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BLITZER'S BLOG: Boeing plant controversy could undermine big biz support for Obama
June 14th, 2011
03:38 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: Boeing plant controversy could undermine big biz support for Obama

Rightly or wrongly, here’s one reason why some major Obama big business 2008 campaign supporters now have reservations about supporting him again. It involves a huge Boeing investment in a new assembly plant in Charleston, South Carolina.

Boeing has spent about $750 million so far in building the 787 Dreamliner plant and has already hired 1,000 workers. The plant is supposed to open in the coming days, but the National Labor Relations Board is threatening to shut it down. NLRB officials say Boeing could be in violation of labor relations laws.

That’s because Boeing employees in Washington state, where the firm is based, are largely union members. Employees in South Carolina are not. Here’s how The Wall Street Journal put it: “At issue is whether Boeing chose South Carolina, a state where unions are weak, to retaliate against union workers in Washington, who have a history of strikes that have disrupted production.”

White House officials insist they are not involved in the dispute, noting that the NLRB is independent.

Still, some of President Obama’s Democratic backers in the business community say the White House should make it clear that Boeing and other U.S. firms have a right to build plants – and create jobs – wherever they feel it makes the most business sense. Some have told me that at least Boeing is not outsourcing the plant in another country – as so many American manufacturing companies have done in recent years.

The whole issue underlines at least to some that Obama and his fellow Democrats are “anti-business” and “pro-union.” They strongly deny that. One thing is clear to me: this story is not going away.

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Filed under: Boeing • President Obama • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. terik Ororke

    Just move all the plants and workers to Brazil.

    June 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  2. Robin Petersen

    Robin Patrick Petersen
    100 Robins W. Parkway #105
    Warner Robins, GA 31088
    (480) 993-5344
    April 30, 2011

    The Honorable Saxby Chambliss, U.S. Senator, Georgia
    300 Mulberry Street
    Suite 502
    Macon, GA 31201

    Subj: Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act – Boeing Fraud/Passport Confiscation/Trafficking

    Dear Senator Chambliss,

    I am writing this letter to follow up on my email I sent you on April 12, 2011 and to ask for your assistance in bringing attention to a matter that involves a defense contractor who has violated my rights and the laws of our country. You have my written consent to investigate should you decide to help me.

    In January of 2009, I was employed by "The Boeing Company" (TBC) and its wholly owned subsidiary Boeing International Support Systems, Saudi Arabia (BISS) who have engaged in fraudulent and criminal activities (First) here in the United States and then again in the country of Saudi Arabia.

    The criminal activity I am referring to was (First) committed here in the United States and arises from fraudulent recruiting practices that BISS is conducting while operating as an unregistered business from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and in St. Louis, Missouri. The criminal activity overseas stems from fraudulent representations made by TBC management; fraudulent activities taking place within these companies operations; and the fact that Boeing/BISS management confiscated my U.S. Passport and did not returned it upon my written demand. I believe the confiscation of a U.S. Passport; not returning it upon demand; and holding a person in a foreign country for months against their will constitutes the criminal act of false imprisonment.

    During the time I was being held against my will I reported this incident to Boeing's Ethics Department, Boeing's CEO and to U.S. Department of State, but heard nothing back from them. On June 8th, 2009 (nearly four months of captivity) I was able to get out of Saudi Arabia with the assistance of a security officer who was working at the U.S. Consulate who demanded that Boeing/BISS return my passport. When I returned home to the United States, I reported this incident to the Phoenix FBI. Although, I provided the FBI with as much detail as I could they never took any action. I then contacted Senator John McCain who passed my complaint on to Senator Jon Kyl who then inquired on my behalf to find out why law enforcement (the FBI) failed to act. The U.S. Justice Department responded informing Senator Kyl that the FBI stated that they did not have jurisdiction in this matter. I strongly disagree with the statement that the FBI provided Senator Kyl because the criminal act of "Fraud" was in fact initiated here in the United States by a company (BISS) that according to its own attorneys has no legal right to be operating in this country. (They are not legally registered in the U.S. and are not paying U.S. Corporate income taxes) The U.S. Department of Justice without careful analysis appears to have failed to recognize or consider this fact. (Please find Senator Kyl's letter to me dated October 29, 2010 and the response he received from the U.S. Department of Justice dated 07 Oct 2010)

