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Pelosi: Jobs Less Important Than Unions

Two years ago, South Carolina Boeing workers voted 199-68 to decertify their union. The NLRB has filed suit against the company for choosing to locate a new plant there instead of Washington state. And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi thinks it’s just fine if those jobs go the way of the dodo if they’re not proper union jobs.

“Do you think it’s right that Boeing has to close down that plant in South Carolina because it’s non union?” asked host Maria Bartiromo. Pelosi’s reply: “Yes.”

The minority leader quickly added that she would rather it simply unionize and stay open. But barring unionization, by Pelosi’s reasoning, it should simply shut down.

Bartiromo followed up by asking if government should be getting involved in such corporate decisions. Pelosi dodged the question by saying “you asked me what I thought and I told you what I thought.” In short, Pelosi strongly supports every citizen’s right to choose–so long as the choices they make are one of which Pelosi approves. Otherwise, not so much.

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About Dodd
Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He can kill a mime using only his thumb. He joined the staff at OTB in May 2007. Follow Dodd on Twitter.

Comments

  1. WR says:

    Yes, exactly. Pelosi wants to control the choices of every citizen, because the clerk at the 7-11 is exactly the same as a multi-national corporation that chooses to relocate so it can screw over workers with lower wages and lousy benefits in order to enrich its executives. Bless you, Dodd, for standing up for the poor, down-trodden billionaires who are so desperately trying to eke out just a few hundred million more on the backs of the middle class.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 5

  2. Hey Norm says:

    I wish there were more facts in your post…rather than just a gotcha type hit job on Pelosi…a favorite target of you Teavangelicals.
    How many jobs are involved? I would have to say…not being intimately familiar with this story…that a few jobs lost in order to keep from undermining the right to collectively bargain is probably an unfortunate but necessary trade-off.
    I know people are freaked out by the economy, and in their panic want to race to the bottom…be just like China. Indeed they wanted to do something similar when they were freaked out by 9.11…and were willing to scarifice everything we stand for out of fear of people who didn’t look o speak like them.
    Decisions made under such circumstances aren’t generally wise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

  3. Ernieyeball says:

    Could it be that management wants to be able to compete in a world market and keep the jobs in the USA?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  4. Moosebreath says:

    Dodd: Union Jobs in Washington State Don’t Count When I’m Trying to Vilify My Enemies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  5. @WR:

    Did you miss the part where the Boeing workers in South Carolina voted to decertify their union?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  6. @Moosebreath:

    Moosebreath: Screw the people of South Carolina

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  7. MBunge says:

    “The NLRB has filed suit against the company for choosing to locate a new plant there instead of Washington state.”

    It would have been nice if DODD explained exactly why, under existing law, the NLRB was taking this action instead of just using it as a pretext to bash Pelosi.

    Also, any time any Democrat is “quoted” by a Heritage blog is a fairly big red flag that the “quote” isn’t exactly in context.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  8. Hey Norm says:

    From the NLRB complaint:

    (a) In or about October 2009, on a date better known to Respondent, but no later than October 28, 2009, Respondent decided to transfer its second 787 Dreamliner production line of 3 planes per month from the Unit to its non-union site in North Charleston, South Carolina.
    (b) Respondent engaged in the conduct described above in paragraph 7(a) because the Unit employees assisted and/or supported the Union by, inter alia, engaging in the protected, concerted activity of lawful strikes and to discourage these and/or other employees from engaging in these or other union and/or protected, concerted activities.
    (c) Respondent’s conduct described above in paragraph 7(a), combined with the conduct described above in Paragraph 6, is also inherently destructive of the rights guaranteed employees by § 7 of the Act.

    So, judging by your post Dodd, you are in support of Boeing doing something illegal in response to workers doing something legal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  9. Moosebreath says:

    Doug: Unions Are Evil. Did I Lick My Master’s Boots Well Enough Today?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  10. Face it Moosebreath, if the worker doesn’t wear a union label and worship at the feet of the Trumpka’s of the world, you don’t care about them

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

  11. ponce says:

    Boeing had the chance to have Alan Mulally , the guy who turned Ford around, as CEO.

    Instead, it went with some dimwitted mediocrity whose only accomplishment has been to destroy Boeing’s reputation for quality on time production of commercial jets in a Captain Ahab like war against the unions of Washington state.

    This illegal South Carolina plant is just the latest of numerous mistakes he’s made.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  12. @Hey Norm:

    Or, maybe the law is wrong and needs to be changed. Judging from the way it is being applied here, that’s the conclusion I reach.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  13. Hey Norm says:

    Full disclosure…when, in the past, I have worked in Union Shops in Right-to-Work-States I have elected not joined the Union. I did so for a reason. I knew that my wages would be guaranteed by the Union’s presence…but I could take home more $$$ by not paying dues.
    See…this is how Unions work. Every auto worker in Kentucky, or Tennesee, or in this case Boeing workers in SC…benefits from the existence of Unions. Automakers in Kentucky pay competitive wages, not out of the goodness of their heart as Libertarians fantasize, but because they want to keep out the Unions from Michigan.
    If you eliminate the Unions, which is what Republicans wish to do, then the Autoworker in Kentucky will no longer pay competitive wages, and we will be racing to the bottom.
    I understand this is what people like Mataconis want…I disagree.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  14. Moosebreath says:

    Face it Doug, if the person isn’t worth billions of dollars, you don’t care about them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  15. Hey Norm says:

    Actually Doug, it appears the CEO of Boeing shot of his mouth and made a pretty clear-cut case for the case for the NLRB.
    The law is the law. If it should be changed…change it. But today Boeing is in violation from where I sit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  16. Dodd says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Did you miss the part where the Boeing workers in South Carolina voted to decertify their union

    That is obviously not an important fact. What matters is the fact that this video of Pelosi saying exactly what she’s quoted as saying was posted on Heritage. Oh, and evil billionaires.

