Saturday, May 14, 2011

Boeing vs. the NLRB: A Naked Power Grab by Radical Pro-Unionists

Obama is supporting groups that he knows best. Knowing nothing about capitalism, American business, or free enterprise, he falls back on his community organizer experience. Who is best at getting out the votes for the Democrats? It's the unions, who through intimidation, are able to rally the troops around a cause. If Obama's NLRB can't get rid of "right-to-work" states, then kill them by preventing companies relocating there. Obama is not the President of the United States, he is the President of special interests, unions and liberal voters. He could give a damn about the rest of us or the Constitution.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) contends that President Obama’s chief of staff, Bill Daley, threatened and made coercive statements against Boeing employees.

You haven’t heard about these charges?

Daley was on Boeing’s board of directors when the company unanimously decided to open up a second assembly line for the 787 Dreamliner in Charleston, S.C. The NLRB argues this illegally violated the rights of Boeing’s unionized employees. The complaint against Boeing thus implicates Daley in any supposed wrongdoing — although the mainstream media has avoided mentioning this.

Of course, anyone familiar with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) will tell you that the NLRB’s charges have no merit. Daley would have never got past White House vetting otherwise.

In short, Boeing made a legal business decision that unions opposed, and the NLRB is using this as a pretext to unlawfully expand its power.

Boeing currently builds 787s in unionized Washington state, and its customers love the plane. Demand is so strong, the company needed to build a second assembly line. Boeing decided to locate this second line in South Carolina instead of Washington state.

This was a sound business decision. South Carolina offered Boeing $900 million in tax-incentives, has better tort laws, and is geographically closer to many suppliers. South Carolina is also a right-to-work state with few union members. Building in Charleston dramatically reduces the risk of strikes — a real benefit since the International Association of Machinists (IAM) regularly launches expensive strikes in Washington.

So Boeing decided to build its new plant in South Carolina — and the IAM objected. After a two-year wait, during which Boeing spent $2 billion, the NLRB recently filed a complaint. The NLRB contends that Boeing illegally “transferred work” from Washington in “retaliation” for the IAM’s strikes.

Contrary to the NLRB’s unsupported claims, the government cannot tell companies where they can and cannot create jobs. Even on their own terms, the NLRB’s dubious charges do not pass legal muster.

What is really going here is a direct frontal assault against right-to-work states being engineered by an out-of-control federal agency staffed by union activists. Federal law allows states to compete for new investment by implementing labor laws that prohibit workers from being forced to join unions. The NLRB has no authority to threaten business investment and job creation to benefit unions by forcing businesses to expand only in closed shop states.

Read full PajamasMedia article here.

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