Justice for Boeing Workers

Here's what you need to know this week:

You may remember that last year, flight engineers at Boeing's South Carolina facility voted to form a union with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). However, as is often the case, the company has fought this organization effort every step of the way. Immediately after voting to unionize (over 60% voted yes), Boeing refused to recognize the union on the grounds this was a "micro-unit" of workers within the facility, as opposed to all of the employees. Boeing says that micro-units like this are a violation of federal law. 

Ironically, as the fight carried on, Boeing then violated federal law by harassing and firing six pro-union workers just before the holidays of 2018. This drew national attention and letters of concern from prominent United States Senators, and happened all while the company continued to adamantly refuse to recognize the union of flight engineers despite the NLRB Regional Director's ruling that the bargaining unit is valid.

This week, though, these workers got a major win. After the IAM filed unfair labor practice charges against Boeing with the NLRB for terminating these workers, the Regional Director agreed and found that this was an act of unlawful retaliation against these workers for union activity. This is only the first step toward a full victory for the flight engineers. Those terminated still need to be reinstated, and Boeing still needs to recognize the union and bargain for a fair contract. For the time being, however, this ruling is a landmark decision.

If you'd like to add your name, the IAM has set up a petition (LINK HERE) demanding that Boeing reinstate these workers immediately.

Here's what's coming up:

- Tuesday (8/27), the St Petersburg City Council Primary Elections will take place. For our members and their families, remember that we've endorsed Deborah Figgs-Sanders for District 5 and Lisa Wheeler-Bowman for District 7. We hope you'll get out to vote if eligible to do so, and we hope you'll VOTE UNION!

- Wednesday (8/28), our Florida Alliance for Retired Americans (FLARA) chapter will be holding its annual Medicare/Social Security Birthday Event with Congressman Gus Bilirakis. Every year, FLARA celebrates the birthdays of Medicare and Social Security with various members of congress. Those members that defend these programs are thanked, and those who have an unfavorable voting record are educated and asked to do better. This event will take place at 10AM at the Cares Elfers Center (4136 Barker Dr, New Port Richey), and everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

- Also on Wednesday (8/28) the FL AFL-CIO will hold their monthly activist call at 6PM. This call serves as an opportunity for labor activists around the state to share news and updates. The dial-in information is as follows:

Number: 877-336-1274
Access Code: 964-7066

- On Thursday 8/29, our Florida Future Labor Leaders chapter will meet at 6PM at IBEW 915 (5621 Harney Rd, Tampa). They'll be going over local updates and discussing the details for the statewide meeting in Orlando! This is the official voice for young union members in our Central Labor Council and the FL AFL-CIO, and all young workers are invited to attend. RSVP HERE

- If you're planning for Labor Day (9/1), the St Pete Democrats will be hosting their 11th Annual Labor Day Picnic from 1PM to 5PM at Gladden Park (3901 30th Ave North, St. Petersburg). Card carrying union members get in FREE! For more info, contact Mike Fox at 727-320-4502 or [email protected].

Keep in Mind:

A new NAFTA is still on the table, but in its current form, it is no better than the old one. Over a million jobs have been outsourced in the last 25 years, and it is estimated that full-time US workers lose an average of $2000 every year because of bad trade deals like this. We can't stop ringing the phones of congress in opposition. Call your representative today at 855-856-7545 to say "NO VOTE until NAFTA is fixed!"

That's all for this week! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates. If you would like to receive text message alerts from the Florida AFL-CIO (Msg & data rates may apply), text FLUNION to 235246!

In Solidarity,

West Central Florida Labor Council

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