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Charleston welcomes Boeing, hopes it stays
Question of the Day
South Carolina is a right-to-work state, which forbids unions from making either membership or the levying of dues a condition of employment.
This is the first step in what’s expected to be a long legal battle that could take years. The NLRB filed the complaint April 20. The case started Tuesday in Seattle, and the judge will likely take a month or two to rule. The losing party can then appeal the decision to the labor board. After that, the case could go through the federal court system and possibly all the way to the Supreme Court.
Some are concerned that the uncertainty surrounding this case will encourage other companies to leave the country.
“Boeing’s a success story,” said Fred Wszolek, spokesman for the Workforce Fairness Institute. “They’re one of the manufacturers that makes things here and exports there. They’re what we need more of in America.”
Since coming here, the company has made an immediate impact on the town. Boeing opened the plant for training last week, after two years of planning and construction. Workers will start building the first 787 Dreamliner in July.
By 2013, the goal is to build three planes a month here. Their efforts will complement the seven planes a month the company expects from the original plant in Puget Sound.
Boeing is quickly winning favor with the community. The company has promised to bring 3,800 jobs here, when all is said and done. So far, they’ve hired more than 1,000 workers. It’s an exciting time for North Charleston.
“Everybody in South Carolina has just been very welcoming and generous to us,” Boeing spokeswoman Candy Eslinger said. “The community itself just seems to be really involved in what we’re doing and interested in what we’re doing.”
The impact goes beyond the staff Boeing is hiring. The company also is supporting a number of local suppliers, and encouraging other existing suppliers to move here. In turn, they are hiring even more locals, who are investing in the local economy at malls and restaurants and grocery stores.
Bryan Derreberry, president of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, said for every employee Boeing hires, it creates three to four more positions for suppliers to fill with local help.
“They’re by far my biggest customer,” he said.
Boeing’s business has helped him re-hire employees like Jack Beabout, who was laid off for a short time.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tim Devaney is a national reporter who covers business and international trade for The Washington Times. Previously, he worked for the Detroit News, Grand Rapids Press, Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News. Tim can be reached at email@example.com.
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