    In May of 2010 I filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Arizona alleging wrongdoing by TBC and BISS. TBC and BISS have filed motions to have my case dismissed against them based on improper forum selection. The court has granted their motion to dismiss, ruling improper forum selection while not taking in to account that I was defrauded by BISS (First) here in the United States and that BISS is operating illegally within the United States.

    1. Please find evidence enclosed and listed as (Exhibit A) that attorneys representing "The Boeing Company" (TBC) and Boeing International Support Systems (BISS) have provided a sworn affidavit from Yvette B. Kumi a Boeing Corporate paralegal who states " the only jurisdiction in which BISS is authorized to do business is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

    2. Please find enclosed as (Exhibit B) a business card that I received from a Mr. Dan Nelson who clearly identifies himself as a Manager for International Support Systems – BISS and who states his operations are located at 6001 S. Air Depot, Oklahoma City, OK.

    3. Please find enclosed as (Exhibit C) an email from BISS Manager Daniel J. Nelson stationed and "Doing Business" in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This email identifies that his supervisors are operating from St. Louis, Missouri.

    4. Please find enclosed (Exhibit D) a Boeing Company press release dated (Jan. 7, 2010) that indicates that the Boeing Company is making leadership changes to include Mr. Torbjorn Sjogren to be named Vice President of International Support Systems and Alsalam Aircraft Company. Mr. Sjogren lives and operates from St. Louis, Missouri.

    5. Please find enclosed correspondence from Boeing/BISS attorney Geoffrey M.T. Sturr that provides evidence that BISS/Alsalam has financial accounts (Citi Bank, NY) located here in the United States.

    6. Please find enclosed a copy of my attorney's motion to vacate and file an amended claim against the Boeing Company and Boeing International Support Systems (BISS).

    Although Boeing attorney's with all the power of their company have been able to twist the facts in their favor, please understand that it is my contention that "Fraud" took place (first) here in the United States. I should be allowed the right to litigate here in my own country and not forced to return to Saudi Arabia to obtain justice when that country subverts freedom, continues to violate the rights of others, and is listed by our own government as a Tier III violator whose legal system is unjust and subject to corruption.

    I would ask that you please conduct your own investigation, asking the Attorney General again why criminal activity such as "Fraud" that was committed by TBC/BISS in this country cannot be investigated by our own law enforcement officials (the FBI) and why the U.S. Justice Department has failed to provide due diligence in enforcing the laws of our country which are instituted to protect its Citizens from those who knowingly and willfully engage in criminal acts. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for taking the time to review the enclosed material.

    Sincerely,

    Robin Patrick Petersen

    Encl: Letter from Senator Kyl
    Exhibits "A" through "F"

    June 20, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  3. Bob In Florida

    Wolf Blitzer:

    In the first place, RIGHT TO WORK LAWS are mis-named to being with. In Pennsylvania, when it became a RIGHT TO WORK state, that meant that an employer or corporation could fire/layoff ANY EMPLOYEE FOR NO REASON AT ALL. The employer DID NOT have to justify the firing in any way shape or form. (thus the mis-named title). I realize that some states cover RIGHT TO WORK LAWS as not REQUIRING an employee to join a union (closed shop) and I agree with that part of the law. However, if the law ALSO gives an employer or corporation the universal right to fire/layoff an employee for no reason or justification....THAT IS EXTREMELY ANTI-EMPLOYEE and takes away employee rights to dispute firings/layoffs THAT ARE UNJUST.

