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Entries in NLRB (170)

Wednesday
May112011

Townhall: NLRB Attack On Right-To-Work States Is Bad Politics And Worse Economics

 
NLRB Attack On Right-To-Work States Is Bad Politics And Worse Economics
 
Fred Wszolek
May 10, 2011
Townhall
 
Defying efforts by both small and large businesses to create jobs and protect workers, whether union or non-union, President Obama’s labor board, namely the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has undertaken an assault against non-union jobs created in right-to-work states. On two fronts in recent days, the regulatory agency has gone after right-to-work states to the benefit Big Labor bosses, who happen to the top political contributors and supporters of this White House.
 
The NLRB has begun to sue states whose citizens voted to protect themselves from coercion and intimidation by adding secret ballot guarantees to their state constitutions, as well as attempting to deny a major corporation from operating a facility in a right-to-work state, which would create thousands of new jobs.
 
Why is the board attacking right-to-work states in a down economy? Perhaps it is due to the overwhelming and unmistakable connection between this administration and Big Labor bosses whose political spending has propelled not just President Obama to his position, but consequently, their allies into appointed positions of influence within government, starting with agencies such as the NLRB.
 
And it’s not as if union bosses are shying away from bragging about their access and influence. Just a few weeks ago, the president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Richard Trumka said, “I’m at the White House a couple times a week – two or three times a week … I have conversations every day with someone in the White House or in the administration. Every day. And that includes weekends, by the way.”
 
What are they talking about?
 
They are discussing ways to pursue job-killing strategies that reward labor bosses, but hurt job creators.
 
What the NLRB and their union boss friends cannot escape is the overwhelming proof that states with right-to-work laws are more financially and educationally accomplished than states where unionization is forced.
 
It’s no wonder South Dakota and Arizona, two right-to-work states, let the voters speak for themselves guaranteeing a secret ballot election in union organizing elections. By ensuring a secret ballot in this manner, workers are better able to vote their conscience and not be unfairly swayed, or even bullied, by union organizers who desperately seek new members to increase dues. By putting this notion into state law, they sent a message to Big Labor – we do not want forced unionization.
 
At its core, that’s what right to work is about. Right to work protects a worker’s freedom of association. It prohibits agreements between labor unions and employers making membership or payment of union dues or fees a condition of employment.
 
And if that wasn’t enough evidence of the Obama Administration’s gross favoritism and advocacy on the part of union bosses, the NLRB’s ludicrous actions in its complaint against Boeing regarding its new facility in South Carolina should suffice.
 
South Carolina – like many other states – is struggling through a difficult economy and is clearly concerned with bureaucrats inWashington, D.C. advancing policies that increase unemployment and hurt businesses. And the NLRB’s attack against Boeing for deciding to build a new facility in a right-to-work state is just that, government run amok and carrying water for special interests whose agenda takes precedence over the livelihoods of everyday Americans.
 
But to understand the reason for the animus both Big Labor and the Obama Administration have toward right-to-work states, one only has to look at the facts.
 
Unemployment is lower in right-to-work states and home ownership is higher. Right-to-work states produce more highly-educated workers than forced unionization states, and it comes as no surprise that the overwhelming majority of young professionals – 94.3% to be exact, choose to live in right-to-work states.
 
Additionally, in states without forced unionization, employers are more capable of providing health insurance to their employees – something forced unionization states have struggled to do. In the decade between 1999-2009, the number of people covered by any form of private health insurance decreased by 5.7% in forced-unionization states, but in right-to-work states, that number actually increased one percent. The freedom provided by right-to-work states affects the stability of its businesses; therefore, it secures the stability of benefits for workers.
 
And the list goes on and on. By any and just about every measurable indicator, it is more beneficial to live and work in a right-to-work state, which today is under threat by Big Labor and by extension, the Obama Administration and its administrative agents at the NLRB.
 
Thankfully, numerous Members of Congress have stepped up to speak on behalf of their constituents by signing a letter to President Obama demanding that the blatant advocates of Big Labor’s agenda in government namely NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon and Board Member Craig Becker be withdrawn from consideration as nominees to the regulatory agency. As Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina stated, “America will not win the future if Washington penalizes workers in states that have discovered winning economic strategies.”



