Union pulls petition for election at Boeing South Carolina plant

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 17, 2015 10:38 AM

(Reuters) - The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers withdrew its petition for an April 22 election at Boeing Co's South Carolina plant, citing "a toxic environment and gross violations of workers' lawful organizing rights."

The decision, which delays the date for an election by at least six months, was made after IAM organizers conducted home visits with more than 1,700 Boeing workers, the union said in a statement on Friday.

The IAM said it withdrew its petition for the vote after two organizers "were threatened at gunpoint" during home visits that began last week. Other organizers reported "hostile and near-violent confrontations," it said.

About 125 IAM representatives from around the country were conducting the home visits, the union said, adding that it had filed unfair labor practice charges in relation to the organizing drive.

Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The union said it would continue trying to organize workers at the plant.

The National Labor Relations Board determined last month that about 3,000 production and maintenance workers were eligible to vote on whether the IAM should represent them.

The company had waged a vigorous campaign against the union, supported by numerous local political leaders. The union had earlier signaled that it might postpone the vote.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott in Seattle and Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Dan Grebler)

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