Last Updated: November 17, 2012
Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on August 15, 2011, against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeking records concerning the NLRB’s decision to file a lawsuit against Seattle-based Boeing for opening a $750 million non-union assembly plant in North Charleston, South Carolina to manufacture its Dreamliner plane (Judicial Watch v. National Labor Relations Board (No. 11-1470)).
The NLRB filed a lawsuit in April 2011, against Boeing, claiming that the company’s decision to open a Dreamliner production line in South Carolina was in retaliation against The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers for a series of union strikes that reportedly slowed production of the plane in 2008 in Washington State. According to Boeing, the NLRB’s “claim is legally frivolous and represents a radical departure from both NLRB and Supreme Court precedent. Boeing has every right under both federal law and its collective bargaining agreement to build additional U.S. production capacity outside of the Puget Sound region.”
Judicial Watch announced on October 5, 2011 that it received documents from the National Labor Relations Board. The documents, obtained pursuant to Judicial Watch’s original July 14, 2011, Freedom of Information Act request and subsequent lawsuit include internal correspondence amongst NLRB attorneys discussing the Boeing lawsuit. Among the highlights:
Additional documents were obtained pursuant to Judicial Watch’s original July 14, 2011, Freedom of Information Act request and subsequent lawsuit, include internal correspondence amongst NLRB attorneys discussing the Boeing lawsuit. Among the highlights:
On April 20, 2011, Mara-Louise Anzalone, counsel for Acting NLRB General Counsel Lafe Solomon, took exception to U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) statement, “As Senator, I will do everything in my power, including introducing legislation cutting off funding for this wide goose chase, to stop the NLRB’s frivolous complaint [against Boeing].” In an email to NLRB regional attorney Anne Pomerantz, Anzalone writes, “Awesome. Sounds like they’re just going to furlough you and me.”
“These documents provide further evidence that the Obama administration’s attack on Boeing is irresponsible and politically motivated,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “NLRB attorneys come off as juvenile politicos rather than professionals interested in arbitrating a labor dispute. The utter contempt for congressional oversight shows that the NRLB thinks it is above the law. We hope these documents help educate the public about the ongoing abuse of power by this agency.”
President Obama bypassed the U.S. Senate and recess-appointed Craig Becker to head the NLRB’s five-member board. The Becker appointment was made after the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate refused to move forward on his confirmation. An ally of ACORN, Becker had previously worked for the SEIU and the AFL-CIO, major financial backers of Obama and the Democratic Party. Controversially, Becker has refused to recuse himself from certain NLRB decisions affecting his former union clients.
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