With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, a group of Charleston-area Boeing Corporation employees are asking to intervene in the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) unprecedented case targeting Boeing for locating production in South Carolina in part due to its popular Right to Work law. That law ensures that union dues and membership are strictly voluntary.
The NLRB’s complaint, if successful, would eliminate over 1,000 existing jobs in South Carolina, not to mention several thousand more jobs that would be created once the Boeing plant reaches full production capacity. Further, the case could set a dangerous precedent that allows union bosses to dictate where job providers locate their facilities.
In 2009, Boeing, after experiencing repeated International Association of Machinists (IAM) union boss-instigated strikes in the forced unionism state of Washington, decided to locate a new production line for the 787 Dreamliner to South Carolina, partly because South Carolina is a Right to Work state. IAM union bosses in state of Washington cried foul and filed unfair labor practice charges against Boeing.
The NLRB’s Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon sided with IAM union bosses and decided to prosecute Boeing in late April. Ironically, workers in Boeing’s South Carolina plant booted IAM union bosses from their plant to attract the Dreamliner production, as the workers did not want union bosses interfering with their job prospects.
Boeing employees Dennis Murray, who led the effort to remove the union from the Charleston plant; Cynthia Ramaker, the former president with the local union which was removed from the plant; and Meredith Going filed their motion to intervene in the case with the NLRB regional office in Seattle, where the NLRB’s case is pending.
“This case is nothing more than an attack by the Obama Administration on Right to Work laws and all workers in Right to Work states where employees cannot be forced to pay union dues as a condition of getting or keeping a job,” said Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work. “Workers in South Carolina should not be denied the opportunity to continue providing for their families to satisfy the outrageous forced unionism demands of union officials in Washington state.”
“The National Labor Relations Board’s complaint is just the latest giveaway to Big Labor by an Obama Administration that has already erased union financial disclosure requirements and kept workers in the dark about the right to refrain from union membership, and is poised to eliminate workers’ ability to challenge a coercive card check campaign with a secret ballot vote,” added Mix. “Once again the Obama Labor Board is putting union boss priorities ahead of the rights and well-being of individual employees.”