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The Right To Work And Boeing

Updated on May 3, 2011

Under The Radar Again I Go...

I am a "Right To Worker" and have been my entire life. I am also a business owner now and don't need, or want, anyone interfering in how I run my business, especially some union shop boneheads. I especially don't need anyone in the federal government telling me who I can or can't hire, where to locate my business and how to run it. That's why I'm here to make those types of decisions. I was on another Hub when someone made the comment that Obama is going to stop Boeing from opening a facility in my home state, in particular Charleston, South Carolina. Then I started to think about it. See I read quite a bit and this one escaped me temporarily.

A little history might be in order. The Boeing Corporation is very big in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington. I lived out there once upon a time and it is a major employer in the SEATAC area. The state of Washington, according to the map presented, isn't a "Right to Work" state. I know an electrical contractor out there who repeatedly told me that the unions had a stranglehold on labor issues there, and I believe the man. You see, unions want to receive favorable treatment in case you haven't taken notes lately.

Back in the fall of 2009, Boeing made a business decision which was theirs to make - where to operate another production facility. It will manufacture the 787, also called the Dreamliner which is presently manufactured in Everett, Washington. That decision was based upon the failure of the unions to face economic reality. They thought they had a stranglehold on the company. The machinists union was a major contributor to Boeing's decision. They have struck the company at least 5 times in recent history and caused too much economic harm and continually disrupted the work environment. Based upon that and other factors, Boeing had to make some economic decisions and did so.

They could have chosen to move the facility outside the borders of the United States. General Electric, Obama's buddy, has done just that but not a peep huh?  Remember that Immelt, the present CEO is sitting up there, appointed by Obama, to head his job creation panel.  Give that some serious thought as GE shutters it plants that produce incandescent light bulbs and those jobs move to China.  Create jobs for whom is my question?

Boeing decided to move to South Carolina which is a "Right To Work" state. Here we believe that you have the right to work without union interference, bullying or coercion to get your way. A fair day's work equates to a fair day's pay. State officials, like any other state officials, are concerned about continued unemployment and are seeking the presence of job producers, not discouraging them. There is a reason that BMW chose this state to open a plant. There was also a reason that Honda opened an ATV production facility not far from where I live.  I know workers in both facilities and they say the they are treated quite fairly and they don't want a union to destroy their work environment. Their words, not mine.

So onto the scene rides the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). A little history helps here also. The NLRB was established by Congress to be a neutral negotiating body to help resolve labor disputes. As with many government agencies. it has become a political appointee reward stopping point. The NLRB is no exception to the concept of cesspool politics. The intent of neutrality becomes a moot point and turned on its head. If you don't believe that Obama has the unions in his back pocket, or him in theirs, then I have a bridge I'll gladly sell you for pennies on the dollar. Trumpka, the union boss of the AFL-CIO, is on the frequent visitor program to The Whine House and racking up some shoe leather time going there. What amazes me is that union workers are the minority in this nation's workforce, but they seem to want to bellow the loudest.

The NLBR, as Obama;s proxy, has sued the Boeing Corporation. This is a severe over reach (you should be seeing the pattern of over reach by the federal government by now) which extends well past their legal mandate granted by Congress. The reason they have sued Boeing is the company's decision to build that second Dreamliner plant in the great state of South Carolina. Imagine that Boeing chose to create jobs in this country rather than shuttering operations and moving overseas to a more labor friendly environment. How dare they!

Several side issues arise here. The voters in South Carolina (me being one of them) overwhelmingly voted to amend our Constitution this past November to allow workers the right to vote on whether they want to be a member of a union. Seems rather reasonable to me as a member of "We, the People..." The workers at Boeing in South Carolina took that step and booted the unions from representing them. Boeing presently employs 1,000 workers here with the objective of providing 5,000 jobs to our people here. Hey, it was a business decision so don't take it so personally union management and sic the NLRB attack dogs on the will of the people. They helped release the stranglehold of the International Brotherhood of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IBMAW) on Boeing production. So you are going to sue them for that also?

