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Machinist union members file unfair-labor charges against Boeing

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[January 10, 2014]  NEW YORK (Reuters)  Members of the Seattle-area machinists union have filed unfair labor practice charges against Boeing Co <BA.N>, alleging the company interfered with their rights to vote freely on a contract offer by threatening to move their jobs out of state unless they approved the agreement, the National Labor Relations Board said on Thursday.

Members have filed at least 20 unfair labor practice charges in recent days, including at least two against Boeing, and the rest against the labor union's international leadership, NLRB attorney Anne Pomerantz said in an interview.

The international leadership of the union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, has drawn unfair labor practice charges for holding the vote against the objections of local machinists union leaders and when many members were away on vacation, the charges allege.

Most of the charges have been filed since the January 3 vote that approved a contract extension through 2024. In exchange for ratification, Boeing agreed not to build its latest jetliner, the 777X, in another state, which would have meant the loss of jobs for machinists who build the planes in the Seattle area.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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