Boeing Dispute Spurs Legislation to Rein in NLRB

July 20, 2011
Proposal would prevent the federal agency from ordering private firms to close, shut down or transfer employment.

Several House Republicans are backing proposed legislation that would halt the National Labor Relations Boards ability to remedy unlawful labor practices by ordering companies to close, shut down or transfer employment.

Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., on Tuesday introduced the legislation, titled the Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act. Four additional House Republicans signed on as original co-sponsors of the proposal.

The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold a markup of the proposal on Thursday.

The legislation takes aim at a remedy sought by the NLRB for alleged unfair labor practices perpetrated by The Boeing Co. In an April complaint, the federal agency charged the Chicago-based aerospace company with transferring work on its 787 Dreamliner to a new South Carolina facility in retaliation for past strikes at its Washington state production site.

Boeing has denied the charges.

To remedy the alleged infraction, NLRB wants Boeing to perform the work in Washington, putting some 1,000 jobs at risk in South Carolina.

If the NLRB is allowed to continue down this path, not only will the economy in my home state of South Carolina be affected, but the entire national economy as well, said Rep. Scott, in a press statement. We must encourage companies to create jobs at home here in America and not overseas, and my legislation will remove the ability of an unelected government board to stand in the way of American job creation.

The proposed legislation amends the National Labor Relations Act to limit the NLRBs powers. Specifically, it says the board shall have no power to order an employer (or seek an order against an employer) to restore or reinstate any work, product, production line, or equipment, to rescind any relocation, transfer, subcontracting, outsourcing, or other change regarding the location, entity, or persons who shall be engaged in production or other business operations, or to require any employer to make an initial or additional investment at a particular plant, facility, or location.

Additionally, if enacted, the legislation would apply to any case that had not already reached final adjudication before the board.

Meanwhile, the NLRB-Boeing dispute is being heard by an NLRB administrative law judge, although the hearing is not in session this week.

See Also:

Tensions High at South Carolina Hearing on NLRB

Boeing Makes Its Case Against the NLRB at Senate Committee Hearing

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