May 3, 2011
Washington, D.C. – Today, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Republican members expressed strong concern with a recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to file a complaint against Boeing for expanding production in South Carolina, a right to work state. U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is troubled by the impact this action could have on other private business decisions across the country and signed a letter with several senators outlining those concerns.
“We have a duty to ensure that the National Labor Relations Act is being enforced in a fair manner,” wrote the senators. “In this and other decisions, we believe that you have ignored the proper balance set forth in the Act between the employees’ right to collectively bargain and the employers’ right to due process. We question the legal reasoning and motive behind the complaint, as well as the proposed remedy to force Boeing to move its additional production line to Washington State.”
The senators noted that Boeing’s legitimate business decision had no adverse impact on the Puget Sound workforce and that in fact 2,000 additional jobs have been created there since 2009. The HELP Committee members were also concerned about the timing of the announcement. Boeing announced its decision to open an additional production line in South Carolina in October 2009. However, the NLRB waited until April 2011 to file the complaint, just three months before the new production line is scheduled to begin in July 2011.
“This complaint has the potential to eliminate thousands of newly created and well-compensated jobs in South Carolina. It will have a negative effect on important decisions made by American businesses every day regarding who to employ and where to expand, and negate the ability of states to attract established U.S. employers by providing financial incentives and welcoming business climates,” the senators wrote.
The other members of the committee who signed the letter include Senators Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Richard Burr, R-N.C., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Rand Paul, R-Ky., Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, John McCain, R-Ariz., Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Mark Kirk, R-Ill.
A copy of the letter is attached.