    As far as Boeing trying to skirt around Washington's strong union base, I do not necessarily agree that Boeing cannot go to another state. Violating any anti-labor laws should be settled by the courts. Blaming all of this on OBAMA is RIDICULOUS, EVEN IF LABOR UNIONS SUPPORTED Obama. It is a matter of what the law as written means and the ramifications of that law.

    Unions have been steadily and rapidly declining in recent decaades....and what is the result? The result is STAGNANT AND DIMINISHING INCOME for employees ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY. WHY? Because employers DO NOT CARE about employees....al employers care about is THE BOTTOM LINE PROFITS AND THEIR OWN PAYCHECKS AND BONUSES.

    LOOK AT COMPLAIES LIKE GOOGLE....they pay higher than average wages, have extremely GOOD benifits, many extra perks, loose working conditions that employees can take advantage of and AN EXTREMELY GOOD ""FAMILY"" APPROACH TO EMPLOYEES. AND GUESS WHAT......SINCE GOOGLE TREAT THEIR EMPLOYEES AS FAMILY AND PARTNERS....THERE WILL NOT BE A NEED FOR A UNION AT GOOGLE.

    Other greedy corporations DO NOT see the value of respecting and caring about employees, only sucking the LAST BIT OF WORK OUT OF THE EMPLOYEE, SQUEEZING THE LAST BIT OF PROFIT OUT OF WORKING CONDITIONS, CUTTING EVERY CORNER POSSIBLE TO EEK OUT ANOTHER PENNY OF PROFIT....which leads to bad working conditions, safety violations, enviromental damages, bad community relations AND FINALLY A UNION TO PROTECT WORKERS.

    The "bad actor" corporations bring on the UNION CONFRONTATION ON THEMSELVES. These corporation continue to confront employees instead of realizing a happy employee is a productive employee, so that, even in this case, "one can make much more profit with honey than vinegar." But arrogant employers DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT, THEY DISPISE EMPLOYEES, THEY THINK THEY ARE BETTER, MORE DESERVING THAN THE EMPLOYEE, when in reailty if it was not for the employee, the executive would not have a profit, would not get a huge paycheck and would not receive a bonus because there will not be any money to give out.

    MOST CORPORATE EXECUTIVES ARE COMMON SENSE """STUPID""" AND BLOW OFF EMPLOYEES AS IF THEY COULD GET ALONG WITHOUT EMPLOYEES. BUT YOU WILL NEVER SEE A CEO ROLL UP HIS SLEEVES, LOOSEN HIS TIE AND GO CLEAN A MACHINE, WORK ON THE PRODUCTION LINE, SWEEP THE FLOOR OR CLEAN THE TOILETS. THE SHOW "UNDERCOVER BOSS" DEPICTS DRAMATICALLY HOW LITTLE THE BOSS KNOW WHAT MUST OCCUR FOR A COMPANY TO WORK PROPERLY....AND EACH AND EVER BOSS BECAME EXTREMELY HUMBLED BY WHAT THE EMPLOYESS DID FOR SMOOTH OPERATIONS OF THE COMPANY.....AND ALWAYS CAME AWAY WITH A NEW-FOUND RESPECT FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES.

    June 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  4. Jim

    The NLRB is out of control. Would we rather have these jobs go to Europe or South America? If the unions and the Obama Administration don't stop killing jobs and making American businesses uncompetitive, then there will be no jobs for union members and no tax revenue to pay back the trillions of dollars of debt that we owe. It's not complicated - yet the union hacks like Craig Becker (President Obama's appointee to the NLRB) continue to insist that do all that we can to run our country into the ground. Obama should fire Becker to send the NLRB a message: "Don't mess with jobs or else there's no way I'll get re-elected in 2012!"

    June 17, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • Bob In Florida

      yOU ARE extremely OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY if you think the NLRB or any other government agency can prevent or cause jobs to go overseas to any other country in the world. The ONLY REASON jobs leave this country is because the corporate executives see a short term cost gain and a short term profit spike....SO OFF TO THE OTHER COUNTRY THEY GO. A number of companies who have gone overseas because of low labor costs have found that other unanticipated costs more than made up the difference in labor savings and actually ate into expected profits of going overseas and CAME BACK TO THE US A.

