NLRB To Drop Suit Against Boeing?

Is it possible Booing might get its way in regards to the NLRB action trying to block it from opening its new Dreamliner plant in South Carolina? If this AP report is accurate, the answer might be yes.

However, this 'win' for Boeing might be a Pyrrhic victory as it was contingent upon a new four year bargaining agreement with the Machinists union.

The National Labor Relations Board filed a lawsuit earlier this year alleging that Boeing violated labor laws by opening the South Carolina line. The agency claimed that Boeing was punishing Washington state workers for past strikes and said the company should return the work to Washington. Boeing has vigorously denied the charges, claiming it opened the South Carolina plant for valid economic reasons.

The agreement would call for the new 737 Max aircraft to be built at union facilities in Renton, Wash., said Tom Wroblewski, president of Machinists Union District 751.

Wroblewski said that if union members vote to approve the deal in the coming weeks, the union would inform the NLRB that it has no further grievances with Boeing.

The article goes on to say that since the union no longer has a grievance against Boeing, the NLRB would likely stop pursuing the case. (Even if it does, that doesn't mean the NLRB wouldn't pursue it some future time should the “need” arise...like another negotiation for a union contract.)

I have to ask whether the lawsuit filed on behalf of the union by the NLRB was nothing more than leverage for the union to get a better deal. After all, two of the three sitting members in the NLRB are staunch union supporters, with one of them a former administrator for the SEIU.

Something stinks about this whole thing, something legally actionable if it turns out the NLRB acted against Boeing at the behest of union leaders in order to gain an advantage at the bargaining table. Since we can't count on either the Department of Labor or the Justice Department to investigate this matter, maybe it's time for Congress to step in. It would have to be the House rather than the Senate as a majority of the Senate is beholden the the unions and would be unlikely to allow such an action to take place.