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View Diary: Looking to criticize Democrats, New York Times columnist misses the facts on Boeing (22 comments)

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  •  Union struck so many times because Boeing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright, farlefty, Seamus D

    kept demanding substantial concessions at every contract negotiation. We were just trying keep what we had.

    You take the side of a giant corporation attempting to beat up on its workers?

    Do you like to think of yourself as a Democrat.

    You're not a real Democrat in my book.  

    Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ BILL MOYERS

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 09:28:39 AM PDT

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    •  The facts about past strikes were not discussed (0+ / 0-)

      I do not know the union's side of why these strikes kept happening.  I also don't know why Boeng felt it couldn't agree to something that would be OK the next time, too.

      Taking the "union's side" in this case doesn't move the debate forward.  I could argue this case into deadlock.  The problem really is more in using this law itself, which seems vague and difficult to enforce in this particular situation (Boeng's reasons for moving were no secret - it's just the poorly-lawyered executive stating the obvious that brought the law into play).  This law doesn't do a good job protecting union workers from companies who can move to other areas.

      I believe the decline in leverage by middle-class workers is  a big part of the downfall of our economy right now.  Unfortunately for labor, companies are allowed to expand into areas where they can find people willing to work for less.  The law, unfortunately for workers, does not prevent a company from creating more leverage for themselves, especially when they keep "losing" negotiations in such a disruptive way.  

      It's clear South Carolina is intended to reduce union leverage in Washington, plain and simple.  It's a reasonable action designed to protect themselves, from their perspective.   It's unfortunate as they seem to get good results from their union shops in Washington State.  They risk winning the battle but losing the war if they get inferior production (but they will probably get good results in S.C., too).  

      West. No further west. All sea. -- Robert Grenier

      by Nicolas Fouquet on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 10:24:18 AM PDT

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      •  I really don't know how you got all that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lefty Coaster, Killer

        from the program I listened to.

        Shaiken and Greenhouse made crystal clear exactly which provisions of the Wagner Act, as reinforced by Taft-Hartley, Boeing violated by moving jobs to South Carolina: the law prohibits companies from retaliating against workers who exercise a protected right -- in this case, the right to strike -- by moving their jobs away.

        Because of the public comments by Boeing executives, there is no doubt that Dreamliner production was moved to South Carolina in express retaliation against workers for striking.  Therefore, the NLRB -- the federal agency charged with enforcing the law -- has filed suit against Boeing, not without first attempting to mediate between the company and the union.

        It's true that Woodward and Epstein attempted to obfuscate the issue by denying the plain facts of the case and the law, but the plain facts are there.  The company violated the law, and therefore must face a federal suit.

        What emerges as truly shameful is the race between US states to drive down wages for all workers.  Instead of creating its own high-wage jobs, states like South Carolina seek to increase their standard of living by poaching high-wage jobs from other states.

        The problem there isn't labor unions; it's a federal structure that allows some states to effectively ban unions.  That forces workers to compete against each other on an unlevel playing field.

        The right wing tells us the problem is unions.  Workers, and those who stand on the side of workers, should know better.

        Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
        ¡Boycott Arizona!

        by litho on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 10:55:23 AM PDT

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        •  Nothing was "moved" (0+ / 0-)

          the second Dreamliner assembly line was never in Washington State to begin with.  Boeing offered to put it there in exchange for concessions from the union, which the union declined to do.  

          That's the problem with the whole case.  You can't "retaliate" under the law by not giving the union something that they had no "right" to in the first place.  If Boeing had had some commitment, or legal obligation, to put that second assembly line in Washington State, and then took it away, the NLRB would have a case.  But there was never any obligation to put that second Dreamliner assembly line in Washington, in California, in New York, in Louisiana, in South Carolina -- anywhere.   Boeing could put it anywhere it wanted, for any reason it wanted.  There's nothing illegal about putting a plant in a RTW state precisely because it's an RTW state.

          If Boeing had had some legal obligation to put that second Dreamliner assembly line in Washington, and THEN moved it because of union strikes in Washington, there might have been a case.  But, from reading the NLRB complaint, that's not what happened.  The complaint never mentions any such obligation.  

          •  Move was used as a threat during negotiations (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Seamus D, Killer

            over a new contract.  That is against the law as it should be. It was a blatantly illegal tactic.

            Swallowing Boeing's elaborate excuses that are beside the point can't get around that fact.

            Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ BILL MOYERS

            by Lefty Coaster on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 04:07:40 PM PDT

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            •  Not a "move" if it was never there in the (0+ / 0-)

              first place.  Boeing had 50 states to choose from.  Before they committed to any state, they offered to commit to Washington in exchange for concessions.  No concessions = no obligation to put it in Washington State.  It can't be "moved" from Washington if it was never there in the first place.  They "threatened" to choose another state -- something they had a legal right to do.  They did not threaten to "move" it because no state had been chosen.  

              •  You just can't grasp it can you Boeing broke Law (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Seamus D, Killer

                You can make the NeoLibreal excuses in the book, but they don't change the fact.

                Your hostility to unions is noted.

                Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ BILL MOYERS

                by Lefty Coaster on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 05:01:54 PM PDT

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        •  Really good points (0+ / 0-)

          States like S.C. and Texas (especially) consider themselves successful when they steal from other states like California and Michigan.

          A Federal law that aims to stop that could be really important if it can be crafted without stepping on other rights (which would be difficult).

          My only potential disagreement is in defining increased leverage as a retaliatory act.  Was the intent of the law to prevent companies from developing alternatives if they didn't get what they wanted form unions, or was it to prevent intimidation or an act which denies employees the right to collectively bargain or strike?  

          In this case, Boeng didn't do either of those, they just positioned themselves for the next negotiation.

           

          West. No further west. All sea. -- Robert Grenier

          by Nicolas Fouquet on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 11:04:16 AM PDT

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      •  You NeoLiberals make me sick (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seamus D

        You are happy to watch corporations squeeze their workers for an extra source profits.

        You react with a knee jerk demonetization of unions without knowing 3% of whats going on in the company. Instead you play know it all, repeating Chamber of Commerce talking points like:

        It's a reasonable action designed to protect themselves blah blah blah

        Of course it wouldn't occur to someone as brain washed as you that a more reasonable action would be to not demand breathtaking take aways from workers in each new round of contract negotiations.

        Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ BILL MOYERS

        by Lefty Coaster on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 04:01:24 PM PDT

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        •  But the laws won't prevent it (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not happy to watch this happen, either.  But as long as South Carolina workers would accept what Washingtonians wouldn't, the deal was done.

          The law is antiquated and it's application in this case is a stretch.

          West. No further west. All sea. -- Robert Grenier

          by Nicolas Fouquet on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 08:59:35 AM PDT

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        •  Did the union respond to the "threat" to expand (0+ / 0-)

          in S.C. during the negotiations and try to invoke the 1935 statute at that time?  What was the reaction?

          West. No further west. All sea. -- Robert Grenier

          by Nicolas Fouquet on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 09:04:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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