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Labor Board Tells Boeing Where To Build

An editorial from the Washington Examiner:

Federal labor board seeks to ground Boeing

Examiner Editorial 04/21/11

Can federal bureaucrats tell a private company where to build a factory?

Members of President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board think they can. In a decision that even the New York Times is describing as "highly unusual for the federal government," Lafe Solomon, who was appointed to the board by Obama, filed a complaint on behalf of the NLRB on Wednesday seeking to force the Boeing Co. to build an assembly line in Washington state instead of South Carolina.

The NLRB action stems from Boeing’s October 2009 decision to build a new factory for its new 787 Dreamliner airplane near Charleston, S.C. Boeing first sought to build the new plant near its existing facility in Puget Sound, but negotiations with the International Association of Machinists broke down when the union refused to agree to a long-term no-strike clause. The IAM had struck four times since 1989, costing Boeing at least $1.8 billion in revenue.

That’s when Boeing chose South Carolina, a right-to-work state where, unlike Washington, workers are not forced to join unions. As a result of this policy, only 6.2 percent of South Carolinians belong to unions.

Construction of Boeing’s new Charleston factory is nearly complete, and the company has already hired more than 1,000 new employees, drawn mostly from within the immediate region. And back in Washington, Boeing has actually increased employment at its Puget Sound plant by 2,000 workers. But that isn’t good enough for the IAM or the Obama White House. After suffering major defeats in Wisconsin and Ohio, the labor movement is looking for a scalp. Obama’s NLRB is trying to turn Boeing into one.

Lest we forget, the NLRB is currently composed of four members (one seat is vacant). There are three Democrats to one Republican.

One of those Democrats is Craig Baker, who was once the Associate General Counsel for the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). He was also a member of the Obama ‘transition team.’

The NLRB is hanging its case on a senior Boeing official’s statement to the Seattle Times that "The overriding factor [in transferring the line] … was that we cannot afford to have a work stoppage, you know, every three years." The NLRB absurdly claims this is "unlawful employer speech" that infringes on "a worker’s fundamental" right to strike. But the Supreme Court has long held that firms may consider the economic effect of strikes when making business decisions. Also, Boeing’s existing collective bargaining agreement with the IAM allows Boeing to build facilities at other locations.

How kind of them.

An administrative law judge will hear Boeing’s objection to the NLRB’s complaint June 14, so there still is hope sanity will prevail. But a decision in favor of the IAM would be a disaster not just for Boeing, but for American workers everywhere. A ruling in favor of Obama’s NLRB would make it presumptively illegal for any unionized firm to invest in a right-to-work state.

What has this country come to when union thugs and a judge can decide where a company can do business?

At first, this would mainly hurt right-to-work states, as they would no longer be able to lure new businesses from existing unionized firms. But over the long run, this policy would hurt unions and all Americans. Why would any domestic company choose to build a factory in a forced-union state if it knew that meant it could never expand to a right-to-work state? Why would any international firm invest anywhere in this country if it knew the White House would favor political allies?

The NLRB isn’t protecting workers, it is setting them up for eventual unemployment.

Yes, this is an opinion piece, but it sums up the situation more succinctly than any of the media’s reports. (Which, for the record, are only showing up in local outlets.)

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, April 22nd, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

14 Responses to “Labor Board Tells Boeing Where To Build”

  1. NoNeoCommies says:

    I hope that Boeing’s long term plan is to shutter the Seattle facilities once they have enough capacity elsewhere.
    It’s time to pull off the ticks and step on them before they suck out all the blood.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      I live in SC and see this as only a boon to the state. There are tons of Americans who are really willing to work and the growth potential is huge. Naturally, the whole thing has to go through its death throes before the obvious conclusion can be reached. The national socialists have to come out (it’s in their DNA) and claim how ________(insert emotional term here) big, bad, Boeing is and that they are destroying the lives of innocent people.

      Sorry, been there….done that. Got the T-shirt. Puked on it. Not a party I want to ever go to again. If a unionista wants a job with Boeing and thinks that building 787’s would be grand, then ask Boeing if they might be willing to help them move to SC in exchange for their resignation from the union. Or, even better, move there themselves and set up a new home in SC with a real future, not contingent upon electing democrats forever.

  2. U NO HOO says:

    You might want to research the saga of Mack Trucks, Inc., and it’s foray into South Carolina, circa 1987.




    Mack couldn’t outrun the UAW.

  3. Obama ignored his own budget commission recommendations.
    Obama ignored a federal court ruling against his offshore drilling moratorium.
    Obama ignored a Congressional ban against his czars.
    Obama ignored half the electorate to ram ObamanationCare through Congress in the dead of night…

    Boeing should simply follow Dear Leader’s example in regards to the Neo-bolsheviks at the NLRB.

    Middle finger. SA-LOOT!

  4. The Redneck says:

    I have to concur with the other posters. What penalties does Boeing face if they simply say “this ruling is a violation of our constitutional rights and we’re not going to follow it”?

    It’s time someone stood up and said “No. We’re going to do business as we please, and if you think you can decide where we’re going to build a plant then let’s see you enforce it.”

    • BannedbytheTaliban says:

      Or they could just build it in China.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      BBTT, many of the structures for the Boeing aircraft are already built in China.


      Labor costs have resulted in them having some of the most labor-intensive parts of their aircraft being built in China. Naturally, this will eventually evolve into China making better, world-competing aircraft of their own, knowing their propensity for reverse-engineering things. I look at it as both a good business move and a bad business move at the same time. They have given China the fruits of their labors on a silver platter and to the end that they will find themselves competing against China in the not-too-distant future.

    • Right of the People says:

      Just like the contributions not to him Barry is trying to track down, Boeing will never get another gov contract if they don’t knuckle under to the Butt Pirate of Indonesia.

      I mean damn, the unions bought their puppet in the Oval Office and what good is he if you can’t get what you want?

    • BillK says:

      What do they face?

      Other then ongoing, ever-escalating fines from the NLRB, their government contracts would likely also be pulled.

    • The Redneck says:

      They should move elsewhere, then. South Korea would be a good option. Good infrastructure and a government that understands its ‘job’ regarding business is to get the hell out of the way.

  5. wardmama4 says:

    When the WSJ is scratching their collective heads wondering exactly what Federal Law Boeing is violating, you know that this is bogus bs.

    Seems like Ayn Rand was spot on – the Anti-dog-eat-dog law is alive and well in the cesspool of America – DC.

  6. GetBackJack says:

    And forcing companies overseas continues unabated.

    Why, it’s almost like a Plan, or something.

  7. Mithrandir says:


    How many similarities are there to the regime and Animal Farm?

    “All voters are equal, but Democrat voters are more equal than others.”

  8. canary says:

    Nobody pays attention to lowly administrative judge, and no way the judge will go against their “Acting”
    boss solomon Obama just slipped in there, not yet approved by the Senate. This will all take forever, so
    Boeing, who are already behind in building their planes needs to just move to S.C. as fast as they can.

    Solomon’s slogan free choice work is hoot. Click on his memorandum they mention and he’s not about freedom.


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