Thursday, September 15, 2011

The House Tells Boeing Not To Fly Away

If things go as planned, the House of Representatives will vote today on slapping down the National Labor Relations Board for its attempt to curry favor with labor by determining where a company can decide to build its plants. The NLRB took it upon itself to pursue a suit against Boeing Corporation for alleged “unfair labor practices.”

In fact, Boeing merely attempted to expand, and made the mistake of expanding into a right to work state—South Carolina. For background on the original House investigations into the matter this past June, go here: Boeing, Boeing, Boeing. Nothing that the House committee has produced has detoured the NLRB juggernaut. In order for Boeing’s actions to be considered an unfair labor practice, the NLRB would have to prove that Boeing’s expansion plant in South Carolina was retaliation for union strikes in closed-shop Washington State. In addition, it would have to show that as a result of Boeing’s actions, union jobs were lost.

Boeing says that it was making a pure business decision. It needed additional space, and given the unavailability of large tracts of land in Washington necessary for major expansion along with the costs of doing business, South Carolina was an ideal choice. Equally importantly, not a single union job was lost in Washington as a result of the expansion. In fact, since the labor dispute, Boeing has expanded the Washington facilities to the maximum extent allowable, and has hired 2,000 more union laborers. The facts are clear and indisputable. Only the philosophy of unionism and government control of private business are at issue.

The Obama administration and its Congressional allies aren’t doing themselves any favors with this NLRB action. South Carolina is an early primary state, and at least one Republican presidential hopeful has already used the NLRB’s action as a campaign issue. Mitt Romney visited the new Boeing plant, and pronounced the NLRB’s action “political payback from the White House to the unions.” He may be the first, but he won’t be the last Republican to latch onto the issue.

Never daunted, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, who recently declared war on the Republican Party (those sons-of-bitches), said “the National Labor Relations Act prohibits companies from retaliating against workers who exercise union rights by moving their jobs away.” Trumka failed to explain how Boeing’s expansion of the Washington facilities and adding another 2,000 union employees “moved jobs away.”

In attacking the pending House bill, Trumka said: “This is sweeping legislation that would gut the NLRB and result in serious, harmful changes to jobs and workers’ rights across the country.” Well, it would be sweeping, it could potentially gut the NLRB (that’s a bad thing?), and it would damage the cause of forced unionism. How putting people to work is a harmful change remains a mystery to all but the union bosses and the Obama administration.

Trumka adds that if the bill becomes law, “a company could simply close a plant and move to another state if workers complained of unsafe working conditions or discrimination.” Two things immediately occur to me. First, every state, including South Carolina, has rigid laws against unsafe working conditions and discrimination, so what does the union have to do with it? South Carolina also has whistleblower statutes which prevent companies from retaliating against workers filing legitimate complaints about unsafe working conditions or discrimination. Therefore, what Trumka is actually talking about is cushy union work rules, not safety or discrimination.

Second, I turn his own argument back on him. If the NLRB ultimately prevails, Boeing would be within its rights and good business sense to move its offices and plants to some place more business-friendly like, say, Shanghai. If Boeing did indeed commit a labor violation (which I firmly say it did not), the government telling a company where it can locate its facilities is both unwise and unconstitutional.

This is another back-door, end-run around the Constitution and proper delegation of authority. The President exacerbates the problem by claiming to stay above the fray. Says Obama: “I am reluctant to interfere in a case brought by an independent federal agency.” In other words, he wants his dirty work to be done by somebody else so he can pretend his skirts are clean.

I wish the sponsors of this bill the best of luck. It does have a good chance of passage in the House. But that won’t be the end of it. The Senate is still controlled by pro-labor Democrats and the bill will probably not even get a debate in that chamber, given majority leader Harry Reid’s adeptness at parliamentary roadblocks. What is likely is that the legal battle will go on for years, adding to the very uncertainty that is crippling American investment in American business

32 comments:

BevfromNYC said...

Firstly, I am turning you in [see link to the most repulsive idea to come out of the Obama campaign]:

http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/join-attack-wire-today

Trumpka is running scared because if this passes OR becomes a campaign talking point, the union jig is up. It will highlight that unions have just become unnecessary middlemen who sole purpose is to keep themselves alive for the leadership, and no longer for the benefit of the workers. Thanks to the unions of the past we DO have employment laws, discrimination, safety and Workers' Comp laws to protect workers. The jobs of the unions is essentially done. They set out to do what they intended which was to create a safe work environment and a fair wage.

Tam said...

Of all the dirty tricks the O administration has played, this is right near the top of the list in my opinion. Dirty, dirty, dirty. By the way, I hate obama. (and all his little union thug minions.)

BevfromNYC said...

Tam, stop beating around the bush and tell us how you really feel!

T-Rav said...

