by Max Brantley
Any day is a good day for labor bashing by the Republican Party. The latest gimmick is a Republican effort — a la the challenge to health care reform — to round up attorneys general from around the U.S. to sue over the National Labor Relations Board's decision that Boeing illegally moved a manufacturing line to South Carolina to get away from a union workforce in Washington.
The usual Republican yappers are yapping because Attorney General Dustin McDaniel hasn't immediately thrown in with Republican A.G.s (Republican dogma: business owner and profits good; workers' rights bad.) Their intervention in this case is superflous as well as purely political. This case is going to be litigated to a fare-thee-well whether a right-to-work state like Arkansas gets involved or not. Boeing, believe it or not, can afford legal counsel.
I wrote about this case in the early going. The link includes some good references to the law in the case, in which a key player is an Arkansas native, Lafe Solomon, who's now a lawyer for the NLRB.
If you're a Republican you won't be interested, but the NLRB's fact sheet might be of interest to others. For example:
The complaint issued by the Acting General Counsel (19-CA-32431) alleges that Boeing violated two sections of the National Labor Relations Act by making coercive statements and threats to employees for engaging in statutorily protected activities, and by deciding to place the second line at a non-union facility, and establish a parts supply program nearby, in retaliation for past strike activity and to chill future strike activity by its union employees.
The investigation found that Boeing officials communicated the unlawful motivation in multiple statements to employees and the media. For example, a senior Boeing official said in a videotaped interview with the Seattle Times newspaper: "The overriding factor (in transferring the line) was not the business climate. And it was not the wages we’re paying today. It was that we cannot afford to have a work stoppage, you know, every three years."
The complaint also alleges that Boeing’s actions were “inherently destructive of the rights guaranteed employees by Section 7 of the Act."
When you don't like a law, ignore it. Or if it's enforced, sue.