GOP presidential candidates cheer on Boeing victory in labor case
December 9th, 2011
03:37 PM ET
2 years ago

GOP presidential candidates cheer on Boeing victory in labor case

(CNN) - Several Republican presidential candidates praised the decision of the National Labor Relations Board to drop its case against Boeing on Friday, ending a highly-charged political battle that's played a significant role on the campaign trail.

"The NLRB's suit was a politically motivated assault on the rule of law by President Obama and his big labor allies," said frontrunner Newt Gingrich in a statement. "The founding fathers warned that when government grows too big the law would be usurped for political purposes. This case was an example of that."

The board filed a complaint in April on behalf of the International Association of Machinists, accusing the company of unfair labor practices when it moved its union-represented plant in Washington to South Carolina, a right-to-work state where workers are not required to join a union.

Boeing argued it was maintaining full employment at its plants in the Pacific Northwest, while the new plant in South Carolina had already hired 1,000 employees with the expectation of employing a total of 8,000 workers.

The firestorm was a frequent subject for the GOP presidential hopefuls, who used it to attack the Obama administration as too cozy with labor unions and overly eager to interfere in the private sector.

It was especially a strong talking point during campaign stops in South Carolina, which holds the nation's first Southern primary on Jan. 21.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said the NLRB's decision was a "welcome step" but criticized the initial complaint as a sign that "union bosses" are the ones "calling the shots."

"While it is good news for the people of South Carolina, it does little for workers and businesses around the country who depend on a fair and impartial U.S. government," Romney said in a statement Friday. "Thanks to President Obama's appointees, the NLRB has become a rogue agency that tramples on the rights of American workers and businesses, injecting job-killing uncertainty into the economic climate."

According to a statement from the NLRB on Friday, the case was dismissed after Boeing and members of the Machinists union came to a four-year collective bargaining agreement.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman also hailed the final result but called it a "victory in a battle that should have never been fought."

"Their action against Boeing in South Carolina was an unprecedented attempt to interfere in the free market, and an attempt to politicize companies' decisions as how and where they create jobs," Huntsman said in a statement. "We never should have reached this point; President Obama should have ordered the NLRB to stand down months ago."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry also issued a statement:

"The Obama Administration's dangerous and inappropriate action against Boeing and the right to work state of South Carolina remains a frightening reminder of Washington excess even with the NLRB dropping the case. Unaccountable federal political appointees should never have the authority to tell a private company where it may or must build factories."

Also see:

Gingrich reaches out to conservative leaders

Bachmann will not take part in Trump debate

Santorum on Trump debate no-shows: They're hypocrites

Paul: 'I have to expose' Gingrich


Filed under: Boeing • Jobs • South Carolina
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. kinglywarrior

    So, the lawsuit led to a discussion between Boeing and the Union which resulted in a compromise, and this is a BAD thing? We really think Boeing would have sat down with the union without all the negative press and lawsuits? I'd like to think we aren;t that ignorant, but I'm consistently proved wrong.

    December 9, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. Republicons - anything for a buck, Teebaggers ~ “it’s all about me”

    So the great jowls of the Gingeritch open and jiggle to spew forth self-serving verbal vomit out upon the world – once again. Oh please great white whale of narcissistic talent we beseech you to bloviate on us once more – the day is young.

    December 9, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Can any president tell the NLRB to stand down? I didn't think that was possible.

    December 9, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. BeverlyNC

    This case had nothing to do with President Obama, Newt. Just shows how full of lies and hate Gingrich is. Maybe he will want to use poor children for these jobs. After all Newt thinks poor children have no value, are not worth educating, or feeding. Gingrich is the modern day Scrooge – "if they are to die, then let them die and decrease the surplus populatin". Newt – these children are far more valuable and intelligent and caring than you. You are NOT leadership quality.

    December 9, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Ain't life strange?

    And so the flip side of that is the Citizens United Supreme Court desicion that allows large corporations to control election outcomes. It is, and has always been the worker vs big corporation. Lately, its the worker who is losing the battle. You conservative, middle class citizens better start doing your homework. Its not the unions who will ruin your life... it'll be the corporations.

    December 9, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. 2607

    these republicans... what a jokers... even a comprise is not good enough

    December 9, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. chelle

    Republicans are never happy – the President should not interfere!!! Unless of course we change our minds and he should interfere. So now South Carolina has people making peanuts building planes – I think I will still to Airbus thanks!

    December 9, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. Four and The Door

    This is a win for all Americans who want our economic recovery to be full and long-lasting. Our businesses need to have government encouraging efficiency and productivity rather than prosecuting them because of political ambitions. Boeing has done nothing wrong. It has created many jobs and should be encouraged to create many more where they can. The Obama Administration wasted too much time and too many of our resources in this politically driven folly.

    December 9, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. Goptfascists Nationalists Party - radical "regressive" bigoted intolerant fanaticism screwing the USA

    The GOPTee-baggers cry and moan about President Obama over reaching and imposing his will when he does his job. Then when he doesn’t interfere with the legitimate process of government the GOPTee-baggers whine and wail about how President Obama should over step and interfere with the legal process ~ when it would be illegal. Then the GOPTee-baggers can’t understand why they are loosing in the polls?

