Wyatt Employment Law Report

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Senate Ups the Ante In “Poker Game” with NLRB Over Boeing Complaint

By George J. Miller

In further response to the decision of the Acting General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board to issue a complaint against the Boeing Company over its decision to assemble a certain number of 787 aircraft at a non-union facility in South Carolina and not to assemble them at unionized facility in Washington because of the strike history of the union-represented machinists at that facility (see May 4th blog post below by Ed Hopson), on May 12, 2011, South Carolina Republican Senators Lindsay Graham and Jim DeMint introduced Senate Bill 964, called the “Jobs Protection Act.”  The bill is co-sponsored by 31 other Republican Senators.

As of today, the printed text of the bill has not been received by the Senate.  What is known about it is from a press release issued bySenatorLamarAlexander(R-TN), a co-sponsor, who said in part:

“Specifically, the Job Protection Act would, first, explicitly clarify that the NLRB cannot order an employer to relocate jobs from one location to another; two, guarantee an employer the right to decide where to do business within the United States; and, three, protect an employer’s free speech regarding the costs associated with having a unionized workforce without fear of such communication being used as evidence in an anti-union discrimination suit.”

Senator Graham also issued a statement, stating that the legislation is necessary because, “the NLRB is doing the bidding of the unions at a great cost toSouth Carolinaand our nation’s economy. The foundation of the NLRB complaint against Boeing would destroy the American business community’s ability to negotiate and make rational business decisions.”

Senator DeMint added that, “right-to-work states are winning the future forAmerica’s economy, yet this administration seems intent on stamping out this model of success. This is a reprehensible act and an obvious kickback to union bosses the President is depending on helping his reelection.”