In April, the Obama Administration was coming under heavy fire for his administration’s Labor Board’s new rules of operation for Boeing, a company that’s benefited (profited) heavily from the country’s Pentagon system for the past 75 years.
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 complaint 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 nonunion plant in South Carolina.
For the record, the ‘ultra left’ New York Times didn’t deviate from its staunch pro-employer position.
Boeing criticized the timing of the N.L.R.B.’s complaint, saying it came when construction of the factory in North Charleston, S.C., was nearly complete and after 1,000 employees had already been hired there.
Those 1,000 employees are not, in fact, unionized, certified as so or otherwise.
However, the interesting factor in this important move by the Labor Board to actually protect the working class is its criticism in the business press. Ricochet’s Claire Berlinski called it “the most outrageous insult yet to the free market economy.” Fox Nation (among several others) picked up the anti-labor propaganda as well. The Wall Street Journal editorial page doesn’t even bother to pretend it doesn’t despise labor and democracy:
By challenging Boeing’s right to build aircraft in South Carolina, labor’s bureaucratic allies in Washington are threatening the ability of states to compete for new jobs and investment—and risking the economic recovery to boot….
Beyond labor politics, the NLRB’s ruling would set a terrible precedent for the flow of jobs and investment within the U.S. It would essentially give labor a veto over management decisions about where to build future plants. And it would undercut the right-to-work statutes in 22 American states—which is no doubt the main union goal here.
Shopfloor, the official blog of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), relented at the Obama Administration’s policy of filling the Labor Board with members who weren’t 100% pro-business, explaining how “business has been sent off the field.”
It’s important to note that Claire Berlinski’s idea that this is an insult to the “free market economy” is an absolute joke, considering the company in question is Boeing. The planemaker has been receiving taxpayer money with almost no strings attached for its entire existence. Sometimes, the subsidies have been illegal (according to the World Trade Organization).
Furthermore, Wikileaks shed some light on, to quote FDR, corporate America’s view of the government as “a mere appendage to their own affairs.” Documents revealed that the U.S government was acting as not only a major funder of Boeing, but a salesman for the corporation abroad. Naturally, the New York Times spent most of its article on the subject explaining that all governments do this nowadays; acting as a superb systemic apologist and therefore following its role as a lapdog for the government.
The Labor Board’s stance on Boeing’s illegitimate maneuver is now coupled with the Board’s announcement of a mobile app that will keep track of your working hours and determine what you’re owed. In the application lies a time sheet that will help workers independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. Users can track regular work hours, breaks and any overtime hours for multiple employers.
Hilda Solid, Labor Secretary, announced the app today:
I am pleased that my department is able to leverage increasingly popular and available technology to ensure that workers receive the wages to which they are entitled. This app will help empower workers to understand and stand up for their rights when employers have denied their hard-earned pay.
This move by the Dept. of Labor to step into the 21st century will provide workers with the option to keep their own records so they don’t have to rely upon employer’s records.
These steps by the Obama Administration’s Labor Board certainly aren’t radical, but they’re progressive steps toward protecting workers while infuriating the business community. Furthermore, they show a break from the past, in which wealthy conservative and business interests were the dominant influence upon an already neutral department that is supposed to be dedicated to the protection and advancement of workers.