Boeing Employees File Complaint Against Union for Discriminating against Workers in Right to Work States
By Michael P. Tremoglie
XXXX, Wash. (Legal Newsline) - Three Charleston, S.C.-area Boeing company employees filed a federal retaliation charge against the International Association of Machinists union (IAM)
in Washington State. The employees filed the unfair labor practice charge December 28. They are receiving free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation (NRWF).
The union was an integral part of the negotiations in the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) high-profile case against Boeing for building a new facility in South Carolina ' a non right-to-work. Some believed the NLRB action was politically motivated to force Boeing to keep the manufacture of the company's new 737 Dreamliner in Washington where the workers are unionized.
The charge comes in the wake of the recent announcement of the end of the NLRB's case. The Charleston Boeing employees, who were granted intervenor status in the case by the NLRB in Washington, D.C., were denied participation in the hearing.
The complaint alleges that IAM officials abused the NLRB's adjudicative process to force Boeing into locating production of the company's 737 aircraft in Washington State, which does not have a Right to Work law. The IAM union bosses' accusations against Boeing had a chilling effect on Boeing and other companies, deterring them from locating work in South Carolina and other Right to Work states where workers can not be forced to join or pay fees to a union as a job condition.
The charge also details how IAM union bosses retaliated against the Charleston workers after the workers expelled the IAM from their workplace before the Dreamliner production line was located there. One of the employees filing the charge led the effort to remove the International Association of Machinists (IAM) union from the Charleston plant.
The charge points 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.
"Workers should be free to choose whether or not to affiliate with a union and not have to worry about their jobs as a result," said Mark Mix, President of NRWF. "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."
The NRWF announced that their attorneys have sent a letter to the NLRB's Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) asking him to investigate the conduct of the ALJ overseeing the NLRB's case against Boeing.