Still think Big Labor is “pro-worker”? Think again

Posted by: ST on April 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm

This is an absolute outrage, and EVERYONE should know about it:

We knew that Big Labor had political pull at the Obama-era National Labor Relations Board, but yesterday’s complaint against Boeing is one for the (dark) ages. By challenging Boeing’s right to build aircraft in South Carolina, labor’s bureaucratic allies in Washington are threatening the ability of states to compete for new jobs and investment—and risking the economic recovery to boot.

In 2009 Boeing announced plans to build a new plant to meet demand for its new 787 Dreamliner. Though its union contract didn’t require it, Boeing executives negotiated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to build the plane at its existing plant in Washington state. The talks broke down because the union wanted, among other things, a seat on Boeing’s board and a promise that Boeing would build all future airplanes in Puget Sound.

So Boeing management did what it judged to be best for its shareholders and customers and looked elsewhere. In October 2009, the company settled on South Carolina, which, like the 21 other right-to-work states, has friendlier labor laws than Washington. As Boeing chief Jim McNerney noted on a conference call at the time, the company couldn’t have “strikes happening every three to four years.” The union has shut down Boeing’s commercial aircraft production line four times since 1989, and a 58-day strike in 2008 cost the company $1.8 billion.

This reasonable business decision created more than 1,000 jobs and has brought around $2 billion of investment to South Carolina. The aerospace workers in Puget Sound remain among the best paid in America, but the union nonetheless asked the NLRB to stop Boeing’s plans before the company starts to assemble planes in North Charleston this July.

The NLRB obliged with its complaint yesterday asking an administrative law judge to stop Boeing’s South Carolina production because its executives had cited the risk of strikes as a reason for the move. Boeing acted out of “anti-union animus,” says the complaint by acting general counsel Lafe Solomon, and its decision to move had the effect of “discouraging membership in a labor organization” and thus violates federal law.

Ed Morrissey, in a must-read, rips the NLRB a new one:

Ah, that must be the Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Law, or one of the Fairness Laws, or something, right? The WSJ isn’t sure what law the NLRB is talking about, either. Not only do businesses routinely relocate to find the most advantageous environment possible, states and cities compete for that business by calculating their business climate. If this has escaped the notice of the NLRB, perhaps they should get out more.

Workers have the ability to collectively bargain for wages, benefits, and working conditions in the private sector if they desire. If they make their labor too costly and businesses can conduct their operations elsewhere, then they have the right to do so, too. The government has no legitimate role in forcing business owners to be hostages to their workforce. If the workers price themselves out of their jobs, then they need to deal with the consequences. The ability to collectively bargain does not include a guarantee of a job.

Otherwise, we all pay higher prices for the same product or service — and for Boeing, which competes against the EU’s Airbus, it will mean lost sales and less work altogether in the US. Prices of flying will increase, while the taxes that flow from both employment and sales will decrease. Nor will it end there. Such a decision will lock businesses in their present locations and give local and state governments carte blanche to hike taxes and fees, secure that business owners won’t be able to vote with their feet — and leave taxpayers holding the bag when businesses go under and capital stops flowing to the US for investment.

It’s disturbing. What’s even more disturbing is the fact that unions don’t care. Not as long as they “get theirs” – even if it comes at the expense of someone else’s job, their hard-earned tax money, (or in some instances, at the expense of “the environment“). What’s also worrisome is the political favoritism being shown towards unions by the NLRB. Not exactly surprising, but it’s something that the deserves further sunlight nevertheless, especially in the months leading up to the 2012 election, where Obama and his faithful devotees will try to dupe a majority of the American people (once again) into believing that this administration actually gives a half a rip about the middle class, when the reality is that they most certainly do not.

Do your part by forwarding the WSJ article to as many people you know. The time for action is now, made crystal clear by the last couple of sentences in the WSJ piece:

With a Republican House, Mr. Obama’s union agenda is dead in Congress. But it looks like his appointees are determined to impose it by regulatory fiat—no matter the damage to investment and job creation.

It’s time for a new President. And NOT one with a “D” after their name.

