The NLRB says Boeing can't expand into South Carolina. It must instead keep all its workers in Washington, where it already has facilities and faces a toxic business climate. Washington is a state with forced unionization, and Boeing has regularly confronted work stoppages by the unions.
If the Obama administration succeeds in this attempt to tell businesses where they're allowed to set up shop and decide where workers can be employed, then it is not just South Carolina jobs that are in danger. Texas jobs are at stake as well, and the NLRB could soon be issuing rulings that companies cannot create jobs in Texas. And, even further, this will have the unintended consequence of encouraging companies to locate facilities overseas just to be competitive in today's global economy.
Right-to-work empowers workers and has fueled the nation's economic growth. Rather than forcing anyone to join a union to obtain a job, it gives a person the liberty to decide if that's the choice for them. Texas and 21 other states guarantee this right, and studies show these states have all seen stronger job growth, income growth, and population growth than states that force workers to join unions as a prerequisite for employment.
One economist found that 4.8 million people left their forced-unionization states in favor of right-to-work between 2000 and 2008. Right-to-work states also have better-educated workforces, and even as health-care coverage in other states dropped by 5.7 percent between 1999 and 2009, coverage in right-to-work states increased.
With all the advantages right-to-work has over forced unionization, it's not surprising that Big Labor and its surrogates on the NLRB are doing whatever they can to stop Boeing from creating jobs in South Carolina.
Since becoming president, Barack Obama has stacked the NLRB with pro-union political appointees. The Senate rejected the appointment of Craig Becker to the NLRB, but Obama made a recess appointment, circumventing the Senate's constitutional authority to approve nominations. And while the NLRB's acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, has yet to even face a vote in the Senate, he is the chief proponent of this dubious legal action against Boeing.
These unelected Obama appointees of the NLRB are telling a private company that it is not allowed to relocate and create jobs. This affront goes to the very heart of what we believe in America. If we're going to turn this country around and revive the American Dream, we must remember where our strength lies.
Our free-enterprise system is what built this country and led us to prosperity. We are in decline because our own government has taken a turn against the values that made us the greatest nation the world has known.
I spent my career in the private sector, growing businesses and creating thousands of jobs. Witnessing this overreach by the NLRB, as well as other attacks on business, such as Obamacare and Washington's vast regulatory expansion, I can tell you businesses are confronted with a difficult decision about whether to maintain their operations in the United States. If we don't roll back these government encroachments, American jobs will soon be shipped to China and India at an even faster pace.
Action must be taken to save jobs around the country. Barack Obama should withdraw his nominations to the NLRB. If he refuses, the Senate can reject their confirmation. This, however, is only a temporary fix. It is Congress' fault that the NLRB has gone unchecked. The board should face broad congressional oversight, and funding should be stripped before it puts American jobs at even greater peril.
This article originally appeared in the Houston Chronicle.