In Labor and Employment, News & Updates

Reacting to ongoing criticism about aerospace manufacturer Boeing Co.’s decision to move its 787 production plant to South Carolina, Congress voted by a vote of 238 to 186 to ban the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) from telling a company where it can operate.

Drafted by Republican Representative Tim Scott ofSouth Carolina, the House of Representatives approved the “Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act” along partisan lines, with only eight Democrats supporting the measure. The impetus for the bill arises from a complaint filed by the NLRB in April, alleging that Boeing violated labor laws by opening a new production line in South Carolina (a right-to-work state) in order to penalize workers in Washington state for recent strikes by machinists. The NLRB action would require Boeing to move its 787 production line back to Washington.

Currently, there are 22 states with right-to-work laws that prohibit union fees from being a condition of employment. “My legislation will remove the NLRB’s ability to kill jobs,” Scott said. “The government, especially the unelected board, does not need to be involved in the business decisions of the private sector.”

Whether the matter will be taken up by the U.S. Senate is dubious and the Obama Administration has not expressed a specific position on the matter.

Author(s): Timothy M. Ravich

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