Boeing sets record straight on bird-strike terminations
The International Association of Machinists (IAM) and Richard Mester, a former Boeing South Carolina flight readiness technician, have repeatedly and publicly alleged that Boeing fabricated ...Read More
Boeing does not believe this micro-unit petition, or any IAM representation at Boeing South Carolina, is in our teammates’ best interests. We are particularly concerned in this instance about one group being isolated from the rest of the team. Additionally, we believe this micro-unit petition is prohibited by federal law and we are challenging it accordingly.
We believe that a union is not in the best interest of our teammates, our business or our community. We simply want individuals to make a fully informed decision based on all the facts, not just the information that the union has presented. For those of you that have not worked in a union environment, you need to know how a seniority system works, how your money would be used, what happens during a strike, and what effect a union has on flexibility and competitiveness before you can make a fully informed decision. Finally, you need to know what a union can actually deliver or guarantee – very little.
Union dues are typically at least two hours pay per month plus an additional per capita fee, which totals about $800 per year, with no guarantee of getting a better deal in return for those dues.
No. If the union suggests it can get you a pay increase, ask them to put it in a written guarantee signed by the union President. The union may want you to believe that you will get Seattle wages in South Carolina, but they have not guaranteed that in writing and have not promised to make up the difference if they fail. In fact, in the December 2014 issue of The Leading Edge, the IAM’s newsletter targeting Boeing South Carolina teammates, the IAM stated very clearly that any contract at Boeing South Carolina would be completely independent from that of IAM 751 in Washington state and Oregon. The reason: Collective bargaining is a very uncertain process. Unions can ask for anything but the law does not require a company to agree to union demands. In fact, IAM contracts closer to home in Alabama and North Carolina aren’t anywhere close to the IAM 751 wage scale.
If you research the IAM’s most recent ratified collective bargaining agreements with aerospace companies across the United States (including Boeing), you’ll find that wages are negotiated based on local labor markets. The IAM itself admits to this fact in the contract they negotiated with an aerospace company in Kinston, N.C. Boeing South Carolina teammates are doing extremely well when compared to what the IAM has negotiated for other aerospace companies in our region, including at Boeing in Huntsville. You can click here for a detailed comparison.
The IAM will promise anything to get teammates to sign a card, but they can’t guarantee they’ll be able to deliver. If the IAM is telling you they can get you the same wages as Puget Sound, we suggest you ask them to guarantee it in writing. There are no guarantees with collective bargaining. It is an uncertain process, and no one can guarantee an outcome. A company must bargain in good faith with a union, but there is no law that can compel a company to agree to union demands.
That is a question to ask the union. But if the union says it will never strike, make sure you get that in writing. If the company did not agree to the union’s demands, the union might try to pressure the company by going out on strike. It is easy for the union to make all kinds of big promises, but it is something else for the union to fulfill those promises.
A union can only get what a company agrees to give after good-faith bargaining. Most contracts provide that a company can discharge employees for just cause. Boeing has always had a policy that it would only discipline or discharge employees for just cause, so the typical union contract would not provide any greater protection than employees already have. We have never seen a contract that would prevent an employer from terminating an employee who did not perform their job or did not report to work, and it is unrealistic for a union to claim that it could provide protection like this.