A big week for labor?

posted at 10:05 am on December 1, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Three items of note are rolled into one in terms of labor news this week, and while some – particularly among union leadership – may be cheering, it’s far from a good day for workers. The first item up is that there is a tentative deal in place between Boeing and the machinists unions over the future production of Boeing’s new 737 MAX aircraft. While it still requires ratification, it seems that the union will receive a variety of new benefits and keep a lot of jobs at the Renton, Wash. plant while Boeing still gets to go into production for some components in South Carolina.

Under the proposal, Machinists would get a 2 percent wage increase each year of the contract. They’d also get a new performance-based incentive program, their pensions would be preserved along with retirees’ medical benefits, and they’d get a $5,000 ratification bonus.

So even given all of the meddling by the NLRB and debates over the freedom of the company to do business where it makes the most sense, this must be good news, right? Not so fast.

Sen. Lindsey Graham said a deal that would result in NLRB dropping the grievance “would certainly be welcome,” but he was wary of the NLRB’s role in the Washington negotiations.

“If the NLRB is becoming an extension of negotiation, and they’ve become a tool or device to be used by unions to make business do what they would like, that’s a disastrous outcome,” he told POLITICO. “It would be terrible if the NLRB has become a hammer in negotiating.”

If the end result is jobs in both locations and Boeing being able to produce and sell their product, that’s nothing to sneeze at. But at the same time, one has to wonder how much work will be going to South Carolina now and how much would have been going there had the NLRB not been applying strong-arm tactics against private industry all this time.

At the same time, one of the chief culprits in the NLRB’s attacks on labor, their general counsel Lafe Solomon, is getting himself a new job. What will he be doing next? He will become, in effect, President Obama’s new “jobs czar.” (Given that he’s currently suing four states on behalf of the board, the gallows humor in this should be obvious.)

Lafe Solomon is one of the most powerful bureaucrats in America and is about to get much more powerful. He is the acting general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), best known for suing Boeing Co. over the opening of a billion-dollar manufacturing plant that created thousands of jobs in South Carolina. He also is suing four states – Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah – for enacting state constitutional protections for secret ballot voting. He is about to inherit broad powers intended to be exercised by the NLRB itself, effectively making him President Obama’s newest czar. Perhaps he’ll be called the “no new jobs czar.”

At nearly the same time, the NLRB managed to pass their sneak attack union authorization rule on a party line 2-1 vote. While this was expected – if depressing – Republican leadership in the House fired back by approving the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act. (H.R. 3094) Should they manage to get this all the way through and on the books – sadly unlikely with Obama holding the pen – the measure would begin clamping down on the NLRB and promoting a business climate more conducive to job creation. Eric Cantor released the following statement.

“I am focused on repealing the regulations that are hindering economic growth and preventing businesses from creating jobs. The passage of this bill will improve the environment for job creation by preventing the Obama Administration’s activist National Labor Relations Board from enacting regulations that would increase costs on businesses and make it harder for them to grow. I thank Chairman Kline for sponsoring this legislation to keep long-standing protections in place for our workforce.”

That’s a lot of news to cover in one roundup, but take the time read through the links and to absorb it. Don’t be fooled by any of the optimistic headlines running around. Aside from the passage of H.R. 3094 (which is never going to become law) this has been a very bad week for business, for workers, and our prospects for improved job creation. And it’s been a very good week for labor union bosses and the NLRB.

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F-uck, why didn’t Hayes resign from the NLRB? He only threatened to. I’m very disappointed in him. So much for courage.

Ward Cleaver on December 1, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Annual wage increases of 2 percent, plus cost-of-living adjustments; An incentive program intended to pay bonuses between 2 and 4 percent; A ratification bonus of $5,000 for each member;
Increases to the formula for calculating pensions in each year of the pact; and Guarantees that new hires would continue to receive traditional pensions.

It’s been nice knowing you Boeing.

forest on December 1, 2011 at 10:14 AM

And it’s been a very good week for labor union bosses and the NLRB

No, it’s been another very good week for socialist takeover of our individual liberties.

Skywise on December 1, 2011 at 10:16 AM

You got listen to this!!! Best take ever!

Adam Carolla Breaks Down Occupy Movement: ‘F**king Self-Entitled Monsters’

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/adam-carolla-breaks-down-occupy-movement-fking-self-entitled-monsters/

Zcat on December 1, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Boeing bailout in 5….4….3

Ughhhhh

cmsinaz on December 1, 2011 at 10:20 AM

So the Republican on the NRLB decided to vote instead of resign. What’s up with that?

Throw them all out!

danking70 on December 1, 2011 at 10:20 AM

We have got to get rid of these Czars, no one should have that much power without confirmation. I wonder what Hayes was thinking by not resigning?

Cindy Munford on December 1, 2011 at 10:22 AM

If Boeing won’t fight back then so be it.

NeoKong on December 1, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Since words matter there’s a need for accuracy here. When government dictates where and how an industry operates it’s not private anymore, it’s socialized. So this wasn’t a good week for “Labor”. It was a good week for the National Socialists.

miles on December 1, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Why do we have an NLRB? It seems to me that it should be defunded.

herm2416 on December 1, 2011 at 10:25 AM

How do these people have any legal power? Seriously I don’t get it, someone please educate me.

gator70 on December 1, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Very disappointed in Boeing’s management for caving like this. Couldn’t they have at least waited until after Nov 2012 to see how the land lay then??? Senator Graham misses the point, the NLRB is already a ‘hammer’ in the negotiations and needs to be reined in pronto!

