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Boeing workers deny IAM bid to organise North Charleston

Nearly 3,000 workers at Boeing’s eight-year-old campus in North Charleston, South Carolina have rejected a second attempt to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

The vote means that Boeing’s complex assembling 787s and engineering propulsion systems for the 737 Max will remain non-unionised for now, but IAM remains committed to organising the site.

“Ultimately it will be the workers who dictate what happens next,” says IAM lead organiser Michael Evans.

Seventy-four percent of the 2,828 workers who voted cast ballots to reject IAM representation, Boeing says.

“We have a bright future ahead of us and are eager to focus on the accomplishments of this great team and to developing new opportunities,” says Joan Robinson-Berry, vice-president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina.

The National Labor Relations Board conducted the election on Boeing’s property in North Charleston. The IAM previously attempted to organise the North Charleston site two years ago, but suspended the effort in April 2015.

The vote comes two days before the scheduled roll-out of the first 787-10 in a ceremony to be attending by US president Donald Trump.

“It is great to have this vote behind us as we come together to celebrate that event,” Robinson-Berry says.

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