Union courting Boeing workers concerned about intimidation at ballot box

Union courting Boeing workers concerned about intimidation at ballot box

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Officials who are courting local employees to join their union say they are concerned about possible intimidation and harassment on the day of the election.

On April 22, 2,400 Boeing employees will decide if they want to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers.

The union wants to make sure the election is fair.

"Boeing has a very strong economic and political presence here that's putting pressure on these employees and I really think it should be left up to them," said I.A.M. official Mike Evans.

Evans says all the workers will have to do at the ballot box is take a pencil and check yes or no.

The voting process may be simple, but the outcome could have quite an impact at the plant.

"I think the honeymoon is over," Evans said.

Evans says on election day, the workers will check yes or no on paper ballots that will be put in a box monitored by someone from the National Labor Relations Board.

"Nobody will touch that box except that agent so it's a very well orchestrated private process. it's protected very well," Evans explained.

Evans says a vote to join the union will mean the union will represent the workers at the bargaining table with Boeing.

"It's wages, it's overtime, it's dignity on the job. They will decide themselves what are the priority issues they want to address in the first contract and we'll make advances in those areas."

The results of the election are expected to be known the same day the votes are cast.

A vote of 50 percent plus one will allow the Boeing workers to join the union.

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