Big Government and Big Labor Team Up to Crush Boeing

In case you had any question, union bullying is still alive and well. No, I’m not referring to the recent confrontation in Wisconsin where protesters effectively shut down the state’s government for weeks and carried signs comparing elected officials to Nazis, because they were seeking to solve a serious budget shortfall by limiting collective bargaining rights for public-sector workers.

The latest example of big government and big labor collaborating to intimidate business has much larger implications, especially at a time when unemployment remains high and the economy is still weakly sputtering along.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – a relic of New Deal era politics – has filed suit against Boeing over plans the giant aerospace company is implementing to build the new 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina. The NLRB, which is carrying water for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), is seeking an injunction to force Boeing to build the new plane at an existing plant in the Washington state.

What seems to really irritate the NLRB and the IAM is that South Carolina is a “right-to-work” state. This means an individual is able to work freely without being forced to become a member of a union. Boeing, which had been hurt in recent years by labor disruptions, was concerned about further production issues and the “rate of escalation of wages” at their primary plant on the west coast. For a company itself struggling against rapidly rising costs and increased competition from its European counterpart, Airbus, such concerns are not without merit.

The NRLB, however, has thrown its considerable legal weight behind the IAM, and claims Boeing’s opening of a plant in South Carolina is retaliatory since it and the local chapter of IAM could not reach a “no-strike” agreement. NLRB jumps to the preposterous conclusion that Boeing’s decision violates “workers’ rights.”

Apparently, the right of a business to act in its own self-interest to ensure it is able to continue to produce, has now become an unlawful act.

This is not a case in which Boeing is pulling work from one plant and moving to another; in fact, as Kathleen Parker points out in an editorial at the Washington Post, 2,000 jobs have been added at the Washington-based plant since the plans in South Carolina were announced. The company is simply expanding.

Businesses looking to expand, and states looking to attract new jobs should take notice. The precedent being set by the NLRB, as Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) noted, will allow power-hungry unions to “hold a virtual ‘veto’ over business decisions.”

President Barack Obama has made rolling back regulations a theme this year. If he needs an example of why so many businesses and jobs are going overseas, he need look no further than his own administration and its treatment of Boeing, as “Exhibit A.”

By Bob Barr — The Barr Code

67 comments Add your comment

carlosgvv

May 6th, 2011
7:57 am

Well, Bob, you are getting it partly right. There is Big Government and Big Labor. There is also Big Business, the reason we have the best Congress money can buy. Since money and political power are the bottom lines here, let’s just sit back and see who wins. Of course, any way you look at it, the people lose.

jt

May 6th, 2011
8:13 am

The Federal Government is Boeing’s number 1 customer for its weapons of mass destruction/death.

When you lay down with dogs,don’t be surprised when you wake up with fleas.Let the federal and Boing lawyers litigate the corp completely out of existence. Decent people shouldn’t care.

RM

May 6th, 2011
8:33 am

Why cannot Big Business and Big Union agree right in the middle without going through litigation? What a waste of time and money!

Supreme Being

May 6th, 2011
8:41 am

Carlos you raise some good points. The fact of the matter is that Unions ARE big business. They finance millions for major and politically powerful PAC’s. They have Obama in their hip pocket since they are major political supporters of his. He will kiss their butts all the way to the polls. Their influence on public policy is significant with so many political allies…as you point out…the best money can buy.

carlosgvv

May 6th, 2011
8:48 am

Supreme Being

Unions are big business but they are not the only big business. Big Corporations, like Boeing, are also in this unholy mix and the whole thing is a witches brew of money and politics. Watching all this unfold is like watching a car wreck. Unfortunately, we are in the car and have no seat belts.

professorjoe

May 6th, 2011
9:20 am

This is why companies are moving over seas? What a joke! Legislation like NAFTA is why companies are moving overseas.Ross Perot warned of the great sucking sound and now a million jobs are gone. By the way if these unions are so powerful then why were they unable to stop NAFTA? Because Congress is on the payroll of Coropoate Americia thats why. Go look at the facts and see that the amount of campaign cash put up by unions is miniscule compared to what the banks and corporations put in.Union membership at 10% is less than half what it was during the Eisenhower Administration.During Ike’s administration REAL WAGES for Americans increased 20%.Another result of the decline in Union Membership is the fact that the top 1% of the population now controls 90% of the wealth an amount not seen since the gilded age.If Obama is in the hip pocket of the unions then where the hell was he when 200,000 were on the picket line in Wisconsin? Mr Barr was message to the American Worker is “Be good little boys and girls and agree to work for subsistance wages like the Chinese and Corporate America will come to your town”.

