A Judge has ruled that Boeing violated the National Labor Relations Act last April when a human resources manager in its North Charleston, South Carolina plant reprimanded a worker for discussing unionizing during work time.
According to Judge William Nelson Cates, “Boeing Co. cannot prohibit employees from discussing the union while allowing discussion of nonwork-related matters during working time.”
The case revolves around mechanic Ronald Bourrillion. He claims he only spoke about his desire to join the union on his break time. The ruling came after a trial was held last month.
The case was brought before the NLRB by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers on behalf of Bourrillion (IAM) in the Spring. The IAM has been leading an organizing drive at Boeing South Carolina throughout 2012. According to an IAM representative, “greater than 50” Boeing workers have signed up and an NLRB-legal election could happen within a year.
Boeing has been ordered to allow free discussion of unionization at the workplace and to post notices reminding workers of their right to organize. According to the Post and Courier, Boeing spokeswoman Candy Eslinger wrote in an emailed statement that the company was disappointed, but disputed the findings.
“Boeing does not — and has not — told any employee that he or she can’t talk about the union (or any other subject) during work time, as long as the discussions don’t impact production.To the contrary, we encourage our South Carolina teammates to carefully consider the impact that a union would have on their relationship with management, and talking about the IAM’s attempt to organize Charleston is an important aspect of their decision-making.”