Q & A

On Your Current Campaign:
The IAM continues to receive calls and emails from many of you expressing your continued support to form a union. Therefore, we have determined that now could potentially be the time to launch a campaign aimed at getting to another election. In order to be certain, we have launched an online authorization card and are going to spend the next four months gauging the interest of you and your co-workers. Instead of officially launching a large, resource-intensive campaign, which could last for a year or more, we would first like to determine if there is even the possibility of getting to a vote.

What happens if, after four months, we demonstrate there is significant support for a union election?
We will launch a large-scale campaign in which we work closely with you to continue collecting authorization cards until a majority have signed cards. Once that happens, we will file with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a secret-ballot union election.

What happens if you get a majority during the four months?
The IAM will file with the NLRB for an election.

What happens if there is not enough support to continue after four months?  If after the four months, we do not have enough interest to proceed with a large-scale campaign – all authorization cards will be void. We will send you an email confirming beyond the date of May 2019; your authorization card is null and void.

Will this be an official authorization card recognized by the NLRB to determine interest for an election at the workplace? Yes, your authorization card will be used to help demonstrate there is enough interest to the NLRB for the opportunity of a secret ballot election to take place at the worksite. If the decision is made to move past May, 2019, you will not have to submit a second authorization card.

Why is the IAM using this approach? We continue to receive emails and calls, but it is impossible to determine the overall support at such a large worksite that is made up of different buildings with thousands of eligible voters. It is best for you and for us to determine if there is a fair amount of interest up front before launching a large-scale campaign. Many have experienced the time and resources a campaign this size entails. Also, if there is an early indicator that now is not the time, we don’t want to have a lengthy campaign that drags you through a barrage of anti-union tactics all over again.

Why four months? With the high turnover rate, we don’t have everybody’s contact information. Because of this fact, we feel it will take time for the message to get out. Four months should be a reasonable amount of time for a large group like yours.

Why are you not sharing the support amount needed within the four months? The number would eventually make it back to the company, and that would assist management with their anti-union efforts. We are looking for what we believe is a reasonable amount of support. One that indicates there is enough of you willing to accept and share future communications and discuss your support for organizing with co-worker.

Can you guarantee there will be an election someday if we continue past May 2019? No, we will not file for an election unless there is a majority of support. We will have to continue to evaluate as we move forward.

Do all the same laws apply during the four months. YES,  proven through the last campaign, your employer has no legal right to view authorization cards or demand you share your support. You have rights under the NLRB Act – section 7. Please visit NLRB.GOV

On the BSC Flight Line:

What has the BSC Flight Line done since voting to join the IAM in May 2018?

The BSC flight line has gotten on with the business of becoming a self-sustaining union. They chartered their own local lodge – IAM Local Lodge 531c. They elected their stewards and negotiating committee and have started the process of surveying all flight line workers to see what should be prioritized during contract negotiations. IAM education center instructors also came to Charleston in order to provide steward training.

When will the flight line have a union contract?

The IAM and members of BSC IAM Local Lodge 531c are ready and willing to sit down with Boeing and begin negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement. Unfortunately management is breaking the law by refusing to bargain. Despite a ruling by the regional NLRB director that the BSC flight line could vote to join the union and their subsequent overwhelming decision to do so, Boeing has chosen to file a request for review of the regional director’s decision to the full NLRB in Washington. In the meantime, we are doing everything in our power to compel Boeing to honor their legal right to bargain in “good faith.” This includes filing unfair labor practice charges against the company for their unlawful refusal to bargain. When we are able to sit down and negotiate a union contract, we will address issues such as  management discretion, favoritism and the use of contractors. 

What is the IAM doing to support those workers who were wrongfully terminated by Boeing?

Management at Boeing has made the unfortunate decision to use the subsequent time since workers voted to join the IAM to run a campaign of intimidation and fear on the flight line. Most recently there were a series of firings of open Union supporters which have been made in flagrant violation of federal law.  These firings – all made for transparently false reasons – are all the more noteworthy because they have taken place since mid-October 2018, in a work unit where only one employee had ever previously been fired since the operation began in 2015. All of the above-referenced ULP charges are currently under investigation by NLRB Region 10.  The IAM is urging the Region to complete its investigation and make determinations on the merit of these charges as soon as possible, and the IAM intends to urge the NLRB to seek injunctive relief in federal court to force Boeing to reinstate the unlawfully fired workers.

You can read more about what’s being done to help these workers here. 

On Your Authorization Card:

When I sign an authorization card, will it be submitted to my employer?
No! Your employer is forbidden by law from asking if you signed an authorization card. ‘A’ cards, as they are referred to in the Union, are used as proof of majority support. If necessary, the cards/petitions will be submitted to the National Labor Relations Board [also called the NLRB, or Labor Board] along with a formal petition to request a secret ballot election.

If I sign an authorization card or Petition, does this mean I have joined the Union?
No. Joining the Union is a separate and distinctly different action. Before joining the IAM, you must complete a membership application.

If I sign an ‘A’ card, does this obligate me to vote for the Union in the secret ballot election?
No. We hope, of course, that all employees vote for the IAM, whether or not they signed an ‘A’ card. The Labor Board election is a secret ballot and you are free to vote as you choose in the privacy of your secret voting booth. However, signing an ‘A’ card should be a sincere commitment to support the organizing program.

On Your Union Contract:

What is a union contract?
A union contract is a legal document that is binding by law. It is negotiated with the employer and provides for, among other things, wages, benefits, hours and general working conditions.

Who draws up our contract?
You do with assistance from skilled, trained professional Union negotiators. All employees in the bargaining unit contribute their ideas for the proposals. Areas where there is usually room for improvement include, but are not limited to:

  • Wages and inflation protection
  • Employer-paid health insurance for employees and their dependents
  • Effective grievance procedures
  • Job security
  • Seniority provisions
  • Additional paid holidays
  • Paid sick leave
  • Improved vacations
  • Work rules that spell out your rights on the job

Is there any limit as to what we can ask for in regard to wages and/or benefits?
No. Keep in mind, however, that what you ask for should be reasonable and justified. Management still retains their rights to hire, discipline and generally manage the company. The difference is you will now have grievance procedures and other protections to protect you against favoritism and unfair treatment. 

Who will do the negotiating?
The employer and his designated representative on one side of the table. On the other, a negotiating committee elected by you, together with your local union representative (s] and your International representative.

Do we have to accept what has been negotiated?
NO! If you do not feel you have gained enough in negotiations, you have the right to vote to reject the contract offer.

lf we vote to form a union, can the employer cut our wages or reduce the few benefits we now receive?
NO! That would violate Federal Law! Therefore, you will negotiate UP from current wages and benefits.