      The ONLY INCENTIVE the government can put into place to bring jobs back to the USA are tarriffs on all the goods American based companies produce overseas to bring into the USA to sell. At one time an American based corporation had to pay taxes on the profits of products made outside the USA and brought into the USA. BUT, CORPORATIONS BRIBED Congress into changing the laws and suddenly there was a flood of corporations going overseas to save the taxes they got Congress to change.

      You are blaming the wrong people! If the law, as wriiten, shows Boeing violated labor laws....then the courts should remidy that and not allow Boeing to go forward. If the law DOES NOT prevent Boeing from moving to South Carolina..then that should prevail. Obama DID NOT cause this. The NRLB did.

      Someone HAS to stand up to corpoations, and FOR the rights of workers. Unions have been declining for three decades AND THE ONLY RESULT IS THAT WORKERS ARE EARNING LESS AND LESS AND LOOSING ALL OF THE BENEFITS THEY HAVE GAINED PREVIOUSLY. BUT....TAKE THE AUTO INDUSTRY......THE UNIONS HAVE BEEN GIVING BACK WAGES, GIVING BACK BENEFITS....GIVING BACK RETIREMENT BENEFITS, GIVING BACK HEALTH BENEFITS FOR FIVE YEARS OR MORE NOW......HAVE YOU SEEN AUTO PRICE COME DOWN???? CHEAPER CARS.....NO YOU HAVEN'T. WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE THAT IS?????? MAYBE IN ACTUALLITY......IT WAS """NOT""" WAGES AND BENEFITS THAT CAUSED THE RAPID RISE IN AUTO PRICES!!!!1

      THINK ABOUT IT!

      June 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  5. keen eye for B.S.

    Wolf is a tool, where was the voice from workers in Washington? Cafferty and Wolf set up the post to exclude the facts of the case. Ask Demint how much money was given to Boeing in the tax break con that the S. Carolina poor paid for. Cnn stands for nothing at all. Sad.

    June 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • shaleefa

      not one job has been taken away from washington state and not one union worker has been fired as a result of this plant being built in sc. what exactly is the argument? it doesnt make any sense that the washington union should be able to determine where a corporation builds their next plant. if this frivolous and silly lawsuit is upheld these jobs will go out of the country where most corporations have to turn to in order to avoid these idiotic interferences.... nice work union. if we cant get the jobs no one deserves them!! i wonder why big businesses are outsourcing everything to foreign lands.

      June 16, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  6. Aaron

    What big business supporters did Obama have? They spend most of their money bribing Repubs (and some Dems) in Congress to get legislation that screws the consumer/taxpayer while enriching themselves.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • shaleefa

