Wyatt Employment Law Report

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House of Representatives Passes Bill to Prevent NLRB From Ordering Relocation of Work

By Edwin S. Hopson

On July 19, 2011, in response to the NLRB’s issuance of complaint against Boeing arising out of Boeing’s decision to build a number of its new 787 Dreamliners in a non-union plant in South Carolina, a bill entitled The Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act, H.R.2587, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Tim Scott (R-SC).  In part, it would amend the National Labor Relations Act so as to prohibit the NLRB from ordering any employer to relocate, shutdown or transfer employment under any circumstances, and would apply to all cases not yet fully adjudicated before the Board.

H.R. 2587 on September 15, 2011, passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 238 to 186.  Those voting in favor included some 7 Democratic members of the House.  Eight Republicans voted against the bill. Passage of this measure in the Democratically controlled Senate is doubtful at this time.

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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.”