Machinist union files petition to vote on unionization at Boeing

North Charleston, S.C (WCBD)– The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers made a major announcement Friday morning. Boeing workers will vote on whether or not they want to unionize.

The crowd that gathered at the International Longshoremen’s Association cheered when they were told a petition was filed with the National Labor Relations Board and the vote will happen.

The petition is the latest move in an ongoing battle over organized labor at the North Charleston plant. Before the petition is filed, the union must show a certain level of interest by obtaining authorization cards from employees. When the number is reached, a petition may be filed.

Voting is conducted by the NLRB and done on private ballots.

This is the second time the IAM filed a petition to vote. The first was in 2015, but it was later withdrawn before voting due to lack of support. Union officials blame Boeing, saying there was misinformation presented to employees. They hope this time will be different.

South Carolina is a right to work state, meaning employees cannot be forced to join the union. It also means that all workers are eligible to receive representation and bargaining agreements not just those who pay dues.

South Carolina has the lowest union participation in the nation.

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