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Latest News - February 2014

February 10, 2014
Complaints over Boeing-Machinists vote pile up at regional NLRB branch
Source: Business Journal
By: Steve Whelem

Ron Hooks, head of the Region 19 NLRB office, said investigation of filings by Boeing Machinists could stretch into late March or longer.

The number of charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board by Machinists union members angry about the Jan. 3 Boeing contract vote has swelled to nearly 50.

The charges are aimed at both Boeing, which proposed a contract that many union members dislike, and the International Association of Machinists, which ordered the vote to take place over local objections.

The case has turned into one of the largest for the Northwest Region 19 NLRB office, which employs 25 and which covers Washington, Oregon, Alaska and parts of Idaho and Montana.

Two of the Seattle NLRB office’s lawyers are spending much of their time working on the Boeing-Machinists filings, trying to determine whether the charges are worthy of Regional Director Ron Hooks filing a formal “complaint.”

“We’re sort of in a fairly innovative situation with regard to these allegations,” Hooks said. “It’s not entirely clear what facts we are going to find, and we are in process of looking at case law and the investigation is on-going.”

Hooks added that no decision about whether he will file a formal complaint should be expected until late March, at the earliest, due to the depth of the investigation.

He called the number of complaints filed about one issue “unusual,” but said the policy is to accept them all equally.

“We don’t turn down a charge, even if it’s entirely duplicative of what we already have,” he said. “Obviously this (the Jan. 3 vote and contract dispute) has created a lot of emotion. If a person insists on filing a charge, even if it is the same as what we already have on file, we consider it.”



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