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temper tantrum
Exhibiting their continuing determination to prevent the National Labor Relations Board from doing its job, House Republicans are subpoenaing all records relating to the NLRB's case against Boeing.

The NLRB has filed a case against Boeing for moving jobs in retaliation for workers exercising their legal rights; employers can move jobs for just about any reason except retaliation for workers exercising their legal rights, but Boeing managed to blatantly and publicly say that this was what they had done. Now the company—and Republicans, especially the ones who get a lot of Boeing contributions—are outraged that Boeing faces any repercussions. So Republicans are starting out outraged at the idea that a federal agency would seek to uphold the law. They're also trying to pass a law making it virtually impossible for said federal agency to uphold the law, not just in the Boeing case but any time an employer wants to move jobs.

And then, with these subpoenas, they're trying to interfere in a case that is in the courts:

NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon said in a statement that it was the first time since 1940 that the NLRB has been subjected to a congressional subpoena.

“For months, my staff and I have diligently tried to satisfy the Committee’s desire for information while also preserving the integrity of our process and the rights of the parties in a case being actively litigated,” Solomon said, noting that the agency had already released more than 1,000 pages of documents and was still working to find a reasonable solution.

This is the Republican response to a legal action they don't like: Scream. Threaten. Try to change the law. Demand documents pertaining to an ongoing court case. So, naturally, if they got those documents, they'd be totally respectful of the integrity of the case. Right?

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Aug 08, 2011 at 03:05 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Am I missing something? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreyHawk

    Have the Republicans intervened in this case?  How can they have any standing to subpoena records related to this case?

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Aug 08, 2011 at 03:08:21 PM PDT

  •  Go ahead guys! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreyHawk

    You'll find an agency that's doing its job within its super limited mandate and extremely limited remedies and inability to stop corporate consultants from crushing unions.  Please subpoena the NLRB, Republicans.  I would love for the public to be shown how an agency with an honorable mandate cannot truly enforce it because of the inadequacies of the law.

    Fact are stubborn things. -John Adams

    by circlesnshadows on Mon Aug 08, 2011 at 03:54:27 PM PDT

  •  What happened to the standard line of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brae70

    'we do not comment about ongoing litigation'
    ? It seems I remember hearing that a shit tonne the last decade or so.

    Fuck me! He made it. Will Scarlet

    by dagolfnut on Mon Aug 08, 2011 at 04:59:04 PM PDT

  •  This is a tough one. (0+ / 0-)

    South Carolina with a right to work law, and Boeing running to the east coast for cheap labor with the argument of not being able to compete in the global market. Republicans have no authority here, it is the courts' arena.

  •  Something as small as this (0+ / 0-)

    could trigger a revolt. Because it is interference at the highest levels of our government.

    Perhaps if violence comes to the US, this is how they will explain it:

    They thought that after thirty years of soaring inequality, in the middle of a recession, they could take away the last little things that gave people hope, the benefits, the jobs, the possibility of higher education, the support structures, and nothing would happen. They were wrong. And now my city is burning, and it will continue to burn until we stop the blanket condemnations and blind conjecture and try to understand just what has brought viral civil unrest....
  •  What happened last time Congress issued (0+ / 0-)

    subpoenas?

    Oh wait.

    That was a Democratic Congress.

    I'm betting the GOP won't be so reticent to enforce its subpoena.

    As a hardcore Democrat, Obama has shaken my faith. Imagine what he's done for independents.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 08:15:15 PM PDT

  •  That the GOP supports a lawless nation (3+ / 0-)

    that benefits only the corporations should be clear as a bell by now.

    ...So anything and everything they do is suspect on those grounds alone.

    866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

    by cany on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 08:20:30 PM PDT

  •  It's easy. Think like a Republican. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick, Matt Z

    Drag your heels. Scream they are interfering with ongoing litigation. Give them some, but not all. Black things out. Say you don't remember. Actually forget but delegate to someone who won't. Make some intern at the copy machine the fall guy. Start a distraction. Out a congressman. Tap phone lines of madams.

    This is war. Quit acting like a co-equal branch of government is just asking questions.

    Tora. Tora. Tora.

