The movie Atlas Shrugged hit the movie theaters and has gone mostly unnoticed. As I said before, the major part of the story line involves government, unions, and how they are trying to control everything from how much one can earn, to what one can own and produce. In an almost eerily similar fashion, Obama’s National Labor Relations Board is attempting to control Boeing; not what they make … but where they make it.
Boeing lost billions of dollars due to union strikes that crushed production at the plant – in some cases for months – during the last 20 years. Strikes and work stoppages every three or four years resulted in Boeing looking to build a second production line for their 787 Dreamliner elsewhere.
Even though Boeing did not have to negotiate with the union concerning opening a new line at a different location, they stepped up to try to make something work in Seattle and started negotiating with the union to keep the work in the area. During negotiations, the union wanted guarantees Boeing was unable to give – the demands were unsustainable and would put Boeing in a bad position for the future.
Boeing looked elsewhere to build a second production line, and headed to a business-friendly South Carolina, where a $2 million investment resulted in 1,000 new jobs in the area.
Now, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – a federal government agency with leadership who report to President Obama – is trying to halt the plant from producing any planes when it goes into production this July.
The Wall Street Journal first wrote about this story yesterday – highlighted by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air – and today the story is really starting to explode online … with lots of Atlas Shrugged references. From the WSJ…
In 2009 Boeing announced plans to build a new plant to meet demand for its new 787 Dreamliner. Though its union contract didn’t require it, Boeing executives negotiated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to build the plane at its existing plant in Washington state. The talks broke down because the union wanted, among other things, a seat on Boeing’s board and a promise that Boeing would build all future airplanes in Puget Sound.
So Boeing management did what it judged to be best for its shareholders and customers and looked elsewhere. …
The NLRB [asked] an administrative law judge to stop Boeing’s South Carolina production because its executives had cited the risk of strikes as a reason for the move. Boeing acted out of “anti-union animus,” says the complaint by acting general counsel Lafe Solomon, and its decision to move had the effect of “discouraging membership in a labor organization” and thus violates federal law.
It’s hard to know which law he’s referring to. There are plentiful legal precedents that give business the right to locate operations in right-to-work states. That right has created healthy competition among states and kept tens of millions of jobs in America rather than heading overseas.
Workers have the ability to collectively bargain for wages, benefits, and working conditions in the private sector if they desire. If they make their labor too costly and businesses can conduct their operations elsewhere, then they have the right to do so, too. The government has no legitimate role in forcing business owners to be hostages to their workforce. If the workers price themselves out of their jobs, then they need to deal with the consequences. The ability to collectively bargain does not include a guarantee of a job.
Others writing today include Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive…
The best part about this is that Obama used recess appointments to get two of his (his union bosses) thugs on the panel without Senate confirmation, and now they deliver a stunningly obvious quid pro quo.
It’s disturbing. What’s even more disturbing is the fact that unions don’t care. Not as long as they “get theirs” – even if it comes at the expense of someone else’s job, their hard-earned tax money, (or in some instances, at the expense of “the environment“).
Post edited by Steve McGough and Jim Vicevich.