Red, Blue Or . . . Union

unions bring US ship down


Right To Work: The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says the administration that pledged unity among the states is now dividing them into union friends and foes.

In his keynote address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Senate candidate Barack Obama uttered the line there are no red or blue states, but only the United States.

According to Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue, that catchy depiction of national unity has lost all meaning in the wake of the administration’s war, waged through the National Labor Relations Board, against right-to-work states and Boeing Co., which wants to expand into one.

Speaking last Wednesday at a Chamber summit on the future of aviation, Donohue accused the administration of rewarding its political base at the expense of economic growth, once again interfering in the free market by trying to force a private company to make its product only in a unionized state.

The NLRB complaint alleges that Boeing wants to build its new 787 Dreamliner in North Charleston, S.C., instead of at its Puget Sound facility in Washington state in retaliation against the International Association of Machinists for recent strikes such as a two-month-long work stoppage in 2008 that cost the company $1.8 billion.

Donohue says it’s the feds who are retaliating against Boeing for making a prudent and legitimate business decision that recognizes the harm that frequent and lengthy strikes can do to a company struggling to remain competitive in the global market. He says the administration is placing politics ahead of jobs and growth.

The NLRB complaint quotes Boeing CEO Jim McNerney as saying the company was moving some operations to South Carolina due to “strikes happening every three to four years in Puget Sound.”

Boeing in fact is moving nothing. The facility in South Carolina is new and will take no pre-existing jobs away from Puget Sound. In fact, the union in question has added 2,000 jobs at Puget Sound since Boeing decided to expand in South Carolina in 2009.

Boeing intends to build seven 787s per month in its Puget Sound facility near Seattle and three per month in South Carolina.

“We’re on a slippery slope,” Donohue said, “when the government attempts to interfere in legal, legitimate and reasonable business decisions so that it can reward politically favored groups.”

We should not be surprised, given the way this administration intervened in the banking and car sectors while claiming the rights to oust CEOs in any business that it finds offensive. Look at the “investments” in green energy while the oil and coal industries are under assault by the EPA and threatened with cutoffs of their incentives to generate real, usable energy.

“Now we have to think about the implications of this,” Donohue said. “We have lots and lots of states — 24, 25, I think — that are right-to-work states. We’re going to tell them they can’t invite business into their state.”

That’s exactly what we are telling them.

The NLRB is suing Arizona and South Dakota seeking to invalidate their constitutional amendments banning card check, a process that denies a worker a secret ballot. The NLRB has also threatened two other states with similar amendments — Utah and, yes, South Carolina.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has sent a letter to the NLRB saying its “complaint represents an assault upon the constitutional right of free speech and the ability of our states to create jobs and recruit industry.” The attorneys general of Virginia, Nebraska, Texas, Georgia, Florida and Alabama have added their names to the letter.

The candidate who pledged to be the leader of all the states has become the president of only the union ones.



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