You are hereTalking Points Memo: GOP, Dems Square Off Over NLRB Case Against Boeing

Talking Points Memo: GOP, Dems Square Off Over NLRB Case Against Boeing

-By Susan Crabtree

June 17, 2011- Republicans and Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee repeatedly clashed Friday over the politically charged National Labor Relations Board complaint against Boeing Co. and its decision to locate a nonunion plant in South Carolina.

Even before the field hearing in Charleston, S.C., got underway, Democrats were accusing Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) of trying to intimidate the NLRB by hauling the agency's top lawyer, Lafe Soloman, before the panel.

Soloman reluctantly agreed to testify under threat of a subpoena, and Democrats on the panel complained throughout the lengthy hearing that Issa was attempting to pressure the NLRB amid an ongoing enforcement case.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) was particularly annoyed and testy throughout the hearing, arguing that forcing Soloman to testify was an unprecedented act by the committee and would "taint the legal proceeding."

Issa maintained his right to scrutinize the NLRB's activities -- even during an active legal proceeding. An administrative law judge has urged the Chicago-based company and the Machinists union to settle their differences in a hearing that began in Seattle June 14.

In April, the NRLB filed a complaint against Boeing's decision to build an assembly plant for the new 787 Dreamliner in North Charleston, S.C., alleging that the move amounted to retaliation for union strikes at its Seattle-area manufacturing hub. Republicans, lead by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and the GOP South Carolina delegation, have decried the legal action as a political move by the Obama administration in favor of union supporters over job-creating private business decisions.

"The disastrous consequences that the effort to penalize Boeing will have on the economy of South Carolina, and the collateral damage that this unprecedented action will have on other right-to-work states, warrants scrutiny," Issa said in his opening statement.

If successful, Soloman's complaint could force Boeing to pull out of the state of South Carolina or at the very least build an additional assembly line in Washington state as a remedy.



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