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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

NLRB Still Needs Reining In

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has worked hard to make itself a political lightning rod by taking a pro-labor union, anti-business agenda to previously unimagined levels.

While the NLRB tends to shift between leaning more pro-labor union with Democratic majorities and more pro-business with Republican majorities, this NLRB has been captured completely by a militant big labor agenda.

Consider the now-infamous Boeing example. In an April complaint, the NLRB's acting general counsel sought an order requiring Boeing to shift its second line of 787 Dreamliner aircraft assembly production away from a new plant in South Carolina to the state of Washington. What's the beef? The NLRB complaint effectively said that building planes in South Carolina means that Boeing "has engaged in unfair labor practices" against the firm's unionized workers in Washington. In reality, no union jobs were being cut by Boeing in Washington. The driving force behind this complaint was that labor union leaders and their political sympathizers despise and fear right-to-work states. In 22 right-to-work states, of which South Carolina is one, workers cannot be forced to join a union, nor compelled to pay dues to labor unions, while the other 28 states have compulsory union membership if a union has a contract with the employer.

At the end of November, however, a deal between Boeing and the International Association of Machinists was struck, and it should bring the South Carolina issue with the NLRB to an end, as it was the machinist union that brought the complaint in the first place.

However, that would still leave a great and dangerous uncertainty in the marketplace as to whether or not the NLRB has the authority to dictate where firms can do business. U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) was absolutely correct in saying the following in a statement: "Real and serious damage to America's competitiveness has already been done. Those on the NLRB board who acted like union thugs and led this attack on workers' rights should resign immediately." ...

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