March 24, 2016
By Steven Wishnia
Mobile, ALA – The French-based jet manufacturer Airbus collaborates with unions through “works councils” at its European factories—but it doesn’t want one at its new plant in Mobile, Alabama, opened last September.
But the International Association of Machinists, which is trying to organize the 300 workers there, has found Airbus as hostile as the management at Boeing’s South Carolina plant. The two companies’ attitudes about unions are “almost interchangeable,” IAM spokesman Frank Larkin said. Airbus Americas President Barry Eccleston says the company wants to be nonunion in the U.S., and told everyone hired that it was “planning to create an environment where employees have a direct relationship with management.” Airbus workers start at $16.50 an hour and can reach a top rate of $23, significantly less than the top wage for union workers at Boeing’s Seattle-area plants. “Across all jobs and all industries, young workers should be earning higher wages,” IAM Airbus posted on Facebook Mar. 9. “It’s true at Airbus in Mobile and it’s true at other places.” Read more