Protecting Americans right to work

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By Congressman Bob Goodlatte

Recently the Boeing Company opened a new $750 million production facility to build commercial aircraft in South Carolina. This facility, which created 1,000 new jobs, represents the single largest industrial investment in South Carolina’s history and is great news for their local economy. However, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Acting General Counsel has brought a complaint against The Boeing Company. The NLRB is hoping to prevent Washington-based Boeing from opening a facility in South Carolina, a right-to-work state where individual employees can join unions voluntarily, but unions cannot force membership across entire worksites.


This complaint represents an unprecedented intrusion by an unelected regulatory board into the affairs of a private business. If upheld, it would mean that the federal government can tell a company in which state they can locate, a proposition that would have the effect of shipping American jobs overseas, severely impacting our national economy.


At a time when job creation is a main priority here in Congress, it is appalling that the NLRB would attack a company that is working to create new American jobs. Boeing’s decision to locate a second facility in South Carolina did not take away any jobs from their other facilities located in other states and in fact in addition to the new jobs in South Carolina, Boeing has added several thousand jobs at their primary facility located in Washington state.


I am a strong supporter of legislation which would prevent the NLRB from moving forward with their case against Boeing. Specifically, the Job Protection Act clarifies that the National Labor Relations Board cannot order an employer to relocate jobs from one location to another. This guarantees the employer the right to decide where to do business within the United States. It also protects an employer’s right to speak freely regarding the costs of having a unionized workforce without fear of such a communication being used as evidence in an anti-union discrimination claim.


In addition, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform recently held a hearing on the bipartisan concerns that have arisen regarding the NLRB actions against Boeing.


The disastrous consequences that the effort to penalize Boeing will have on the economy of South Carolina, and the damage that this unprecedented action will have on other right-to-work states, including Virginia, is of great concern to me. Under our federal system, states have the right to determine their own right-to-work laws, just as they do their own tax rates and regulatory structure. I will continue working to protect the rights of states and prevent this intrusion into private business.

To contact me about this or any other matter, please visit my website at www.goodlatte.house.gov.