Boeing strike, workers shouldn't cross picket in WA.

According to some insider information received via e-mail, some workers of other unions in Washington have been told to cross the IAM picket line at the Boeing facility. There are 2 separate entrances for workers to avoid the picket lines.

Here's whats happening so far, a little over a week ago 87% of the 27,000 IAM machinists working for Boeing voted to go on strike if their demands were not heard, one of the main reasons is the problem of outsourcing their products to non-union facilities in the US and abroad, other issues are a raise in health care premiums and copayments and the refusal to give it's workers an adequate cost of living adjustment. Just for the record, Boeing, unlike the Big 3 auto monoliths, isn't hurting, their previous 5 year net profit was $12 billion and currently they are so busy, they are 14 months behind schedule. As of midnight Sept.4th. the Machinists have put their tools down and are on strike.

According to Tom Wroblewski, president of the union’s district 751 in Seattle, “If this company wants to talk, they have my number, they can reach me on the picket line.”

If you cross the IAM picket line, shame on you. Today these workers are fighting corporate greed, tomorrow it will be you.

Boeing solidarity rally
In August, members of IAM local 751 had a solidarity rally

Your rights to honor a picket line

According to US Legal Definitions.org:

Some courts have held that a sympathy strike or walkout is not in violation of a no strike clause in an employment contract. A refusal to work by one worker or group of workers to support the efforts of another group of strikers is a sympathy strike. Honoring a picket line is the most common form of sympathy strike. A worker who honors a picket line at his or her primary place of employment has the same rights as the pickets.

Some legal considerations include:

  • A worker who honors an illegal picket line is engaged in unprotected activity and may be subject to discipline by the employer.
  • Workers who honor legal primary pickets at their place of employment may be replaced but not disciplined. A worker who honors a primary, economic picket may be permanently replaced.
  • The rights of workers who honor "stranger" picket lines are not as clearly defined. Refusal to cross a legal picket line at a facility other than that of the worker is recognized as protected activity by the Board and courts.
  • Disciplining a worker in retaliation for honoring a stranger picket line is an unfair labor practice. However, disciplinary action against a stranger sympathy striker may be upheld if the employer establishes a legitimate or compelling business justification for taking such disciplinary action.
  • Workers covered by the Taft-Hartley Act who honor a picket line of exempted workers are engaged in unprotected activity.
  • The right of railroad workers to honor a picket line is regulated by the Railway Labor Act, not Taft-Hartley.

In an important decision, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in 1985 that the right to engage in a sympathy strike can be waived by a general no-strike clause in a collective bargaining agreement. After the Board's position was rejected by the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the Board adopted a case-by-case test requiring a more specific analysis of the no-strike clause, its relationship to the contractual arbitration clause, and the past practices of the parties to determine whether the no-strike clause protects or prohibits sympathy strikes.

You may lose your job, as in the second case above "Workers who honor legal primary pickets at their place of employment may be replaced but not disciplined. A worker who honors a primary, economic picket may be permanently replaced."

Source for info in the first paragraph: Financial Times.com

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