President Trump Praises Boeing on the 787 Dreamliner

Pablo Tucker
February 17, 2017

SC has a nonunion reputation, but the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers thought they had a shot at unionizing the Boeing aircraft plant in North Charleston.

After a hard-fought battle, in which Lowcountry airwaves have been filled with ads for weeks, Boeing workers rejected the International Association of Machinists' (IAM) efforts to unionize the aerospace company's North Charleston, SC plant.

The president is about to take the stage in North Charleston to help Boeing unveil and rollout its first 787-10 aircraft, so let's take a look at the newest Dreamliner to join the family.

Almost 3,000 production workers at Boeing's SC plant are deciding whether they want to unionize, writing the next chapter in efforts to organize labor in large manufacturing plants across the South.

If the union wins the right to represent workers at the plant, it will begin negotiating a contract seeking higher wages and more generous benefits.

"They're building a new plant in Arizona, it's bringing 10,000 American jobs, they're spending billion of dollars", Trump said.

Boeing Co vice president and general manager Joan Robinson-Berry was happy with the vote.

Boeing came to SC in part because of the state's minuscule union presence. That vote happened Wednesday.

Almost 3,000 workers were eligible to participate in Wednesday's voting. Boeing workers in Washington are paid $31 per hour, as compared to $24 per hour in SC.

"Ultimately it will be the workers who dictate what happens next", says IAM lead organiser Michael Evans.

"We think people are ready to get the respect and dignity they deserve through a union contract", union spokesman Jonathan Battaglia said.

"They are keeping and making thousand of jobs back in the country because the business climate, they know, has already changed", he said. Saying "no" would allow workers to keep their voice and their direct working relationship with the company, according to Boeing. And the union [countered] with its own rallies and ads.

"It would have been a grand victory for the Machinist union and for labor", said Hoyt Wheeler, a professor at the University of Southern California and an expert on labor relations.

"It was just a month of constant pounding of negative anti-union information", he said.

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