A subpoena for the NLRB

posted at 10:45 am on August 10, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is slowly but surely becoming an albatross around the neck of this administration and there doesn’t seem to be any quick fix to the problem. Ever since they opened up their assault on Boeing back in April the board has been drawing fire from all sides. And now, apparently tired of the foot dragging and obstructionist tactics being employed, Darrel Issa has let the NLRB know that it’s time to put up or shut up.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has subpoenaed the National Labor Relations Board for documents related to the agency’s case against Boeing, a move that further intensifies an already heated battle over whether the aerospace giant unlawfully retaliated against union members for past strikes by transferring a production facility from Washington to the right-to-work state of South Carolina.

The move comes more than two months after Issa sent a letter to the NLRB’s acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, requesting documents related to the agency’s lawsuit against Boeing. Congressional Republicans have rallied against the NLRB since the agency issued its complaint against Boeing in April, arguing that the lawsuit represents an overreach of the NLRB’s authority. Democrats and labor groups contend that the suit is warranted.

What Issa correctly describes as a “a job-killing precedent” is only attracting this much attention because of the breathtaking power grab being attempted here. And if this shakes out as a legitimate exercise of the board’s power, the entire concept of Right to Work states will be on the decline.

For their part, the NLRB is maintaining their, “who, us?” defense.

The NLRB responded Monday by noting that it has already turned over more than 1,000 pages of documents and arguing that many of the documents Issa has requested will be turned over during the course of the trial.

“To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time since 1940 that the National Labor Relations Board has been the subject of a Congressional subpoena,” [acting general counsel, Lafe] Solomon said in a statement. “I am disappointed and surprised by this development.

Perhaps the board has never been the subject of a subpoena because they’ve never done anything so outrageous as to require one? (Just a thought, Lafe.) And not for nothing, but the whole idea of requesting documents in advance is to prepare your case and be ready to present all of the applicable evidence at the appropriate time. When Congress asks for documents and records now, it’s a rather thin answer to essentially say, “Oh, don’t worry. I’m sure they’ll turn up at some point during the proceedings.”

Issa has a history of being something of a bulldog when he gets his teeth into a problem. But he’s going to need all the tenacity he can muster to take on this one. It looks like the NLRB is planning on standing pat.

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she was just trying to throw something at the wall and hope no one called her on it. That’s the Leftist Way!

Del Dolemonte on August 10, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Exactly. It’s not so much to cure stupid as it is to counter stupid’s assertions with facts for the record.

The notion parallels “they came for the Jews and I did nothing…” The Leftists claim something stupid and I said nothing… The next thing we know, the lie is accepted as fact.

AH_C on August 10, 2011 at 3:18 PM

More intimidation tactics to prevent the NLRB from enforcing writing the law.

crr6 on August 10, 2011 at 11:07 AMFixed

Pretend concern troll mis-wrote.

seven on August 10, 2011 at 3:29 PM


If the ALJ rules against Boeing, the Company can appeal (“file exceptions to”) the ALJ decision. As noted, with three Democrats and only one Republican, we know how that will work out.

If (ha!) the Board rules against Boeing, the Company can seek review of the Board’s order in either the DC Circuit or the circuit in which the case arose, here the Ninth Circuit. My money’s on the DC Circuit, which is what almost all employers choose. (Employers in the Fourth Circuit often choose to file there.) Interestingly, there is no time limit within which an appeal from a Board order must be filed.

Board orders are not self-enforcing. If Boeing fails to abide by a Board order, or it appears that it will fail to do so, the Board can file a request for enforcement only in the circuit in which the case arose — it doesn’t have the choice that respondents have. Here, the Board would happily go to the Ninth Circuit, probably the most liberal circuit court of appeals.

Any losing party may seek review, even if it lost only a part of the case. Thus, if the Board finds in favor of Boeing only on one allegation in the complaint, the Union can seek review, also. In such a situation, the Union may go to the Ninth Circuit and Boeing to the DC Circuit. He who files first wins the choice of court.

Dan Tanna on August 10, 2011 at 3:33 PM

More intimidation tactics to prevent the NLRB from enforcing writing the law.

crr6 on August 10, 2011 at 11:07 AMFixed

Pretend concern troll mis-wrote.

seven on August 10, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Let’s not forget the recent background of NLRB, either.

As wiki reminds us:

From December 2007 until March 2009, the five-member Board had only two members, creating a legal controversy. Three members’ terms expired in December 2007, leaving the NLRB with just two members—Chair Wilma B. Liebman and Member Peter Schaumber. President George W. Bush refused to make some nominations to the Board and Senate Democrats refused to confirm those he did.

And then this

In April 2009, President Obama nominated Craig Becker (Associate General Counsel of the Service Employees International Union), Mark Gaston Pearce (a member on the Industrial Board of Appeals, an agency of the New York State Department of Labor), and Brian Hayes (Republican Labor Policy Director for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) to fill the three empty seats on the NLRB.

Becker’s nomination appeared to fail on February 8, 2010, after Republican Senators (led by John McCain) threatened to filibuster his nomination. President Obama said he would consider making recess appointments to the NLRB due to the Senate’s failure to move on any of the three nominations. On March 27, 2010 Obama recess appointed Becker and Pearce.

Appointing a SEIU thug to “enforce the law”? LOL.

And remember, the Left squealed like stuck pigs whenever Chimpy Bush dared to make recess appointments. O’bama so far is on pace to equal his number of RA’s, and the Left is silent…

Del Dolemonte on August 10, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Defund them yesterday. Follow up the subpoenas with contempt citations. It does little to no good by having hearings and demanding documents then taking months or years to take action against these thugs.

Sporty1946 on August 10, 2011 at 8:23 PM

More intimidation tactics to prevent the NLRB from enforcing the law.

crr6 on August 10, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Get back to class. I don’t think you would know the law if it bit you on your rather large a$$.

Sporty1946 on August 10, 2011 at 8:26 PM