GOP presidential candidates cheer on Boeing victory in labor case
December 9th, 2011
03:37 PM ET
10 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:

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

    I agree with you kinglywarrior. Yes you might create some jobs in South Carolina but without them being union, the pay and benefits would have been no where close to what they machinists received in WA state. Let's see so after nearly destroying our country financially, we are supposed to TRUST a big corporation is going to do the right thing? Seriously?

    December 9, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    And if this case did not involve the work being relocated to a state with a Republican Governor, not one peep would have been heard from any of these folks.

    December 9, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. Steve Jennings

    Victory for Boeing? It seems to me like it was a compromise and both sides were victorious.

    December 9, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    Our economy will recover only when Obama and his business hating leftists get thrown out of office, along with the union bought and paid for Democrats in Congress.

    Four more years of the Obama-Democrat disaster and businesses will have to pull up stakes and leave if they want to survive.

    December 9, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. Deeb

    @ 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."

    OMG.....That was too, too funny!!! LMAO!!!! Gingrich also reminds me of a grown up "Chucky". (Sorry...just had to add that tidbit)

    December 9, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    That would be a limited victory, but at least they can now move forward.

    December 9, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. Ted

    This Tea/Republican bias towards big business sounds like "class warfare" to me!

    December 9, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS, if unions are destroye, who will be rich enough to buy the product our new slave class will be producing. George Eastman got it right: pay people well enough, treat them decently, and you won't have labor problems. Too bad modern business leaders don't take a hint from one of the giants in American business history and try to act in a civic-minded fashion.

    December 9, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "I strongly suspect that most of their references to what the Founding Fathers would want done is just as conveniently twisted and misrepresented."

    Anyonen who has read the Federalist Papers and even a scattering of Jefferson's letters knows the GOPers/Teatrolls are full of fetid crap when it comes to what the founding fathers believed. Newtered has read them and knows exactly what they say...which is why he's so eminently capable of saying the opposite.

    December 9, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    What TRULY happenned, and the Teatards in the GOP hope you haven't comprehended, is that Boeing and the union COMPROMISED like adults tend to do that resulted in a win-win decision.
    All the rest is just Rethug spin, and wishful thinking.

    December 9, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Thanks Sniffit for the clarification. I thought as much.

    December 9, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. gt

    good .. when will obama learn we need jobs .. all he wants to do is protect the unions and trail lawyers

    December 9, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    ""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?
    Obama appoints the NLRB and has plenty of influence. This is well known and well established. I would think you have insulted Obama by saying he has no control. I will admit, he does have a leadership issue...

    December 9, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    Once again, Sniffit, well-said.

    December 9, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Newt is not the best historian. He talks about having as many presidential debates as Lincoln-Douglas, but there weren't any. The Lincoln Douglas debates were in the Illinois Senate race, and not the presidential race a couple of years later..

    December 9, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. Dan5404

    True Americans know that this is a compromise...exactly what Congress is not doing. The NLRB didn't cave in to pressUre, it dropped a suit that was no longer needed since Boeing and the union compromised. No more reason for the GOP to cheer than anyone else. If they are so happy, why doesn't the House try it?

    December 9, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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