Tuesday
May102011

WFI - NLRB Continues to Make News 

The Bailouts For Big Labor Continue: Obama’s Labor Board To Sue Arizona For Protecting The Rights’ Of Workers

Work Force Institute
5.9.11

There is a new theme that is becoming more of a trend in Washington: another day, another bailout for Big Labor compliments of the Obama Administration.  After filing a complaint against The Boeing Company for locating a plant in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, the pro-union boss National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced last Friday afternoon that they would sue the state of Arizona for protecting the rights’ of workers in their state.  Last year, Arizonians went to the polls to ratify a state constitutional amendment that would protect and ensure the secret ballot in union-organizing elections.  Now, President Obama’s labor board wants to overturn the will of people by filing a law suit against Arizona.  The good news surrounding this is local Arizona officials have vowed to fight President Obama’s labor board.

To understand the significance of this complaint, it is important to understand past promises made by President Obama to Big Labor.  As a U.S. Senator, President Obama co-sponsored the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA), legislation that would eliminate the secret ballot in union-organizing elections.  As a candidate for president, President Obama promised Big Labor to make EFCA the law of the land.

And while President Obama and Big Labor underestimated the power of the small business community and will of workers to vote for unions free of intimidation, they continued to pursue this misguided legislation.  That was, however, until last November, when voters across the country elected candidates for Federal office who opposed EFCA and vowed to hold President Obama accountable for his job-killing policies.  And while this movement was occurring nationwide to elect anti-EFCA candidates, voters in the states of Arizona, South Dakota, Utah and South Carolina took to the polls to ratify constitutional amendments ensuring the secret ballot in union-organizing elections.

Expecting “payback” for their past political support of President Obama, Big Labor bosses are using the NLRB to implement policies, regulations and administrative rules that do not have the support of Congress or the American people.  In Washington, a vicious cycle exists.  Big Labor supports candidates like President Obama, who support a job-killing and anti-worker agenda.  In turn, the President’s labor board provides “payback” in the form of policies and regulations that have no chance of passing Congress.

This action by the NLRB against Arizona once again shows that President Obama and his labor board are bought and paid for by Big Labor.  In fact, it was labor boss Richard Trumka who bragged about talking to someone from the White House every single day. What do they talk about?  More ways to bailout Big Labor?

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Defending defending America: Obama's NLRB v. Boeing

The Washington Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
It would be very useful if the Department of Defense were to provide the American public with a list of the manufacturers of the hundreds of different systems that played into the killing of Osama bin Laden last week.

Boeing Co. is almost certainly on that list since it is the third-largest defense contractor in America.

It makes a variety of rotorcraft, surveillance vehicles and a host of other lethal products that help make the American military the most feared and capable military in history. We don't know which company makes the secret helicopters used in the assault on bin Laden's compound, but we do know, as my fellow radio host Mark Levin noted last week, those choppers didn't get procured and deployed since January 2009.

The long arm of the American military and its CIA partners depends on technology and training that took years and years to produce. President Obama is directing missions using expertise and assets left behind by his predecessor.

Will Obama's successor in 2013? (Oh, if you doubt that, read Jay Cost on the "Food Stamp Recovery" in The Weekly Standard or the Sith Lord Rove on the map of the Electoral College from Thursday's Wall Street Journal.)

As Americans toast SEAL Team 6 and its Army pilots and vast support network, the GOP's would-be nominees should be pointing to the Pentagon that ordered and produced the tools used in the mission, and defending its budget as the president tries to find deep cuts there that will spare his favored constituencies painful reductions in government largess.

Part of that argument ought to be a vigorous defense of Boeing, now in the cross hairs of the president's Alinskyite appointees at the National Labor Relations Board.

During the first Republican presidential debate, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty brought up the NLRB's attack on Boeing's plans to build airplanes in South Carolina and the home state crowd loved it.

So will independents and defense-minded Democratic voters across the country stunned by another rise in unemployment and by Obama's relentless war on the private sector.

Boeing's new South Carolina plant is for assembly of the 787 Dreamliner, not a military aircraft, but an attack on one part of that vast company is an attack on all of it, and Obama's hard-left appointees to the NLRB are indeed attacking.

Boeing is fighting back, noting that "Boeing's decision to place the second 787 assembly line in North Charleston was based upon a number of factors, including a favorable business environment in South Carolina for manufacturing companies like Boeing; significant financial incentives from the state of South Carolina; achieving geographic diversity of its commercial-airline operations; as well as to protect the stability of the 787's global production system."

