NLRB INTENSIFIES PRO-UNION ACTIVITIES

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: According to an article in the Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com), the NLRB has broadened its recent decision about not permitting Boeing to open a manufacturing facility in a right-to-work state. It wants to apply that decision to all companies.

Unions have traditionally focused their attentions on collective bargaining, wages, and benefits. Management has heretofore been free to decide where a company should operate.

Now the NLRB wants to change that formula: The Board would like to force all unionized companies to consult their workers’ unions before deciding to relocate to another state. In other words, if employees don’t want to move, then the company will have to stay put or attempt to get an exemption from the union and/or the NLRB. Unions would have unfair leverage as well as a veto.

This is a further example that the NLRB will do what organized labor demands to counteract the waning levels of union membership and even help unions capture new members. Rather than preserving jobs in America, such tactics will cause companies to relocate out of the United States. And that will be bad for everyone: workers, consumers, companies; in fact, it will prove injurious to the entire economy of country.

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BOEING FIGHTS BACK

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: Having endured a potentially injurious decision by the National Labor Relations Board that would have delivered a severe financial blow to its bottom line, Boeing is fighting back. Its attorney, Michael Luttig, has issued a statement that the NLRB’s charges "fundamentally misquote or mischaracterize statements by Boeing executives."

Indeed, Boeing has been vilified in the media through fallacious statements erroneously attributed to some of its executives.

To wit: Boeing was charged with wanting to fire its workers in Washington and replace them with non-union workers at its new South Carolina facility. It is a patently false charge, for no workers in Washington were going to be fired, none would be replaced by workers in South Carolina.

Boeing also states as false the government’s assertions that its move was an attempt to punish union workers in Washington. Since work would continue in Washington and no workers would be fired, one might ask how Boeing was punishing those workers. It’s an indictment without evidence. It is simply a charge based on complaints by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and advanced by its advocates on the NLRB, both of which do not want Boeing to operate in a right-to-work state.

We fully support Boeing’s position that the National Labor Relations Board should withdraw its complaint. Its complaint accusing Boeing of wanting to locate a new plant in South Carolina to avoid future labor disruptions in Washington state and to punish its unionized workers are without merit. As with all American companies, Boeing has the right to operate in geographic locations that are conducive to high levels of productivity.

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RIGHT-TO-WORK STATES VS. THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: The attorneys general of nine right-to-work states, where workers cannot be forced to join a union as a condition of employment, have issued a statement condemning a wrong-headed ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that prevents Boeing from building its Dreamliner 787 in South Carolina. The states are South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia, Arizona, Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. Alan Wilson, the Attorney General of South Carolina, wrote: “The only justification for the NLRB’s unprecedented retaliatory action is to aid union survival.” We could not agree more.

As we recently reported, Boeing chose to open a manufacturing facility in South Carolina because several strikes in Washington had not only significantly delayed the company’s production goals by many months, but had also cost the company tens of millions of dollars. South Carolina provides a more business friendly environment than does the state or Washington.

As a corporation operating in a free-market economy, Boeing has the right to operate a manufacturing facility wherever it wants, especially as it contributes to the welfare of its employees and to a profitable bottom line. It is an essential element of our capitalistic heritage. And we support the right of all corporations to do business wherever they want, not someplace chosen by the NLRB, catering to the demands of unions, such as the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which has applauded the NLRB’s decision.

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