Don't Tread

May 6th, 2011
9:54 am

“Apparently, the right of a business to act in its own self-interest to ensure it is able to continue to produce, has now become an unlawful act.”

And if these people stay in power, the right of individuals to own property and manage it in their own self-interest will also be illegal.

zeke

May 6th, 2011
10:06 am

UNIONS ARE COMMIE AND MUST BE CONSTITUTIONALLY ELIMINATED! DEMOCRATS ARE SOCIALIST, COMMUNIST, AND REGRESSIVES AND NEED TO BE DEFEATED IN EVERY ELECTION!

jm

May 6th, 2011
10:13 am

Aren’t you a little late to this story? And where’s the Obama slam? (Seriously).

The NLRB members are his appointees. And they’re nazis in my book.

Mike

May 6th, 2011
10:15 am

They have Obama in their hip pocket since they are major political supporters of his. Big government and big labor . The same there bad for you and I.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

May 6th, 2011
10:33 am

Well-argued. The NLRB gambit is surely merely a negotiating ploy – no rational court would uphold a bureaucratic ruling that would urge more businesses to pull up roots and move overseas.

Tom Poole

May 6th, 2011
10:51 am

Due to its reliance on government contracts Boeing is at a severe disadvantage, its only real option is to close down Renton/Seattle and move to Canada, but it wont.
The NLRB, packed with union leaders as it is, should be disestablished and all rules voided. There are a (reported) 1,000 jobs in S.C. which wont be filled, Boeing has a 1.5-2Billion Investment that it can write off since the government interferes, and the taxpayer, as usual, gets the bills.
Nice job unions, any wonder many of us think its time to declare the entire country ‘Right to Work’?

Ben the Independant

May 6th, 2011
10:52 am

This is a bad time for big Government and the NLRB to fight ‘Big Business’ when the unemployment rate is 9%. I recall when Eastern Airlines was a great airline that was forced out of business due to union demands. How can a rationally thinking person beleive the NLRB and the Boeing Union are doing the best for the USA’s economy and unemployment?

Really

May 6th, 2011
11:28 am

Since when can the NLRB have the power to tell a company when and where it can do business?

Dreamliner

May 6th, 2011
11:40 am

I live and sell cars in North Charleston, SC, only a mile from the new Boeing plant where the Dreamliner is supposed to be manufactured. North Charleston needs the jobs as bad as any city ever needed jobs. I used to be a liberal democrat from the lunatic fringe who hated Cheney, Bush, Reagan, Nixon, Ike and Teddy Roosevelt, (not to mention the worst liberal prez ever, Aaron Burr).

But now, because the NLRB is trying to steal jobs from people who may buy cars from me, I’m a born again birther Tea Party member and NRA zealot.

Trump 2012: Lets not make the Dreamliner just a North Charleston wet dream.

WOW

May 6th, 2011
11:56 am

Unions are going bust. It’s a matter of time before Obozo goes bust.

dylandawg

May 6th, 2011
11:56 am

If the working folks would all agree to work for say…..7 bucks an hour without benefits than they would all be employed and life would be grand…….silly union folks ruin everything

dylandawg

May 6th, 2011
11:57 am

obozo…funny how you call him that……keep the wit coming

WOW

May 6th, 2011
11:59 am

People are leaving blue states in large numbers. Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin have seen their population leave which is why Walker and Kasich are now fighting unions.

Simply put: Unions have driven up costs, driven companies overseas and bankrupted us. SEE: GM

WOW

May 6th, 2011
12:00 pm

“funny how you call him that”

I’m laughing.

“silly union folks ruin everything”

Then explain people who are NON-UNION who make a lot of money.

Ronald M.

May 6th, 2011
12:01 pm

“If the working folks would all agree to work for say…..7 bucks an hour without benefits”

There’s an application at McDonald’s with your name on it.

dylandawg

May 6th, 2011
12:05 pm

I am glad they are leaving those union states…….now they can all be as poor as the peolpe in right to be poor states….

Old Physics Teacher

May 6th, 2011
12:15 pm

I don’t know why you guys are all complaining about lack of jobs. They’re in the pipeline right now. Times are great! Remember the trickle-down of jobs by “small businesses that create jobs?” Well, they’re coming soon!! The top CEO pay is going up. So their trickle-down will go to the small businesses. The horse-and-oats philosophy touted by the Republican/Tea Party is going to work! Just keep waiting… keep waiting… it’s going to happen soon!!! (They get to decide the definition of “soon” though)

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/ap-impact-ceo-pay-937075.html

Linda

May 6th, 2011
12:35 pm

professorjoe@9:20, Your statement, “…that the amount of cash put up by unions is miniscule compared to what the banks & corporations put in,” is totally false.

