Apr 21, 2011 11:11 PM GMT
The Obama Administration now believes that it is illegal for companies to move operations between states in deference to union interests. Apparently they believe that they can legislate or regulate jobs into existence? Or am I missing something here?
Labor Board Tells Boeing New Factory Breaks Law
In what may be the strongest signal yet of the new pro-labor orientation of the National Labor Relations Board under President Obama, the agency filed a complaint Wednesday seeking to force Boeing to bring an airplane production line back to its unionized facilities in Washington State instead of moving the work to a nonunion plant in South Carolina.
In its complaint, the labor board said that Boeing’s decision to transfer a second production line for its new 787 Dreamliner passenger plane to South Carolina was motivated by an unlawful desire to retaliate against union workers for their past strikes in Washington and to discourage future strikes. The agency’s acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, said it was illegal for companies to take actions in retaliation against workers for exercising the right to strike.
Although manufacturers have long moved plants to nonunion states, the board noted that Boeing officials had, in internal documents and news interviews, specifically cited the strikes and potential future strikes as a reason for their 2009 decision to expand in South Carolina.
Boeing said it would “vigorously contest” the labor board’s complaint. “This claim is legally frivolous and represents a radical departure from both N.L.R.B. and Supreme Court precedent,” said J. Michael Luttig, a Boeing executive vice president and its general counsel. “Boeing has every right under both federal law and its collective bargaining agreement to build additional U.S. production capacity outside of the Puget Sound region.”
It is highly unusual for the federal government to seek to reverse a corporate decision as important as the location of plant.
But ever since a Democratic majority took control of the five-member board after Mr. Obama’s election, the board has signaled that it would seek to adopt a more liberal, pro-union tilt after years of pro-employer decisions under President Bush.