S.C. Boeing employees file appeal with NLRB

Michael P. Tremoglie Aug. 23, 2012, 1:26pm

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Two Charleston, S.C., Boeing employees filed a federal appeal with the National Labor Relations about their claims against the International Association of Machinists union.

A letter dated Aug. 9 was sent to the NLRB General Counsel's Office of Appeals from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which is providing free legal assistance, on behalf of Dennis Murray and Cynthia Ramaker, a former IAM Local president. The letter constitutes their appeal of the dismissal of the unfair labor practice charges they made against IAM in 2011.

According to the NRTW there were three charges made against the IAM by Murray and Ramaker.

One was that the IAM was retaliating against the South Carolina workers by trying to keep the company in Washington because the South Carolina workers decertified the union. They claimed that IAM's original charge was filed to retaliate against Boeing employees in South Carolina who had previously decertified the union.

According to NRTW spokesperson Anthony Reidel, "The charges pointed out that if the IAM union hierarchy still had a presence in the South Carolina plant, then the South Carolina workers' jobs would not have been at risk. Even NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon - who issued the NLRB's complaint against Boeing- admitted in Congressional testimony that it was inconceivable that IAM union officials would have pursued charges against Boeing if workers had not removed the union from their workplace."

Another charge was that the IAM organizers were inducing workers to join by stating they would drop the unfair labor practice accusation made against Boeing.

The third accusation was the IAM was trying to keep Boeing from operating in South Carolina and other right-to-work states.

IAM spokesperson Frank Larkin said the appeal is merely part of an ongoing effort by NRTW to raise funds by stoking an already resolved issue.

But NRTW President Mark Mix has a different opinion. He said in a written statement, "The IAM union bosses' dangerous abuse of federal labor law, which is supposedly intended to protect the rights of individual workers, has set a devastating precedent to discourage job providers from locating work in states with Right to Work laws on the books- the very states luring job providers and independent-minded workers alike."

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