What the NLRB contends is that's Boeing's decision to relocate to a better work environment is a retaliatory measure against the IBMAW. How so you ask? Back in 2008 the union struck Boeing and crippled the company's production in Washington state. If you do that to my business, I might have to make some business decisions myself. But to call it retaliation is a bit of a stretch. It was a business decision that any business has the right to make. It's called location, location, location. Why is it illegal to do what is best for your business?

This is the second attempt by the NLRB in attacking the state of South Carolina. Early in 2011 they threatened this state's officials along with Utah, South Dakota and Arizona (of all places huh?). The nature of the threat was that they would use our money (read: tax payer) to sue those states because we had the audacity to include the right of union workers to cast a "secret ballot" in any union elections. They contended the individual states don't have the right to include that in their state Constitution. The contents and wording of the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution seems to come to my mind here.

There is pending legislation in Congress to prevent the NLRB from proceeding with such a lawsuit. It should also be noted that 176 members of the House voted to totally defund the NLRB in an amendment to the budget. This agency has over steeped its legal boundaries. It has moved well past the mandate that Congress gave it when it was created. It is to be a "neutral" body, not the voice of the unions.

Since when was a government agency allowed to tell a US based company where to locate or not locate? Since the advent of Obamanation I have to surmise.  Whether the Obama packed NLRB is guilty of playing politics underlies this issue. If that is so, then we are trodding one step closer to socialism. What will be the impact on this economy if the NLRB was to succeed in this, which I find very doubtful? When faced with future location decisions businesses will have taken note and rather than build on our shores, they may choose a more favorable business envorment - overseas as General Electric has done and will continue to do.

It is sheer insanity to institute tax policies, regulations and a "not so friendly" environment for our employers to operate. Even a 5th grader gets that concept. I, as a tax payer, also take exception to the NLRB using my tax money to sue any company over any businesses so obviously legal decision as to where to build their business. How absurd. How far are we going to allow this administration to continue to sink us in their political cesspool?

What say you?


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    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 6 years ago from home


      I knew i didnt want to tick him off too much I didnt want to wear cement loafers and take a was Niagara Falls afterall.


    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      tom - Bullies try their hardest to intimidate. When he asked you did you know who he was, you were more polite than I would have been.

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 6 years ago from home


      i have worked for a Union i was told to slow down... i was working to fast-I understand why they said that- As a summer helper-I was not going to have to do this for another 40 years-

      then i WAS FORCED to use UNiOn workers under threaT OF PiCKET in one Union heavy area of upstate Ny.That job took three times as long as it needed to...I find the union pee-on workers-great regular guys until the UNION SUPER got on site then they would say- Sorry man the Boss is here. i told the guy unless he could show me his 40-hour OSHA paperwork and got a hard hat and steel toe boots on he stayed on the sidewalk

      He looked at me and said "Do you know WHO I AM???"

      i said "Yes you are a guy who will stay here and not get hurt" - "Until you can get the proper paperwork and gear on." luckily my client Roared with laughter called the union rep a dichk for trying to skirt the rules". its funny when the boss man came back- flowers would have grown out his a$$-butter melted in his mouth and his atitude changed for sure-"

      " He never tried to bully me after that.


    • caltex profile image

      caltex 6 years ago

      Excellent hub, TFP!

      With all the labor laws we now have intended to protect workers, unions no longer serve their purpose nowadays. Unions are now just a detriment to the economy. For as long as there are unions, we will never be able to compete with China. Unions have unreasonably inflated wages. Workers get raises regardless of performance - encouraging mediocrity, even to the point of laziness, and not hard work. Can we blame corporations for relocating and outsource outside of the US? Can you blame Immelt? It's really laughable he was tasked to head the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness . Too bad he does not have the balls to get rid of unions.

    • profile image

      rip van winkle 6 years ago

      why are we the people standing by and letting this weasle in chief do this to our country?

    • profile image

      Ghost32 6 years ago

      I've worked a few union jobs and a whole lot of non-union. Never did see any of the unions do one bit of good for the workers, not to mention that I got paid the best by outfits that were non-union--because I tend to get the job done as well as any and a whole lot better than most, and (being non-union) my bosses could up my pay when they felt like it.

