Lessons from the NLRB’s Boeing Complaint


On April 11, 2011, Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon of the National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against Boeing seeking to force Boeing to move its second line of Dreamliner production from South Carolina to Washington State and the jurisdiction of the International Association of Machinists. The complaint has drawn national attention as Republican Senators and Congressmen have condemned Solomon and the NLRB for filing the complaint, and the NLRB and Democrats have responded. The debate in Washington has focused on the impact of the complaint and the politics associated with the filing of the complaint.

Republicans recently filed a bill to amend the NLRA, entitled “The Job Protection Act.” The likelihood of success in amending the NLRA before 2012 is remote, of course. Regardless of what happens in the future, there are significant lessons to be learned from the Boeing situation for both unionized and union-free employers.

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