Wait, I thought Obama was all about creating jobs. Boeing establishing this plant in South Carolina would do just that, right? Having non-union jobs is still better than having no jobs at all, isn't it? Maybe the NLRB should be taken out instead of the Tea Party, if that's what's important to Obama--oh wait, "taken out" is hostile language. I'd better report myself to AttackWatch.

StanH said...

Great read Lawhawk and as usual spot on, however one correction, senate democrats are “pro-Union” not pro-labor. I understand the distinction, but this allows liberals to act as if they speak for anyone who has a job, when nothing could be further from the truth. Unions in the present day do more harm to workers than a financial depression. I do believe Craig Becker’s recess appointment is nearing an end, right? You were spot on about that creep, a brilliant subversive.

BevfromNYC said...

T-Rav - I will go ahead and report you at the same time I report myself. Does anyone else want me to report them? I mean we're all giving out false information that must be debunked!

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: All true. The number of workers willing to join a union voluntarily has dropped off a cliff in the past few decades. The industrial unions served a true purpose fifty to a hundred years ago, but legislation has taken over their safety and fair wage responsibilities. Now they are largely composed of thuggish bosses, goon squads, and forced membership. Worst of all, the number of union jobs has decreased in heavy industry largely because of companies that can no longer be productive with crippling union wages, pensions and work rules. So many industries have simply gone overseas. Now, they want to accomplish the same thing for America's airline industry.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tam: The Obama administration plays right along with these extralegal ploys, and at the same time throws $535 million taxpayer dollars at Solyndra so they can hire, then lay off, 1100 workers. It's a coordinated effort to destroy jobs and put business in the hands of the government/union statists.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: Yeah, Tam. Enough beating around the Bush, uh, bush. Somewhere along the line, I hope I've mentioned that I hate Obama too. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Aw, there you go again, using logic and facts. A non-union job is no job at all. Ya gotta get with the program.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: Your point is well-taken. When I use the word "labor" I tend to mean "organized labor" aka "unions." When I'm talking about people who just want to work for a living, I tend to use the word "workers." But you are right about failing to make a clear distinction, and I'll try to be more careful in the future when using those words.

Thanks for remembering my earlier articles on the reprehensible and dangerous Craig Becker. He is doubly-dangerous because we have neither a solicitor general or attorney general willing to take the NLRB on. In fact, they're in cahoots.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: You can't save yourself by reporting T-Rav and me. You're already on their list right along with the rest of us. Guilt by association, you know. Reporting yourself is a simple redundancy.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk: much like a job must have an $8.00/hr minimum wage or whatever it is now, or else it's not a real job, either. (snort)

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: At least we'll be helping to create jobs. With so many of us headed for the clink, Obama will have to hire hundreds of new storm troopers and prison guards. The "attack wire" may turn out to be his most effective jobs creation plan.

T-Rav said...

Speaking of business scandals, there's also this little gem this morning:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/09/15/lightsquared-did-white-house-pressure-general-shelton-to-help-donor.html

Worth reading, but short version is the Pentagon was pressured into approving a military contract or something for a company owned by a Democratic donor. I swear, between stuff like this, the NLRB thing, and Solyndra, this administration is trying to set new records for full-on corruption.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: This whole concept of Obama and his gang of statists determining the "winners and losers" in business and labor is about to explode in his face. Reagan Democrats are still very much around, and a good Republican candidate can rally them back. Forced union members voted heavily for Reagan, partially because of the corruption within the unions they were forced to join. Now we can add crony capitalism to the list.

As we've mentioned in the past, a good Republican candidate is going to be able to dispel the notion that big business supports Republicans. Big corporations almost exclusively support Democrats. The big union/big corporation alliance is a true danger to the Republic.

As long as we're on the subject, why are forty or fifty armed federal agents being used by the Obama administration to raid Gibson Guitars? Could it be that the company CEO supports conservative causes? Why only Gibson? Don't the other guitar companies (largely contributors to the Democrats) use the same materials from the same exporting countries? Aren't there other things for the feds to pursue, like terrorists maybe? Gibson employs a lot of people who are now for all intents and purposes out of work.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, we could soon see "Obama Republicans" take on a whole new meaning: specifically, those who wound up converted to the GOP thanks to our Dear Leader and his brilliant economic policies. With even the media starting to turn on him at long last, Obama is going to be unpleasantly surprised next year when he tries to call on all the people who voted for him before.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I like that. Obama Republicans. I can just see the heads of the MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN reporters exploding if they had to use that expression. 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

rlaWTX said...

I followed Bev's link and now my monitor is demanding a thorough cleaning!!!

I have to admit - I kinda prefer these bizarro fiat rulings within the Executive Branch (compared to hugeungous legislation) - easier to change again when there's a conservative in the WH...

