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View Diary: President Obama on the NLRB's complaint against Boeing (81 comments)

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  •  Unbelivable. You are told and showed that (2+ / 0-)
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    Ivan, jimreyn

    they admitted to going to SC because of unions in WA - and you still try to find a way out for them.

    •  Read the complaint itself (2+ / 0-)
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      Wham Bam, dgil

      Here's the link.  It never alleges that any work was moved or relocated from Washington.  It makes very clear that there was a new, second assembly line, and the decision was made to locate that new line in a right to work state specifically to avoid it being a union facility.

      No existing work in Washington State was affected -- the complaint does not even allege that.  It only alleges that Boeing had a decision to make about where to locate a new assembly line and decided to locate that new line in a right to work state because it wanted to avoid unions and the potential work stoppages that were more likely with unions.  

      •  If I agree that "relocate" could be wrongly (1+ / 0-)
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        costrued, andd that it would be more accurate to state that Boeing decided to go to SC with the new plant because they couldn't bully workers in WA  - where will you go next?

        Because you obviously don't care about thed charges against Boeing.

        From your link:

        On or about the dates and by the manner noted below, Respondent made coercive statements to its employees that it would remove or had removed work from the Unit because employees had struck and Respondent threatened or impliedly threatened that the Unit would lose additional work in the event of future strikes...
        •  Read the rest of that paragraph (2+ / 0-)
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          Wham Bam, dgil

          There's no allegation that work was removed -- the subject of the complaint is the decision to locate the second Dreamliner 787 assembly line in South Carolina.   Continue reading that paragraph that you quoted from.  It begins "on the dates and in the manner detailed below," then in sub- paragraphs a - e, it details the five specific instances of Boeing's threats  -- and each and every threat concerns the "second Dreamliner 787 assembly line."  The specific statements in that same paragraph do not concern the existing work -- the existing Dreamliner 787 assembly line -- at all.   Yes, Boeing made threats -- threats that it was going to locate the new assembly line in a non-union state.  

          The complaint uses the words "transfer" and "move" as if there was some commitment by Boeing that it was going to locate that second Dreamliner 787 assembly line in Washington State.  But the complaint never says there was any such commitment.  Clearly, if there had been such a commitment, and that commitment had been broken, the complaint would have quoted that commitment -- because that would be a much, much stronger case against Boeing. If there had been an actual commitment -- like in the union contract -- to locate all future Dreamliner 787 assembly lines in Washington State, and Boeing broke that commitment as retaliation for union action, that would have been a very strong case against Boeing.  So the fact that the complaint does not point to any such commitment anywhere is pretty clear.  

          I think it's pretty much uncontested that the decision to locate that second Dreamliner 787 assembly line in South Carolina was because Boeing did not want that new facility to be located in a union state. Boeing says as much.  

          From a legal perspective, the unanswered question is whether that can be considered "retaliation" against the union if (1) there is no allegation that any jobs were shut down on the existing assembly line; and (2) there is no allegation that Boeing had a commitment to locate the second assembly line in Washington State.  

          •  And what exactly is your problem with the NLRB (2+ / 0-)
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            Lefty Coaster, jimreyn

            deciding that they did in fact break the law in doing this?

            The labor board said that in 2007, Boeing announced plans to create a second production line that would make three 787 Dreamliner planes a month in the Puget Sound area to address a growing backlog of orders. That was to be in addition to a line already making seven Dreamliners a month there. In October 2009, Boeing said it would locate its second line at a new, nonunion plant in South Carolina.

            The N.L.R.B. asserted that on numerous occasions Boeing officials had communicated an unlawful motive for transferring the production line, including an interview with The Seattle Times in which a Boeing executive said, “The overriding factor was not the business climate. And it was not the wages we’re paying today. It was that we cannot afford to have a work stoppage, you know, every three years.”

            •  That's exactly what is going to be the central (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wham Bam, dgil

              issue when the matter gets to Court.  

              The Boeing officials clearly, clearly said that the reason they wanted to locate the new line in South Carolina was to avoid unions.  

