Boeing technicians in South Carolina to vote on unionization: WSJ

FILE PHOTO: Boeing's logo is seen during the Japan Aerospace 2016 air show in Tokyo, Japan, October 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

(Reuters) - Some Boeing Co BA.N workers at the planemaker' s factory in South Carolina will vote on union representation later this month, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing U.S. labor regulators.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that 178 technicians at the Boeing facility, which produces the 787 Dreamliner jets in North Charleston, can vote to join the International Association of Machinists union.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) said the NLRB issued a decision finding the technicians an “appropriate bargaining unit” and has set an election date for May 31.

“The National Labor Relations Board spoke loud and clear against Boeing’s delay tactics and ruled in favor of the right to form or join a union,” IAM Lead Boeing SC Organizer Mike Evans said in an email to Reuters.

The move comes more than a year after 74 percent of the about 2,800 hourly staff at Boeing's South Carolina plant voted against joining a union.

South Carolina, which had the lowest proportion of union workers at 2.6 percent in 2017, is among the U.S. states that bar unions from requiring workers to join up as a condition of employment.

“Boeing is disappointed in this decision and will appeal the ruling,” the company said in a statement.

“Our position on this issue has not changed: we strongly believe that this micro-unit is prohibited under federal labor law and is not in the best interests of our teammates, our site or our community,” Boeing said.

The National Labor Relations Board was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Rishika Chatterjee; Editing by Cynthia Osterman, Lisa Shumaker and Sunil Nair