McNerney confident on union dispute

June 20, 2011 at 4:38 PM
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PARIS, June 20 (UPI) -- Boeing Co.'s top executive said the firm would prevail in a union dispute concerning use of an airplane factory in South Carolina.

The International Association of Machinists has filed a complaint with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board, which has proposed Boeing move work from a non-union factory in South Carolina to its main jet production facility in Everett, Wash., where workers are unionized, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Boeing has turned down the offer with Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney insisting the company has the right to set up shop where it chooses, the Journal said.

In an interview at the Paris Air Show, McNerney said, "We're in a strong position and are absolutely confident that we will prevail in terms of the law."

"There's always the possibility of some settlement," he added.

As the factories get up to speed, Boeing is planning to build as many as three Dreamliner 787 planes per month in South Carolina and seven per month in Washington.

But the union has complained, saying the work scheduled for South Carolina is a way of punishing the union for conducting a three-month strike in 2008.

The company has denied it moved work to retaliate for the strike, noting it has added employees in Washington in the last few of years.

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