Issa wants more documents from NLRB in Boeing investigation

The chairman of the House Oversight Committee said Tuesday that the National Labor Relations Board had not provided all the documents the committee requested for its investigation of the NLRB's case against airplane manufacturer Boeing. 

The NLRB has filed a legal complaint alleging Boeing decided to build a plant that would produce 787 airplanes in South Carolina in retaliation for labor strikes by workers at its Puget Sound plant near Seattle.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) requested documents related to the case, some of which NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon provided. But in a letter to Solomon obtained by The Hill, Issa said Solomon had not provided enough information. 

“I appreciate the documents you produced on May 27, 2011 and June 29, 2011; however, production of the various motions filed in the case and hearing transcripts do not comply with the entirety of the request,” Issa wrote to Solomon in the letter, dated Tuesday. “Therefore, your response is not complete.” 

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In a June 29 letter to Issa that The Hill also obtained Tuesday, Solomon wrote that he was providing documents related to the communications between his office and the International Association of Machinists, the union that represents Boeing workers in Seattle. But Solomon told Issa he was only releasing “discoverable” information about the Boeing case — in the interest of due process. 

Solomon wrote that the decision was made in accordance with a ruling from Issa's committee during a June 17 hearing on the matter in Charleston, S.C. 

“Your ruling strikes an appropriate and fair balance between the committee's legitimate informational needs and the agency's legitimate needs to secure the due process rights of the parties to a fair trial,” Solomon wrote. “I believe that extending the application of your ruling to the document request would continue to ensure fairness to the litigants.” 

Issa disagreed in his letter Tuesday, telling Solomon there was “no legal authority to support your position that the transmission of documents or information to this committee violates these rights.” 

“In order to fulfill the committee's constitutional obligations to conduct oversight to determine whether the NLRB is properly carrying out its mandate under the (National Labor Relations Act) and, in turn, using taxpayer dollars appropriately, the committee needs all the documents requested," Issa wrote. 

Boeing opened its new plant last month in Charleston. If the NLRB complaint is ultimately successful, however, the company could be forced to build the planes it intends to build there in Seattle instead.

 An administrative law judge in Seattle dismissed a Boeing motion to dismiss the case at the end of June. The case is expected to last several weeks.