A union representing Boeing engineers and technical workers has filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board accusing Boeing of stifling union discussion at Boeing plants.
The union, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, claims the company told employees they were banned from making negative comments about Boeing.
“Such discussions by union members are protected by the National Labor Relation Act (NLRA). Employers’ efforts to curb these discussions violate federal law,” SPEEA claimed.
The union said Boeing company representatives made those remarks at an employee orientation meeting Friday.
“In addition to this obvious violation of labor law, SPEEA has received numerous complaints from employees about managers telling them to remove and not display union material at their personal workstation. Employees also report finding union-related items removed from individual work areas when they arrive at work to start a new work day,” the union claimed.
The charges were filed as Boeing and SPEEA are negotiating for a new contract. Their present contract expires Oct. 6. SPEEA represents 23,000 engineers and technical workers, primarily in the Puget Sound region.
Boeing spokesman Tim Healy said the company has not yet seen the complaint and can’t comment on its specifics.
As a rule, Boeing doesn’t prohibit its employees from voicing their own opinions about the company, but has rules regarding who can speak on the company’s behalf, he said.