Biz

Card Collection Underway For Union Election In SC

ORGANIZED LABOR SEEKS MAJOR FOOTHOLD IN PALMETTO STATE || By FITSNEWS || The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers – better known as the IAM – is in the process of collecting cards to submit to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for the purpose of holding a union…

ORGANIZED LABOR SEEKS MAJOR FOOTHOLD IN PALMETTO STATE

|| By FITSNEWS || The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers – better known as the IAM – is in the process of collecting cards to submit to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for the purpose of holding a union election at aircraft manufacturer Boeing‘s North Charleston, S.C. location.

When will these cards be submitted?  Within the next few weeks, we’re told …

According to NLRB rules, “if there is a showing that at least 30 percent of an appropriate unit of employees at the workplace wish to be represented collectively by a union or by another group, an (NLRB) agent will hold a secret ballot election.”

Assuming a majority of employees vote in favor of representation at that time, the NLRB would then certify the union to begin collective bargaining on behalf of employees.

Just like that …

Now, can the IAM prevail in staunchly “right-to-work” South Carolina?  That remains to be seen … but the push we first alerted readers to last August (and updated them on last month) is clearly gaining momentum.

Sources familiar with the process tell FITS that individuals acting on behalf of the IAM have been “working overtime” to collect cards in recent days – going to the homes of Boeing employees and in some cases even sending attractive women into local watering holes in an effort to get signatures.

Yeah …

The eyes of the nation will be focused on this fight after unions scored a big victory two months ago at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee – another right-to-work state. U.S. president Barack Obama has successfully stopped the union bleeding in America – and organized labor is now clearly looking to press its advantage.

This website has assailed Boeing in the past (and with good reason) – and the lack of warm feelings is apparently mutual.  Furthermore we detest the ongoing taxpayer subsidization of the company’s global business model – to say nothing of the $1 billion the company received in conjunction with the opening of its South Carolina facility.  And unlike the rest of the Palmetto State’s bought-and-paid-for mainstream media, we’ve been able to get inside Boeing’s North Charleston, S.C. facility to get the real scoop on serious production problems plaguing the plant.

But as much as we don’t like Boeing, we don’t want to see organized labor gaining a major foothold in the Palmetto State … even it if were to come at the expense of such unapologetic crony capitalists.

“Unions serve no purpose other than to artificially inflate wages (and taxpayer costs) so that dues can be paid to a corrupt cabal of leaders – who then use that money to elect liberal politicians who will perpetuate the cycle,” we wrote last winter.

S.C. governor Nikki Haley – who has always asked “how high” when Boeing said “jump” – is looking to position herself as a leader in the fight against the unions (despite a less-than-impressive showing in the last anti-labor battle).  The Palmetto State’s chief executive beat up on unions in her 2015 “State of the State” speech, referring to them as “bullies.”

Of course the governor doesn’t think the IAM stands a chance of winning.

“I have every confidence that the Boeing workers in Charleston will see this play for exactly what it is and reject this union power grab,” she said.

***

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82 comments

FastEddy23 February 4, 2015 at 12:28 pm

As noted, the IAM will make a run at unionizing Boeing employees just about every spring from now until forever.

(FYI: Hillary used to sit on the board of directors at Walmart and a Walmart heiress is still one of her biggest contributors … How did that work out for unionization?)

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Rocky February 4, 2015 at 12:40 pm

Just be aware, a vast majority of the employees at Boeing probably are not from here, but are from blue states (because Boeing requires a level of skill and education they cannot get here) – and those employees may very well, in lock step with their brothers in Washington state, vote yes.

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SCAB February 4, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Just ask BMW how that worked out for the UAW?

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Crooner February 4, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Wrong, Rocky. The good paying jobs went to folks who moved here from WA. SC labor is just hourly.

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Rocky February 4, 2015 at 1:25 pm

I’m willing to wait and see – but I suspect the union is successful.

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well? February 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm

I’m no fan of unions, but I can’t help think that the employees would be downright stupid not to vote the union in. At this point there is no downside, does anyone think Boeing would suddenly close up shop?

As pointed out above, they can then negotiate along with the workers in WA. The employees and the union hold all the cards in this one.

