The labor union fighting Boeing’s new assembly plant in Charleston is challenging the company’s efforts to keep certain information confidential during the case.
Boeing is arguing that some information about its 787 Dreamliner factory should be sealed from the public duing the court hearing. The company is defending itself against a National Labor Relations Board complaint that Boeing purposely built the plant in right-to-work South Carolina to avoid unions in Washington state.
The company is now asking the judge hearing the case to keep certain testimony and documents confidential and off-limits to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers as well as to journalists and rival airplane manufacturers. Boeing’s lawyers say they are worried about financial information being made public, which means competitors (particularly Airbus) could see it. They say it would also hurt them in future negotiations if labor attorneys had access to the company’s financial records.
However, union attorneys say they need to be in the room so they can use their expertise to challenge what Boeing tells the judge, as well as prepare for the NLRB’s cross-examination in the upcoming case.
If the judge rules in the company’s favor, an order would affect about three percent of the roughly 4,000 documents involved in the case.