    December 9, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    ""The NLRB's suit was a politically motivated assault on the rule of law by President Obama and his big labor allies," said frontrunner Newt Gingrich in a statement."

    Sooooooo, apparently, the GOP/Teatroll frontrunner for the party's nomination for POTUS doesn't have the basic understanding that the NLRB is an independent agency over which the POTUS exerts no direct control? Fascinating.

    December 9, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "So, the lawsuit led to a discussion between Boeing and the Union which resulted in a compromise, and this is a BAD thing?"

    No, of course not. It is, in fact, a victory for the NLRB, whose suit created the leverage forcing that to take place. Predictably, the GOP/Teatrolls will sell it as exactly the opposite and the MSM will dutifully help them disseminate the message without a single critical thought to accompany the reporting.

    December 9, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. Dustin

    Sounds to me like the move paid off for both sides. Sounds like a compromise, but you wouldn't know that by the headline from CNN and the soundbites from the Repub candidates, which is what most people will pay attention to.

    December 9, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. DVoice12

    And Grover Norquist is calling Republican's shots!!!

    December 9, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mitt seems to always be on the side of big corporate money. That might explain his willingness to ship jobs overseas at the cost of American jobs.

    December 9, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    Newt's 100% correct. Obama stacked the NLRB with partisan and biased union supporters who then used their position to force their left wing ideology on American businesses. And they wonder why businesses aren't hiring, expanding, growing. They don't know when these leftists will strike again. Everyhtin gthis administration does is ANTI-BUSINESS.

    And of course the leftists scream about the companies being able to defend themselves by supporting candidates that won't try and screw them over and destroy their company (should they be deemed a bad business by the dicates of a bureaucrat).

    December 9, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    ""The founding fathers warned that when government grows too big the law would be usurped for political purposes. This case was an example of that.""

    Without addressing my disagreement with his characterization of this suit as being politically motivated, I think it's worth noting how very remarkable it is that nobody has pointed out that the real and true example of it is the Patriot Act and indefinite detention of American citizens, both of which Newtered supports and wants to be made permanent.

    December 9, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. manhandler1

    What the H does this have to do with Obama? Sounds like a labor dispute that was settled amiably....which it should be. The Repukes are pathettically grasping at any straw to try and divert attention away from the clown show they've become.

    December 9, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    GOP solution: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Unemployed, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Employed, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the Military.

    December 9, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. Greg

    kinglywarrior- Why should Boeing be required to negotiate with the union to open a plant in a non-union state? They kept all the union employees in the union Pacific Northwest plants, opening in a non-union state is none of their business. Boeing and many other manufacturers are looking to right to work states specifically to avoid dealing with unreasonable union demands, getting the government involved on behalf of the unions is just ridiculous.

    December 9, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. RB

    Agree 100% with kinglywarrior. The slant of the Republican respone to the NLRB action reminds me of how they attempted to take credit for the killing of Osama Bin Laden. In this case the union filed a grievance as they have every right to do BY LAW. The NLRB investigated the grievance as they are REQUIRED BY LAW to do. The investigation ultimately brought the two sides together in a compromise agreement. The NLRB, therefore, withdrew its complaint. It sure looks to me like the system worked perfectly! Everyone is satisfied. Jobs are saved/created. And, the building of the war machine grinds on. I would think the Republicans would be happy since this is exactly what they claim they want for America.

    December 9, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    One thing I remember about Newt is that when he was Speaker, his district was among the biggest recipients of government contracts in the country: coincidence? Nope. For all his talk about the law being usurped for political purposes, he has certainly never had a problem with usurping the law or the system if there was politcal gains for him in it. While this may help the GOP keep SC( a state they would have won anyway), it will not help them in the Midwest( Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, take notes please).

    December 9, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    According to a statement from the NLRB on Friday, the case was dismissed after Boeing and members of the Machinists union came to a four-year collective bargaining agreement.
    ----
    Which is why the union went to the NLRB in the first place. Boeing was negotiating in bad faith. Take deep cuts or be out of your jobs. States should not be competing against other states this aggressively. They should be competing against foreign countries this aggressively to attract manufacturing facilities.

    December 9, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "The founding fathers warned that when government grows too big the law would be usurped for political purposes. This case was an example of that."
    ------------------------
    B.S. they said that!
    But if you want to talk about the law being usurped for poltical purposes go no further than Citizens United, the Patriot Act, and for personal AND political purposes the Iraq War.
    I'm a citizen of this country and I am sick to death of these jokers channelling and speaking for the Founding Fathers as if they were referring to perfect human beings (1), and (2) as if they knew them personally. They twist the words of people who are LIVING, I strongly suspect that most of their references to what the Founding Fathers would want done is just as conveniently twisted and misrepresented.

    December 9, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Furthermore if the Foudning Fathers were alive today they would take these traitorous GOTeatards and either hand them over to the British,or mre than likely hold a public hanging to show people what the Founding Fathers think of those who are against the well-being of the Republic.

    December 9, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. Cyrus

    kinglywarrior: NLRB does not deal with "law suits". There's was no law suit. It's an investigative process. That's all.

    December 9, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
1 2