South Carolina's congressional delegation is also fully in the fray.

Pawlenty's deft decision to make the pro-Boeing argument -- on stage at a forum for GOP presidential candidates Thursday night -- demonstrated a keen ear for the news that will drive the election cycle, and set an example for the other top-tier GOP candidates.

Obama's attack on Boeing's decision to create great jobs in a red state, even when the manufacturer is one of America's great defense contractors, is a huge issue that needs to be used by GOP candidates up and down the ticket to define the president and his agenda.

Obama may have ordered the attack on bin Laden, but he has also ordered an attack on American manufacturing and defense, and especially on the freedom of businesses to build and expand where they want to.

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Hatch: ‘We’re going to win’ against NLRB in South Carolina

The Daily Caller

Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican, expressed confidence that Republicans will win the fight against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) power grab in South Carolina. “We’re going to win that one,” Hatch told The Daily Caller, referring to the NLRB’s recent charge against The Boeing Company for plans to open a non-union factory in the southern state.

In remarks to the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) at the National Press Club on Friday, Hatch compared what the NLRB is doing to judicial activism.

Hatch is one of several Republican senators who signed onto a letter Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, wrote to President Obama on Thursday demanding he immediately rescind nominations for the NLRB’s Acting General Counsel, Lafe Solomon, and board member Craig Becker.

“The NLRB, at the behest of Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon, has taken unprecedented legal action against The Boeing Company to prevent it from expanding productions into South Carolina, a state that assures workers the freedom not to join a union as a condition of employment,” the letter reads. “We consider this an attack on millions of workers in 22 right-to-work states, as well as a government-led act of intimidation against American companies that should have the freedom to choose to build plants in right-to-work states.”

The Senators said they would use all the power they had to fight the NLRB if Obama didn’t follow through and rescind their nominations.

Becker and Solomon were both recess-appointed to the NLRB and, in Becker’s case, all 41 Republican senators wrote Obama to urge him not to make Becker’s recess appointment after the Senate rejected his nomination the first time around. Solomon has not yet appeared before the Senate for confirmation.

UPDATE 1:22 p.m.:

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli ripped the NLRB at the RNLA event as well.

“Many of you have heard about the Boeing situation in South Carolina where the National Labor Relations Board has basically said that expanding into a right-to-work state to avoid union disruption is an ‘unfair labor practice,’” Cuccinelli said. “Now, if that is an unfair labor practice, what exactly is the point of having a right-to-work state? I would argue there’s none.”

Cuccinelli said the NLRB’s actions against Boeing are a “threat to every right-to-work state.”

“It goes well beyond their appropriate authority, Congressionally delegated authority,” he said. “Again, an example where one of these agencies is outside their own legal boundaries. This is going on over and over throughout the federal government.”



Friday
May062011

Resurfaced Craig Becker quotes straight out of Marx 

I wanted to call your attention to some quotes from Craig Becker's academic writing that have been resurfaced by Matthew Boyle at the Daily Caller. The quotes read like they come straight out of Karl Marx and it is now clear that these earlier writings foreshadowed the outrageous activity of Becker's NLRB of late. 

"Old law review articles obtained by The Daily Caller that were authored by Becker further inflame the already heated debate. 'The right to engage in concerted activity that is enshrined in the Wagner Act – even when construed in strictly contractual terms – implicitly entails legal restraint of the freedom of capital,' he wrote in the January 1987 edition of the Harvard Law Review. 'What threatens to eviscerate labor’s collective legal rights, therefore, is less the common law principle of individual liberty than the mobility of capital, which courts have held immune from popular control.'"
###

http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/06/as-boeing-factory-debate-heats-up-past-writings-of-nlrb-member-craig-becker-raise-questions/

As Boeing Factory Debate Heats Up, Past Writings Of NLRB Member Craig Becker Raise Questions

Matthew Boyle

May 6, 2011

Daily Caller

Several Republican senators penned an open letter to President Barack Obama on Thursday calling on him to immediately rescind National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) nominations for Lafe Solomon and former Service Employees International Union (SEIU) general counsel Craig Becker. Their request comes as the NLRB is leading a charge against Boeing for planning to open a non-union factory in South Carolina.

