July 18, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Portland, OR – Workers at a subcontractor that paints planes for Boeing voted July 8 to join the International Association of Machinists. The union supporters at Commercial Aircraft Painting Services here prevailed by an 80–68 margin, despite the company hiring the American Labor Group union-avoidance consulting firm.
The workers, who paint new Boeing aircraft before they’re delivered to customers, make between $11.50 and $22.44 an hour—slightly more than half what union workers earn for similar jobs at the Boeing plant in Everett, Washington, says District Lodge W24 representative Will Lukens. They do four or five 12-hour shifts a week; get a one-hour unpaid break, no paid holidays, and seven sick or vacation days a year; and have to switch shifts every few weeks. The Machinists began organizing in mid-March after a CAPS worker called them, and requested an election June 13 after 58% of the 165 workers signed union cards, said Lukens. Read more