- Posted November 29, 2011 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Did Labor Board Break Federal Law on Boeing South Carolina Plant?
Earlier this year the National Labor Board asked a labor judge to order the workers at a new South Carolina Boeing plant to be moved back to the company's homestate of Washington.
Union workers complained about the plant and expansion in the souther state because South Carolina has a "right-to-work" law.
Now an editorial in the Washington Examiner is claiming that the Labor Board violated federal laws in the case.
Cause of Action, a conservative government accountability nonprofit, has obtained emails through a Freedom of Information Act request showing then-NLRB Chairwoman Wilma Liebman, NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon and NLRB Public Affairs Director Nancy Cleeland coordinating the board's response to its own decision to sue Boeing for opening a factory in the right to work state of South Carolina.
Specifically, 29 C.F.R. 102.126 and 29 C.F.R. 102.127 forbid a member of the board from requesting or "knowingly caus[ing] to be made" any ex parte communications with any interested person outside the agency relevant to the proceeding.
That same regulation also forbids any "interested person outside this agency" from making any ex parte communications to board members.
Most importantly, 29 C.F.R 102.127 specifically defines the phrase "person outside this agency" to include "the general counsel or his representative when prosecuting an unfair labor practice proceeding before the board pursuant to section 10(b) of the act."
The regulations define an ex parte communication as "an oral written communication not on the public record with respect to which reasonable prior notice to all parties is not given."
The issue with the South Carolina Boeing plant has already been a headache for President Barack Obama. Many Republican critics have decried the Labor Board move to close the plant.
According to Politico:
In a case that has become – as the New York Times described it — a cause célèbre among Republican lawmakers and 2012 hopefuls, the National Labor Relations Board has accused Boeing of opening its South Carolina shop in a “right-to-work” state to retaliate against union worker strikes at its main manufacturing base in the Seattle area. An Obama appointee is now asking a judge to order Boeing to relocate all 787 Dreamliner production to Washington state — a move that’s feeding the GOP narrative that Obama’s Big Government is meddling with job creation, just as the first plane nears its first commercial flight.
“It’s like a lightning rod,” said Gary Chaison, an industrial relations professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. “The Boeing case is so dramatic. All the anti-union forces and all anti-Obama people are coalescing.”
Boeing claims that it was not doing an endgame around the unions, but that it made economic sense to build the South Carolina factory.
Boeing says it decided to make 787 Dreamliner planes in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, because of legally protected business factors.
Among the factors Boeing cites are the South Carolina state government's granting of $900 million in tax breaks, and concerns over delays in completing deliveries to airlines around the world that have ordered more than 800 of the next-generation aircraft.
If as the Washington Examiner editor is claiming that the Labor Board did break the law, what impact will this have on the 2012 election?
How soon will the GOP candidates start running with the ball?
Is this another issue, like Solyndra, which will cause Obama major problems as he tries to keep residence in the White House?
From the Cornfield, it is becoming increasingly clear, that Candidate Obama's pledge to make his Administration the most transparent in history rings hollow.