Sen. Graham calls ethics complaint in Boeing-NLRB case ‘ridiculous’

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina responded Tuesday to ethics complaints lodged by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) suit against Boeing.

The complaint was made last Friday when the IAM sent a letter to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics calling for an investigation. The IAM’s letter also alleged that Graham had improperly sought to influence NLRB Acting General Counsel Laif Solomon to drop the case.

On Tuesday, Graham called the complaints “ridiculous.”

“It’s clear what this union complaint is about — it’s an effort to intimidate people like me who are speaking out against them,” said Graham in a statement. “I will not be intimidated. And it’s not going to stop me from fighting for the people of South Carolina.”

“The NLRB is an out-of-control bureaucracy trying to destroy thousands of jobs in our state,” Graham added. “I will not silently stand by and watch it happen.”

In a press release, IAM General Counsel Chris Corson accused Graham of pressuring Solomon to drop the case, and then threatening to try to defund the NLRB if he did not do so. The complaints also cite a letter Graham sent to President Obama saying that he would pursue sanctions against Solomon and the NLRB if the lawsuit is upheld.

The NLRB sued Boeing this past April after the company announced it was going to build a plant in North Charleston, S.C. The agency contends Boeing is moving to South Carolina from Washington in retaliation to union strikes. South Carolina is a right-to-work state.

“The union complaint against me is ridiculous,” Graham ended his statement by saying. “Just like their complaint against Boeing.”