Labor Strikes Back
Posted on April 22, 2011Boeing decided to move one of its manufacturing plants to South Carolina.
They have already hired a thousand new workers. The new plant is close to completion. The planes were just about ready to get constructed.
Boeing moved its manufacturing plant for a variety of reasons. One was because they were sick and tired of having their production lines shut down by Washington State’s labor union. Another was because South Carolina offered them some nice incentives. Third, the business climate in South Carolina is frankly better than the business climate in Washington.
Boeing is a big business in the United States. Airplane manufacturing is one of our top exports. It is a real job creator. That Boeing decided to locate a plant in another part of the United States rather in another country is a positive thing.
But not to the Obama Administration. The Obama-led National Labor Relations Board told Boeing that it couldn’t move its operations to down south.
This is not a joke. Here is what the New York Times said about this: “In what may be the strongest signal yet of the new pro-labor orientation of the National Labor Relations Board under President Obama, the agency filed a complain Wednesday seeking to force Boeing to bring an airplane production line back to its unionized facilities in Washington State instead of moving the work to a non-union plant in South Carolina…It is highly unusual for the federal government to seek to reverse a corporate decision as important as the location of a plant.”
Obviously, the millions and millions of dollars that labor gave to the Obama campaign are starting to pay off. But this goes beyond a simple pay-off for some campaign.
Obama is weighing in what is essentially a regional competition for jobs.
That is a dangerous precedent for the federal government and a stunning intervention in the marketplace.
If companies can’t compete internally for the best place to manufacture their products, they will just move their facilities overseas.
This decision isn’t just bad for South Carolina. It is bad for all Americans.
Labor may be striking back by flexing its political muscle, but the end result will be fewer American jobs.