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Hearing Date Set In Case Claiming Boeing Violated Workers’ Rights Over Union Support

Published Friday, June 5, 2020
by Emily Williams/
Hearing Date Set In Case Claiming Boeing Violated Workers’ Rights Over Union Support

(NORTH CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA) – The National Labor Relations Board has set the date for a hearing addressing allegations Boeing South Carolina unjustly fired Workers because they wanted to Unionize.  A Regional Office of the NLRB has sent a notice that a hearing will begin on September 1st at a location in or around North Charleston.

Allegations against Boeing were made by the International Association of Machinists (IAM), a Union that has tried to represent Flight Line Workers at Boeing’s North Charleston Plant where the company makes its 787 Dreamliner Jet.

The IAM alleges that Boeing wrongfully fired five Employees because of their Union support and disciplined Workers who favored a Union more than other Employees. 

Boeing has refuted all of the allegations, which the IAM originally filed in 2018.

About a dozen filings from the IAM were consolidated in a complaint published by the NLRB in April.  The complaint was issued about eight months after a NLRB Regional Director said the claims had merit and it was the next step to move the case toward a hearing. 

Boeing, which is in the midst of a tumultuous period of layoffs and financial loss because of COVID-19, opposes the NLRB’s decision to hear the case. 

A decision on the case likely won’t come until 2021, IAM Attorney Laura Ewan said.

During the trial, the IAM and the NLRB will start by laying out the case against Boeing.  The company will then have an opportunity to present its arguments.  After the hearing, which could go on for days, both parties will have to wait for full transcripts of the proceedings. 

Once those are received, Boeing and the IAM will submit their final briefs, Ewan said.

A judge will then have time to review those briefs and the hearing transcripts and, eventually, make a ruling. 

Ewan estimated those materials won’t make it into a judge’s hands until the end of the year. 

If Boeing were to be found responsible for the allegations the IAM has made, a judge could order the company to reinstate the terminated Employees and give them back pay

“The ‘whole point is to make an Employee whole, to get them back to where they had been before the termination,’” Ewan said. 

The NLRB also requires that companies found in violation of Labor Laws post an official notice that includes the details of what rights were violated and a vow that the company will not violate their Workers’ rights again.  

Boeing South Carolina and the IAM have been at odds for several years, since the Union’s first attempted to represent Workers at the North Charleston plant in 2015.

The IAM canceled that vote, citing interference from politicians and Boeing management. 

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