    I am waiting in my car, I am waiting in this bar, I am waiting on your essence. - Lucinda Williams

    by Bensdad on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 09:22:12 PM PDT

  •  Kinda sorta but not exactly (0+ / 0-)

    This:

    The NLRB has filed a case against Boeing for moving jobs in retaliation for workers exercising their legal rights; employers can move jobs for just about any reason except retaliation for workers exercising their legal rights, but Boeing managed to blatantly and publicly say that this was what they had done.

    ...is what's debatable.

    Technically, Boeing didn't move any jobs. The plant scheduled to be opened in South Carolina is a new facility producing a new plane and not directly replacing any existing workers in Washington State. The question is really whether the decision to open the plant in SC instead of WA was made to "interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees" in the exercise of their rights to organize under the National Labor Relations Act.

    The position Boeing and the GOP will take is that opening the plant in South Carolina is a legitimate business decision based on economic concerns, including the lower likelihood of work stoppages and cheaper labor costs, and that opening a new plant in another state doesn't actually "interfere with, restrain, or coerce" workers in Washington. Given the current slate of judges on the DC Circuit (which will handle this case, since there's no way in hell that Boeing will let it be settled in the 9th Cir.), that might well be a winning argument: I know at least one generally labor-friendly judge there is skeptical of the notion that building a new plant in SC is "retaliatory," since the union never had a right to represent workers in a non-existent plant with a non-existent workforce. In other words, management isn't responsible for giving the union an influx of new members, and the unions don't have a right to expect new plants to be opened within their area.

    I think the union's argument--that building the new planes in a right-to-work state is meant to limit future employment options for their members and potential members in retaliation for past strikes and serve as a warning not to engage in future strikes--is stronger than Boeing's, but the case is going to come down to who hears it and how well it's presented.

    All that said, the GOP is about thirty years too late to stop the politicization of the NLRB. Reagan put die-hard union busters in during his term, and it's pretty much been an ideological mirror of the administration in power ever since. Trying to stop the NLRB from enforcing the law in this case is a poorly veiled attempt to prevent the law from being enforced at all: they know there's no way in hell they can repeal the NLRA, so they're content to make sure it doesn't actually provide protections for workers.

    (Technical note: you FPers probably shouldn't schedule diaries to promote to the FP so far in advance, because it keeps later readers from reccing the comments that appeared while the diary was still on the Recent/Rec lists. This one went up on the 8th, but didn't hit the FP until tonight, so I can't rec up raptavio's absolutely spot-on observation about the awkwardness of "subpoenaing.")

    ‎"Our greatest asset as advocates is a deep cognizance of our own ignorance, plus a willingness to do something about it." -Joseph Mitchell Kaye, 1966.

    by JR on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:05:22 PM PDT

  •  Conservatives believe the law exists (0+ / 0-)

    to make people do what they want without having to pay them.  Paying people to work, for example, is a bribe and immoral.  In an ideal world people would do what they're told. Period. The original sin was and continues to be disobedience. That's why

    "Freedom is obedience to the law."

    The Creator made a mistake when he gave man free will.  Jesus the Savior was sent to correct that mistake and provide an example of perfect obedience to the law.  Authority triumphant.  That's what appeals to fundamentalists.
    There's a practical explanation for their preference. Other people being obedient and toiling as directed makes it possible for those giving the orders to survive without having to do anything for themselves. For the truth is, though it's well hidden, that authoritarians are basically incompetent to sustain themselves and not able to produce anything anyone else wants.
    So, why do we keep them around?

    Well, one could say, as a slight variation of an old saying,
    "They also serve who only sit and eat."

    That is, they keep the surplus we cleverly produce from going to waste.

    http://www.youtube.com/cyprespond

    by hannah on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 02:55:27 AM PDT

  •  Why doesn't the NLRB get a federal injunction (0+ / 0-)

    while the administrative hearing and court case pend?

  •  Corporate Poodle Darrell Issa Is Responsible (0+ / 0-)

    Darrell Issa, big businesses's best friend in Congress and all around swell puppet, is spearheading this. He has a long history of bitter enmity against the NLRB.

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