A new television commercial attacks Democratic opponent Elizabeth Colbert-Busch for accepting donations from labor unions, including the International Association of Machinists and Aeronautical Workers.
“On behalf of (CLC), I formally request that Sanford, his campaign and the SCGOP retract those incorrect statements, and that those advertisements be withdrawn from further distribution and airing.”
Sanford’s claim about Boeing and IAMAW refers to the new production facility in North Charleston. In its press release, CLC offers documentation that refutes Sanford’s claim.
In 2009 after projection of increased need, Boeing began a search of existing facilities or creation of new ones to produce 787 Dreamliner aircraft. It eventually settled on North Charleston.
In 2010 Boeing executive Jim Albaugh said to press that a facility in Everett, Wa. was excluded from that search because of the IAMAW union at that location.
That public statement indicating retaliation against a union violates terms of the National Labor Relations Act, however. The IAMAW chapter in Everett then filed legal complaint that year.
In its complaint, the union requested as compensation that any secondary production of 787s the North Charleston facility couldn’t accommodate would go to its Everett facility.
An anti-labor movement, including Republican members of congress who even came to Charleston for a hearing on this matter in 2011, incorrectly insinuated that the complaint would cause a shutdown of Boeing’s local plant.
IAMAW quickly refuted, however. Seattle district president Tom Wroblewski said in June 2011, “if Boeing tries to shut down its North Charleston operations, my union will stand with the employees of South Carolina to stop it. Because the fact is, the only one in the room suggesting that the North Charleston plant will close is Boeing itself(.)”
In late 2011, after approval of a new contract in Everett, the union withdrew its complaint.
“Not once did IAMAW request a ‘shut down’ of, or any jobs from, the North Charleston facility, which had nothing to do with its complaint,” McKee says in the CLC press release. “At no time were any South Carolina jobs at risk.
“The (CLC) requests that Sanford and the state Republican Party not attempt to hide behind the lack of subjectivity of ‘truth in advertising’ laws to political campaigns, and ask that they issue corrective statements and cease broadcast and distribution of ads that contain this incorrect information.”
Sanford’s campaign spokesman Joel Sawyer, who also issued statements insinuating IAMAW tried to take jobs away from South Carolina, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.