Monday, December 5, 2011

Boeing pact’s effect on S.C. plant unclear

It sounds like the Union has agreed to a deal that lets Obama and the NLRB off the hook. It appears to have cost Boeing quite a bit, but, as in all extortion attempts, the lawyers are in a win, win situation and the NLRB will go scot-free.

A contentious labor dispute between the Obama administration and Boeing Co. that spawned a national political fight likely will be settled after the aerospace giant and the Machinists union announced Wednesday a tentative deal on a new four-year collective-bargaining agreement.

It was not immediately clear what, if any, impact the new agreement would have on a massive new Boeing plant in South Carolina, where the company has opened a new production line for its 787 airplane.

In a decision roundly condemned by congressional Republicans and leading business groups, the National Labor Relations Board filed a lawsuit earlier this year alleging that Boeing violated labor laws by opening the South Carolina line. The agency claimed that Boeing was punishing Washington state workers for past strikes and said the company should return the work to Washington.

Boeing has vigorously denied the charges, claiming it opened the South Carolina plant for valid economic reasons. GOP lawmakers have introduced a bill in Congress seeking to force the agency to back down.

The case became a major political issue, with Republican presidential candidates using it to bash the Obama administration. While the labor board is an independent agency, it is dominated by appointees of President Obama, and settlement of the Boeing case removes a potentially damaging element for Mr. Obama in the 2012 campaign.

Read full Washington Times article here.

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