Boeing doesn’t want its Charleston, SC employees joining together for better wages and benefits. The aerospace giant, which employs more than 30,000 IAM members in Washington state, has made that clear .
Boeing’s top brass pays for an anti-union website, gushes as South Carolina’s governor brags about kicking out good-paying union jobs, and Ã¢Â€” in a bizarre strategy Ã¢Â€” used lunch room table toppers to rail against the “nutritional value” of unions.
But it’s Boeing’s latest attempt to intimidate its Charleston employees that’s drawing some of the sharpest criticism yet.
In a statement posted to its anti-union website, Boeing suggests that jobs in Washington state and South Carolina could be at risk if Congress doesn’t bow to a Norwegian Airlines (NAI) proposal to operate as a low-cost carrier in U.S. markets. It criticizes lawmakers, the IAM and other unions for supporting legislation to block NAI’s bid to undermine wages, benefits and working conditions in the U.S. transportation sector.
The Seattle Times picked up on Boeing’s statement , noting that Boeing had been silent on the matter for two years Ã¢Â€” until now.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Transportation Trades Department President called Boeing’s attack “sinister” and represents “more anti-union saber-rattling by this corporate giant.”
“NAI’s application has absolutely nothing to do with buying more Boeing airplanes but has everything to do with setting up a corporate shell to eviscerate labor standards, undercut fair competition and destroy middle class airline jobs,” said Trumka and Wytkind.
IAM members have historically advocated for policies that expand Boeing’s reach into new markets and create new jobs. The Export-Import Bank, which Boeing says is critical to selling aircraft overseas, would still be shuttered if not for the efforts of IAM members making their voices heard in Congress.
“This is a tactic by Boeing to intimidate its workforce,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “We can see right through it, and so can the hard-working men and women at Boeing Charleston.”