      check the campaign donations, many big businesses donate tons to both parties

      June 16, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  7. J.V.Hodgson

    This "STORY" wont go away Wolf only because you will not let it go away.
    Having said that the NLRB is an independent body not a government agency. Just like everything in the USA certain appointments can be made ( like the supreme court even) where nominees have a certain political bias. Tough that's the system of government we have with its checks and balances.
    Half this story depends on a very biased view of:-
    a) The White house being involved in what the NLRB did! This is only viable if you have proof not speculation please.
    b) Same applies to Boeing, ( i.e a) above) they should prove it first.
    c) The NLRB cannot shut down the plant, only potentially delay it IF IN FACT Boeing are in breach of the relevant LAW.
    d) If Boeing are in breach of labour laws, its an IF; then like everyone else they have to comply with the law like it or not.
    For me its up to the employees at Boeing or any where in the US. They should vote, whether a union shop is what it will be in South Carolina.
    My personal view ( never have been a union member) is that it is unconstitutional for a state or the federal government to interfere in any way whatsoever with the individual right of any person to join a union, and for management to refuse to listen to them or thier reps.... they do so at thier peril of reasonably based strike action. ( there are other things like work to rule which are far worse in my experience.)
    I have spent many many years negotiating with Unions and find them realistic if you treat them realistically and Also honestly, latter very important and hide nothing.
    There is a market rate ( wages/salary /benefits for certain skill sets) and if you do not meet it you will spend huge amounts on recruiting and other costs that end up being more expensive.
    Getting Politics and law involved in unionisation is silly. Minimum wage and enforceable Health and safety are the only needed laws.
    I have always been able to negotiate my working terms and conditions, and where More senior management said to me our way or the Highway without discussion believe me I hit the Highway PDQ when it suited me!!
    States who are union bashing state employees (Teachers firefighters Police officers etc) are going to lose an awful lot of the very best of those Employees.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    June 15, 2011 at 1:42 am |
    • Oscar Lopez-Calleja

      At the end of the day, the whole issue it is that " You can not eat your cake and also eat your cake" (stated in its long way to make it clear). Almost any one wants more jobs and better economy, but at the same time having too much rights and regulations while competing with the international market, that is not posible in today's global crisis.
      Union workers want their "rights", what about the employer's rights?, what about the South Carolina employee's rights?, what about all those employees in South Carolina losing their employment?, what about having FREEDOM and respecting OTHER PEOPLE'S FREEDOM?

      Some years ago in Miami, Florida, UNIONS bankrupted SouthEastern Airlines and PanAnam Airlines, because in that time's economical crisis they demanded more and more, with many people losing their income forever.

      Ditto for the necessary "reductions" at all levels when in time of crisis, every body wants "reductions" applied to others, but never into "my turf".

      Come on people, eat your cake, or have it, not both at the same time.

      June 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  8. tee

    Maybe the unions can stop SC from being the slave wage state that it is, SC's wages are still stuck in 1980's.

    June 14, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  9. Luke Brown

    The NLRB is just enforcing the existing laws. Obama hasn't said anything about this. I guess the President's critics are saying he should just order the agency to ignore the law.

    June 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  10. nancindependent

    It seems that the NLRB is the one to make the decision and not the Obama administration. It's certainly convenient right now for those uberwealthy corporate chieftains to link this to the President to further their agenda. American workers and their welfare no longer matter to the "American" corporate world.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  11. USwatcher

    Here is the problem as I see it....A CEO of a large corporation and a non-union worker and a union-worker sat at a table.On the table was a plate with 11 cookies.The CEO took 8 cookies.The CEO then turns to the non-union worker and says,you better watch that union-worker...he'll take your cookie. Unions=middle class(shrinking fast)

    June 14, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Charles W. Skinner

      You know, I've seen this drivel before. You know what? THERE WOULD BE NO COOKIES WITHOUT THE CEO. NONE. The CEO gets 8 cookies in your scenario BECAUSE he is the one who is LEADING the organization and making it possible for the workers to get ANYTHING.

      Let me posit a different scenario. CEO, Non-union and Union employee sit at table with 11 cookies. CEO takes 4 cookies, the GOVERNMENT comes in and takes 4 cookies, and the Union employee says "unless you give me the remaining 3 cookies, AND one from the CEO, I'm going to have the Government CLOSE THE FACILITY." Guess what the Non-Union worker gets? NOTHING!!! This is why the states with "right to work" legislation are doing well, while dinosaurs like Washington State and Michigan and Illinois are suffering terrible unemployment rates. Just wait until the full rebellion hits as more states adopt legislation like Wisconsin just did, and adopt it for the PRIVATE sector, not just the Public sector unions.

      June 15, 2011 at 4:03 am |
      • Stephen King

        Once you're done licking the CEO's boots with your praises, consider this: The CEO and the worker are dependent on each other. A smart CEO is happy making sure his employees are taken care of, because he knows they do the work that he could never, would never, do himself. Ever watched "Undercover Boss"? More important, do you have any actual management experience, as I do, or are you just repeating the same Tea Party rhetoric with no basis?

