“Job Protection Act” To Be Introduced
Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will be introducing a bill that would ensure businesses can open up new offices and plants in any state, while providing the necessary clarity to prevent the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from moving forward in their case against Boeing or attempting a similar strategy against other companies.
This bill will explicitly clarify that the National Labor Relations Board cannot order an employer to relocate jobs from one location to another and guarantee that employers retain the right to decide where to do business within the United States. It also protects employer’s free speech regarding the costs associated with having a unionized workforce without fear that such communication will be used as evidence in an anti-union discrimination claim.
This legislation comes on the heels of the NLRB’s current charge against Boeing, alleging that the employer violated federal labor law by building a second production line for its 787 Dreamliner in a right-to-work state. The Board’s position is in line with Washington State unions, which claim Boeing was only building the new plant in South Carolina in retaliation of past strikes.
The NLRB asked an administrative law judge to stop Boeing’s South Carolina production. The NLRB was never given the authority to decide where a company does business. Boeing is free to build a plant wherever costs will be lowest. One of the reasons so many businesses are flocking to right-to-work states is because of the costly burden imposed by union contracts.
Under a retaliation complaint, one must prove that workers suffered. However, not one person in Washington lost their job, in fact, 2,000 more people were hired.
This legislation would stop the NLRB from setting a dangerous precedent. Should they prevail in forcing Boeing to build their second plant in a union state, the precedent would be set for them to tell any business that they can’t expand into right-to-work states. It’s a clear assault on employers, attempting to force them to absorb extra costs associated with union contracts.