South Carolina Fight Against the NLRB Continues

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While the recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to drop its lawsuit against Boeing’s new South Carolina plant may have signaled the end of its battle with Boeing, there are numerous signs that South Carolina’s battles with the agency will continue.  Instead of resting on their laurels, many in South Carolina are continuing to battle the agency on a number of fronts, as well as continuing to work to protect workers’ rights from labor union interference.

The first sign of trouble came in January just after South Carolina voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment protecting the right of workers to decide union issues by secret ballot. In a letter to state Attorney General Alan Wilson, the NLRB threatened to file suit if the state sought to implement the amendment, seeking assurances that such implementation would not take place. Wilson rebuffed the demands and pledged to stand by state voters, saying, “I don’t know how you don’t defend a sweeping decision made by eighty-six percent of your state’s voters.” According to Wilson, the NLRB has yet to follow up on their threat, instead focusing their current efforts upon overturning similar laws in Utah and Arizona. While he couldn’t predict future NLRB action, his office is “keeping its powder dry” and is ready to act should action be taken against South Carolina.

The NLRB also took aim at one of South Carolina’s largest industrial development successes to date- Boeing’s 787 “Dreamliner” plant in North Charleston – filing suit to keep the plant from opening. Following years of failed negotiations with labor unions in Washington state, Boeing chose to open its new 787 plant in South Carolina at the location of a small Boeing plant whose workers had just voted overwhelmingly to de-certify (kick out) the union in their plant. In a highly-publicized battle led by House Republicans, including a tense House subcommittee hearing held near the site of the new plant, the NLRB was taken to task for what was believed to be government retaliation on behalf of labor unions. Last week, after Boeing completed negotiations with labor unions at their Seattle production plants, the NLRB dropped their case against Boeing just in time for the first Dreamliners to roll off production lines.

While the Boeing case may be closed, South Carolina hasn’t stopped fighting back. South Carolina State Senator Paul Campbell (R-Goose Creek), a retired Alcoa executive who was one of South Carolina’s negotiators for the 787 plant, predicted that the state’s fight with the NLRB and the labor unions will continue, calling the NLRB a “pawn for labor unions.” South Carolina Congressman Tim Scott (R-North Charleston), a former Charleston County Council Chair who played a key role in efforts to bring both Boeing, as well as the Vought Aerolina plant which was the precursor of the Boeing plant, to the Charleston area, shared Campbell’s view, saying, “Their (the NLRB) side is not the state, their side is not fairness – their side is the labor unions.”

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  • davarino

    Obama's little totalitarians doing his dirty work. We told you this guy doesnt play fair. How is a vote valid if it isnt secret? Next we'll be voting for president with his goons watching over our shoulder.

    • trickyblain

      "How is a vote valid if it isnt secret?"

      You do know that when you vote for President, Congress, dog catcher, etc., it's part of the public record (e.g., not secret)?

      • Rick_in_VA

        The number of votes per polling place may be public record, but not who YOU actually voted for. At least not yet.

  • StephenD

    The NLRB is just doing what it is told to do. Same with the Justice Dept. I fully expect, if re-elected, Obama will come right out and tell these companies he wants them to move to China. It seems that is what he's forcing them to do as it is. And, he can point to his buddy at GE to see the benefits of doing so. I wonder what is in it for him??

    • jacob

      Rightly said ! ! !
      If there would be an impartial media, OBAMA's trip to COPENHAGEN to plead
      for the seat of the next olympics or whatever was on the balance to take place
      in CHICAGO ???

      Where did I read that his bossom pals are slum lords ????
      Can you imagine the kind of killing theuy would have made if this project would
      have materialized ????
      There is an old proverb stating : THINK EVIL AND YOU'LL HAVE GUESSED IT
      RIGHT…! ! !
      Now imagine the feast the media would have had if it would have been BUSH ???

  • jacob

    I certainly believe we need unions as much as we need another hole in our heads
    The SIMON LEGREE bosses went the way of the dinosaurs and there is no need
    to have a gangsters ridden organizations preying on the sweat of the workers and
    politically partial for a political party as all of them are for the DEMOCRAP party and
    worse yet, have an overlord such as this NLRB calling the shots in the most ugly
    possible way, as proven by this BOEING plant in S. Carolina and its shameless
    and impudent opposition to the rules of a "right to work" state.
    It is time already to clear the scum sitting there and replace them with real impartial
    and honest people, whether the Emperor and the unions like it or not