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

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  •  Actually, I'm pro-truth and pro-law (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wham Bam

    And I'm a lawyer, so I'm looking at things from the legal perspective, which is not pro-union, and not pro-employer.  It's pro-applying the law.  

    What I linked you to is the NLRB complaint itself.  It talks about the second Dreamliner 787 Assembly line.  It says nothing about there being any obligation, in any union contract or otherwise, to locate that second Dreamliner 787 assembly line in Washington State.  It says very clearly that the complaint is based on the decision to locate that second Dreamliner 787 assembly line in South Carolina because Boeing wanted to avoid unions and potential work stoppage.

    There is no allegation in the complaint -- none -- that any work was pulled from the existing Dreamliner 787 line in Washington State.  There is no allegation that workers on the existing Dreamliner 787 assembly line in Washington State were negatively affected.  The alleged negative effect that is the subject of the complaint is the decision to locate a new Dreamliner 787 assembly line -- a new facility -- in another state.  

    Here's the unanswered legal question:  can a decision to locate a new facility in a right-to-work state specifically to avoid unions be considered "retaliation" against the existing facility when there is no allegation that any work was pulled from the existing facility, and there is no allegation that the existing facility, or the workers in the existing facility, were negatively affected?  (And when I say there is "no allegation" I am relying on the NLRB complaint that I linked you to.)

    It's an unanswered legal question.  If Boeing had moved EXISTING work from Dreamliner 787 assembly line Washington State, that would be a much clearer case of retaliation.  

    •  Fucking weasel words. You are not pro-union. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Coaster

      And that is your choice, but that you and so many people populate DKos is just wrong.

      •  Huh?? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wham Bam

        I pointed out the charges against Boeing -- that they located a new assembly line in South Carolina precisely because they did not want that new assembly line to be a union facility.  That's exactly what is alleged in paragraph 6 (a) - (e).  

        From a legal perspective, the National Labor Relations Act does not make it illegal for an employer to locate a facility in a so-called "right to work" state precisely BECAUSE they don't want unions.  You may think it's really reprehensible, but it's not illegal under that Act.  If some company is about to open its first plant in the U.S., and the CEO says, "I hate unions, I am going to locate in the state where the facility is least likely ever to be unionized," whatever you think of that morally, it's not a violation of the Act.  

        Retaliation against an existing union for things like strikes, on the other hand, is illegal.

        What is different here is that retaliation has always been construed to be something that has a negative effect on the existing union or the rights of the existing workers.   For example, (1) If Boeing laid off people from the existing assembly line, that would be a much clearer case of retaliation.  Or (2) If Boeing had committed, in the last union contract for example, to locate its next Dreamliner 787 assembly line in Washington State, and broke that commitment because of the union's strike, that would be a pretty clear case of retaliation.  Here, if you look at the specifics of the complaint, there is no allegation of either one of these.  The specific threats outlined in paragraph 6 (a) - (e) are all about where to locate the NEW assembly line.

        How is saying this -- which is simply outlining what the dispute is about -- anti-union?  My statements are neither pro-union or anti-union -- I'm outlining the dispute and where the central issue is going to be when this gets to court.  
         

        •  But why these questions, why this full-throated (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lefty Coaster

          defense of Boeing right out of the gate:

          It was not "relocated" (0+ / 0-)

          because there was never any commitment to put that second -- new -- line of work in Washington.  They had a new line, had to decide where to put it, and decided to put it in a non-union state so as to avoid a union and possible future strikes.  

          No work was "relocated."  Read the complaint.  It never says that there was some obligation on the part of Boeing to locate this new line in Washington State.  

          Was it wrong for me to see this as pro-Boeing and anti-uinion in this? Howso?

          •  That's just a fact (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wham Bam

            "Relocated" means that it was located in Washington State, and then MOVED to South Carolina.  The complaint uses words like moved, but there is no allegation that there was ever a commitment for the second Dreamliner facility to be located in Washington State.  There was no contract with the State (as there sometimes is, when for example states give tax breaks), there was nothing in the union contract committing Boeing to locate any new assembly lines in that State.  If there had been, it would have been malpractice for the lawyers for the NLRB not to point out that specific commitment in the complaint.  If there had been that kind of specific commitment, it would make the NLRB's case MUCH stronger.  

            The facts are pretty clear.  Boeing had a decision where to locate a new Dreamliner 787 assembly line.  They clearly, clearly made the decision to locate that new assembly line in South Carolina because they did not like what unions had done at their facility in Washington State.  The LEGAL question is whether that is the kind of activity that the NLRA specifically prohibits.  See the NLRB website.  

            •  Of or chrissake. Why are you parsing onthis? (0+ / 0-)

              And it's bullshit. You can "relocate" into the future.

              And there is absolutely an "allegation that there was ever a commitment for the second Dreamliner facility to be located in Washington State," when the entire complaint hinges on them making the decision to go to SC beacuse of union activity in Washington. That complaint could not exist without the first as a given. And it's a charge that they have plenty of evidence to substantiate, it would seem.

              •  Really? Where is that commitment? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wham Bam

                The complaint doesn't identify it. When did Boeing make a commitment to locate that second assembly line in Washington State?  The complaint doesn't tell us.  Was it in the union contract? In a document signed with the State?  As I said, if there were such a commitment, it and Boeing broke it, it would be a much stronger case against Boeing.  But I don't see any statement in the complaint identifying that kind of commitment. Legally, it would appear in a paragraph identifying the document containing that commitment by title and date it was signed -- and that's not in the complaint.  

            •  Were you one of the people Boeing delived a threat (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jimreyn

              to?

              I was one of them.

              Did you read the Boeing contract offer?

              I did, and I voted NO as is my right, despite' Boeing's coercion, which as it happens is against the law.

              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 07:37:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What threat did Boeing make to you? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wham Bam

                Was it one of these listed on the NLRB website:

                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.

                I'm really curious.  The complaint, in paragraph 6 (a) - (e) indicates that the threats were that Boeing as going to locate the second Dreamliner 787 assembly line somewhere else. Is that the threat you are talking about, or did they make some other threat?  

                •  This one plain as day (0+ / 0-)
                  Promising benefits to employees to discourage their union support.

                  Do you claim that keeping the work in the P.N.W. would not benefit workers in my local?

                  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 08:38:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The legal question, I think, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Wham Bam

                    is whether locating that new line is what the NLRA considers a "benefit" to a worker.  When the NLRB uses that term, they usually talk about employee benefits.  It will be interesting to see if the courts agree with you that locating a new assembly line can legally, under the Act, be construed as the kind of "benefit" the Act prohibits being used as a bargaining chip.

                    If they do, it will be a very significant decision for more than just Boeing.  

        •  No your statements are anti-union (0+ / 0-)

          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 07:24:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Really? What's anti-union about (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wham Bam

            quoting the NLRB complaint (both paragraph 6(a-e), and pointing out what it does and does not say), or quoting the NLRB website?

            I'm not trying to be pro-union, or anti-union.  I readily admit that.  I'm simply pointing out what the facts are, and what the central dispute of the court case will be as it goes forward.  I don't see how that's anti-union.  

      •  Just curious. What nameplate car do you own? (0+ / 0-)

        Honda?  Toyota?

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