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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NLRB v. Boeing--Labor Union Politics in a Nutshell

When Boeing announced it would build a major facility in Charleston, South Carolina, the labor unions quickly sprang into action claiming that the reason for the new facility was retaliation against union labor at Boeing's existing operation in Washington state. The union had a history of calling strikes against Boeing. But in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, unions are relatively weak.
The NLRB, the National Labor Relations Board, took the side of the unions and lodged a complaint, and then a lawsuit, against Boeing, claiming that the company intended to punish unions by moving its facility to South Carolina. Politics, however, is a major factor in the ongoing dispute, as shown by the announcement today that the Board wants to rule on issues before the expiration of an Obama Administration recess appointment to the NLRB. Without that appointee, most of the Administration's agenda would be dead on arrival.

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