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Local leaders speak out against union at Boeing

(Lara Rolo/WCIV)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Local leaders have come out against a proposal for Boeing workers to unionize with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and his son, County Council Chairman Elliott Summey, are urging the nearly 3,000 Boeing workers expected to vote on April 22 to turn down IAM's petition to take over workforce operations at the Boeing plant.

Leaders argue the move is disingenuous. County Council Chair Summey said, "Our folks, our citizens, our fellow Charlestonians that work at the Boeing facility need to remember what that union thinks of them."

Chairman Summey referred to comments made by IAM Union District 751 President Jon Holden.

His father quoted an article in which Holden was quoted saying, "South Carolina's union vote could influence where the future plant for the plane that will replace the 737 could end up."

"So they're not concerned about our employees," Mayor Summey said. "They're concerned about their employees on the West Coast and how they can keep the Boeing business there."

Mayor Summey said it's not about unionizing; it's about unionizing with IAM, whose leaders, he says, do not have the interests of South Carolina's Boeing workers in mind. The Vote is April 22.

Earlier this year, Union District 751 President Jon Holden issued this statement:

"We are excited that these hard working, well-deserving workers in South Carolina will have the opportunity to choose whether or not they want representation with their employer. We fell strongly that these workers will also benefit themselves and their communities once they have the right to bargain with their employer."

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