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FastEddy23 February 5, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Not so, exactly. Many of the former WA employees are in non-union engineering and non-union management, not doing the dirty work on the factory floor.

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Chucktown Buck February 7, 2015 at 6:48 am

Wrong Crooner. Why does Charleston have website called: http://www.GoBackToOhio.com , because Boeing has a very large number of employees from Ohio, as well as Michigan and other Northern “Union Army States!” Just look at it as another Civil War, this time we will burn the Stars and Bars in victory.

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FastEddy23 February 4, 2015 at 1:39 pm

“… are from blue states …”

Mmmm, maybe. FYI: More airplanes have been built in Wichita Kansas than all other cities in the world combined! (Check it out … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessna#History .)

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Rocky February 4, 2015 at 12:44 pm

“Don’t expect any factories from Ford, General Motors, Chrysler or other companies with unionized workforces.
According to Gov. Nikki Haley, they’re not welcome.
Haley said this week that she discourages companies from building new facilities in South Carolina if they are planning to bring a union with them.”
USAToday – February 2014
Well good. We don’t need any of them high-paying jobs from American car companies here – we’re just fine. Let them stay in Ohio –
Right Flip, Guest or whomever you are today?

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Crooner February 4, 2015 at 12:48 pm

I am in the lowcountry and have heard Nikki Haley’s voice on Boeing ads aimed at thwarting the IAM’s efforts. How is that fair? How does one go about getting the governor to make a commercial for one’s business? It’s unseemly for the governor of the state to take sides in a particular case, regardless of her views on unions.

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southmauldin February 4, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Because, she, just like her hero Caribou Barbie, is always available for the right price.

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt February 4, 2015 at 9:12 pm

If I had enough $$, I wonder if it’d be theoretically possible to get Palin as a topless waitress for a night of card playing at my house with my buddies.

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aikencounty February 4, 2015 at 11:09 pm

ABSOLUTELYI hear she’s a lot cheaper now.

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Southern Belle February 7, 2015 at 11:12 am

What I don’t like is that she is using OUR tax dollars to run this nonsense on the radio.

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jimlewisowb February 4, 2015 at 1:04 pm

If at a later date it is reported that someone deflated the Union balls causing them not to score on Boeing, the likely candidate will be the Gypsy Queen who has a track record of ball busting, give me an AMEN sic willie

Such a feat by the Gypsy Queen should make her a front runner for VPOTUS

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Bible Thumper February 4, 2015 at 1:05 pm

“Barack Obama has successfully stopped the union bleeding in America”

That statement is a lie. I won’t use the same links that I used before showing a 28,000 decline in SC union membership or showing that Washington state (home of Boeing union workers) had the largest decline in union membership of any state.

Here is a BLS chart and table showing steady decline in the percentage of union members.
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000
Even in manufacturing jobs, there has been only one yearly rise and the rate is now only 0.1% above the all time low
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LUU0204910600?data_tool=XGtable

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Rakkasan February 4, 2015 at 2:31 pm

At half the wages and few benefits. Ask the contract workers at BMW.

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aikencounty February 4, 2015 at 2:55 pm

The majority of whom work for MAU,Inc., a job shop out of Augusta,Ga.

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Crooner February 4, 2015 at 5:02 pm

Hmmm. How does that correlate with the disappearing middle class? Stagnant wages?

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Bible Thumper February 4, 2015 at 5:58 pm

The median hourly pay at Boeing is higher than the median for the state or other production workers in the state.

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One of the 11% February 4, 2015 at 8:20 pm

The median pay is $16-17 per hour…although may be higher than other factories in SC but extremely lower than the airplane industry standard. Union or non union across this country Boeing SC employees are paid the lowest…FACT

You ever think that if Boeing goes Union and wages increase, what kind of affect that will have in the Charleston area. Other companies will see how having a Union will increase pay in workers pockets therefore those companies increasing the pay of workers to eliminate the possibilities of them calling the Union to retain their power.

This will only uplift SC

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Bible Thumper February 5, 2015 at 3:41 am

“This will only uplift SC”
Yeah! Just like Detroit.

