Category Archives: Republican Candidates

Has anyone heard of due process?: Politicians condem NLRB over complaint filed against Boeing

Unions and the rights of their workers are being trampled on, when is it going to stop? Maybe after work conditions and wages are returned to their pre-1920’s standing and the return of the “Robber Barons” who lined the pockets of political cronies to looked the other way.

By Ross Eisenbrey, Economic Policy Institute Vice President
posted from The Hill’s Congress Blog

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently filed a complaint against the Boeing Corporation based on evidence that Boeing moved work away from Washington State as punishment for the employees having exercised their legally protected right to strike. Politicians who either don’t know the law or don’t care about it have condemned the NLRB, including Mitt Romney and his fellow Republican candidates for President. They want to rile up the business community by painting the decision as the President’s, even though it was made by a career government employee on behalf of an independent agency outside the President’s control.

Various senators and congressmen are now trying to influence the Labor Board’s ultimate decision, which is not a policy decision but an adjudication. The law and policy were provided by Congress in 1935 when the National Labor Relations Act was passed by Congress and signed by Franklin Roosevelt. The NLRB’s only responsibility is to apply the law to the facts of this case, an undertaking that should be free from political influence or intimidation. And yet a growing number of legislators are threatening to slash the NLRB’s budget and punish its General Counsel if the case proceeds in the manner proscribed by statute.

This attack on the NLRB is political and self-interested. After all, the NLRB’s administrative law judge has not even held a trial yet. The only decision that has been made – and all legal scholars agree it was defensible – was by the General Counsel in response to a charge brought by the International Association of Machinists that there was good cause to believe that Boeing had violated the law. In other words, the union provided enough evidence of Boeing’s motivation that a trial in the matter is justified.

The members of the NLRB will not even review the case unless and until the trial judge’s decision is appealed. So all the howling about the NLRB’s assault on capitalism and free enterprise is premature, to say the least.

Sadly, the political pressure is having an effect already. Even Democrats are racing to say that, of course, business has the right to relocate anywhere it wants to, even to a so-called right-to-work state like South Carolina. And they’re right, up to a point.

Businesses are free to relocate to other states or countries. South Carolina has been a stop-over for businesses relocating from the north for decades; many companies, from textile manufacturers to furniture companies and paper processors, often go on to countries like China after absorbing the tax breaks and other subsidies South Carolina offers them. Unions are rare in South Carolina, but independent unions in China are actually illegal, and wages are even lower in Chinese textile plants than in Gaston or Winnsboro.

But the motive for a relocation matters. Moving for cheaper labor is legal. But closing a plant in Los Angeles and moving to North Dakota to avoid hiring Hispanics or African Americans is not legal. Shutting a factory in New York and moving it to South Carolina to avoid hiring Jews or Muslims would not be legal, either. One can imagine other illegal motivations, but the point is that we reasonably limit relocations when they violate laws. In Boeing’s case, the bad motive that has been alleged is a desire to punish the machinist union members for exercising their legally protected right to strike. E-mail traffic among Boeing managers is alleged to show that it was due to the desire to punish the Washington State Boeing workers for having engaged in lawful strikes that airline production work was transferred. Congress has prohibited job decisions based explicitly on unlawful animus, whether it’s hostility to blacks, women, Mormons, Muslims, Jews or unions. Instead of browbeating the neutral prosecutor and judge, why not let them do their jobs and apply the law to the facts? We used to call that due process.

Ross Eisenbrey is a lawyer and former commissioner of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Committee. He has been vice president of the Economic Policy Institute since 2003.

Leave a comment

Filed under Boeing Corp, Congress, Congress Blog, Franklin D. Roosevelt, labor unions, National Labor Relations Board(NLRB), North Carolina, Republican Candidates, right to work, The Hill

>Gov. Christie’s Chopper Ride

>Lawrence O’Donnell, on last nights episode of The Last Word blasted Governor Christie for using a New Jersey State Police helicopter to take him to his son’s high school baseball game then back down to the governor’s mansion to meet with GOP recruiter’s from Iowa that tried to persuade he to enter the 2012 Presidential sweepstakes.

Watch the video:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

5 Comments

Filed under Gov. Chris Christie, helicopter ride, Iowa, Lawrence O'Donnell, New Jersey, Republican Candidates, taxpayer expense, The Last Word

>Can the Grand Old (Tea) Party Win in November?

>Nice article written by John Nickles over at the Nation.com about the sudden turn of events that has now made Democratic prospect for the November elections and retaining control of the US Senate much more likely thanks to Republican voters that chose extreme right-wing TEA Party backed candidates in Alaska, Delaware, Nevada and elsewhere over more mainstream GOP candidates:

Did the Tea Party movement just snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Delaware?

In a word: Yes.

Just as wins by extreme right-wingers in Republican primaries in Nevada, Alaska and other states have renewed the hopes of Democrats in Senate races where they looked to be doomed, Delaware Republicans just ditched a seemingly certain November winner for a likely loser.

On a night when the Tea Party movement scored some big wins over candidates of the Republican establishment—in races for governor of New York and perhaps for New Hampshire’s open US Senate seat—the most dramatic victory for the frenzied right came in Delaware, where Tea Party heroine Christine O’Donnell upset Congressman Mike Castle for the party’s Senate nod.

Former White House political czar Karl Rove, who describes the Republican nominee for the US Senate from that state, Christine O’Donnell, as someone who “says a lot of nutty things,” was arguing that the GOP just lost a Senate race.

“We were looking at eight to nine seats in the Senate. We’re now looking at seven to eight in my opinion,” Rove said Tuesday night. “This is not a race we are going to be able to win.”

But consider those numbers: What Rove is saying is that, with the Delaware result, Republicans may have lost much more than the Senate race in a single state….

Read more >>> Here

2 Comments

Filed under Alaska, Delaware, enat, Karl Rove, Nevada, Republican Candidates, Tea Party, Tea Party candidate, The Nation, US Senate