Republican South Carolina Sens. Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham, along with the other Republican senators who signed the letter, believe Becker and Solomon seek to support labor union bosses at the expense of workers. “The NLRB, at the behest of Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon, has taken unprecedented legal action against The Boeing Company to prevent it from expanding productions into South Carolina, a state that assures workers the freedom not to join a union as a condition of employment,” the letter reads. “We consider this an attack on millions of workers in 22 right-to-work states, as well as a government-led act of intimidation against American companies that should have the freedom to choose to build plants in right-to-work states. If the NLRB prevails, it will only encourage companies to make their investments in foreign nations, moving jobs and economic growth overseas.”

Becker and Solomon were both recess-appointed to the NLRB and, in Becker’s case, all 41 Republican senators wrote Obama to urge him not to make Becker’s recess appointment after the Senate rejected his nomination the first time around. Solomon has not yet appeared before the Senate for confirmation.

Old law review articles obtained by The Daily Caller that were authored by Becker further inflame the already heated debate. “The right to engage in concerted activity that is enshrined in the Wagner Act – even when construed in strictly contractual terms – implicitly entails legal restraint of the freedom of capital,” he wrote in the January 1987 edition of the Harvard Law Review. “What threatens to eviscerate labor’s collective legal rights, therefore, is less the common law principle of individual liberty than the mobility of capital, which courts have held immune from popular control.”

“If you cut through all the academic speak here, in effect, what he’s saying is collective bargaining and the Wagner Act doesn’t set up a system of collective bargaining. It sets up a guaranteed outcome,” explained Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson. “What he’s saying here is labor unions can’t possibly succeed unless you guarantee their success. In his reading of the law, any notion of workers who choose to collectively bargain sitting down with their employer and working out a deal is gone.”

Workforce Fairness Institute spokesman Fred Wszolek said Becker’s old law school article is worrisome, given the degree of influence Becker has on the economy and on future labor policy.

“To learn that a member of President Obama’s labor board believes that the United States should somehow control or restrain the freedom of capital, or that the mobility of capital not being under ‘popular control’ is somehow a threat to Big Labor is simply not consistent with core American values,” Wszolek said in an email to TheDC. “The fact that Craig Becker will be one of the board members deciding whether the complaint against Boeing has any merit is something that should alarm every taxpayer and business in this nation concerned with jobs and the economy.”

The Republican senators who signed the letter to President Obama said if Obama doesn’t immediately rescind Becker and Solomon’s nominations, they’ll use all the power at their disposal to combat them. “In light of the NLRB’s recent actions that would have a deleterious effect on job creation and economic opportunity across the country, it is time to hold the NLRB accountable,” they wrote. “We urge you to withdraw both Mr. Solomon’s and Mr. Becker’s nominations to their respective positions immediately. If not, we will vigorously oppose both nominations, vote against cloture and use all procedural tools available to defeat their confirmation in the Senate.”

Friday
May062011

White House tries to distance from NLRB, but facts get in the way

"The Obama administration has been largely silent on the NLRB complaint. … 'This is an independent agency's enforcement action,' a White House official told Fox News. 'The White House does not get involved in particular enforcement matters.'" http://fxn.ws/lgjSBy

http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/2011/05/06/how-the-obama-administration-and-big-labor-are-waging-coordinated-war-on-your-right-to-work/

How The Obama Administration And Big Labor Are Waging Coordinated War On Your Right To Work

Bryan Preston

May 6, 2011

Pajamas Media

Since President Obama’s inauguration, he has led a concerted effort to revive union labor nationwide. Among his strongest allies is AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka. As Trumka was caught on tape bragging back in February, he is so welcome in the Obama White House that he visits two or three times a week and speaks with someone by phone there daily.

That’s far more access than several cabinet members enjoy. What is all this conversation about?

One likely topic is the National Labor Relations Board and its action against Boeing. That case centers on the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and its complaint that Boeing established a plant to manufacture 787 Dreamliners in South Carolina. The planes are already being made at Boeing’s plant in Washington State, but labor strikes over the years have made it increasingly difficult to keep the production line on schedule and labor costs overall have increased. Washington is a union state, therefore workers on the line are compelled to join and are compelled to support IAM strikes.

Boeing’s South Carolina plant does not replace the Washington plant. It is in addition to that plant, and Boeing told the union ahead of time that it was establishing the plant to take advantage of South Carolina’s more favorable economic climate. That climate includes South Carolina’s right to work law, which among other things help ensure that the plant can meet its schedule of producing seven Dreamliners per month. It is also cheaper overall to do business in South Carolina versus Washington State. South Carolina has made decisions as a state to make itself more competitive, to attract and keep jobs for its citizens. That is good government in action.

