has been trying for years to organize the North Charleston plant.

That plant was in the news in 2017 after 74 percent of its workers rejected unionization, and President Donald Trump paid the site a visit promising to create more jobs.

Times have been tough for unions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of union-represented workers in the private sector dropped from 6.5 percent in 2017 to 6.4 percent in 2018.

Among costly blows to the labor movement in recent years was a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision barring collection of public union dues from non-union members as a condition of working in a union shop.