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10 Responses to “Still think Big Labor is “pro-worker”? Think again”


  1. Phineas says:

    This is just appalling. The NRLB has effectively said the owners no longer have their right to move their property where they wish; that the cost of doing business in a locale (in this case, labor costs caused by threats of strikes) may not be considered, giving unions have an effective veto over management/ownership decisions; and that states may not compete with each other to win business.

    Any news of a reaction from South Carolina? That’s a lot of jobs at stake, and I’d be stunned if Nikki Haley hasn’t already gotten the Attorney General on this.

  2. Brontefan says:

    I was commenting to my class yesterday, when asked about the Obama presidency & administration [college] that I was greatly saddened that this president was not going down in history as a noble and honorable man. Coming from the trenches of the dirty Chicago political machine, I should not have expected more–but I did. Instead of being a bridge for our nation, he has been divisive, arrogant, anti-American, overtly prejudice [maybe racist] and a BIG spender. His agenda has been Marxist; his health reform (?) bill which he promised to be transparent, bipartisan, and would lower health care costs—has done NONE of these things. The amount of Gov’t control has expanded beyond my wildest dreams and I have reached a point where I don’t know who I will vote for in Nov 2012, but I will be voting against the sitting president, who I find an embarrassment.

    Most my students voted for this man, expecting great things; all have been sorely disappointed. BTW, the recent hoopla over Donald Trump has caused some of us to cheer—not because we would have selected this man to represent our party but because things have reached a state that Donald Duck would be preferable.

    This article is one more dirty deal–like the DOJ deciding NOT to pursue criminal charges against the New Black Panthers. I suppose they will be hanging outside polling places in Nov 2012 to intimidate more potential voters! I am just ill thinking about all BO has done, signed, ordered, etc. that we may not yet know about!! This was probably done deliberately because of what Gov. Haley said about ObamaCare.

  3. Great White Rat says:

    Still think Big Labor is “pro-worker”?

    They are not now and never were. They’re pro-POWER for themselves and to that end they’ve enlisted the entire movement in the Democrat party.

    The workers? They’re as unimportant to the union bosses as the children are to the NEA. The workers, at least in non-right-to-work states, are the shlubs who are forced to finance the union political donations. The workers are people whose jobs are held hostage, and they must pay ransom for those jobs out of every paycheck.

    This case is just Obama’s payback to Big Labor. The next time Emporer Narcissus starts braying about what he’s doing to promote job growth, I’d like to see someone pin him down on why he’d rather see communities lose thousands of jobs than risk fewer campaign bucks from the unions.

  4. chsgeecheegirl says:

    The NLRB wants a fight, by God they’ve got one. Bring it on. We will not submit to their continued attempt to destroy this country.

  5. Carlos says:

    The only saving grace of actions like this is that it will keep the economy horrendous for the duration of Obhammud’s only term in office.

    Even the union whores of the NEA will be able to see by that time that their dear leader doesn’t care about them, only their votes. Even whores have a principal about getting something in return for their services, and the rank and file aren’t getting anything except the shaft.

  6. Glenn Bergen says:

    The NLRB doesn’t give Boeing a lot of breathing room. Guess the only option is to move the production facility overseas. We’ll have to find another industry to grow and nurture in the US. It’s a shame because the aerospace industry contributes about 1 in 10 jobs in the US. I had a nice 37 year career with a Boeing competitor. Fortunately, I was salaried, but I had enough experiences with the IAM union issues for a lifetime of grief. Talk about a speedbump to progress.

  7. captaingrumpy says:

    These unions are the same the world over.
    In Australia it’s the unions that keep the governing party in power,but happenings in the US are changing the peoples view of them. Alas ,it is like the US with no apparent person on the other side to vote for.
    Can we have Sarah or Michele,please.

  8. Kent says:

    My little, 6K population, home town in Illinois had a printing company that employed about 200-300 people. They had a union contract due. The unions refused to negotiate a deal for an amount less than a dollar per hour. The company shut the plant and let a few people move to another plant in Kentucky. Rather than take a little for everyone, and less for the union most lost their jobs. This is a county with 15-20% unemployment. Unions do not care about the workers.