Thursday, September 15, 2011


Protect Free Enterprise: Limit NLRB’s Power   

If you were a small or large business owner, could you ever imagine that here in America the government would dictate where you could or could not relocate or expand your production facility or business? Well, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) backed by liberal labor unions has done just that to aerospace giant Boeing.

In 2009 Boeing decided to open a new assembly line in North Charleston, South Carolina. The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) filed a complaint with the NLRB alleging that locating the plant in South Carolina, which is a right-to-work state, rather than expanding the home-based Washington-state facility which employs union workers, amounted to illegal retaliation against union members. NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon then sought to file a criminal complaint against Boeing for relocating in a non-union facility. Boeing then increased the size of its unionized Washington work force and placed only new work in Charleston, but it didn’t matter. The NLRB continued the lawsuit regardless of the fact that there has been no actual financial loss or immediate impact on union workers.

In a constitutionally-sound America, Boeing, or any other company, would be free to locate their business anywhere without government interference -- the ability to move capital is very much a core principle of free market capitalism. The frightening thing is that this case of union protectionism by the NLRB really shouldn’t be left in the hands of the courts. 

South Carolina Representative Tim Scott (R) has come to the rescue by introducing H. R. 2587, Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act, “To prohibit the National Labor Relations Board from ordering any employer to close, relocate, or transfer employment under any circumstance.” Rep. Scott believes that the federal attack on Boeing poisons investments by hurting job growth and job hiring.  The measure would amend the National Labor Relations Act and deny the NLRB the power to:

(1) order an employer (or seek an order against an employer) to restore or reinstate any work, product, production line, or equipment;
(2) rescind any relocation, transfer, subcontracting, outsourcing, or other change regarding the location, entity, or employer who shall be engaged in production or other business operations; or
require any employer to make an initial or additional investment at a particular plant, facility, or location. Applies the amendment made by this Act to any complaint for which a final adjudication by the NLRB has not been made by the date of enactment.

Earlier this year Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Representative Tim Scott had introduced a bill similar to H.R. 2587 in the House and Senate: the Job Protection Act (S. 964 and H.R. 1976, respectively). The Senate version has 36 cosponsors and the House version has 35.

There are over 185 trade organizations and groups that support these measures, while only nine big labor unions oppose them -- the powerful AFL-CIO, IAM, and UAW among them. The NLRB has historically furnished protection and showed great favoritism for big labor unions so expect vigorous opposition from the bigger unions.

Is this assault and harassment of Boeing something that promotes the expansion of businesses and jobs?  Or is it the aggressive agenda that has the potential to severely harm economic growth and totally destroy the natural balance of the workplace, pitting employees against the employers who give them their paychecks in exchange for a fair days‘ work?  

Help protect free enterprise by eliminating the powerful chokehold unions have over employers and employees via the NLRB that costs our nation jobs, hurts small business and discounts and undermines right-to-work states by supporting these measures. Contact your Representative and Senators and educate them about H.R. 2587, H.R. 1976, and S. 964 for real job creation and stimulus the natural way -- in the private sector and without government interference that heavily favors organized labor. 


Your friends at The John Birch Society

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