Why Stop in South Carolina

The NLRB, with the aid of our government, appears to be taking away freedoms from producers

In a free market consumers can choose where to shop, what to buy, where to travel and where to live. Likewise, companies can choose what products to make, what services to provide and until recently, where to locate. But in a recent filing by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) the “where to locate” appears to be at the governments discretion taking away one more freedom and imposing higher costs on producers.


Boeing and other American companies struggle to be competitive and keep jobs in the U.S.

Today’s economy dangerously dangles like a spider over the fire. The growth of government, its associated expansion of regulations and nearly the highest tax rates in the world causes American companies to struggle to find a competitive position while maintaining jobs in the U.S. Then enters the NLRB and their decide complaint against Boeing, only causing the flames to shoot higher.


The NLRB accused Boeing of violating federal labor laws

In October of 2009, Boeing decided to expand the 787 production line in South Carolina. The decision was preceded by extensive discussions with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) over the potential placement of the new 787 production capacity in Puget Sound, Washington. However, the discussions ended with Boeing unable to reach agreement with union leadership. Still, nothing in the Boeing IAM labor contract prohibited expanding the 787 line in South Carolina. Boeing made the decision based on good business practices - practices supposedly still allowed in the U.S. but apparently, now another freedom that is at risk.

In April, Lafe Solomon, NLRB’s acting general counsel, accused Boeing of violating federal labor laws by moving a second production line for the 787 Dreamline from the Seattle area to a nonunion plant under construction in South Carolina.

Boeing Executive Vice President and General Counsel J. Michael Luttig responded, "This claim is legally frivolous and represents a radical departure from both NLRB and Supreme Court precedent. Boeing has every right under both federal law and its collective bargaining agreement to build additional U.S. production capacity outside of the Puget Sound region."


The NLRB believes they should be able to tell companies where they can expand their own operations

Lafe Solomon’s most recent statement posed, “Contrary to certain public statements made in recent weeks, there is nothing remarkable or unprecedented about the complaint issued against the Boeing Company on April 20.” Nothing remarkable? Under NLRB’s reasoning, Boeing is prohibited from deciding where to expand its own operations. Dangle over the fire for a minute on that thought.


The NLRB's power grab exceeds any previous intrusion into the free market

The federal government already tells us what taxes to pay, what emissions are allowed, what markings are necessary in the interior of the facility, what postings to be displayed on the bulletin board, the light bulbs to use, etc. etc. Of course government regulations were initiated under good intentions but the fact remains, they are extremely costly to implement and often lack any common sense. And this year the government will issue 8000 new regulations in addition to the more than 8000 regulations issued last year, not to mention the tens of thousands that existed prior to that. Any business lives in regulatory hell trying to keep up with all the red tape. But the NLRB exceeds any previous intrusion into the free market.

The introduction of the NLRB complaint directing companies where they cannot build a plant is added to the excessive taxation and exponential growth of regulations. Why stop in South Carolina, why not just keep going till you end up in China.


Todd Tiahrt is currently the president of Todd Tiahrt, LLC consulting in aviation and aerospace. He was a Member of Congress from 1995 to 2011.