It began last week when the NLRB issued a complaint against Boeing for opening a new production line in South Carolina, a right to work state. The NLRB claimed this move violated national labor laws by hindering the union workers’ right to strike in Washington State, where much of Boeing’s production line is based. They used statements made by Boeing in the press on how the frequent strikes by union workers and their constant demand for higher wages had a negative impact on the company.
This is the first time in history the NLRB has argued that a company is violating federal law simply based on where they choose to locate a factory.
Now keep in mind, Boeing wasn’t moving jobs to South Carolina and they weren’t laying off employees in Washington. Rather, they opted to build and operate a new factory in South Carolina.
Did the cost of labor play a role in their decision to open this factory in South Carolina? Of course it did. Just as, I’m sure, state tax rates and property value also played a role in their decision.
Should that mean that the National Labor Relations Board, headed by a man so controversial the Democrat controlled Senate refused to confirm him to the post, should step in and tell a private company where they can build a factory? Absolutely not.
This unprecedented overreach of power by the NLRB sets a dangerous precedent that will affect the rights of businesses across the country. It tells companies they could be punished for doing business in right to work states, like Georgia, and potentially lose millions of dollars in investment in these states. Even worse, it tells states like Georgia they don’t deserve new jobs or economic growth unless they go along with the demands of unions in other states.
Maybe I missed the part of the Constitution that said the 10th Amendment does not apply to individual interpretations of federal laws pertaining to labor unions; but I doubt it.
After that dramatic overreach of power last week, the NLRB continued their efforts to expand the power of labor unions in this country by notifying the attorneys general of Arizona and South Dakota that it will file lawsuits against the states for their laws requiring workers to hold secret ballot elections to form unions. South Carolina and Utah have enacted similar laws and the NRLB informed them lawsuits against them would soon follow.
These secret ballot laws are in response to Congressional Democrats and the White House’s attempts to enact the job-killing card check legislation, which would outlaw the use of secret ballots to form labor unions. So while elections for President of the United States or Congress are conducted using a secret ballot, the determination of whether or not employees want to form a union would not.
Democrats and unions oppose the use of secret ballots because it doesn’t allow them to know who opposed the unions, even though secret ballots ensure retaliation or intimidation will not be used to force a workers hand.
So basically, after liberal Democrats in Washington failed to pass labor union legislation in the last two and a half years, they’ve decided to circumvent the legislative process. It’s appalling and clearly is a political move by the NLRB and the Obama Administration to pay back the labor unions. Not to mention the fact that it steps over the 10th Amendment and the rights of states to determine their own laws.
These two moves by the NLRB are substantial departures from current law, or past practices by the agency, and are absolutely unacceptable. I am working with my staff and some of my colleagues to stop these actions by the NLRB and will continue to in the future.