In the latest development in the fight between Boeing and the Machinists union, federal labor officials Tuesday dismissed an unfair labor complaint against the company.
Last month, amid controversy and growing opposition, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) decided to withdraw its petition to unionize the Boeing’s 787 production facility in South Carolina. The same day the union filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the company.
IAM insisted it made the decision because the company created a toxic environment through political interference, not because it didn’t have enough votes, and so it filed the complaint.
Nevertheless, an official with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) confirmed to The Daily Caller News Foundation that the complaint was dismissed and that the union had until June 3 to file an appeal.
“We said when the IAM filed these charges that they were frivolous, and we’re happy to receive confirmation that the NLRB agrees that these are baseless allegations,” Boeing South Carolina spokesman Rob Gross told The Post And Courier.
“The NLRB concluded there was no evidence proving the individual who threatened IAM organizers with a gun was an agent of Boeing, or otherwise acting at the behest of Boeing,” IAM spokesman Frank Larkin told The Post And Courier. “And since the online threats were veiled rather than explicit, and weren’t made directly by Boeing, the board dismissed the charges.”
IAM has been the target of criticism since the NLRB approved its request in March to hold a unionizing election at the Boeing plant.
Boeing itself has been adamantly opposed to the idea of IAM unionizing its workers. 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 notes 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.
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