      The move be Obstructor in Chief and his zombies, however, is certainly no surprise. Well nigh automatic, actually.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      dahoglund - You brought up an interesting point. Comparing what union leaders make in comparison to what a union worker makes, it surprises me that the workers don't see where the majority of their "dues" go.

      That's the reason the union leaders object so strenuously to any legislation that makes "dues" optional for the worker. They'd be out of a job. No one is fooling anyone. The union member might be fooling themselves though. Why pay to have a job?

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 6 years ago

      I recall when I was a member of the uaw union they used to hand out flyers on how to vote at election time. Not that I ever paid any attention to them.

    • profile image

      34th Bomb Group 6 years ago

      I vividly remember, as a child, my Father - a small business owner, announcing loudly and often that the Unions will be the ruination of this Country.

      How sad to see that what he said 50 years ago is true.

      Oh - I'm in the f'n State of NEW YORK where the unions have decimated the population by their mere existence. You've heard the phrase "rust belt?" Come to Buffalo and I'll sell you a lot of rust for pennies. In fact, I'll PAY YOU to take it to your state along with the bloody unions.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      My experience with unions has been a bit haphazard. There are times when they may be useful.I resent when I have worked where it was obligatory to belong. My general observation is that they are seldom for "the little guy" but rather use the little guy for their own purposes.

    • profile image

      Stu From VT 6 years ago


      Great post. This one is over the top even for Oblabber. There is no possible legal theory to support his position. I think he's just showing some bluster to keep union members on his side as his overall support sinks. Were he to actually win this in court on challenge by either side, we would be entering the realm of literal socialist corporatism. I shudder to think of the implications. But I really see no way he can prevail on this.


    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 6 years ago

      The unions are Obama's army. He has not a shred of interest in our military, but the unions are his supporters. Watching their violence lately has left me with a sour taste in my mouth and a heavy heart. I can only suppose that Obama wants the ability to nationalize certain industries and force people to let the unions run things that they will eventually ruin. Fine piece of writing Frog. Up, useful and awesome.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 6 years ago

      FP - when one looks at individual moves by this administration, they are just irritating as heck. When you add them all together, they are outrageous. All of these moves play a role in the master plan to create Socialism in our country, and the worst part is it is happening right before our very eyes.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      David - I already expressed my displeasure to mine of this BS. Every one needs to write their reps about crap like this. Let it rip.

      Poolman - This is the sort of thing that constantly goes on behind the scenes. I find it unfathomable that Obama's zombies just keep plugging along wanting the road to socialism to accelerate. That is not what this country has ever been about. When the federal government starts controlling the means of production, we have some serious problems.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 6 years ago

      FP - This ought to stir up some good comments.

      I have personally been a card carrying member of several different Unions in my lifetime. Not by choice, but because these jobs were not in "Right to Work States", and Union membership was mandatory. I paid my Union Dues, because they were deducted from my paycheck before it got to me.

      It is almost as if Unions have become a major gathering source for campaign funds for the liberal party, and nothing more. They protect the poorest workers, and hold back the outstanding workers. They drive up the cost of goods sold which of course is passed on to the buyer.

      I have never met a worker who believes in a fair days work for a fair days pay who felt the need to belong to a Union.

      To have the government get involved in this is outrageous. Perhaps they fear a decline in campaign contributions from the Unions if they allow this to happen?

      Fortunately, I live in Arizona, a Right to Work state. If my employees decided to unionize, I would just close the doors on my business and lay everyone off.

      Thanks for letting us know about this latest move by our Big Brother.

    • profile image

      David Vines 6 years ago

      Great read Jim. Texas is also a right to work state and I wouldn't want to live in a state that wasn't.I guess it is time to contact my elected officials and express my opinion regarding the NRLB.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Thanks NQX. Another interesting thing is to look at the map closely. What do a lot of those blue states have in common? Severe economic and budgetary problems. Nuff said?

    • NQX profile image

      NQX 6 years ago from Melbourne, FL

      Another great blog, my Verdant Friend. The key statement for me is, "What amazes me is that union workers are the minority in this nation's workforce, but they seem to want to bellow the loudest."