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: The executive orders are going to be fairly easy to reverse (though I'm not so sure about how easy it will be to reverse the effects that they will already have produced). The NLRB decisions will not be quite so easy. The legal issues of reversing a "legitimate ruling" of a duly-established Board will be complicated and time-consuming. Congress and the courts will both inevitably be involved in undoing the damage, and it's not as easy as reversing executive orders with the stroke of a new presidential pen.

In fact, that is why Obama has used the cover of "not interfering in a case brought by an independent federal agency." By staying out of it, he accomplishes a dual goal. He keeps his political stance out of the battle, and he allows an agency to cast in concrete what he can't do by executive order. Instead of a pen, the new President will have to use a jackhammer.

Koshcat said...

Tam - Obama can only form new jobs in Texas and China.

LawHawk - you forgot one thing, the workers at the Boeing plant in South Carolina also still have the right to organize into a union if they want to.

T-Rav said...

rla, as they say at BH, "You owe me a keyboard..."

Koshcat, very clever. Obama creates jobs, just not American ones.

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: Actually, I didn't forget that. South Carolina is a right to work state, which means they can organize if they choose to. But they can't be forced to, and once a union is established, nobody can be forced to join it (legally, at least). I didn't include that in the article simply because I don't object to free choice, and the Supreme Court has upheld the right to organize unions.

You're absolutely correct, and it's an important point. It just doesn't have a great deal to do with the major issue of forced unionism and government interference with the right of a company to build its facilities wherever it chooses.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: You might say that Obama creates jobs, even when he doesn't intend to.

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah, this Boeing thing is an outrage. This is typical of Obama to try to sneak through policy by executive order and behind closed doors when no one is looking. I'm glad the Republicans are finally taking note of these things and highlighting them to the public. I can't see this legislation getting through so long as the Democrats control the Senate, but the next President should be able to undo it by executive order.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: It's just plain frightening how many important things cannot and will not get done as long as the Democrats control the Senate and the White House. A lot of damage, some of it nearly-irreversible, will be done between now and the inauguration of the new Republican President in 2013.

LawHawkRFD said...

I really do want to point out how things like the Boeing case, card check, and a multitude of out-of-control regulatory agencies are damaging America's economic recovery. The keystone is uncertainty. Just look at Boeing alone. Thousands of employees, billions of dollars in income (and the taxes that go with that). But why would Boeing take any further risks, hire any more employees, build any new plants while they have no idea how this whole battle with the NLRB and the unions is going to play out? And this is just one of thousands of businesses so affected. I picked Boeing for the article largely because it is being seriously damaged by administration actions along with the fact that it is part of one of the few major industries in which America remains the leader. But for how much longer? Uncertainty, uncertainty, uncertainty. It's damaging Boeing and it's killing investment and growth.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: Send some of that rain our way. We're still getting lightning strikes, new wildfires, and no rain. Many of the strikes occur in some of the most inaccessible areas of Kern County's parched forests and dried-up farmlands, so they spread uncontrollably until they reach a place where the fire crews can take a stand. This is the first day this week that the roads into and out of Caliente were open and the fires sufficiently contained so the grandkids could go to school.

If Obama can blame the lousy economy on Bush, I can blame the wildfires on Obama, the EPA and the g.d. Delta smelt.

I'll save my next parade rain comment for emergencies. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: I don't know rla's current situation and location, but here we worry about the fires, then we worry about mudslides and flash floods coming down the canyons if it rains heavily. But at least I don't have to worry about earthquakes after leaving San Francisco. Oh, wait. One of California's most violent quakes was epicentered in Tehachapi, about twelve miles from here. Egad, is no place safe?

LawHawkRFD said...

I know this is off-topic, but I can't resist. Henry Waxman (aka Nosferatu) is blaming the New York Democratic loss on rich Jews who just want to hang onto their riches. There's no antisemite like a Jewish antisemite.

Koshcat said...

I know you didn't forgot. I was pointing out, like you did, that the union has the right to go to SC and make a case for the new employees to join. We all know they don't want to do that because they can't make the case.

As for Waxman, can he be un-circumcized? One thing about political correctness. Those that push for it eventually will start attacking their own. Besides, what is wrong with rich Jews wanting to keep more of their own money they made? As long as they didn't steal it or kill somebody to get it, they should keep it.

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: A reverse medical procedure couldn't happen to a nicer person than Waxman. There was a gruesome description of exactly such a reversal in Michener's The Source. Not only was it painful, but it got the character killed. Not that I would wish that on Waxman and give the left another chance to call us violent.

I'm with you on Jews and anybody else keeping the money they earned from their own labors (and I wouldn't take it away from anyone, even if it was inherited). So it makes Waxman both an antisemite and a socialist. All wealthy people must be inherently evil, and all he did was add "Jew" to the formula.

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