There is nothing wrong or illegal about any of Boeing’s actions. But the IAM complained in 2007 and the case got a ruling from the NRLB in April 2011. The NRLB ruled in favor of the union and against Boeing, finding:

In repeated statements to employees and the media, company executives cited the unionized employees’ past strike activity and the possibility of strikes occurring sometime in the future as the overriding factors in deciding to locate the second line in the non-union facility. The NLRB launched an investigation of the transfer of second line work in response to charges filed by the Machinists union and found reasonable cause to believe that Boeing had violated two sections of the National Labor Relations Act because its statements were coercive to employees and its actions were motivated by a desire to retaliate for past strikes and chill future strike activity.

There is nothing illegal in any of that, but the NLRB ruling threatens Boeing’s plans and stands to cost it millions both to defend itself and in production delays. That may in turn threaten Boeing’s contracts with its customers. It also threatens hundreds of jobs in South Carolina, at a time when we need every job that can be created. And it threatens to destroy state right to work laws in a single shot.

While the GOP controlled US House is considering passing a national right to work law to shore up state level laws, Senate Republicans are gearing up to find out how the NLRB arrived at its conclusion in the Boeing case. That should not be difficult. Among President Obama’s more controversial appointments is Craig Becker. Mr. Becker is a former lawyer for the SEIU, the purple clad union that is, along with the discredited ACORN, among the president’s favorite political operations. He even declared that  that union’s agenda is his agenda. Obama has made good on that, elevating former SEIU head Andy Stern to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility. Obama appointed Becker to NLRB as a recess appointment in May 2010, so Congress never got the chance to vet him or find out how he would influence the board. Becker’s view of unions is not one that favors individual choice: He supports forcing workers into unions, via card check or destroying state level right to work laws. Stern shares those views, and Obama has appointed both to positions of power.

Beyond Becker, there remains Richard Trumka, the man who spends a lot of time either at the White House or on the phone with someone there. He heads up the AFL-CIO, which is affiliated with the union at the center of the Boeing controversy: the not so great IAM.

Trumka and his fellow union bosses spend by their own estimate about a half a billion dollars on politics. They don’t do that for nothing. They have bought positions in and access to the Obama administration. In Wisconsin, they bought the president’s overt and then tacit support for the fleebaggers. And nationally, they’re buying the National Labor Relations Board, which has issued a ruling that threatens state right to work laws everywhere if it is allowed to stand. It’s possible that the NLRB ruling could indirectly force unionization on the 23 states that have right to work laws, which would revive union labor by force after decades of declining union membership nationwide. The Boeing case may set a precedent for ruling against a corporation for the sin of seeking out states with friendly economic climates, which these days tend to be the right to work states.

All this tells us what Mr. Trumka discusses so regularly with the White House: Their next move in the quest to destroy Americans’ right to live and work as free of Big Labor as they want.

Friday
May062011

NLRB Continues to Make News 

http://tv.breitbart.com/pawlenty-goes-after-obamas-preposterous-attacks-on-boeing/

Pawlenty Goes After Obama’s ‘Preposterous’ Attacks on Boeing
Breitbart.tv

VIDEO

Gov. Tim Pawlenty plays to the South Carolina audience during tonight's GOP debate.'
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GOP to block labor nominees
Politico

A group of 19 Republican senators is vowing to defeat two of President Barack Obama’s nominations for the National Labor Relations Board after the panel sued Boeing, accusing the aerospace giant of retaliating against union workers.

In a letter sent to Obama, the senators said they would “vigorously oppose” and use all procedural tools to block the confirmations of the board’s Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon and board member Craig Becker, a former union attorney whom Obama granted a recess appointment last year.

The NLRB suit against Boeing is “an attack on millions of workers in 22 right-to-work states, as well as a government-led act of intimidation against American companies that should have the freedom to choose to build plants in right-to-work states,” states the letter, which was made public on Thursday. “If the NLRB prevails, it will only encourage companies to make their investments in foreign nations, moving jobs and economic growth overseas.”

The letter is the latest salvo in a national fight over so-called right-to-work states, which prohibit employers from requiring workers to join a union or pay union dues as a condition of employment. Wisconsin’s efforts to restrict union rights for public employees set off weeks of protests by labor groups in Madison earlier this year.

