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Originally published September 10, 2009 at 3:12 PM | Page modified September 11, 2009 at 9:11 AM

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Workers at Boeing's Charleston plant vote out union

Workers at Boeing's recently acquired plant in Charleston, S.C., overwhelmingly voted to decertify the Machinists union.

Seattle Times aerospace reporter

Workers at Boeing's 787 fuselage assembly plant in Charleston, S.C. have decisively voted to get rid of the Machinists union as their bargaining representative with the company. The vote was 199 for decertification of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) union against 68 for retaining it.

The vote means that Boeing Charleston becomes a non-union plant. It will compete with Boeing Everett, an IAM stronghold, to be the site of a second 787 Dreamliner assembly line. A decision on that site selection is expected by year end.

Boeing spokesman Tim Healy said the company is pleased with the outcome. "Boeing Charleston can now move forward to focus on excellence and meeting commitments on the 787 program," Healy said in a statement.

The vote ends the IAM's role in Charleston a little less than two years after workers there voted to accept the union when it was run by 787 supplier Vought Aircraft.

Boeing bought out Vought in July, terminating the union contract and opening the door to the decertification vote.

The election procedures include a seven-day waiting period for potential objections before the results are certified by the National Labor Relations Board.

Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or dgates@seattletimes.com

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