In an op-ed written for the conservative National Review, Pawlenty said the NLRB's decision to file a lawsuit to stop Boeing from opening a plant in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, showed the Obama administration was in the tank for unions.
"Last week, the Obama administration filed a lawsuit to prevent a company, Boeing, from creating new jobs in one state rather than another. This is another outrageous overreach by the federal government," Pawlenty wrote. "Not only do we now have a law forcing people to buy a good or service (i.e., healthcare), the federal government is now dictating where companies can and can’t do business!"
Boeing had planned to build 787 airplanes at a plant in Charleston, S.C., instead of its home of Seattle. The NLRB sued to stop it, saying the decision was retribution for union members' strikes in Washington state.
“A worker's right to strike is a fundamental right guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act,” NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon said in a statement when the action was announced. “We also recognize the rights of employers to make business decisions based on their economic interests, but they must do so within the law. I have worked with the parties to encourage settlement in the hope of avoiding costly litigation, and my door remains open to that possibility.”
Pawlenty said NLRB's stance showed the Obama administration was giving labor unions "veto power" over business decisions made by American companies.
"Private businesses should be allowed build new branches or plants anywhere in America — in fact, we should be encouraging it!" he said. "Sadly, President Obama is doing the opposite.
"America deserves a president who will support innovation and investment leading to new jobs and economic opportunities everywhere," he continued. "But today, we have a president beholden to Big Labor, threatening American jobs and undermining economic growth."
Polls show Pawlenty, who has formed an exploratory committee, trailing other potential Republican presidential candidates like Mitt Romney and Donald Trump.