Boeing has fired back against a decision by the National Labor Relations Board to file a complaint against it opening a new non-union facility in the right-to-work state of South Carolina.
"This claim is legally frivolous and represents a radical departure from both NLRB and Supreme Court precedent," said Michael Luttig, Boeing's general counsel, said in a statement. "Boeing has every right under both federal law and its collective bargaining agreement to build additional U.S. production capacity outside of the Puget Sound region."
Boeing noted that it announced plans to build a new factory in South Carolina, a right to work state, 17 months ago, and has subsequently nearly completed construction on the plant and hired 1,000 workers. The company said it plans to begin assembly of the first plane in the facility in July.
Boeing went on to say that, "none of the production jobs created in South Carolina has come at the expense of jobs in Puget Sound and that not a single union member has been adversely affected. In fact, (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers) employment in Puget Sound has increased by approximately 2,000 workers since the decision to expand in South Carolina was made in October 2009."
South Carolina GOP Sens. Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham attacked the move.
DeMint's statement said:
"This is nothing more than a political favor for the unions who are supporting President Obama's re-election campaign. Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of hundreds of jobs in South Carolina and thousands of jobs nationwide. There is no doubt that if the National Labor Relations Board's claim against Boeing moves forward, it will have a chilling effect on job growth in my state and in right-to-work states across the country. Using the federal government as political weapon to protect union bosses at the expense of American jobs cannot be tolerated. I intend to use every tool at my disposal as a United States Senator to stop the President from carrying out this malicious act."
Graham chimed in on Twitter, calling the decision, "one of the worst examples of unelected bureaucrats doing the bidding of special interest groups I’ve ever seen."