Thursday, May 5, 2011

Boeing Fires Back on NLRB Complaint

I previously blogged about a complaint filed by the NLRB that sought to dictate where Boeing could open a second manufacturing line for its 787 Dreamliner aircraft. In short, Boeing wanted to open it in South Carolina, a non-union shop, and the complaint seeks to direct them to operate the line in Washington's unionized facility. The complaint claims Boeing is trying to open the line in South Carolina as unlawful retaliation against the union for its lawful strikes and protected concerted activity.

Well, I mentioned that the NLRB's complaint was controversial. In fact, they took so much heat that they posted a Fact Check to correct "common misperceptions and errors of fact." Specifically, they have not ordered that Boeing close its South Carolina plant (only that they can't operate the aforementioned second 787 line there), and the NLRB hasn't even heard the case yet, let alone ruled on it yet (in fact, it goes to an administrative law judge first).

Now, Boeing has struck back with its own version of a fact check. In a May 3, 2011 letter, Boeing told the NLRB's acting General Counsel, Lafe Solomon:
A number of these statements [in the complaint], which are crucial to your case against Boeing, fundamentally misquote or mischaracterize statements by Boeing executives and actions taken by the company . . . . [Y]ou have filed a complaint based upon these misstatements that cannot be credibly maintained under law.
The letter went on to explain their position and request that the complaint be withdrawn.

This isn't the first letter attacking the complaint. Earlier, several state attorneys general likewise blasted the complaint in a letter to Solomon. They claim the "action seriously undermines our citizens’ right to work as well as their ability to compete globally."

This one is already getting a little testy. I'll keep an eye on it...

Posted by Philip Miles, an attorney with McQuaide Blasko in State College, Pennsylvania in the firm's civil litigation and labor and employment law practice groups.