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Sam Hananel the Associated Press
Published: 23 September 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The union in a high-profile labor dispute with Boeing Co. says newly released documents show the company opened a new plant in South Carolina to limit the power of employee unions in Washington state.

The Machinists union says the documents bolster the government's lawsuit accusing the company of retaliating against unions by opening a second production line for the 787 aircraft in Charleston.

The internal documents show Boeing officials believed opening the South Carolina plant was the highest-risk option they studied with the highest likelihood of failure.

But the documents - presented to Boeing's board of directors in 2009 - also say the South Carolina line would help in "rebalancing an unbalanced and uncompetitive labor relationship."

Boeing has denied it opened the new plant to retaliate against the union.

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