Former NLRB chairman under Bill Clinton says Boeing lawsuit 'unprecedented'

"The general counsel is trying to equate an employer's concern with strikes that disrupt production and make it difficult to make deadlines — he's trying to equate that with hostility toward trade unionism," Gould said. "I don't think that makes sense."

The Boeing lawsuit has riled South Carolina Republicans, and because South Carolina is an early 2012 primary state, it has also become a topic of discussion among GOP presidential hopefuls. The contenders to take on President Obama in 2012 argue the lawsuit shows he is too friendly with labor unions, but the White House has said the president will not comment on the lawsuit because the NLRB is an "independent agency."