12 thoughts on “Boeing’s illegal subsidies

  1. Cracks found in three airliners

    UNITED STATES: Inspectors have found small, subsurface cracks in three more Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300 planes, similar to those which forced one of its services to make an emergency landing in Arizona on Friday.

    The cracks found in the three planes developed in two lines of riveted joints that run the length of the aircraft, a federal investigator said on Sunday night.

    Cracks can develop from the constant cycle of pressurising for flight, then releasing the pressure.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/103081

  2. US Chamber lashes out at lawsuit to try to force Boeing to move some 787s from SC plant

    By JOHN P. McDERMOTT
    postandcourier.com

    Published Friday, April 22, 2011

    The nation’s largest pro-business lobbying group denounced on Friday the National Labor Relations Board lawsuit that seeks to shut down a $750 million assembly plant Boeing is building in North Charleston.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents about 3 million employers, joined the growing chorus of Boeing defenders by issuing a statement.

    “We would rarely comment on the merits of a case still in its earliest stages. However, the precedent that the NLRB is attempting to establish here is so fundamentally unsound and troublesome that it cannot be ignored,” said Randy Johnson, senior vice president for labor, immigration and employee benefits.

    The federal labor agency sued Boeing on Wednesday, alleging it set up its 787 Dreamliner production plant in North Charleston partly to retaliate against the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers for past strikes in Washington state.

    The labor board said Boeing executives told unionized employees the company would move or had moved production work away from the Puget Sound area partly “to retaliate for past strikes and chill future strike activity.”

    The labor board’s acting general counsel Lafe Solomon said that violates the National Labor Relations Act.

    Boeing and its supporters this week said the expansion was based on numerous factors. The U.S. Chamber said Friday the company considered “a wide variety of legitimate business-related reasons allowing it to meet the demands of its customers and therefore, to remain competitive.”

    Solomon said the National Labor Relations Board recognizes the rights of employers “to make business decisions based on their economic interests, but they must do so within the law.”

    The lawsuit seeks an order forcing Boeing to establish a secondary 787 assembly line in Everett, Wash., a unionized site.

    The aerospace giant’s local production workers are not represented by the IAM.

    Boeing said this week it will fight the lawsuit and called the allegations frivolous. It also said its North Charleston plant would open on schedule in July. The company already has hired about 1,000 of the estimated 3,800 employees it will need to staff the new line, which is designed to produce three 787s a month.

    The lawsuit will be taken up by a National Labor Relations Board judge at a hearing June 14 in Seattle, the start of what labor experts predict will be a long and costly legal battle.

    http://www.islandpacket.com/2011/04/22/1629870/us-chamber-lashes-out-at-lawsuit.html#ixzz1KRHOTIYk

  3. leftwing
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    House GOP Passes Bill To Weaken National Labor Board From: bigraccoon

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    House GOP Passes Bill To Weaken National Labor Board
    Posted by: “bigraccoon” bigraccoon1@verizon.net redwoodsaurus
    Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:51 pm (PDT)

    THE HUFFINGTON POST

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/15/nlrb-boeing-case-republican-vote_n_964253.html

    NLRB Boeing Case: Bill To Weaken Labor Board Passed By House Republicans

    9/15/11
    WASHINGTON — In their latest effort to aid the Boeing Company, House Republicans took the extraordinary step on Thursday of voting to strip the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) of much of its power.

    The bill, entitled the Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act, would bar the federal labor board from ordering a company to close or relocate a workplace, even if that company has violated labor law. Thursday’s House vote fell along party lines, with 238 Republicans for the bill and 186 Democrats against it.

    The bill is designed expressly to thwart a controversial complaint brought by the NLRB against Boeing that has put the future of a South Carolina Boeing plant into limbo.

    Although Republicans claim the law would save South Carolina jobs, Democrats and union leaders say it would gut the 77-year-old independent agency of its authority, while also letting Boeing off the hook for alleged misdeeds.

    The NLRB’s acting general counsel filed the complaint in April, alleging that the aerospace giant violated labor law when it established a production line for its 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina. The move was retaliation against Boeing’s unionized workers in Washington state for having gone on strike in the past, the complaint alleged. If Boeing and the board don’t settle the case, the company could feasibly be forced to close its South Carolina facility and bring the work to Washington.

    The complaint has infuriated Republicans, particularly those from South Carolina. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has claimed that the labor board, which is tasked with enforcing the National Labor Relations Act, has a pro-union “agenda,” while House Republicans have assailed the board as an anti-business, job-killing agent of the Obama administration.

    Republicans have also said that the board is meddling in corporate decision-making by “dictating” where a company can set up shop, and that the board’s complaint will ultimately help to send jobs overseas.

    But House Democrats and labor leaders have said the Republican bill will end up doing just that, since it will remove the labor board’s only remedy against a company that has illegally relocated jobs. Many have deemed it “an outsourcer’s bill of rights.”

    “Under this bill, if a company wants to bust a union by outsourcing its work to China, this bill permits it,” Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) said on the House floor. “Working people across this country should pay careful attention to this bill. It takes away every working American’s rights.”

