Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I've been surprised at how much attention is getting paid to the NLRB General Counsel's complaint against Boeing. Based on what I've seen, the conservative uproar to what, based on the allegations is a relatively straightforward case of an employer punishing workers for striking (with admittedly large potential economic impacts), is way out of proportion. But this editorial from the Wall Street Journal (subscription required, but if you Google the title, you can find it free) and the legislation it describes, has now entered the bizzaro stage.
As for the editorial, even taking into account the normal tenor one would expect from a WSJ editorial, I honestly don't ever remember seeing any piece of writing with so many inaccuracies. For instance, there's the title, which states that there is a Board ruling (it's just a GC complaint); the description of the remedy to shut down production in South Carolina (the GC doesn't seek that, it would just require Boeing to maintain production in Washington; and the argument that the complaint requires employers to stay in non-right-to-work states (I don't even know where to begin). Two minutes with a fact-checker would've had these cut, although that would've undermined the purpose of the editorial and its support for the legislation.
Speaking of which, the bill by Sens. Alexander, Graham, and DeMint purports to strengthen right-to-work laws ( Download Alexander bill). But I don't see how, aside from maybe allowing states to pass laws to preclude certain CBA provisions. The fact that Alexander describes the bill as preventing the NLRA from preempting right-to-work laws is particularly ridiculous given that state right-to-work laws are specifically permitted by Section 14 of the NLRA. Maybe someone else can think of a more substantive effect of this bill--if so, I'd love to hear it.
If I were more talented, I'd do a Saturday Night Live "Really!?!" take on these.
Hat Tip: Patrick Kavanagh