April 22, 2011

NLRB: Boeing Must Build New Plant in Unionista WA, Not Business-Friendly SC

Hatched by Dafydd

This piece by GW at Wolf Howling is a real eye-dropper: Evidently, the National Labor Relations Board is trying to force Boeing to build its new plant, not in business-friendly South Carolina, as they plan, but in union-loving Washington state -- for that explicit reason. The acting general counsel of the NLRB argues that it's "unlawful" for Boeing to take into consideration the repeated strikes and other labor activism against Boeing in WA, when deciding where to build its new plant.

Here's a quick quote from the New York Times piece that GW cites in the blogpost:

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.

Of course, Boeing isn't "tak[ing] actions in retaliation against workers;" it's taking actions to build a new plant where it will be more profitable. The only effect upon existing Boeing workers in Washington is that they might have anticipated there would be more jobs there, and now that won't eventuate.

As GW writes in his post:

The Obama radicals on the NLRB now seek to vastly expand the scope of those provisions to a point that corporations would now become captives of unionized, closed shop states.

I don't normally write just to highlight someone else's blogpost; but this expansion of the reach of the NLRB is such a corrupt enormity that I feel compelled to spread knowledge of it as far and widely as I can. Wolf Howling is absolutely correct to sound the alarm on this stunning decision.

More from the Times:

The labor board said that in 2007, Boeing announced plans to create a second production line that would make three 787 Dreamliner planes a month in the Puget Sound area to address a growing backlog of orders. That was to be in addition to a line already making seven Dreamliners a month there. In October 2009, Boeing said it would locate its second line at a new, nonunion plant in South Carolina.

The N.L.R.B. asserted that on numerous occasions Boeing officials had communicated an unlawful motive for transferring the production line, including an interview with The Seattle Times in which a Boeing executive said, “The overriding factor was not the business climate. And it was not the wages we’re paying today. It was that we cannot afford to have a work stoppage, you know, every three years.”

Mr. Solomon brought the complaint after a union representing many of Boeing’s Washington workers, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, complained that Boeing had decided to move production to South Carolina largely in retaliation for a 58-day strike in 2008.

“Boeing’s decision to build a 787 assembly line in South Carolina sent a message that Boeing workers would suffer financial harm for exercising their collective bargaining rights,” said the union’s vice president, Rich Michalski.

In this case, "would suffer financial harm" means "would not get the big reward they expected their strikes to confer." In other words, the National Labor Relations Board now contends that federal labor law requires not only that strikes be allowed, the law also requires that strikes be effective and advance the union's cause.

Thus if Boeing workers go on strike, the law now forbids Boeing from taking steps to mitigate the damage to the company, such as siting new plants in business-friendly states. Rather, Boeing is required to build all new production lines in heavily unionized states, precisely in order to maximize the damage that unions can inflict upon Boeing (a.k.a., the punching bag).

How ironic that the movie version of Atlas Shrugged is in theaters right now, and by all accounts is "unexpectedly" popular and rapidly picking up steam. Will the NLRB next force Boeing to rename itself the Twentieth Century Aeroplane Company?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 22, 2011, at the time of 2:50 PM


The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael

We've warned people locally about treating Boeing with contempt... there is a culture here in the Pacifist Northwest that believes Boeing is owned by Washington State, and that we can do ANYTHING to Boeing and they'll just take it.

Did you know that our Legislators actually considered passing a bill making it illegal for Boeing to even threaten to leave Washington State? Seriously. It got so bad that the upper Management of the Company decided to move it's HQ out of State... to Chicago; the main reason was the unfriendly social/political situation around here made them feel and look like a local company, not an International-Corporation-worthy-of-your-business.

The only solution I see is either slapping this judgement down, or Boeing moving off-shore. Imagine the positive influence to say, India, if Boeing were to move it's manufacturing plant and it's essential personnel there.

Like InstaGlen says, That which cannot continue, won't.

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 22, 2011 6:41 PM

The following hissed in response by: Aurelius

Mr. Michael is spot on. I have been saying for years that Boeing would transition out of WA state, because of the unfriendly atmosphere to business.
This latest over reach by the unelected apparatchiks in DC is the latest thing leaving me scratching my head, wondering where the mobs with tar and feathers are... Just how much more are people going to take?
Or, given the current state of the world, are we going to plunge headlong into a full on controlled/planned economy, with the community organizer in chief in the white house?
I can see the Administration making a move to nationalize 401K's and Pensions next... And I think we will all be amazed at how much support they will have.

The above hissed in response by: Aurelius [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 23, 2011 8:55 AM

The following hissed in response by: GW

Thanks for picking this one up, Dafydd. This really needs as wide exposure as possible. And as you so rightly point out, Atlas Shrugs could not be more timely.

The above hissed in response by: GW [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 23, 2011 2:55 PM

The following hissed in response by: GW

Thanks for picking this one up, Dafydd. This really needs as wide exposure as possible. And as you so rightly point out, Atlas Shrugs could not be more timely.

The above hissed in response by: GW [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 23, 2011 2:55 PM

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