At Precision Castparts, 102 Portland-area welders have an opportunity to join the International Association of Machinists in a Sept. 22 vote on unionization.
Lawyers for Precision Castparts tried to block such an election, arguing that the union vote ought to include Precision Castparts’ entire 2,000-plus local production and maintenance workforce. Workers in that group as a whole rejected unionization by about a 4 to 3 margin four years ago. But National Labor Relations Board regional director Ronald Hooks ruled Aug. 28 that the welders would constitute an appropriate bargaining unit on their own, and therefore the election can take place.
If a majority of the welders vote to join the Machinists, it would be the first union organizing win at one of the Portland area’s largest nonunion industrial employers.