The union looking to organize workers at Boeing's South Carolina plant has put its plans in a holding pattern, claiming workers are so opposed to signing up that they chased labor leaders off their porches at gunpoint.
The North Charleston plant, which opened in the right-to-work state four years ago and builds fuselages for 747s and 787s, employs about 7,500 workers. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers had been trying to build support for a vote this week on unionizing 3,175 production and maintenance workers, but called off the vote days before it was to happen.
“After speaking with Boeing workers who we were previously unable to reach, we’ve determined now is not the right time for an election,” union organizer Mike Evans said in a statement. “An atmosphere of threats, harassment and unprecedented political interference has intimidated workers to the point we don’t believe a free and fair election is possible.”
The union filed an unfair labor practice with the National Labor Relations Board in which it alleged that "two organizers were threatened at gunpoint and others reported hostile and near-violent confrontations," according to a union press release.