The Latest: Counting underway for Boeing union vote

AP News
|
Posted: Feb 15, 2017 6:22 PM

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the vote by employees of Boeing's plant in North Charleston on whether to join a union (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

Counting is underway for a vote that will determine if thousands of workers at Boeing's South Carolina plant will be represented by a union.

Ballots are being counted Wednesday evening for the vote on representation by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Nearly 3,000 workers were eligible to participate in Wednesday's voting. Union officials said they expected results later in the evening.

The election comes two days before President Donald Trump visits the Boeing plant in North Charleston to join in celebrating the rollout of the first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner from the aircraft maker's campus.

___

4:35 p.m.

Voting is wrapping up for Boeing workers in South Carolina considering if they want to be unionized.

Polling places were scheduled to close at 4:30 p.m. Union officials say they expect results later this evening.

Nearly 3,000 workers were expected to make a decision on whether they should join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

The vote comes two days before President Donald Trump visits the Boeing plant in North Charleston to join in celebrating the rollout of the first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner from the aircraft maker's campus.

___

1:20 p.m.

An afternoon round of balloting has begun among South Carolina Boeing workers considering if they want to be unionized.

Polls are open for several hours Wednesday afternoon at several locations on the aviation giant's manufacturing facilities in North Charleston.

Nearly 3,000 production workers are eligible to participate in the vote determining if they'll be represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The union petitioned for a vote in 2015 but withdrew it because of what the Machinists called a toxic atmosphere and political interference.

President Donald Trump is expected to visit Boeing on Friday for the rollout of the first 787-10 Dreamliner from the South Carolina campus. A year ago, then-candidate Trump warned during a campaign appearance that, unless he won, Boeing would soon ship all its jobs from South Carolina to China, where Boeing had agreed to open a facility.

___

10:45 a.m.

South Carolina's chief executive says Boeing's workers should reject an effort to unionize the aviation giant's North Charleston facilities.

In a statement provided to The Associated Press, Gov. Henry McMaster said "there is no reason to put anyone in the middle" between Boeing and its workers.

The Republican governor hasn't said much publicly about the vote, which was announced last month by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

McMaster has only been in office a few weeks, after former Gov. Nikki Haley accepted a job as ambassador to the United Nations. He was an early backer of Donald Trump's presidential campaign and is expected to join the president on Friday when he visits South Carolina for the rollout of the first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner from the aircraft maker's campus.

___

9:30 a.m.

The morning round of voting has concluded among South Carolina Boeing workers considering if they want representation by a union.

The first of two voting shifts wrapped up around midmorning at the aviation giant's North Charleston facilities.

Nearly 3,000 production workers are eligible to vote in the election to determine if they'll be represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The union initially petitioned for a vote in 2015 but called off that election because of what the union called a toxic atmosphere and political interference.

Machinists spokesman Jonathan Battaglia says the union feels Boeing workers are "ready to make history" with the vote.

Boeing came to South Carolina in part because of the state's minuscule union presence. Labor experts say a "yes" vote would have repercussions throughout the South, potentially inspiring other workers to think about unionizing.

___

6:45 a.m.

Voting is underway as thousands of workers at Boeing's South Carolina plant decide if they want to unionize.

Polling places opened early Wednesday morning throughout the aviation giant's sprawling facility in North Charleston. A second wave of voting takes place this afternoon.

Nearly 3,000 production workers are eligible to vote in the election to determine if they'll be represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The union initially petitioned for a vote in 2015 but called off that election because of what the union called a toxic atmosphere and political interference.

The global aviation giant came to South Carolina in part because of the state's minuscule union presence. Labor experts say a "yes" vote would have repercussions throughout the South, potentially inspiring other workers to think about unionizing.

___

4:10 a.m.

Nearly 3,000 production workers at Boeing's South Carolina plant are deciding if they want to unionize, writing the next chapter in efforts to organize labor in large manufacturing plants across the South.

If successful, Wednesday's balloting on whether employees should join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers would send a significant message to politicians both in the region and Washington that workers here are demanding the same protections and benefits as their colleagues in other areas.

And, to the leaders trying to recruit businesses by promoting their states' lack of union presence, it'd make their jobs more difficult.

Labor experts say a "yes" vote would have repercussions throughout the South, potentially inspiring other workers to think about unionizing.