Politics

Issa condemns NLRB on Boeing dispute: ‘Far in excess of their mandate’

Republican House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has joined the chorus crying foul over what seems to be an aggressive overreach by the Obama administration’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in declaring Boeing’s expansion into South Carolina, a non-union state, illegal because it allegedly retaliates against union employees in Washington state.

On Monday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough asked Issa if he was trying to abolish the NLRB for its efforts to stop aircraft manufacturer Boeing from building airplanes in Charleston, S.C. According Issa, that’s not exactly case, but the NLRB is overstepping its authority.

“That may be a little bit more than we are trying to do,” Issa said. “The NLRB has interpreted the National Labor Relations Act in a way where they have basically filed suit against Boeing, even though what Boeing was doing was simply choosing to expand and put new jobs in South Carolina. Well, they were also adding jobs in Everett, Wash., the Seattle area and we are questioning whether or not they have exceeded — there’s no absolute law that says they can do that. They are interpreting that even though it’s a growth, ultimately by not putting them in Everett it is a retaliation. I think that is far in excess of their mandate. If the labor union wants to make a suit, make a suit but for the government to spend your tax dollars to pursue seems to be over the top.”

Issa said Boeing had merit in building a South Carolina facility and thus he questioned the use of taxpayer money to prevent the facility from being operational.

“In this case, because there were statements made on the record and we’ve read them, that included our customers want guaranteed delivery are, therefore it’s assumed that going there and doing three out of ten aircraft a month will be produced in South Carolina, seven to ten will be produced in Everett, Wash., which is — neither one has produced that volume yet,” Issa said. “The interpretation that is retaliation, yet no one lost their job in Seattle. There have been 3,000 more hirings. So yeah, you kind of — you have an obligation to second guess that and say wait a second, when the government prosecutes you and spends its millions and you’re guilty until you prove yourself innocent in constant appeals, that’s probably overstepping it. We are looking at that.”

Issa told “Morning Joe” viewers that labor rules shouldn’t be created and enforced for just union members, but instead for all – union and non-union employees alike. (Issa plans hearing on scandal-ridden education regulation)

“Having said that, we need to have rules of the road, including labor rules that continue to protect Americans, it just has got protect union and non-union,” Issa said. “It has got protect the business and the jobs just as much as it does people who contribute to the president from big labor.”