    Meanwhile, Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), one of the most vocal critics of the NLRB, said the board was exercising a “radical” authority in its Boeing complaint that would have “a chilling effect on our economy.”

    “It’s time we forced the NLRB to change course,” he said on the floor.

    Many conservatives have vowed to either defund the board or cripple it. Although the House bill would go a long way in accomplishing the latter, it is highly unlikely to pass through a Democrat-controlled Senate.

    Nonetheless, business groups have rallied around Republicans on the issue. The labor board has issued a number of decisions and rules in recent months that have rankled the business community, including a rule made public last month that will require employers to post a notice in the workplace informing workers of their rights under labor law.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce designated Thursday’s a “key vote,” calling it an “important step to reining in the NLRB.”

    “Businesses considering investing in new facilities in the United States will think twice and need to consider the risk that their decisions may be second guessed by the NLRB,” the Chamber wrote in an alert to members. “[T]his legislation would help remove an element of uncertainty and encourage investment in new U.S. facilities.”

    The board’s acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, has defended the Boeing complaint, saying it was issued only after a careful consideration of the facts. He has also said that the White House had nothing to do with the complaint, despite Republican claims.

    The Boeing case is now before a federal administrative law judge in Seattle.

    “The decision had absolutely nothing to do with political considerations,” Solomon told reporters in a statement this week. “Regrettably, some have chosen to insert politics into what should be a straightforward legal procedure. These continuing political attacks are baseless and unprecedented and take the focus away from where it belongs — the ongoing trial in Seattle.”

  4. Labor Rights, Under Republican Attack

    October 13, 2011

    In April, the labor board’s acting general counsel filed a complaint against Boeing, alleging that the company retaliated against unionized workers by opening a nonunion aircraft facility in South Carolina, instead of using a facility in its home state of Washington. Citing multiple public statements by Boeing executives, the general counsel contended that the company decided to locate the plant in South Carolina in significant part to punish its Washington workers for having exercised their right to strike, enshrined in the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.

    Boeing has an opportunity at trial and in administrative and court appeals to disprove these allegations. It also may avoid the general counsel’s proposed remedy — an order restoring the aircraft production in question to Washington — if it can show that the order would be unduly burdensome.

    But for Republicans, the legal process is beside the point. Representative Darrell Issa of California has disparaged the labor board as a “rogue agency,” and the presidential candidate Mitt Romney has called the general counsel’s complaint a “job killer” — even though the outcome of the case will determine only the location, not the number, of jobs. Last month, in an ambush against a federal agency’s powers in a pending case, the Republican-controlled House, voting almost entirely along party lines, approved a bill that would eliminate one of the paramount federal rights afforded workers for decades by prohibiting the labor board from ever ordering any employer to restore jobs illegally outsourced or relocated.

    The attack against the Boeing complaint rests on three myths.

    Myth No. 1: The general counsel has invoked an unprecedented legal rule. Apart from its unusually large scale (the location of an estimated 1,800 jobs is at stake), the Boeing case involves nothing legally new. The general counsel’s complaint is based on principles accepted by the labor board and the courts over many decades. In 1967, the future Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger (then a federal appellate judge) wrote a decision holding that an employer may not transfer work to punish employees for exercising National Labor Relations Act rights (like the right to strike). Likewise, the labor board has long had the authority to order restoration of work relocated as part of an unfair labor practice, and the appellate courts have approved such orders. In the absence of work restoration, any alternative remedy available to the labor board — like an order that Boeing post a bulletin-board notice promising to obey the law from now on — would be cosmetic.

    Myth No. 2: The Boeing complaint means that the government can dictate the location of businesses. Everyone agrees that a company may legally locate its production anywhere it wishes and for any reason — except retaliatory ones. Imagine if Boeing had deliberately located a new plant in an area with a predominantly white labor force and then publicly stated that it did so because it was tired of listening to discrimination complaints made by African-American employees at its home plant. If the general counsel’s allegations are true, Boeing did something legally indistinguishable — unless labor rights no longer count as “real” rights.

    Myth No. 3: The general counsel has discretion to drop the case in the name of economic policy. The general counsel is not a policy maker authorized to base decisions on what is good for employment in a particular region of the country. His discretion is confined to enforcing the policy already chosen by Congress in the National Labor Relations Act. If his investigation yields reasonable cause to believe that a violation occurred, his only legally proper course is to bring a case to be decided through the ordinary process. If the Internal Revenue Service determines that a South Carolina employer owes millions in unpaid taxes, should it drop the case if it believes doing so would help the local economy?

    The Boeing case is not about jobs. Selecting one place rather than another to build planes creates no additional jobs. The general counsel did his job as the law requires. It would be tragic if his dutiful efforts provided an occasion for Republicans to extinguish decades-old workers’ rights.

    Mark Barenberg, James Brudney and Karl Klare are professors of labor law at Columbia, Fordham and Northeastern University, respectively.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/13/opinion/labor-rights-under-republican-attack.html

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