NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - North Charleston mayor Keith Summey and other county leaders spoke about the upcoming union vote at Boeing, claiming the vote would benefit workers on the west coast and hurt jobs in South Carolina.
An election on April 22 will decide if thousands of Boeing South Carolina employees will join a labor union.
Summey urged employees to vote "no" to the union, suggesting the west coast union has an ulterior motive in South Carolina.
"When I read out of an article from the newspaper on the West Coast that the head of the union there says this is going to make it easier for them to keep jobs on the west coast and not lose them to South Carolina," Summey said.
That's the wrong issue, he said.
"If they were coming here just to make sure our employees are treated fairly and get the proper pay they should have, that's one thing," Summey said. "But to come in to try to keep us from growing Boeing here in South Carolina because of the union is wrong. And so I think we need to take a stand locally to make sure our employees understand that: it's not about them, it's about the west coast."
Summey says the union official said a vote for the union could block a new Boeing plant in South Carolina that would produce the replacement for the 737.
"They think if they can get the union here, that it will block it from coming here and it will go to the west coast," Summey said.
Summey says local leaders lobbied to make sure salaries were fair before the company announced plans to build in the Palmetto State.
"When we bring companies in like this, we discuss what the minimum wage is, how it's going to be according to comparison in the state of South Carolina. And the wages are fair in the comparison," he said.
Summey says Boeing is doing its part and doesn't need anyone to come in to dictate how things should run.
"The greatest thing I think we've proven to the west coast is we can build planes," he said.