Boeing corporation moved a portion of its Dreamliner 787 production line from Washington state to a $750 million South Carolina facility after failure to negotiate a contract with unions. Now that the East Coast facility is just three months from initial production, the Obama administration’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has filed what may be the largest labor lawsuit in 50 years against Boeing to prevent the South Carolina plant from coming online.
The federal suit alleges that Boeing built the plant in South Carolina to retaliate against the machinists union for past strikes. The machinist union has gone on strike against Being five times costing billions of dollars to the airplane builder. While opinions vary, Boeing could simply be making a precautionary move to prevent future strikes – a responsible action. The suit would allow the federal government to mandate that the 787 production be done only in Washington.
Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) said, “This is nothing more than a political favor for the unions who are supporting President Obama’s re-election campaign..” And Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) added, “If successful, the NLRB complaint would allow unions to hold a virtual ‘veto’ over business decisions..”.
Boeing commented on the lawsuit calling it “frivolous” and promised to open the South Carolina as scheduled. Strangely, the first hearing will be with a judge that works for the NLRB on June 14th after which the NLRB will review that judges decision.
When examining the progressive side of the argument, it becomes clear why Boeing needed to increase the rate of divestiture in Blue states. California’s business-unfriendly tax structure and union-protectionism cost it an aircraft electronics manufacturing plant for Boeing several years ago – a change that moved jobs to Oklahoma. Further evidence of the rabid attacks from leftist groups can be found at SocialistAlternative.org. In a post entitled “The Boeing Rip-Off” the author makes the argument that creating a better business climate is unnecessary.
Boeing’s demands for a more competitive business environment are in spite of the fact that it does not have a single competitor in the United States. Boeing gobbled up the McDonnell Douglas Corporation, the last competitor in commercial airline manufacturing in the U.S. That leaves Airbus, a French-European company, as its only real competition.
In actuality, there are five major aircraft builders in the world, according to Aviation Knowledge
Boeing also has to consider the rising star of China, who is growing a mature manufacturing sector at impressive rates. At Wired.com, an article introduces the world to China’s ambitions.
China, perhaps uncomfortable with the thought of an industry it doesn’t completely dominate, is accelerating plans to roll out a home-grown passenger plane to compete with best-selling planes from Boeing and Airbus.
China is not dealing with Unions’ unfair collective bargaining tactics. The short-sightedness of socialism is rearing its ugly head on the West coast through unionization and progressive taxation. The rest of the United States, starving for new jobs, could not be happier.