On Wednesday, South Carolina GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint, as well as Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), rolled out legislation that would bar the federal government from suing or denying contracts to states because of their right-to-work status.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who signed the letter, took to the Senate floor Thursday to blast the lawsuit NLRB filed against Boeing, saying it would cost billions of dollars and thousands of new jobs. The board filed suit in April after a union sued the aerospace manufacturer for opening a second assembly line for its 787s at a nonunion facility in South Carolina instead of union-friendly Washington state, where Boeing has facilities.

“Why attack a private company with a legal challenge that will cost an enormous amount of money to defend, disrupts business, undermines the efforts of states to increase jobs and promote economic recovery, but that will fail for its lack of merit? The answer is simple: The unions wanted it,” Hatch said. “This is just another chapter in the sorry relationship between unions, big government and the party of big government.”

In January, Obama nominated Solomon to become NLRB’s general counsel, but Solomon has not yet appeared for a Senate confirmation hearing or received a confirmation vote in the full Senate.

Becker’s nomination to become one of five members of NLRB’s board was rejected by the Senate in February 2010 over concerns about his work for Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO. But Obama used a recess appointment to seat temporarily seat him a month later.

“The Senate has been unacceptably denied the ability to exercise its constitutional duty of advice and consent in regards to the NLRB,” the senators wrote in their letter to Obama “We urge you to withdraw both Mr. Solomon’s and Mr. Becker’s nominations to their respective positions immediately. If not, we will vigorously oppose both nominations, vote against cloture and use all procedural tools available to defeat their confirmation in the Senate.”
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Boeing issues blanket denial to NLRB allegations

Charleston Regional Business Journal

A day after Boeing’s lead attorney sent a scathing letter to the National Labor Relations Board, the company has filed a legal response, denying nearly every allegation in a complaint over the company’s plant in North Charleston.

In its answer to the NLRB lawsuit, Boeing Co. issued a blanket denial, calling the board’s remedy — to open another assembly line in Washington state — “impermissibly retroactive” and a fix that would force the company to close its Lowcountry operations.

The NLRB filed its complaint against Boeing on April 20 for its expansion to South Carolina, where the company is building a second final assembly and delivery facility for its 787 Dreamliner. The first line is in Everett, Wash. Boeing already operates two plants in North Charleston to manufacture and integrate sections of the 787 adjacent to Charleston International Airport.

According to the complaint, the expansion illegally transferred work to nonunion facilities in North Charleston, and the labor relations board is calling for Boeing to open another assembly line in Washington state. Boeing opened the North Charleston facility because of past union strikes in Washington state and to prevent future strikes, according to the complaint.

According to Boeing’s answer, filed Wednesday, the decision to open a plant in North Charleston was based on a favorable business environment, financial incentives from the state and geographical diversity for its commercial airline operations, among other factors.

“Boeing would have made the same decisions with respect to the placement of the second assembly line in North Charleston even if it had not taken into consideration the damaging impact of future strikes on the production of 787s,” according to Boeing’s response.

Boeing said its conduct wasn’t destructive to its employees’ rights because Boeing has the right to place work wherever it chooses, as outlined in its collective bargaining agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The Machinists union filed the original charge against Boeing in 2010.

Boeing also addressed the NLRB’s remedy, saying it “would cause an undue hardship on Boeing, its employees and the state of South Carolina.”

“The remedy requested ... is impermissibly retroactive because its legal basis represents a radical and not reasonably anticipated departure from current board and court precedent,” according to the answer, which goes on to say the remedy would cause Boeing to close its North Charleston plant.

Boeing also denied it removed work from its facilities in Everett because of union strikes and denied it threatened those facilities with the loss of additional work because of strikes.

The answer follows a letter sent Tuesday from Boeing’s general counsel to Lafe Solomon, acting general counsel of the NLRB.

In the letter, J. Michael Luttig, who is also Boeing’s executive vice president, wrote that the NLRB’s complaint misquoted and mischaracterized statements by Boeing executives.

“You have a responsibility to correct these misquotations and mischaracterizations, for the public record and also for purposes of the complaint you have filed,” the letter states. “Through these misquotations and mischaracterizations, you have done a grave disservice to The Boeing Co., its executives and shareholders and to the 160,000 Boeing employees worldwide.”

