AGs stand by Boeing's labor decision

By John O'Brien | Jun 9, 2011


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Sixteen state attorneys general have submitted a brief to the National Labor Relations Board in support of Boeing's decision to assemble a certain airplane in one of its non-union facilities in South Carolina.

Boeing chose not to have workers in the Puget Sound area of Washington work on 787 Dreamliner airplanes because that facility, which has unionized workers, poses a higher threat of a strike. The NLRB says Boeing violated two sections of the National Labor Relations Act.

In April, nine state AGs wrote to the NLRB to express their disappointment in the agency. That number grew by seven in Thursday's brief.

"The general counsel's unprecedented application of the NLRA will harm the ability of every state - both right-to-work states and non-right-to-work states - to attract businesses and promote new job growth," the brief says.

"To begin with, the NLRB's eagerness to impute anti-union animus to Boeing's business decision will discourage existing employers from constructing future facilities - and creating new jobs - in right-to-work states.

"Under the general counsel's theory, any employer that has ever endured a strike at its unionized facilities could be improperly charged with retaliation simply because the company exercised its discretion to open a new factory in a state with a more favorable business climate."

The NLRB says Boeing violated two sections of the NLRA because its statements were coercive to employees and it was retaliating for past strikes. The NLRB seeks an order that would require Boeing to move the production line to Washington.

A NLRB administrative law judge will conduct a hearing on June 14 in Seattle. Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna is not one of the AGs who signed the brief.

Those who did sign the brief are South Carolina's Alan Wilson, Texas' Greg Abbott, Alabama's Luther Strange, Arizona's Tom Horne, Colorado's John Suthers, Florida's Pam Bondi, Georgia's Sam Olens, Idaho's Lawrence Wasden, Kansas' Derek Schmidt, Michigan's Bill Schuette, Nebraska's Jon Bruning, Oklahoma's Scott Pruitt, South Dakota's Marty Jackley, Utah's Mark Shurtleff, Virginia's Ken Cuccinelli and Wyoming's Gregory Phillips.

Phillips is the only Democrat in the group.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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