The Economist published an article about the latest National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) involvement in Boeing’s decision to expand in South Carolina and they show that the recent ruling by the NLRB sets a dangerous precedent that will lead to more companies building manufacturing sites in foreign countries.
As a refresher to this issue, you can check out this post at Red State. Boeing decided to expand in South Carolina and they built a new facility to manufacture its new 787 airplane. Boeing, which is a private corporation, has the right to build plants anywhere in the world it sees fit and chose South Carolina due to its business friendly environment and also because it is a right-to-work state which means employees are not obligated to join a union. Boeing’s other airline manufacturing plants are in Washington state which is not a right-to-work state and the union there has caused major issues with Boeing so it is not surprising that they would want to expand in an area that doesn’t contain these anti-business groups.
The International Association of Machinists (IAM) brought a complaint to the NLRB stating that Boeing was retaliating against the Union and chose to expand in a non-union state. In a sane world this claim would be dismissed out of hand because there was no ‘retaliation’ since no jobs in Washington were eliminated and Boeing was building the plant in South Carolina to cover expansion.
And doesn’t Boeing have a right to build a manufacturing site where they’ll see little work stoppages due to union strikes which the IAM has participated in over the past decade? The Red State post states the problem clearly in the following quote:
“The IAM struck Boeing for two months in fall 2008, the fourth strike in a decade. Early the following year, Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney told Washington’s congressional delegation the repeated strikes were a major problem and the company would seek another location for its second 787 assembly line unless the union agreed to a long-term no-strike clause.”
But the NLRB didn’t see it that way and continued to review the complaint but miraculously dropped the case earlier this month and while that should have been cause for celebration, The Economist article describes why it was a sad day in US business history.
“It seems that the NLRB, a legacy of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, chose to drop the case only after it was asked to by representatives of the International Association of Machinists, the main Boeing union. The union told the government agency that it had just struck a lucrative deal with Boeing covering its workers in Washington state. With the deal done, the union no longer needed the government to hold a helpful gun to Boeing’s head.
Boeing declared victory, but fooled no one. For this sets a precedent: the federal government’s supposedly neutral representatives will threaten a company with serious harm if it doesn’t make concessions to unions. That gives firms a powerful incentive never to set foot in union-friendly states in the first place. Many will doubtless build their factories abroad, where the NLRB’s bureaucratic bruisers can’t threaten them.”
So the NLRB dropped the claim after the IAM removed their grievance but the IAM didn’t do this until they received concessions bribes from Boeing.
This decision by the NLRB defines a new climate in US business where companies will be forced to either build facilities in Union friendly states (and sacrifice market share and profit) or come under the scrutiny of the NLRB. Businesses will make the obvious choice to move these sites to other countries that are not under the jurisdiction of the NLRB and US unemployment will continue to rise.
Unions have already destroyed many areas of the country (see Flint Michigan) and they are intent to do this in the rest of the country as well. Liberals are their accomplice in this injustice since they see Unions as a guaranteed voting demographic but little do they know that Unions are rapidly becoming irrelevant due to their low membership and eventually America will wake up and see them as thugs who are nothing more than a cancer to US businesses.