Here is a list of the top campaign donors for the past 20 years. Of the top 20, almost all of them are unions who supported Democrats. Of the top 20, only 2 of them are corporations, one of which supported both Democrats & Republicans & only one of which that supported Republicans.

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

the watch dog

May 6th, 2011
12:39 pm

Unions have been plunging headlong down the road that leads to government control. Complaing bitterly that wages are too low and need big labor to negotiate huge wage agreements. There can be no question that unions are single handedly making the U.S. non competitive on the the world stage.Where more and more people can find no work, labor unions on the other hand negotiate wages far out of context with the skill needed to perform that work. When the guy that runs the vacumn over the carpet in the Oval Office gets $100.00 an hour, that is tooo much.
Each worker should be allowed to enter into negotiations with management to seek the best wage for his skill, that is all there is to it.

WOW

May 6th, 2011
12:59 pm

“.now they can all be as poor as the peolpe in right to be poor states….”

Delta is ready when you are.

WOW

May 6th, 2011
1:01 pm

Did someone mention “evil corporations?”

Obama biggest recipient of BP cash

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36783.html

WOW

May 6th, 2011
1:01 pm

“Of the top 20, almost all of them are unions who supported Democrats.”

Oh uh, brain dead left wingers!!!!!!!!!

Patriot

May 6th, 2011
1:14 pm

As the great Ron Paul once said “When you get in bed with government you have to expect the disease it spreads.”

Couldn’t have happened to a greater parasite on the taxpayers as Boeing.

Ronnie Bonzo Reagun

May 6th, 2011
2:17 pm

There you go again…..I fired an entire union, hehe.
Now, anybody want to trade a Stinger for a duffel bag of coke?

Gerald West

May 6th, 2011
2:24 pm

Why shouldn’t people who work for big corporations have unions that push for good worker pay and benefits?

Medical doctors and trial lawyers have professional associations to protect their high fees and excellent working conditions. Rich people and big corporations have political lobbies that gain them subsidies, legal loopholes, and low tax rates.

Why should low-paid employees be denied the right to organize to promote their interests?

Linda

May 6th, 2011
2:45 pm

Gerald West@2:24, Why should low-paid employees be FORCED to join a union that promotes the unions’ interests?

John

May 6th, 2011
3:02 pm

“Simply put: Unions have driven up costs, driven companies overseas and bankrupted us. SEE: GM”

If it’s all because of unions, then can you explain why IT jobs have been moving overseas? IT professionals are not unionized.

Wait for it

May 6th, 2011
3:09 pm

I read a story earlier about Amazon deciding against moving to South Carolina because they were changing tax deal–because Wal-Mart and others were gearing up to sue. There were also some figures quoted that SC offered up a pretty sweet deal to Boeing and were embarassed when finding out the deal was handled too quickly and gave Boeing too much–that they were relieved Boeing wasn’t able to come.
And how about another article in the AJC–our guys voted to continue Delta’s big tax cuts–because it would create jobs. According to today’s article, they are cutting jobs by offereing early out packages to retire. What happened to those new jobs????

John

May 6th, 2011
3:15 pm

“When the guy that runs the vacumn over the carpet in the Oval Office gets $100.00 an hour, that is tooo much.”

And the CEO of Boeing making making over $6,600.00 an hour is not too much?

John

May 6th, 2011
3:21 pm

“Here is a list of the top campaign donors for the past 20 years. ”

Definitely not an accurate list…where’s the Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity, etc.?

John

May 6th, 2011
3:28 pm

Gerald West

You forgot one…who fights for and approves executive pay? The board…and who makes up the board? Executives of other companies…ie., their peers and friends.

Civilian

May 6th, 2011
3:30 pm

Try and NOT be a part of a union at a company that has organized labor and see what they do to your car tires. Cross thir picket lines and get violntly assualted and called a scab. Unions may have had a place 50 years ago. Today they exist to serve their leaders and hold companies and their workers hostage.

Black and White Smiley Faces ☺☻

May 6th, 2011
4:43 pm

Unions = FAIL

Black and White Smiley Faces ☺☻

May 6th, 2011
4:44 pm

Unions = FAIL

….

Robin Dog

May 6th, 2011
5:35 pm

Come on everyone…unions aren’t bad. They’re only looking out for the “little guy”, just not the “little guy” that isn’t in a union. Thank God (hope that doesn’t offend anybody) for the NLRB also! What would we do without them?