        June 15, 2011 at 8:05 am |
  12. LawWonk

    When reporting an issue such as this, esp. when providing a platform upon which a partisan such as Sen. DeMint can rant, it would be helpful to reiterate the facts. Here, the NLRB filed a complaint against Boeing alleging a violation of federal law - specifically, a violation of the National Labor Relations Act - asserting that Boeing had acquired a facility and established 787 manufacturing capability in South Carolina, where the machinist's union had been decertified, in order to retaliate against the union local in Washington. Given the requirements of federal law that any any lawsuit be well grounded in fact and law, the filing of this suit does not demonstrate that the NLRB or the Administration is "anti-business" or "anti-jobs," but rather that the NLRB is enforcing the law that Congress had enacted.

    Those of us who still have a modicum of trust in CNN expect that, when some politician attempts to twist reality to suit his or her agenda, you will challenge him or her with the facts. In this case, Sen. DeMint apparently is extremely selective in his choice of which laws should be enforced - and you let him use your segment about this story to promote his biased view.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  13. barryt

    Boeing's only competitor is Air Bus, a British-French combine based in Europe. I thought unions were much more powerful in Europe than in any of our states. If Boeing is competing with a unionized plant, it should be able to compete without going to a right-to-work state.

    This is a part of what has been a large problem for our country. A community comes to depend on a major manufacturing plant but after some years some other location (in the U.S. or overseas) offers a great deal for them to move their operation rather than modernize the existing plant. That happened to New England textile mills that went to the south, and now the mills are moving from the south to another country. Each such move is disastrous to the people and the town left behind, because they lose their income, their employee benefits (e.g., health insurance) and their property values all at the same time.

    The modern ability of corporations to move their work anywhere in the world allows them to pit one community against another in a downward spiral towards the sweat shops and child labor conditions like that in "David Copperfield" and in Czarist Russia, conditions that led to socialism and communism.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  14. nrcbtm1

    Boeing's only competitor is Air Bus, a British-French combine based in Europe. I thought unions were much more powerful in Europe than in any of our states. If Boeing is competing with a unionized plant, it should be able to compete without going to a right-to-work state.

    This is a part of what has been a large problem for our country. A community comes to depend on a major manufacturing plant but after some years some other location (in the U.S. or overseas) offers a great deal for them to move their operation rather than modernize the existing plant. That happened to New England textile mills that went to the south, and now the mills are moving from the south to another country. Each such move is disastrous to the people and the town left behind, because they lose their income, their employee benefits (e.g., health insurance) and their property values all at the same time.

    The modern ability of corporations to move their work anywhere in the world allows them to pit one community against another in a downward spiral towards the sweat shops and child labor conditions like that in "David Copperfield" and in Czarist Russia, conditions that led to socialism and communism.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Marry

      Well said!!! Raw capitalism seldom serves a county well because it takes and moves on. This is by nature, very short sighted. It is the very basic reason why the US is suffering greatly. Greed over people is not a concept that makes a county thrive. The GOP/TP is the biggest promoter of the concept for the haves to take even more from the have not so much / have not’s. In the long term, it will only change for the better when people start to understand that and think before they vote!

      June 15, 2011 at 1:36 am |
  15. Joshua

    Hey manufacturers, there are many more states besides SC who are right to work. We can move you south and get you up and running before the next election cycle and help you compete in the global economy. See your local site selection firm to help you decide, Tennessee which state is best for you, Mississippi.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  16. FBMarky

    Guess what? Every union member gets to vote for president. In spite of the supreme court's saying that corporations are people, not one corporation gets to vote for president. Any candidate has a choice of going after union votes or corporate money. Those that side with the unions are actually helping the working people of this country and will be re-elected. Those that side with big business are only out to help themselves. All they get is multi-billion dollar job after they lose their elected position. If you think that's a good thing, keep voting for the greedy millionaires. When you lose your job, though, don't expect your millionaires to help you out. They're too busy sucking off their CEO buddys.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  17. USwatcher