Dana Anderson February 5, 2015 at 9:00 am
One of the 11% February 5, 2015 at 10:00 am

U want to talk about Detroit? That’s every anti union person’s response. Let me ask you, do you drive American made cars or a foreign car? Union ruined Detroit?!?!?!? How about the increasing number of people driving Hondas, Kias, Nissans etc…legislation changes allowing more manufactured foreign cars to come into the U.S. and less American made vehicles going abroad. For instance 400k Kia cars made and shipped here while 70k American made cars shipped there. If things where equal American car manufacturers making 330k more vehicles would have retained or produced more jobs in Detroit therefore Detroit would have been thriving which by the way I’m not sure if you have seen the news lately but the American auto industry is back!!!!

Tom February 5, 2015 at 11:20 am

Yea, and just look how much better South Carolina’s non-union textile industry has faired. The unionized Automobile and Steel industries of this country have disappeared while those non-union textile plants are pumping out profits and jobs.

Chucktown Buck February 9, 2015 at 11:10 am

SC was already like Detroit, before Boeing even got here.

Native Ink February 5, 2015 at 1:02 pm

$16-17 an hour is a crap wage in Charleston. The cost of living in Charleston is sky high compared to the rest of S.C. and getting higher every year.

Working 10 to 20 hours of overtime a week at Boeing doesn’t get you ahead. You can’t build up your savings or make financial investments. Working 60 hours a week just brings your wages up to a level that allows you to live here.

Native Ink February 4, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Interesting that you mentioned the union at the VW plant in Chattanooga. Senator Corker and a bevy of Tennessee state officials threatened VW and its workers if they went union. In that case, VW actually wanted a union, and the Republicans still interfered. The coming months will feature a crapstorm of epic proportions as Nikki and her friends lie about the union and threaten that the end of the world is coming if the union gets in.

Actually, the Republicans should want the union in. When production problems flare up again, they can conveniently place all the blame on the union. When Boeing shuts down the plant in a few decades to move to China, they can also blame the union for that too.

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Bible Thumper February 4, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Maybe the Republican want what is best for the state and are not interested in the blame game.

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Jonny Logic February 4, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Yeah, that is always the #1 priority of the Republican party. That AND helping the working man. Sometimes they do get confused, though, because each is so equally important to them.

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Tom February 4, 2015 at 4:40 pm

And maybe the Republicans don’t give a crap about the workers in the plant and they just want to do what is best for their big donors. Hmm I wonder which is more likely.

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Bible Thumper February 4, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Hey! You can always stay with Democrats.

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Rakkasan February 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm

VW wanted a union because it is a requirement in order to establish a German-style Works Council, which is more of a collaboration between mgt and workers than the American Labor Union model. VW wants it because they see it as the model where both sides get the most of what they want. The TN politicians knew that too before they illegally intervened.

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Point of Order February 4, 2015 at 11:31 pm

“When Boeing shuts down the plant in a few decades to move to China, they can also blame the union for that too.”

Let’s hope the currency collapses completely before it happens, then it won’t make sense to move to China.

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george February 4, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Will unions boycott this state, too, because of that “flag”?

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Bible Thumper February 4, 2015 at 4:20 pm

That’s the only good reason I’ve read for keeping the flag up.

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Joseph Cicala February 4, 2015 at 9:44 pm

No George whatever flag that SC fly’s is their business. The fact is that the IAM already represents many workers in SC.

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Rank&file February 4, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Why would an assclown such as Will Folks or a skank like N. Haley think that they know what is best for we 7500+ Boeing employees? Fits hasn’t a clue, and the Gov. is sucking the Corp. cock.

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It's a Great Day in SC February 4, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Anything that pisses off both Nikki and Fits can’t be bad!

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt February 4, 2015 at 9:11 pm

Well played sir…and highly accurate.

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FastEddy23 February 5, 2015 at 12:20 pm

We should all be pissed off.

It is and should forever be the right of the workers to organize into clubs, unions, political parties. It is and should forever be the right of the workers to determine how their club’s, union’s, political parties’ fees, dues, fines, taxes, tithes and tributes are collected and spent … or not.

