The first stage in the process of the NLRB v. Boeing begins today at a hearing before an administrative law judge in Seattle, Washington. While it is unclear how long this initial stage will take to resolve, it will not be the final act in this absurd play. Indeed, this case is likely to be considered by the board itself and will wend its way through the U.S. District Courts. It may end up before the Supreme Court before all is said and done.
Boeing has made clear its commitment to fighting this complaint through the district court system where they expect to get a fairer shake than could be expected before the NLRB. This raises an interesting question – is the NLRB process broken?
A degree of certainty is what businesses need to have confidence in decision-making. By filing and pursuing this complaint, the NLRB has poured sludge into the engine of our economy – capital investment. If businesses wishing to expand operations cannot know if or when the government will step in to second-guess or forcibly require particular decisions on where to invest their capital or whom they can hire, how can we possibly expect a robust recovery?
In this case, we have a company that has developed a product in great demand and needs to expand to keep up with that demand, but the federal government is standing in their way. The result is over a billion dollars of their capital is on the line – along with over 1,000 workers’ jobs.
Joe Trauger is vice president for human resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.
Update: Click here to read Boeing’s Motion to Dismiss which was filed today.
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