              The big question is whether that is "illegal."  The NLRA does not make it illegal to locate a plant in a so-called "right to work" state because the company hates unions.  Trying to avoid a union in a future facility is not illegal under that Act.  If it were, then any decision to locate a plant in a so-called "right to work" state could be challenged by the NLRB.  That's clearly NOT the law.

              However, the NLRA DOES make "retaliation" against EXISTING unions.  See my explanation below.   The legal question is whether locating a new facility in South Carolina is legally within the NLRB's definition of retaliation.  If you look at the NLRB website, illegal acts usually involves something that has a negative effect on existing workers or unions, not a decision to locate a new facility elsewhere.  

              The facts are not disputed -- Boeing clearly located that new line in South Carolina to avoid a union in that new facility and lessen the potential that there would be strikes in that new facility.  

              Whether that's "illegal" is the question that has not been definitively answered before, and is going to be at the center of the dispute when it gets to court.  

              •  You didn't even address my question. (0+ / 0-)

                I won't ask, I'll just tell you: You claim to just want to know what the legal reality is - but you ignore the face that the NLRB has made a ruling on it, and decidedly lean toward Boeing. And you won't say why, much less even admit that youre' doing that.

                •  Actually, this is wrong: (3+ / 0-)
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                  dinotrac, Wham Bam, dgil
                  the NLRB has made a ruling on it

                  The NLRB doesn't "make a ruling on it."  That happens in a court.  The matter is now before an Administrative Law Judge in Seattle.   That case is just in the preliminary stages.  Yesterday, the judge refused to dismiss the case at this preliminary stage, which is a victory for the NLRB in the first battle.  But that's just the first battle in a long war.  And since the central dispute is over a legal issue, it will certainly be appealed.  

                  The case continues next Wednesday, I think.  

                  •  Wow. You have nothing but word games to play. (1+ / 0-)
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                    Lefty Coaster

                    I said "ruling." Even though you knew full well what I meant, you decided to go with that. Like "relocated." (P.S. Lots of people call it a "ruling.")

                    Not that we've established the facts - WHY are you anti-union?

                    •  Sigh. Look at the Complaint. (2+ / 0-)
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                      Wham Bam, dgil

                      Again, it's here.   It's a complaint.  A complaint is what a litigant writes and files to initiate a piece of litigation.  The NLRB made the decision to initiate this before an Administrative Law Judge.  

                      Look at page 9.  That says that the NLRB is going to bring the matter for hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.  That Judge has not yet made a final ruling.  Yesterday, the Administrative Law Judge denied a preliminary motion to dismiss the matter. That means he is going to hear the matter.  That Administrative Law Judge will make a "ruling."  That ruling by the ALJ can then be appealed to a federal court.  Here's the NLRB's explanation of explanation of the process

                      I understand that some used the word "ruling" loosely to describe the NLRB's action.  But right now, they are in the preliminary stages before the ALJ, and, as the Seattle Times link shows, the ALJ has just made a preliminary ruling, and has not issued a ruling on the merits of the case yet.  Actually, I'm really interested to see what happens to this one when it gets to the federal court -- that's the real ruling that counts.  

                      •  You are a child. (1+ / 1-)
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                        Lefty Coaster
                        Hidden by:
                        Wham Bam

                        the first time I asked you the question, I din't use the word "ruling." You ignored the question. Next time I used "ruling," and you focused on that and again ignored the question.

                        You are a child, and a dim, painfully obvious one at that.

                        •  Ok. Direct answer. Once again. (1+ / 0-)
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                          Wham Bam

                          I am not anti-union.

                          I am not pro-union.

                          I am not expressing any opinions as to whether unions are a good or bad thing.  I am not supporting unions.  I am not rejecting unions.  I am not expressing any value judgments as to unions either way.  

                          I am simply saying that whether Boeing violated section 8 of the National Labor Relations Act is an issue that is, at this stage, not clear. That is not anti-union.  That is not pro-union. That is a description of the state of the law.  

                          •  Your obvious games aside - why are you on DKos if (1+ / 0-)
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                            Lefty Coaster

                            you are not pro-union? There's obviously nothing stopping you, but this is a Democratic Party supporting website. And that makes it a union-supporting website. Why do you think you belong here? Are you even a Dem?

