The National Labor Relations Board dropped its controversial charge against Boeing for its plans to build a factory in South Carolina — an action many HR and business leaders decried as pro-union overreach, according to a story earlier this year on HREOnline™.
In an announcement today, NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon said:
The union asked to withdraw the charge following the ratification of a four-year collective bargaining agreement between its members and Boeing earlier this week. Based on that request, the administrative law judge presiding over the case dismissed the complaint and remanded the case to our regional office in Seattle for further processing. This morning, Regional Director Richard Ahearn approved the union’s written request to withdraw the charge, and the case is now closed.
This is the outcome we have always preferred, and one that is typical for our agency. About 90% of meritorious NLRB cases are resolved as a result of agreements between the parties or settlements with the agency before the conclusion of litigation.
On Dec. 7, the company’s Machinists Union approved a “four-year contract extension in a deal that grants the company a long stretch of elusive labor peace and likely ends a federal complaint that had become a hot topic for Republican presidential candidates, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Dozens of union members erupted in applause and cheers Wednesday night as Tom Wroblewski, president of Machinists District Lodge 751, announced that 74 percent of voting members chose to approve the deal.
The union represents 28,000 workers in Washington, Oregon and Kansas.
Boeing promised that if workers approved the pact, the company would build the new version of the popular 737 in the Puget Sound region, while the Machinists said they’d drop their allegations that Boeing opened a nonunion assembly plant in South Carolina in retaliation for previous strike.
In a statement released soon after the NLRB’s announcement, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce welcomed the board’s action, but said the complaint against Boeing was ”frivolous.”
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits Randy Johnson had this to say:
“Although it is a welcomed development that the NLRB is dropping a complaint that never should have been brought in the first place, more needs to be done to prevent this outrageous overreach in the future. The NLRB case against Boeing will stand as one of the great examples of pro-union activism and government overreach in history. Congress should recognize this unfortunate episode by passing legislation that restores the confidence of American employers that their investments in this country aren’t subject to the whim of an unaccountable board with a political agenda.”