Bob in VA on December 1, 2011 at 10:36 AM

The Obama “administration” is all about jobs, delivering the necessary blows. Give them a hand.

NoDonkey on December 1, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Yet the President/Congress looks like they will act to prevent the locomotive engineers of the Union Pacific Railroad from striking on December 6th…

Thanks, Obama… way to support “labor”…

Khun Joe on December 1, 2011 at 10:41 AM

4 more years of this administration will do wonders for job creation. Maybe someone should inform Barry, Nancy and Harry that collecting unemployment benefits is not a “job”.

GarandFan on December 1, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Just more indisputable proof that the communist in the WH has filled the administration with activists and fellow communists in order to take down the United States. The product of prooogreeeesiiiiiive liberalism, the cancer eating away at our country. If the Republican candidate can’t make hay of this, we are totally lost. Glad I only have a few years left, but I despair for my children and grandchildren.

ultracon on December 1, 2011 at 10:54 AM

If the end result is jobs in both locations and Boeing being able to produce and sell their product, that’s nothing to sneeze at.

In other words, we should be happy that government decided to allow Boeing a modicum of freedom?

WTH is wrong with you???

PackerBronco on December 1, 2011 at 10:55 AM

So in 4 more years the union goons will up the ante again.

SouthernGent on December 1, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Looks like the House should withhold funds from the NLRB.

Vince on December 1, 2011 at 11:25 AM

The NLRB is nothing more than legalized bribery and extortion. Boeing realizes this and is making the demon bargain they need to stay competitive with Airbus.

unclesmrgol on December 1, 2011 at 11:35 AM

A bad week for business indeed: on top of what was mentioned above AT&T pulled the request for the merger with T-Mobile from the FCC. It will try to fight the Justice Department for their blocking of the merger but the more it drags the less chances I see AT&T coming on top.

ptcamn on December 1, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Why do we have an NLRB? It seems to me that it should be defunded.

herm2416 on December 1, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Or just plain abolished.

If unions and management can’t reach an agreement by negotiation, the union can call a strike and management can hire new workers, or they can go to court.

Two unelected people shouldn’t have this kind of power. Period.

Steve Z on December 1, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Let’s face it. Nothing is going to improve until we purge the current occupants of the Senate leadership and WH. Holding the line is about as good as we can expect until then.

My buds in the W. Texas fields are sitting tight waiting on the ruling on the sand lizard due in April. Minimal status quo until then. The EPA has temporarily suspended the fugitive micron dust regulations that will impact farming and kill off coal power. Things do have the potential to get much worse.

DanMan on December 1, 2011 at 11:49 AM

The Obama “administration” is all about jobs, delivering the necessary blows. Give them a hand.

NoDonkey on December 1, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Blow jobs or hand jobs?

Steve Z on December 1, 2011 at 11:50 AM

How do these people have any legal power? Seriously I don’t get it, someone please educate me.

gator70 on December 1, 2011 at 10:30 AM

A few generations ago, Congress decided that legislating is hard work or something and began to abdicate their responsibilities. They created Departments to which they delegated said responsibilities and gave them the authority to write legally binding civil and criminal regulations. Congress thus became a reactionary body. They can repeal regulations after the fact if they choose to do so, but obviously Harry would never let such a bill come to a vote in the Senate and Zero would never sign it into law.

stvnscott on December 1, 2011 at 11:52 AM

If I were Boeing or any other Company I would be looking for another “friendly” Country to do business in. If, God forbid ,Obama wins another term they should be ready to bail..

sandee on December 1, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Before we cry too many tears for Boeing, remember this….

The company moved its HQ from Seattle to Chicago. You sleep with socialist dogs, you wake up with some nasty ticks.

angryed on December 1, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Socialist Cycle

Well, we mess up the ability of companies to make profits with OSHA, the EPA, the IRS and the rest. Then we back unions in their war for higher wages which the firms can’t afford. Then we pass crazy programs to give houses, healthcare and consumer rights to everyone — even if they don’t work. Then we kvetch about the net worth of people after houses are worth about $2 each and nobody has equity in them anyway. So then we see a new problem with all these poor people everywhere and go after the durn 1% even more.

And it is a good thin Barney Frank and Chris Dodd warned us about Fannie, Freddie and the whole financial meltdown coming!

Funny that even the Boston Globe blames the Dems for the crash.

IlikedAUH2O on December 1, 2011 at 12:53 PM

We have got to get rid of these Czars, no one should have that much power without confirmation. I wonder what Hayes was thinking by not resigning?

Cindy Munford on December 1, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Probably along the same lines as Boehner thinks every time he makes a promise and breaks down in tears before he caves.

gryphon202 on December 1, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Before we cry too many tears for Boeing, remember this….

The company moved its HQ from Seattle to Chicago. You sleep with socialist dogs, you wake up with some nasty ticks.

angryed on December 1, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Righteous indignation indeed. But let us not forget that as is so often the case, Boeing made the move because Illinois dangled tax incentives like a carrot on a stick. No business would have turned down such a proffer.

gryphon202 on December 1, 2011 at 2:10 PM

NLRB will lose a recess appointment in December. It is unlikely to regain this Democrat except by another similar process. That leaves one Rep and one D’rat. And non entity for NLRB.

BTW 737 is already built in Renton. 747 in Everett. Microsoft in Redmond. Seattle??

Caststeel on December 1, 2011 at 3:10 PM