Ads spread conflicting messages as voting begins at Boeing
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) —
Workers began voting early Wednesday morning at Boeing’s North Charleston and Ladson campuses.
If you’ve turned on a TV in the Lowcountry any time In the last month, you’ve seen a mountain of ads urging Boeing workers to vote for, and against, unionizing.
One such ad shows a collection of unionized workers giving testimonials about their experience with a union.
“I can sit here all day and tell you why the union’s good for you,” one worker says into the camera.
“My opinion of unions is don’t need someone to speak for me,” says another ad.
On the other side, one ad implores “Being part of a union gives you a voice.”
Some of the ads target the heart, with one saying it’s a God-send that Boeing came to Charleston. Another targets the wallet, showing a casino and suggesting it’s a gamble to join a union.
“Boeing has really had a lot of commercials,” said Sam Daniel, the president of the International Machinist Union Local Lodge 183. “My experience has been completely different. I’ve had respect, dignity, better than average wages on my job, so my experience is nothing like they’ve advertised it to be.”
In a statement, Boeing said “we are pleased with the performance of our team and don’t think that introducing an outside party into the equation is in the best interest of our teammates.”
“One thing about TV is it contains sight, sound, and motion,” said Doug Ferguson, professor of communications at the College of Charleston. “If someone hits you over and over again with the same message you don’t agree with, it doesn’t matter how many times they send that message.”
You can’t escape them. That message is also plastered on billboards along I-26, but it’s in the commercials where the two sides are playing on fears. When you wade through all the noise, Professor Ferguson only hears one thing.
”Who do you trust more? Do you trust the unions, do you trust he management?”
3,000 Boeing workers are eligible to vote to unionize Wednesday. The vote goes until 4:30 p.m.
Boeing officials said the paper ballots will then go to the National Labor Relations board who will tally the votes. They did not know how many people were counting or how long it would take for results to be announced.
ABC News 4 will be following this story throughout the day and will post updates as soon as the results are announced.