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Javier Lee February 4, 2015 at 3:17 pm

The title of this article says it all. ” unfit and imbalanced”? Ain’t that the truth. The shots on Niki Haley are pretty accurate, however I’ve yet to meet anyone going to the local “watering holes” to get cards signed. That’s a flat out lie. Ask your source which watering holes and who was there. I know the answer. Never happened!
The IAM is here for one reason. They were asked to! This is far from an IAM vs Boeing issue. That is what Boeing would love to make everyone believe but it’s simply not true. This is a frustrated work force who is tired of the nepotism, unfair wages and work rules. This is about the employees having a voice . Plain and simple.

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aikencounty February 4, 2015 at 3:46 pm

It is my opinion that no union has ever “won” an organizing drive.
However, many companies have lost the on an organizing campaign.

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Javier Lee February 4, 2015 at 3:54 pm

In a way you’re correct. The workers win. They’re not technically Union yet.

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Keith Dakota February 4, 2015 at 3:44 pm

The governor can say all she wants, only the employee’s at Boeing know what best for them and their families! It’s still their right to join a union, they are the ones who get vote, everyone else should stop treading on their rights.

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aikencounty February 4, 2015 at 3:47 pm

ABSOLUTELY!
Only the business of Boeing and their employees!

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FastEddy23 February 5, 2015 at 12:26 pm

I did not join an aircraft workers union once way back in my youth. And I was the only guy in the whole shop that did not join. … This was in a “right to work” state, but testing that was not on my agenda. I just wanted to keep the extra $0.03 per hour (out of $1.92 per hour) that would have gone to pay my dues.

(The members did not treat me badly, but they didn’t give me any slack, either.)

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Bible Thumper February 4, 2015 at 4:14 pm

“going to the homes of Boeing employees and in some cases even sending attractive women into local watering holes in an effort to get signatures.”
That may get you signatures of employees. It doesn’t necessarily get you secret ballot votes.

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Rocky February 4, 2015 at 4:59 pm

The only thing unions do is cause workers to receive higher incomes. We sure as hell don’t need that kind of stuff around here.

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Rakkasan February 4, 2015 at 5:05 pm

We sure sure don’t want those unions cause if we have unions then anyone can get a good paying job. I mean, heck, we’ve worked hard for generations to exclude people on OUR terms so we can decide who can get ahead in this State. Unions totally undermine our efforts to maintain this colonial, “good ol’ boy” economy. Screw those carpetbaggers.

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Philip Branton February 4, 2015 at 6:38 pm

hopefully everyone writes in Wil Folks name to head the chapter……

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A Greedy Corrupt Union February 4, 2015 at 7:39 pm

Union dues amount to over 50 bucks a month for union members … and Boeing has how many employees now? Boeing can pack up and move to another southern state and leave SC behind.

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One of the 11% February 4, 2015 at 8:13 pm

Boeing pack up and leave? Have you heard of the extreme tax breaks they receive? Have you seen the amount of property they have obtained (were they bought low country residents out of their homes for pennies on the dollar and pay next to nothing in taxes)? Have you seen the construction happening on International Blvd? Pack up and leave you say, with all of that going on I’m pretty sure the Governor (how’s in their back pocket) will have a serious problem with that. They are not going anywhere!!! Plain and simple…they run this state now

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aikencounty February 4, 2015 at 8:46 pm

I don’t think Boeing pays the employees dues.

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Chucktown Buck February 17, 2015 at 10:11 am

Union dues are more like $80.00 a month about $1K a year. So what! I would pay it in a heartbeat, considering my pay would increase any where from $10-15Ka year. Have seen what the what the managers that came from Washington checks look like? K level managers are making $120K a year + MIP bonuses of $20K+ a year. Only a fool say $1K investment with $10K ROI is a bad idea. Oh mechanic bonuses are currently around $4K and that’s only if you a shitload of overtime in SC.

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Limbaughsaphatkhunt February 4, 2015 at 9:07 pm

This is just a shit article with a shit view of unions.

Unions that use underhanded and brutish tactics to coerce workers and/or stop work or slow work deserve to be discriminated against as they give the other unions who are above board a bad rap.

