Boeing Co. (BA) should run its second 787 Dreamliner assembly line in Washington state instead of South Carolina, where a new plant is almost complete, because the move outside the Seattle area retaliated against striking union workers, the U.S. government said.
Today’s National Labor Relations Board complaint cited statements by Boeing executives and spokesmen that the “overriding” factor in Boeing’s decision to open the factory was problems in reaching contracts with the machinists union representing Seattle-area workers. Boeing said it would fight the case.
The claim “represents a radical departure from both NLRB and Supreme Court precedent,” J. Michael Luttig, Boeing’s general counsel, said in a statement. “Boeing has every right under both federal law and its collective bargaining agreement to build additional U.S. production capacity outside of the Puget Sound region.”
Boeing criticized the timing of the government’s complaint, more than a year after the planemaker announced plans for the South Carolina plant.