The Conservative War on Workers’ Rights

The Latest Chapter Features Misinformation About Boeing and Its Unions

David Madland details the facts in the National Labor Relations Board’s complaint against the aircraft manufacturer to set the record straight.

Read the full article (CAP Action)

Right-wing politicians and pundits are in an uproar over the National Labor Relations Board’s April 20 complaint alleging that aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company broke the law by punishing unionized workers who had exercised their legally protected right to strike. While the case is still in the early stages—the NLRB hasn’t even held a hearing on the complaint, let alone reached a decision on its merit—what is clear at this point is that conservatives’ efforts to pressure the NLRB to drop the investigation is a continuation of their aggressive war against workers and their rights to join unions and collectively bargain.

Based on the facts currently available about Boeing’s decision to move an airline production line from a union facility in the state of Washington to a brand new, nonunion facility in South Carolina, the NLRB has justification for filing a complaint. A senior Boeing official told The Seattle Times in a videotaped interview:

The overriding factor [in moving to South Carolina] 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.

The National Labor Relations Act prohibits retaliation against strikes.

The NLRB’s hearing on the Boeing complaint is scheduled for June 14, and the hearing and future proceedings will bring to light whether Boeing’s actions were legal. The law protects Boeing’s rights to make business decisions, and certainly they have some business reasons for moving the production line to South Carolina (such as the $900 billion in subsidies from the state), but it also clearly protects workers from retaliation for striking.

Read the full article (CAP Action)

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David Madland

Senior Fellow; Senior Adviser, American Worker Project