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Gerald West

May 6th, 2011
6:09 pm

By the way, has anyone noted that Boeing was offered about $900 million in tax breaks and subsidies, at the expense of SC taxpayers, to move 2500 jobs to SC?

Now, let’s see: $900 million divided by 2500 is the price SC was willing to pay Boeing to create each job in SC.

Perhaps those who were anticipating a job with Boeing in SC should just move to Seattle. Boeing is hiring there, and the pay and benefits are better than anything you can find in SC! “Right to work” is also the “Right to work for less”.

airbus uk worker@broughton

May 7th, 2011
4:23 am

Without knowing the full facts of what’s going on over there, with regards to the role of Trade Unions, I’d be happy for our Trade Union’s Senior Officials(and their branch officials too) to have the balls to stand up to Boeing over this issue. Trade Unions this side of the pond are basically, in a lot of members’ eyes, in managements pocket. It’s pleasing to see Unions standing up for their members! Power to the people!

Ima Union Crook

May 7th, 2011
8:54 am

Actually I would like to see Boeing go under just to get rid of the freeloading,greedy, union slugs and their corrupt, thieving, bosses. The useless slimeballs went on strike right in the middle of the recession when other honest workers were losing their jobs. These slugs are completely useless to society just as the Wisconsin slugs are!!!

Hadam

May 7th, 2011
8:59 am

re: carlosgvv
The only difference is now we have a President stealing money earned by private business and private individuals in order to give it from “Big Unions” that will in turn use Thug tactics to protect the President.

Right to work for what my education and skills will bring me

May 7th, 2011
9:02 am

I have never understood the practice of striking workers calling their replacements “scabs.” Is being called that word supposed to be some big negative impact on me? Am I supposed to drop my tools and run home because, “oh my god, I was called a scab. That’s it. I can no longer function”? Please..please..anything but the scab word. Am I missing something?

poisen pen

May 7th, 2011
9:04 am

If Obama is in the hip pocket of the unions then where the hell was he when 200,000 were on the picket line in Wisconsin?

Proffessorjoe, Fox news done an excellent job explaining why Obama couldn’t walk with the Union people, even though he said during his campaign speech that he would.
It was illegal for him to do so.

poisen pen

May 7th, 2011
9:09 am

Gerald West

May 6th, 2011
6:09 pm
By the way, has anyone noted that Boeing was offered about $900 million in tax breaks and subsidies, at the expense of SC taxpayers, to move 2500 jobs to SC?

Now, let’s see: $900 million divided by 2500 is the price SC was willing to pay Boeing to create each job in SC.

Perhaps those who were anticipating a job with Boeing in SC should just move to Seattle. Boeing is hiring there, and the pay and benefits are better than anything you can find in SC! “Right to work” is also the “Right to work for less”.

Gerald, Do you know what Boeing will pay the workers in SC ? do you know what the benefits are? didn’t think so.
Offering companies tax breaks is common and the return in tax revenues over the years by the workers will be a lot more than what the state gave them.

YoungAeroEngineer

May 7th, 2011
9:34 am

Wishing Boeing to go Under is the wrong thing. Instead, wish for the the products that are now manufactured in Washington to become obsolete (aluminum structured airframes), in favor for the Composite hull structure of the dreamliner which has just added jobs (via Vought) to Milledgeville, GA. Georgia benifits from the Dreamliner in SC due to our geographic location, and the potential of “mom and pop” shops that will be needed as suppliers.

If Boeing “goes under”, then we pass the market share to Airbus, and other competitors entering the large airframe market from Canada, Brazil, and China as well. For the interest of national security and being a leader in inovation, we need companies like Boeing to expand outside of their “historical footprint”. Being an ex-employee of Boeing, I am very much aware of the added value that is infused into the geographic sphere of influence relative to where they are located, not only with industry(jobs) but in the schools (education including K-12) and research, internships, co-ops, and technical experts developing relation ships with local universities. These will be the future employees and investors of the company.

I saw no benifit of SPEAA (the engineering labor union) while employed in Seattle, WA when we went on strike back in 2000. It only destroyed productivity amongst engineers that were too weak minded to get over the fact, some of our collegues crossed the picket line. Working with fickle minded professionals hurts productivity, and is like a cancer. I work for the #1 defense contractor now in a state with right to work laws. There are no free rides here, we seek to constantly improve performance.

The enemy are our international competitors. Thats the platform the Unions should rally around. Just as All manufacturers strategically “share work” internationally, we should do the same domestically. I look at it as the PAC-10 vs the SEC, and we all know which division is the strongest.