But I gotta say, if you get 30% of cards back and have a secret ballot, then the will of the workforce has spoken. Unionizing is an important way employees have some leverage to push back against the fucking modern day robber barons of America (Kochs…I’m looking at you). Despite all that, American workers are still worse off when compared to other industrialized, Westernized democracies.

People, don’t buy the Fox News hype, unions are not the enemy.

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nitrat February 5, 2015 at 9:51 am

It’s the Murdoch/Koch Libertarian trash hype.

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Joseph Cicala February 4, 2015 at 9:23 pm

Wow as a journalist I can’t believe that you would write an article such as this attacking the IAM with flat out LIES! Do you honestly believe that the IAM would exploit their workers by sending “attractive women to the local watering hole to collect cards”? That is by far the worst lie that I have heard yet and I have heard a lot of lies but that one just goes to far! Never has the IAM attacked Boeing, or the Governor for that matter. So why do people like yourself, Boeing, and the Governor feel the need to attack the IAM in such a manner? It just goes to show you who the real professionals are, also who the desperate party really is. All the IAM has ever asked from the beginning is for a fair election without intimation for the Boeing workers at BSC. What is Boeing (and the Governor) so afraid of anyway? If they really truly respect the good people of Boeing SC and their families as they claim then why can’t they let the workers make the decision whether to go union or not on their own instead of trying so hard to make the decision for them.

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Brittany Cicala February 4, 2015 at 10:11 pm

The major point to make here is, that yes, your Governor, Nikki Haley, has her hands so deep in the pockets of Boeing executives, or as you have stated “they say jump and she says how high” that she makes crude remarks and belittles the citizens of her own state without regards to anything other than herself and her gain. Now, excuse me, but that is certainly not someone who is for the people or looking out for the best interest of her community, she is simply looking out for her own good. Ask yourself this to, why would she go to such great lengths to bash the IAM? Why would she spend the majority of her political action on defeating the IAM? Why would she choose to focus solely on non-union antics? Because at the end of the day, it is not about the people of your state, it is about her and the benefit of not having a union brings to her financial means. Even her own constituents question her motives when there are much greater concerns in SC, like education and health reform. And also ask yourself, why would the IAM go to such great lengths to support workers, whom they gain nothing from other than their Brotherhood, if the union is such a horrible thing…they wouldn’t. These men and women were brought up in working class America. They understand the struggles that lie in the blue collar world where the working man and women must literally fight for what they deserve. This is not to say the CEOs do not deserve their success, it just means those who actually produce the work and directly impact production of work deserve it too! The IAM works tirelessly to help be the voice for those workers who unfortunately do not have the voice or the means to step up and take action on their own. Strength in numbers! The men and women at Boeing SC deserve better, and how do they get it? They get it with a union! They get it with IAM!

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Guest February 5, 2015 at 11:21 am

What happens if Boeing says, if you are going union, we are going to shut the facility down and move to Mexico? What then?

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William February 5, 2015 at 12:01 pm

Union presence is not sufficient to cause that. If they are going to move the plant they will do so anyway as soon as the state incentives run out. But they won’t . Boeing makes a fortune on defense contracts. As long as they do, they will keep most of their production in the US. Its a way to bribe Representatives and Senators.

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FastEddy23 February 5, 2015 at 12:41 pm

That probably won’t happen for many years to come. The US aviation industry has tried making airplanes and part offshore and there have usually been serious problems with that outcome. (Defective screw jack elevator trim controllers from China come to mind… several MD-80s fell from the sky as a result.)

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Mark February 5, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Ha, would you rather fly in a plane made by Mexico or a plane made in Germany. How cheap will the plane have to be to get airlines to pick Mexico. Boeing will not try to make planes in Mexico. Airbus is their competition.

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Southern Belle February 7, 2015 at 11:10 am

It is against the law to shut down a facility because of the union.

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Chucktown Buck February 7, 2015 at 7:08 am

McNerney gets 20% raises and his 2013 compensation was $27,000,000.00 that’s enough to pay the President and Congress’ salaries. Yet, the Boeing SC workers only get 20-30 cent raises and make less than $20.00 an hour. I think Boeing can afford it.

