Heartland Institute Experts React to NLRB Dropping Boeing Case

Published December 9, 2011

The National Labor Relations Board Friday announced it has abandoned its case against Boeing for opening up a non-union plant in South Carolina, a right-to-work state. The NLRB took action against Boeing in April at the behest of Local 751 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Washington state. The union on Thursday asked the NLRB to drop the case.

The following statements from economic and legal experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Tammy Nash at [email protected] and 312/377-4000. After regular business hours, contact Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/731-9364.

“The NLRB dropped its case against Boeing with a whimper on Friday – a black news hole – not a bang.

“The NLRB said Friday it had settled the case but actually dropped it entirely, in a victory for Boeing. According to the board’s acting general counsel, the case was brought to prevent ‘the loss of future jobs in the Seattle area.’ This isn’t true. The case was brought to punish Boeing for building a plant in South Carolina, a non-union state.

“It is the job of the NLRB to make sure union elections are conducted properly and unfair labor practices are avoided. It is not the job of the NLRB to use labor laws as a pretext for forcing companies to locate new plants in labor-friendly states.

“As Boeing noted, there was an outpouring of outrage in response to the NLRB case against it. The NLRB’s decision to snatch defeat from the jaws of defeat is a victory for free speech.”

Maureen Martin
Senior Fellow for Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“It’s the right decision, but it doesn’t appear the NLRB did it for the right reasons. It only dropped the case at the behest of the union that brought it in the first place, hardly evidence that NLRB is an unbiased regulator. In fact, NLRB’s Lafe Solomon confirmed the anti-business bias remains, saying the board might well file cases again in similar future instances.”

S.T. Karnick
Director of Research
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.