Union Charges Senator with Ethics Violations in Boeing Case

June 17, 2011
Group calls for investigation of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on conduct regarding the NLRB pending complaint against Boeing.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) on June 17 sent a letter to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics calling for an investigation into South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Grahams conduct and statements regarding the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) pending complaint against the Boeing Company.

The IAM letter cites potentially unethical efforts by Sen. Graham and others to pressure NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon to drop the law enforcement proceeding against Boeing.

"I believe that prior to the issuance of the Boeing complaint on April 20th, Senator Lindsey Graham communicated with NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon in one or more attempts to pressure him not to do so," said IAM General Counsel Chris Corson. "I also believe that these communications included threats that the Senator would seek to defund or otherwise adversely affect the funding of the NLRB if the Boeing complaint were pursued."

The IAM letter also cites a letter from Sen. Graham to President Obama, in which Graham declares he will pursue sanctions against Solomon and the NLRB even if it turns out that the NLRB's law enforcement action against Boeing is upheld.

"I don't believe that a Senator or any other politician should be trying to interfere with and prevent a law enforcement trial," said Corson, who cited possible violation of Senate Rule 43. "Americans expect law enforcement to be there for them when they are victimized by discrimination or other unlawful behavior. When politicians intervene on behalf of a rich businessman or corporation in order to stop law enforcement from doing its job, our Constitution and rule of law are put in jeopardy."

The IAM represents more than 25,000 Boeing workers and is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America, with nearly 700,000 active and retired members in dozens of industries.

To view full letter click here.

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