Video: DeMint Slams NRLB Over Boeing

Posted: Jun 15, 2011 5:26 PM

Kudos to CBS News for airing this illuminating report on the National Labor Relations Board's big labor bully tactics against Boeing.  During the segment, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) debates Sen. Tom Harkin (D- Iowa) on the subject, and gets the better of the exchange:

As DeMint aptly points out, no union jobs in Washington were put at risk by Boeing's decision to expand to South Carolina, a right-to-work state.  Just the opposite, in fact:

The Obama NLRB nonetheless chose to make Boeing a whipping boy in a new offensive against right-to-work states. It filed a complaint demanding that an administrative law judge halt the South Carolina plant (set to open in July), and force Boeing to move production to Washington.  This despite the fact that Boeing made clear this is a new production facility or that it has added 12,000 jobs [*see update below] in Washington since announcing the South Carolina move.

No matter. The complaint's real target is the federal right-to-work guarantee. Among the most celebrated provisions of the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act is what's known as 14(b)—the section that allows states to pass right-to-work laws. The Boeing complaint guts that guarantee by effectively requiring companies to continue manufacturing in union states—or be found guilty of a rights violation. This is a union dream come true, on par with "card check."

Even if this move did potentially jeopardize some union jobs in another state, there's a principle at stake here: A board of government bureaucrats should not wield effective veto power over perfectly rational business decisions made by private companies.  South Carolina's other Senator, Lindsey Graham, is incensed:

This is one of the worst examples of unelected bureaucrats doing the bidding of special interest groups that I’ve ever seen.  In this case, the NLRB is doing the bidding of the unions at great cost to South Carolina and our nation’s economy.

If successful, the NLRB complaint would allow unions to hold a virtual ‘veto’ over business decisions.  Left to their own devices, the NLRB would routinely punish right-to-work states that value and promote their pro-business climates.  The current makeup of the NLRB Board has been skewed against business.  This action will not be allowed to stand. 

UPDATE - A Boeing official reaches out to clarify a statistic in the Wall Street Journal editorial excerpted above:

Boeing has added 3,000 union jobs in Washington since the decision to build the new final assembly and delivery plant in Charleston. 

The representative added that thousands of jobs have also been added in South Carolina as a result of the new Boeing Charleston plant.

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