In the past, when I’ve expressed concern about what I see as the totalitarian impulse of the bureaucratic Leviathan, I’ve been accused of overreaction. On the other hand, folks like the National Labor Relations Board make me wonder if I’m suspicious enough.
The Boeing Corporation has decided to build a new factory to produce its new 787 line of jetliners. They decided to build their factory in South Carolina, near Charleston. Not surprisingly, the people of South Carolina are happy, not least because the new factory offers the prospect of new jobs, and the employment figures in South Carolina (as in many parts of the country) are grim.
But the NLRB isn’t pleased. You see, they’ve decided that one of the reasons Boeing chose to build in South Carolina is that they were tired of hassles with the unions in Washington State. South Carolina, meanwhile, is a right-to-work state, so unions would be much less capable of holding the new facility hostage. Of course, Boeing is a business, and if they want to spend their money on building in a state where they feel the workforce better meets their needs, they have the right to do that, don’t they?
Apparently not, says the NLRB, which has asked for a court order forcing the manufacturer to build a 787 factory in the Pacific Northwest. Apparently, businesses exist in order to give jobs to union guys, and moving to an area where they don’t have to put up with the union is verboten. The Columbia, SC State reports:
The NLRB complaint filed on Wednesday quotes public statements by Boeing executives saying they put the plant in South Carolina in part to avoid future labor disruptions. The government complaint says this amounts to discriminating based on union activity.
Most 787s are being assembled in Washington state by members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
“Federal labor law is clear: it’s illegal to threaten or penalize workers who engage in concerted activity,” IAM Vice President Rich Michalski said in a statement Wednesday.
So let me get this straight. If I have a choice between someone who wants to work for what I want to pay them and someone who has a history of striking to extort more money out of me, and I choose the person who wants to work for what I want to pay them, I’m illegally discriminating? Although Jim DeMint isn’t my favorite politician, I think he’s on the nose on this one:
“This means inside our own government is union thugs trying to bully and intimidate,” DeMint said. “The signal they’re trying to send to any company in America is if you move to a right-to-work state, they’re going to make it painful for you.”
Put another way, the NLRB is trying to turn the entire country into a closed shop. Meanwhile, I’m sure there’s no connection between the decision and these facts:
- The guy filing the NLRB’s request (Lafe Solomon) is an Obama appointee.
- South Carolina is a solidly red state.
- The IAM were Obama endorsers in 2008.
Now I’m sure that the Major will be glad to tell me that crass political concerns and cronyism wouldn’t influence our noble public servants. Payback? Never heard of it. Nonetheless, I’m not interested in hearing any more about how silly I am to suspect politically motivated interference as one of the side effects of big government.
And just think how great it’ll be when folks like this get to make your medical decisions!