NLRB Still Making the News

The White House may have hoped that the big news about bin Laden might have people forgetting about other “little matters” which had been in the news, but in the case of the National Labor Relations Board and their efforts to stop Boeing from bringing hundreds of new jobs to South Carolina, it’s not working. The Denver Post editorial board weighs in with some rather blunt questions.

With the economy still limping, and President Obama promising to create jobs, why on earth are his appointees killing jobs in South Carolina?

A common refrain among recession-weary Americans is that we don’t make anything in this country anymore. However, workers in South Carolina have a chance to make something — Boeing 787 Dreamliners that would be flown around the world — and yet Obama’s labor-cozy appointees to the National Labor Relations Board are intent on scuttling it.

Boeing, a vital U.S. company, wants to build a plant in South Carolina and bring good-paying manufacturing jobs to the state. They’ve already poured billions into the facilities and have hired 1,000 workers. But the NLRB filed a lawsuit last month to force Boeing back to Washington state, where workers would be represented by a union. The NLRB claims Boeing decided to open a non-union plant in South Carolina in retaliation for past strikes in Washington.

So what if it did?

The NLRB’s action is beyond unsettling. The lawsuit, in effect, is an effort to tell an American company how to operate its business and to intimidate its officers.

Over at The Hill, Representative Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) casts the situation in a stark light.

This is the first time in history the NLRB has argued that a company is violating federal law simply based on where they choose to locate a factory.

Now keep in mind, Boeing wasn’t moving jobs to South Carolina and they weren’t laying off employees in Washington. Rather, they opted to build and operate a new factory in South Carolina.

Did the cost of labor play a role in their decision to open this factory in South Carolina? Of course it did. Just as, I’m sure, state tax rates and property value also played a role in their decision.

These are not radical questions. Nor are they partisan straw-men being set up to score cheap political points against the current administration. These are legitimate questions which the Obama administration needs to answer as soon as they finish cleaning up the champagne bottles from the bin Laden celebration. The NLRB is acting in a manner which not only seems entirely out of control and far beyond the boundaries of their charter, but in a way which depresses job growth. And wasn’t that supposed to be Job One for the White House?