A vote on whether to unionize production workers could come as early as this year, as both the International Association of Machinists and Boeing ramp up their ad campaigns.
Nearly a year after the International Association of Machinists (IAM) canceled a vote to unionize Boeing’s South Carolina operations, the union is again raising its profile with ads on billboards and radios in North Charleston, and Boeing is responding with its own ads.
The dueling campaigns suggest that the union “could seek a vote as early as this year,” according to the Seattle Times.
South Carolina IAM organizer Mike Evans told the newspaper that he will petition the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a new vote as soon as more than 50% of the approximately 3,300 production workers here sign union authorization forms. In September, the NLRB ruled that the workers could register their approval for the union vote by filling in a website form—no longer do they have to sign and turn in postcards.
According to an IAM flyer, production workers at Boeing South Carolina now earn about $19.77 per hour after three years at the plant, rising to $22.62 per hour in 2018 given expected raises.
An equivalent starting wage in Boeing’s Puget Sound, Wash., plants is about $20.64 per hour, but that rises to the top of the contract pay scale after six years of service to $38.61 per hour in 2018.