The first question posed to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) at an NAM-sponsored event in Pella, Iowa, on Wednesday dealt with the National Labor Relations Board’s complaint against The Boeing Company for locating new production facilities in South Carolina instead of Washington state. (For more on the event, see The Journal Express, “NAM presents Grassley with legislative excellence award.”)
Sen. Grassley responded with sharp criticism, saying, “”If the law lets the NLRB do this, then we need to change the law.”
It’s an important “if.” In filing its complaint against Boeing for locating a new production line for the 787 Dreamliner plane in South Carolina, the NLRB had to ignore 45 years of the board’s own precedent, which clearly established an employer’s legitimate interest in mitigating the impact of strikes. The U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed that interest in two cases, American Ship Building Co. v. NLRB, 380 U.S. 300 (1965) and NLRB v. Brown, 380 U.S. 286 (1965)].
An Administrative Law Judge has scheduled a June 14 hearing on the NLRB’s complaint, which was filed by the board’s acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, at the instigation of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The NLRB could eventually hear the case and court proceedings are certainly possible, despite the complaint being “legally frivolous” as Boeing characterized it in a tough statement after the Solomon’s action.
But what if? In a very helpful review of the law, the National Review’s Robert VerBruggen describes the vague and poorly written National Labor Relations Act and the process now facing Boeing. (continue reading…)