    We would hope that in light of the great recession that all parties are pro Boeing,pro non-union,and pro-union.Not anti-anybody.If any laws were broken...the courts will decide.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  18. John N Florida

    Well, this is easy enough to solve. Just 'organize' the South Carolina plant.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  19. MikeMatt

    The real issue here is FREEDOM. Since when does a union dictate to a company where it can, & cannot, build a plant? The unions yell & scream for higher wages, better benefits & threaten work stoppage if they don't get their way. Why should a company want to do business with them – I wouldn't. If they want the jobs & the pay they should be thinking what they can do for the company, just as companies think about how they can pay the wages, & the benefits, & the pensions AND Obamacare. It's a two way street.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  20. WPJ

    Fact Checker: Boeing is NOT based in Washington state. It is based in Chicago, and has been for a decade.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  21. Givemebackmycountry

    Unions are a thing of the past. They cost taxpayers and companies too much money and constantly cry for a bigger piece of the pie. I've seen too many union workers kick back and do the minimum amount of work necessary because they know they can get away with it. Time to give work to people who want it. Otherwise Boeing and other US companies will move work off shore. BTW, I was on a aircraft production floor during a tour. There was a wrench laying on the floor where it shouldn't be and one person bent over to pick it up to put it out of the way. He was quickly told to leave it be and that only a union worker could pick it up otherwise there would be trouble. This is the kind of non sense unions bring to companies these days.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  22. George Ferdinand

    Elections have results, President Obama makes appointments to boards etc.
    Also the republicans have control of the house. What a contrast on so many issues. Republicans want almost no taxes, little government and nation building and always take care of corporation and big business to the decline of working Americans.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  23. yuri

    Boneheads – all of 'em. The USW and the UAW collectively ruined the economy in midwest; killed raw steel production and all but destroyed auto builders by insisting on all sorts of obscene wages, benefits and assurances for employees working for steel and auto plants. They of course, didn't insist on employee work quality or behavior. AirBus took a chunk away from world dominating US based airplane builders. Guess the union figures they can ruin the rest by holding Boeing hostage now.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • LawWonk

      Last time I looked, Airbus Industrie is unionized. Its competitive success against other airliner manufacturers has nothing to do with unionization and everything to do with features and with pricing (supported by government subsidies).

      June 14, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  24. Leroy

    Lets see, large portions of this plane were already outsourced to other nations resulting in a 3 plus year delay. Were were all the US job folks then. Great job on missing the facts CNN. Just a mouthpiece for politicians.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  25. Nicole

    I like how Jim DeMint got to represent his side of the story, while the union workers in Washington state were not represented at all in the segment. I found that very disappointing.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  26. gearheadchar

    Obama and his minions are basically "anti-business" because they don't understand basic economics very well - ANY business will seek to lower costs and ensure stability of its production stream (or more correctly in this circumstance, diversifying by creating a second "backup" production line). Boeing didn't break any laws, the NLRB, which his full of pro-union appointees of Obama, will undoubtedly see this as "union busting"...anyone who agrees with them either never took an economics class, flunked the economics class they took, or didn't learn anything but somehow managed to pass (barely) their economics class. Obama will be getting the sort of inadvertent :"payback" he so richly deserves if the NLRB doesn't back down - the decisions of his appointees will be seen as anti-business, the economy will continue to stagnate, and he will lose his bid for re-election in 2012. He is OBLIVIOUS to the economic consequences of his anti-business, pro-union mindset.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  27. rob

    The Wall Street Journal put it: “At issue is whether Boeing chose South Carolina, a state where unions are weak, to retaliate against union workers in Washington, who have a history of strikes that have disrupted production.”