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Buddyg3155 February 4, 2015 at 10:49 pm

FITS has it backwards. Unions don’t “artificially raise wages”; instead, right to work laws depress wages to substandard levels. RTW states generally have low wage levels compared to the rest of the country, and RTW organizations are funded by employers not to help workers, but to weaken unions. The best way to raise living standards and restore the decimated middle class is to collectively bargain. That benefits the workers represented by those unions, and allows profits horded by companies like Boeing to be ever so slightly more equitably distributed.

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Southern Belle February 5, 2015 at 10:05 am

Amen, I don’t think many people really understand what the RTW law actually means.
http://higginslabor.nd.edu/about/current-projects/

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Bible Thumper February 5, 2015 at 7:42 am Reply
Dana Anderson February 5, 2015 at 9:01 am

Race to the bottom with RTW

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Southern Belle February 5, 2015 at 10:05 am Reply
Chucktown Buck February 7, 2015 at 7:19 am

Also Bigger, Faster and poorer.

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Point of Order February 5, 2015 at 8:13 am

“But as much as we don’t like Boeing, we don’t want to see organized labor gaining a major foothold in the Palmetto State”

It’s not libertarian to prevent people from voluntarily associating with each other for the purpose of collective bargaining.

As long as they aren’t physically hurting people/property it doesn’t matter if you think it’s “bad” or not.

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Bible Thumper February 5, 2015 at 8:34 am

“It’s not libertarian to prevent people from voluntarily associating with each”
Who’s preventing them?

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Point of Order February 5, 2015 at 10:03 am

No one, yet….but my point is that he shouldn’t be championing any kind of gov’t involvement/intervention in the affair. Nikki seems to have a hard on for the Union and one can’t help but wonder if she’ll try to encourage the use of gov’t to change the labor outcome over at Boeing.

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William February 5, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Right to work laws are government interference In the free market. Employees should have the right to voluntarily associate and offer the product they have to sell as a group. That includes offering concessions in exchange for an exclusive contract.
If a state of the federal government passed a law that said Boeing could not enter into a contract with an airline to be the exclusive provided of their air planes, Republicans would go nuts.

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Bible Thumper February 5, 2015 at 8:47 am

A Reminder: Charleston Workers were Tricked Before
They had the union at Vought before Boeing bought them out. There workers were angry at the union trickery of holding a secret contract vote.
http://www.charlestonbusiness.com/news/25742-vought-workers-irritated-by-secretive-union-vote-on-contract?rss=0

They applied to desertification the union and had the vote after Boeing bought the plant.
http://www.charlestonbusiness.com/news/28827-new-boeing-workers-file-to-decertify-machinists-union https://www.fitsnews.com/2009/09/11/s-c-boeing-workers-reject-union/

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Dana Anderson February 5, 2015 at 10:01 am

I love your creditable resources. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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Dana Anderson February 5, 2015 at 10:07 am

Vought was a horrible situation – Vought
surfaced bargained till the end hoping to reach the one year threshold knowing
it would never be around long enough to be challenged because of the Boeing
deal. When a tier 1 supplier can’t make shipments
because of engineering problems, basically going out of business, massive law
off, recalling areas loaded with anti-union supporters all while knowing it was
selling to Boeing, deals like that don’t happen overnight. It would be hard
not to believe there was a strong underhanded effort to ensure Boeing purchased
Vought union free, that explains the surface bargaining effort. Don’t you find it odd Boeing files
for a decertification the same day it took over?

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nitrat February 5, 2015 at 9:49 am

You should not use the VW-Tennessee case as an example of a union victory.
VW wanted the union there. They work closely with unions in Germany and other places they manufacture.
The ideologically rigid like the execrable Sen. Bob Corker was actually being anti-business owner (which make him anti-Libertarian, right? Since Libertarianism is above all a movement of business owners to screw over their employees and customers, right? That sure is how it works out.) when he opposed the union VW wanted.
I guess VW finally made it clear to the likes of Corker and other TN politicians that having a union was what they wanted and that made it OK for Tennessee to accept.
‘Cause business is always right, right?

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Elfego February 5, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Unions are corrupt they exploit any weakness and will be responseable for gas prices going up.

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