                        •  HR for personal attacks on someone who is making (0+ / 0-)

                          a better factual contribution to the discussion than you are.

                        •  Stick to the issue (0+ / 0-)

                          ad hominems accomplish nothing. SC aggressively goes after business and promotes being a RTW state early and often in talks with prospective businesses. Little, go ahead and demand answers, but leave the personal insults at the door.

                          Does Boeing want to avoid unions by locating in SC? Yes. Does that mean they will move their entire company to SC? That depends on how the union shops in WA react. SC will be aggressively pursuing them to do just that.

                    •  Actually he is explaining what is going on (0+ / 0-)


                      You are making mistake after mistake and instead of admitting that you don't really know what is going on you are attacking him for correcting you.

              •  Here's what you're skipping over. (2+ / 0-)
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                dgil, Little

                Not only did Boeing clearly locate the new plant in South Carolina to avoid a union (as you point out), they also openly and repeatedly told the union members in Seattle that they were doing this because the Seattle workers had gone on strike.  That's the violation of the NLRA here:  the threatening of union workers in Seattle.  It has a so-called "chilling effect" on union activity.  I think Boeing was pretty arrogant and blatant about this.  I also think they should have known that what they were doing was illegal.  This is not really a new situation.  Most companies are smart enough to quietly open a new plant and avoid threatening their union workers in the process.  

              •  That is exactly why I asked -- AND --- (2+ / 0-)
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                Wham Bam, coffeetalk

                there is the whole problem of mixed motives.

                Economic reasons to move a plant -- even the ability to hire non-union workers -- are completely legal and have been treated as such by  the NLRB -- and the courts -- for years.  
                Avoiding unions in plant location is only illegal when it constitutes an unfair labor practice WRT an existing (or soon to exist) union.

                That determination is the sticky part.

                This could be an interesting case because it doesn't seem like any union members were fired or any union jobs lost, but...

                at some point, Washington jobs could start to disappear.

                Tricky stuff, though.  The 787 is manufactured all over the world, and a finding against Boeing would leave the law in an uncomfortable state: it's OK to send work overseas or to award it to subcontractors in the US, but not OK to build a plant yourself and hire people to do the work elsewhere.

                Maybe that's a reasonable price to pay.
                Maybe not.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 01:23:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  So companies should be allowed to threaten workers (1+ / 0-)
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            involved in contract votes?

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

            by Lefty Coaster on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 07:22:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The key is "threaten workers." (1+ / 0-)
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              Wham Bam

              Here's the NLRB's list of  examples of what constitutes "threats" to workers:

              Threatening employees with loss of jobs or benefits if they join or vote for a union or engage in protected concerted activity.

              Threatening to close the plant if employees select a union to represent them.

              Questioning employees about their union sympathies or activities in circumstances that tend to interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights under the Act.

              Promising benefits to employees to discourage their union support.

              Transferring, laying off, terminating, assigning employees more difficult work tasks, or otherwise punishing employees because they engaged in union or protected concerted activity.

              Transferring, laying off, terminating, assigning employees more difficult work tasks, or otherwise punishing employees because they filed unfair labor practice charges or participated in an investigation conducted by NLRB.

              Certainly, these kinds of threats - which directly affect existing workers and unions -- are illegal and violations of the NLRA.  

              The legal question is whether putting a new facility in another state is this kind of "threat" to existing unions or workers, if (as the complaint seems to indicate) there was none of those kinds of direct effects on the existing union or existing workers in Washington State.

              •  It was percived as a threat & meant as a threat (2+ / 0-)
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                Little, jimreyn

                You're being a deliberately obtuse tool.  

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

                by Lefty Coaster on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 08:46:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  But that IS the issue to be determined. (1+ / 0-)
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                  Wham Bam

                  And I think that's exactly what he said.

                  The law isn't all that clear on the issue because it is completely legal to locate a plant in a right to work state to avoid paying union wages.  The court ends up having to balance factors and determine if the otherwise legal action constitutes a legal economic decision or an unfair labor practice.

                  If somebody is being deliberately obtuse, it's you.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 01:30:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

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