Obama’s National Labor Relations Board did something amazing. It asked a judge to order Boeing, the nation’s largest (and last) major aircraft manufacturer, to stop its plans to move some operations to South Carolina.
That’s right: the Obama administration demanded that a private company cease operating like a private company.
Boeing wants to move its manufacturing operations for the 787 to South Carolina, which is a right-to-work state. That’s the whole point of having right-to-work states — they’re a lot more attractive to manufacturers, a lot more efficient, and, it turns out, a lot better for workers.
Here’s former Tennessee governor (now senator) Lamar Alexander in the WSJ:
In 1985, General Motors located its $5 billion Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., 40 miles from Nissan, hoping side-by-side competition would help the Americans beat the Japanese. After 25 years, nonunion Nissan operated the most efficient auto plant in North America. The Saturn/UAW partnership never made a profit. GM closed Saturn last year.
Nissan’s success is one reason why Volkswagen recently located in Chattanooga, and why Honda, Toyota, BMW, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and thousands of suppliers have chosen southeastern right-to-work states for their plants. Under right-to-work laws, employees may join unions, but mostly they have declined. Three times workers at the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tenn., rejected organizing themselves like Saturn employees a few miles away.
He’s right. And now sitting Republican governors are hitting back. From Fox News:
Nine state attorneys general sounded off in a letter to the National Labor Relations Board, calling a complaint it filed against Boeing for opening a production facility in South Carolina an assault on their states’ economies.
“This complaint represents an assault upon the constitutional right of free speech, and the ability of our states to create jobs and recruit industry. Your ill-conceived retaliatory action seeks to destroy our citizens’ right to work,” the letter from the attorneys general reads.
Some have called the NLRB action unprecedented, and South Carolina officials have expressed anger and fear that it could stymie growth. Attorneys general from Virginia, Nebraska, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Arizona and Oklahoma joined South Carolina attorney general Alan Wilson in signing Thursday’s letter to voice their concerns that NLRB interference could hinder economic growth in their states too.
“Our states are struggling to emerge from one of the worst economic collapses since the Depression. Your complaint further impairs an economic recovery,” the letter says. “Intrusion by the federal bureaucracy on behalf of unions will not create a single new job or put one unemployed person back to work.”
Now Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina, gives a full-throated push-back in today’s WSJ:
The actions by the NLRB are nothing less than a direct assault on the 22 right-to-work states across America. They are also an unprecedented attack on an iconic American company that is being told by the federal government—which seems to regard its authority as endless—where and how to build airplanes.
The president has been silent since his hand-selected NLRB General Counsel Lafe Solomon, who has not yet been confirmed by the United States Senate as required by law, chose to engage in economic warfare on behalf of the unions last week.
While silence in this case can be assumed to mean consent, President Obama’s silence is not acceptable—not to me, and certainly not to the millions of South Carolinians who are rightly aghast at the thought of the greatest economic development success our state has seen in decades being ripped away by federal bureaucrats who appear to be little more than union puppets.
That’s just the right tone: outrage, scorched earth, refusal to compromise. That’s what this president and this administration deserves. When I think of the Republican governors and congressmen on the front lines — Nikki Haley, Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie — I’m getting a clearer, sharper picture about the coming presidential campaign. It should be personal, principled, and perpetually on offense. And it should be led by a sitting, elected Republican officeholder. They’re the ones with the fire.