A National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge (NLRB) ruled last week that the Boeing Co. violated federal labor law when it banned workers at its North Charleston, S.C., assembly plant from talking about joining a union on company time.
Workers at the 787 Dreamliner plant have been meeting off-site with Machinists (IAM) representatives to talk about organizing for a voice on the job with the IAM. Administrative Law Judge William Nelson Cates ruled that if the company allows workers to discuss other nonwork-related issues while on the job, it cannot forbid them from discussing union issues.
After a pro-union worker was called into a meeting with management over his talk of unions and distribution of union literature to co-workers, the IAM filed a complaint with the NLRB. Cates ordered Boeing to end the prohibition of union discussions and to post notices at the plant acknowledging that it violated labor law and informing workers of their rights.
Some 28,000 Boeing workers are IAM members and another 23,000 belong to the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace/IFPTE (SPEEA/IFPTE).