NLRB Butts Out of Boeing’s Business

Yesterday the National Labor Relations Board withdrew their lawsuit against Boeing. Let’s try to connect the dots.

  1. In 2009, Boeing held a competition to chose a second site to build their new 787 fuel efficient wide body airplane, to meet their large backlog of orders. The State of Washington competed hard for this plant, as did several other states.
  2. In October 2009, the site selection committee chose South Carolina based on objective criteria like tax benefits, plentiful educated workforce, access to transportation for arrival of parts from around the world, access to local suppliers, local laws (right-to-work in South Carolina means the workers can work without joining a union), and other factors.
  3. Boeing spent $750 million building the plant and just as they were ready start up production
  4. The majority Democrat NLRB filed a complaint against the company for moving jobs out of state to bust a union.
  5. The Republicans line up with Boeing. Sen. Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, introduced national right-to-work legislation in Congress in March.
  6. The Democrats line up with the NLRB. Pelosi: Stop wining and just join a union in South Carolina.
  7. In 2011, Boeing held a competition to chose a site to build their new 737-Max fuel efficient narrow body airplane, to meet their large backlog of orders. The State of Washington competed hard for this plant, as did several other states.
  8. In November 2011, The site selection committee chose Renton, Washington, home of the current 737 line, where the union is strongly entrenched, and the local skilled workforce has built narrow body planes for decades.
  9. The machinist union negotiated a four year contract with terms essentially unchanged from the current agreement
  10. The NLRB withdrew their complaint

Two interpretations:

  • Nice company you have there, stockholders of Boeing. It would be shame is something happened to it. We bought and paid for the President, we want our money’s worth. Sick your attack dogs on them, Barak.
  • Nice union you have there, workers of Boeing. It would be a shame if all the work went away. We pay your salaries and generous benefits on time, we want our money’s worth. Sign the new agreement and make the attack dogs go away.

I think they are both true. What do you think?

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  • jim_m

    I think Boeing probably wised up and took a page from the Gibson Guitar incident and said; “Nice government bureaucracy you’ve got there.  How about I take my company and move all its manufacturing overseas where you can’t regulate it and tax it anymore?”

    • Yeah – how dare the United States tax a fine upstanding corporation like Boeing.

      They should move elsewhere  — someplace where we can then bomb them into oblivion.

      • How dare they act as a free business and not sit there and be repeatedly punched in the face by patently illegal actions by liberal government bureaucrats?

  • Anonymous

    The first interpretation is a clear certainty.  The second could also be interpreted as Boeing deciding to make lemonade.

  • jim_m

    Building the new 737 variant in Renton makes a lot of sense.  You have a trained and skilled workforce already in place that can be supplemented with new workers.  That alone means that getting production up and running can potentially be done swiftly reducing costly delays that could offset problems with your unions.

    I think the NLRB dropping its suit is due to the fact that they are facing possible extinction with a GOP Presidency given their maneuvers to continue operating with too few board members.  The NLRB was going o lose any lawsuit over the SC factory and the GOP was going to kill the board entirely if it became a dem beachhead for forced unionization.

    The dems overplayed their hand and they know it.  And while I was jesting about moving manufacturing overseas, that actually is the obama admin’s policy for American business.

    • herddog505

      I think that you’re probably right, but your analysis depends on democrats being smart enough to realize that, as you say, a future GOP president / Congressional majority might undo what they’ve done.

      So far, Barry and his gang haven’t shown that sort of foresight: they have behaved as if there will be permanent democrat rule (God help us) or, at least, the GOP would NEVER govern with the kind of autocratic style of the democrats.

  • Anonymous

    Let the SC plant build up some expertise over the next several years.  Then pull the plug on the Washington plant.

    Tell the Washington workers that they are now free to suck at the union teat.

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  • Cecil Bordages

    Here’s what I don’t get. The NLRB stated in the lawsuit that they believed Boeing broke federal labor laws by building a plant in SC. How does the unioin withdrawing their complaint change this fact? Or was the NLRB lying when they said the law was being broken?

    • Anonymous

      I agree, Boeing just kicked the legs out from NLRB’s false legal entanglement which would have caused Boeing years of legal battles.  Like the old Ancient Greek victory  of winning the Pyrrhic Battle,  Boeing would have won with 3 men standing.  The Union and Boeing would go away with that type outcome. The American taxpayer foots the bill and China gets the manufacturing. Nice NLRB, go back and suck lemons in some back street in Washington DC.

  • The NLRB action was always negotiating leverage.  They could not possibly win in court in the end, but they could cost Boeing billions in lost production while they litigated.  So Boeing sweetened the new contract with the union workers in the Northwest.

    Which was the point all along.

    No matter what happens, NLRB has demonstrated it has outlived any possible usefulness and should be defunded.  At the least, no more appointees should be permitted so long as the GOP controls either House or Senate or White House. 

    • jim_m

      I think that the NLRB really hoped that they could get Boeing to close its SC plant entirely.  Certainly Pelosi hoped so.  The dems have come out publicly behind the idea hat no new factories should be built in he US without union involvement.

      This has certainly been a shot across the bow of any US company that will consider expansion of production in the US.  Between Boeing and Gibson the undeniable message is: manufacture your goods outside the US or the Federal Government will destroy you.

      • Anonymous

        Of course, between Boeing and Gibson, the Obama administration also managed to piss off both left and right sides of the political spectrum.  A few of my lefty friends were deeply outraged at the Gibson screwup.

      • Solomon and the far-left Democratic appointees at NLRB may have thought that, but after Boeing had already spent around $1 billion in building the new plant, that was never going to happen without a fight.

        But I certainly wouldn’t put it past the Marxist bastards to have hoped.

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  • Anonymous

    The Gunny, R. Lee Ermey, USMC seems to have a “burr” under the saddle when it comes to President Barack Obama.