The International Association of Machinists Union says they have struck a tentative agreement with Boeing. The union, along with the National Labor Relations Board, filed a lawsuit against Boeing earlier this year. The complaint accuses Boeing of violating labor laws by expanding its 787 Dreamliner facility into South Carolina to avoid unionized workers in Washington.
Now that a deal is almost sealed, Vice President and General Manager for Boeing Commercial Airplanes Fabrication Ross Bogue says he wants to put the lawsuit behind him and move forward.
“I just think it gets a lot of fog out of the air. Let’s not focus on that. I think yesterday was a good day for the Boeing company and a good day for a lot of different constituents and institutions. We’ll celebrate that for a moment and then get on with the business to celebrate being better tomorrow than we were today,” Bogue said as officials opened a new interior responsibility center Thursday.
Bogue says he wants to see the energy used in the lawsuit go toward making new airplanes.
“Anytime that we can find a way to not argue and fight with ourselves inside the family and use that energy to be more competitive in the marketplace and bring better and better airplanes to our customers–I think that’s a better use of our collective energy,” says Bogue.
State Senator Glenn McConnell says he never thought anything would come of the lawsuit anyway. Since the deal is not yet final, McConnell says the decisions being made need to be from within.
“I think Boeing and their attorneys have to make their business decisions on that, not politicians. I think they have to look at where they are and where they are going. I didn’t think the lawsuit had much traction. It was a distraction, it had cost money, but ultimately it wouldn’t change what happened,” says McConnell.
McConnell says he hopes this “bump” in the road is over and is excited for what’s in store for Boeing, South Carolina.
“I’m glad that that thing may get resolved. I didn’t think the lawsuit would go anywhere just based upon what knowledge I had from law school, of labor laws and NLRB and all of that. But, that was a bunch of noise in the lawsuit that in my opinion would never gain traction,” says McConnell.
McConnell and Bogue were on hand Thursday for the opening of the new Interior Responsibility Center, or IRC, in Ladson that will make the interior parts for the 787s.