The letter also accused NLRB staff members of using public statements about the case to push a theory that Boeing had somehow committed to building all of the company’s 787s in Washington, which equates to an illegal transfer of work to South Carolina. Luttig calls those assertions false and says Boeing made no such commitment.

“The notion that Boeing had somehow committed to Washington state to build all 787s in that state is neither mentioned nor even suggested either in the IAM’s charge or in your recently filed complaint,” the letter said. He continued, “Had you done so, we would have explained to you why such an understanding was plainly incorrect.”

The response is the last filing required by the NLRB before the case goes in front of an administrative law judge in June. At that time, Boeing, the Machinists union and the NLRB can present evidence for the case. The judge’s decision can be appealed to federal court.

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Boeing plant: Job killing in S.C.

 
Savannah Morning News
Editorial

PRESIDENT OBAMA said in his State of the Union address that “we have to make America the best place on earth to do business.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Obama’s America doesn’t include South Carolina.

In a shocking and frightening display of Washington interference, the National Labor Relations Board has taken unprecedented legal action against The Boeing Company to prevent it from expanding production in the Palmetto State.

Why? Because the federal board claims that a private company that creates jobs in a right-to-work state like South Carolina is engaging in an “unfair labor practice,”

That’s ridiculous. Private companies must have the flexibility to make investments to remain financially successful and keep workers on the job. There’s nothing “unfair” about building a non-union, aircraft assembly plant. The only think unfair here is the NLRB sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong.

Politically, of course, pro-union appointees on the NLRB have an obvious reason to want to block this plant. They see Boeing’s decision as a move to punish its employees in a unionized plant in Washington state.

But the government’s power over business doesn’t extend to picking and choosing who gets paychecks and who doesn’t. Besides, wages aren’t the only factor in determining where companies expand. Location, access to materials and quality of the workforce play important roles.

Georgia, like South Carolina, is a right-to-work state. So are 20 other states. What’s happening in South Carolina today could happen here tomorrow.

The attempt by the NLRB to block Boeing is an attack on states that have faster job growth and faster income growth than forced unionism states. Mr. Obama must live up to his pro-job promise and show that right-to-work states are part of America, too.  

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Defending free enterprise

The Charleston Post and Courier
Editorial

South Carolina is gathering U.S. Senate support against the attempt by the National Labor Relations Board to force Boeing to close its production line in North Charleston for the 787 Dreamliner. Our state should welcome all the help it can get in defending private enterprise rights.

In a complaint filed two weeks ago, the acting general counsel of the NLRB agreed with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Washington state that Boeing violated federal law by opening a second Dreamliner assembly line at a non-union plant in North Charleston.

The complaint cited Boeing officials' "repeated" statements that the non-union work force available here played a significant role in their business decision -- as if stating that obvious and justified motive violated a worker's right to strike.

Boeing pointed out this week that it had union permission in its collective bargaining agreement to "place work in any location of its choice without the need to bargain" with the union. The company also noted that it had not reduced employment at its unionized Washington plants.

Indeed, as South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham said on the Senate floor Tuesday, Boeing has increased unionized employment in Washington state by 2,000 jobs since announcing that it would place a second Dreamliner assembly line in North Charleston.

"This is new work," he said. "No one lost a job. This is new business. And we are arguing about the right of a company to be able to make a business decision when it comes to new production."

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., with backing from South Carolina Sens. Graham and Jim DeMint, has introduced a bill to ensure that NLRB decisions and union contracts will not supersede state law in the nation's 23 right-to-work states. According to The Hill newspaper, the legislation would also bar the NLRB from moving forward with its complaint against Boeing.

State right-to-work laws, permitted under federal labor law, allow individuals to choose not to be represented by a union.

In recent weeks, Sens. DeMint, Graham and Alexander have also introduced legislation to protect the right of workers to a secret ballot when choosing whether to be represented by a union.

And Sen. DeMint wrote a letter, published on our Thursday Commentary page, to the president this week calling for reforms to the NLRB. Nineteen other senators signed that letter -- and at least 30 have gone on record against union efforts to rewrite labor laws via litigation.

Assorted legal analysts say the NLRB's complaint lacks legal credence and that Boeing will prevail in court -- but perhaps only after a long and costly legal battle. No government agency should inflict such pointless expense on companies for making what have long been legal business decisions.

And the decision of those other states to join in this fight against unwarranted federal intrusion into the free market confirms that its consequences extend far beyond South Carolina's borders.