    Thats the WSJ quoting the NLRB's accusation against Boeing to punish them for daring not to cave to the Unions.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  28. mj

    Let this plant open! They have every right. Tired of Unions dictating what Americans can do. The reason Obama is not getting involved is very simple – He depends on all the money they continue to contribute to Democrats. South Carolina needs the jobs. This is a "Right to Work State". Let them work!

    June 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  29. XWngLady

    Big Biz are a bunch of greedy cry babies. If you broke the law and got caught, then you deserve to get shut down. If you didn't break the law and the court agrees with you then carry on. The problem is that they know good and well that they broke the law and are mad because they got caught. So what? If Pres. Obama doesn't come out and say that he agrees with your "business" practices, then you won't support Obama? Puh-lease. You weren't going to support him anyway. Republicans have been on a union witch-hunt since they got elected, it would make more sense for Boeing to support them anyway. Don't you say a word Mr. President. Let them sink or swim on their own, since that seems to be their attitude toward the American people.

    June 14, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • mj

      Last I heard is that this is a "Free Country". Stop this and they will be forced to go overseas. We need jobs. Unions and Obama are tied to the hip. Unions have really created a huge problem and it needs to be stopped.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
      • Marry

        Freedom has his boundaries there were it infringes on the rights of others. Freedom also inhales a sense of responsibility and accountability. This connection should be realized and practiced by all that enjoy freedom!

        June 15, 2011 at 3:21 am |
    • vanessa

      you are sooo right. They were not going to support him anyway!

      June 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  30. Rudy NYC

    Boeing has a problem with unions and other manufacturers do not have problems with those same unions. Does that mean that the union is af fault and not Boeing? I say let Boeing use an unskilled, inexperienced work force to assemble an aircraft already riddled with design and performance problems. It is months behind schedule. Let's see how many they can sell.

    June 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  31. Jimmy Crackercorn

    NLRB is independent? That's a joke. Under this administration they are nothing more than lackeys of the union stooges.

    June 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • John N Florida

      And you're saying that under Bush they weren't just as biased? That's a laugh. Through 8 years it was well known that even if 20 people were killed, the NLRB wouldn't make a move against the business that killed them.
      OSHA stayed in their offices and sat on their hands. Violations which resulted in deaths, were reduced to minor violations and hand slapped with insignificant fines.

      June 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  32. Ted

    Come on ... it almost sound that you are timid toward the Obama administration I read the article in WSJ ... you are actually taking one paragraph and put it out of context. The article correctly so was point out how Obama was helping union workers in one state over the right of a business to move to another state. I have lived in other countries and I have seen how unions can destroy a country. This is amazing.
    By the way … Obama can do a lot to stop this, so this watching my hands like Pilatus … will not work.
    Business correctly are interpreting this as a move from an administration with socialist ideas
    Wolf ... don't be so timid ... Rightly or wrongly??? you can decide that ...

    June 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  33. IndependentDem

    I fully understand that Unions tiypically lean left, but how can the business community blame Obama for something he hasn't said a peep about? Now if he does say something, those on the Right will say that his administration is meddling in Capitalism. I mean it's a no win situation for him....

    June 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • rob

      Its not what they say, its what they're not saying. To say the NLRB is "Independant" therefore the administration won't comment about it is effectively supporting the tactics of strongarming American businesses on behalf of the unions.

      Its only a "No-win" for Obama because he is beholden to the unions. Unions represent about 6% of the worforce, if they are allowed to dictate how bisinesses are run in this country it is certainly not good for the other 94% of workers. This is just another reason for the incredible uncertainty in the business community and the consumers as well. This administration is the most anti business and anti growth since the 1930's and we are suffering the consequences.

      June 14, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  34. The Real Tom Paine

    They may as well be outsourcing the plant if they put it in South Carolina. I suppose its better than sending yet another defense contract to a state that insists it does not need federal help, then screams when it does not arrive on time or in the amount they want.

    June 14, 2011 at 3:59 pm |

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