    Get with the program, Doug.

    Or, maybe the law is wrong and needs to be changed. Judging from the way it is being applied here, that’s the conclusion I reach.

    As you know, complaints have to allege the elements to get past motions to dismiss. I could draft a complaint that alleges that Mother Theresa illegally distributed controlled substances to minor children. That wouldn’t make it actually true. Or illegal. But, of course, if the aforesaid evil billionaires are the accused, well, innocent before proven guilty isn’t in play. The evil billionaires retirees whose pension plans own Boeing stock are always guilty..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  17. Hey Norm says:

    @ Dodd…
    South Carolina workers voting to de-certify is not germain to the complaint.
    This seems to me a pretty basic case of an employer punishing workers for exercising their right to strike. Again…had the CEO not threatened workers, on multiple occasions, who were acting in a lawful manner…then it appears we would not be having this conversation.
    Other than your excitement over bashing Pelosi.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  18. WR says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Gosh, no, Doug, I didn’t miss that part. And since therehas been essentially no enforcement of labor laws in this country, it’s a pretty safe bet that Boeing said to the workers “We’ll build a plant here if you decertify the union.” Which would kind of explain why the current NLRB came down on them.

    Oh, but freedom!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  19. Ernieyeball says:

    Norm sez: “I knew that my wages would be guaranteed by the Union’s presence…but I could take home more $$$ by not paying dues.”

    Wages are just one aspect of union contracts. Work Rules are another. Jobs I have worked under union jurisdiction usually mandated I be paid by the hour no matter how productive I was.
    Most non union jobs allowed me to be paid for “units” of production. I was able to work as many hours as I wanted and FREE TO EARN as much as I could.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. WR,

    So in your world, workers only free to decide to join a union, they aren’t free to decide to quit it and still keep their job. Okay, got it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  21. michael reynolds says:

    A text book case of why I support Occupy Wall Street. It’s not enough that the rich be rich, they have to impoverish everyone else in the process. It’s no longer enough that Atlas shrug, Atlas has to stomp the little people.

    It’s the sheer, unbridled as-holery of today’s amoral, contemptuous, self-pitying, narcissistic rich that puts me in the mood not just to bring balance but to bring pain to people like this.

    Frankly, Dodd and Doug, if the two of you could get your heads out of your absurd, outdated ideology long enough to look at the real world, you’d see how socially destabilizing this Randian f-ck you mentality is.

    Do you honestly think the 1% can hold all the power in a democracy? A backlash is building. It’s starting with Occupy but it will migrate to other groups and other methods. This will bite this country in the ass, and when it does it will be the fault of people like the two of you and the corporate dicks you seem to worship so uncritically.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  22. Your sympathy for the soon-to-be-unemployed people of South Carolina overwhelms me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  23. ponce says:

    it will be the fault of people like the two of you and the corporate dicks you seem to worship so uncritically.

    They just fellate the corporate dicks because they think it pisses off liberals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  24. michael reynolds says:

    Your sympathy for the soon-to-be-unemployed people of South Carolina overwhelms me.

    Equalled only by your tender concern for the unemployed of Washington State, and those driven relentlessly down by the greed junkies who subscribe to your “philosophy.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  25. jan says:

    @Ernieyeball:

    Could it be that management wants to be able to compete in a world market and keep the jobs in the USA?

    Actually, there are folks here who would prefer a corporation do a Jeffrey Immelt. This is a CEO who supports Obama, serves as the head of the President’s Job Panel, publicly empathizes with the OWS movement, while at the same time shipping many of GE’s jobs over to China, escapes paying taxes (as one of the hated 1%). Oh, I forgot he is a democrat — all is forgiven.

    In the meantime, government arrows continue to point at companies like Boeing, who want to build plants that can compete, by being a non- Union shop, something voluntarily supported by most of it’s own members. Or, Gibson Guitars, who has been allied with Greenpeace and other environmental organizations, but who has the onus of being another successful non-union shop, one of the only ones remaining in this country who build guitars. The government supposedly has harassed Gibson, for over two years, citing infractions with the so-called 100 year old ‘Lacey Law.’ However, the unionized Bender Guitar, a competitor and Obama supporter, using the same standards in it’s wood selections as Gibson, has been left alone. It all reminds me so much of the ‘Blue Eagle’ strong-arming that went on under FDR’s administration, under his signature NRA legislation, that was ruled unconstitutional in 1935.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  26. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Leftism is a severe mental disorder, ab initio, and when you’re a leftist with as many tens of millions of dollars socked away as Nancy Pelosi it metastasizes into abject lunacy. Ergo this latest tripe from her is not at all surprising.

    What’s interesting, however, is the extent to which the anti-American, anti-capitalistic left is dropping the collective mask. It wasn’t that long ago the likes of Pelosi were able to obfuscate their true beliefs. Hell, even as recently as the run-up to the 2006 mid-terms Nancy, Steny & Co. at least paid lip service to the middle. No longer. Now their hatred for the middle class and for national prosperity is on full display, for all to see. Ironically, of course, the public has been so dumbed down over the past 20-odd years the crazy left largely can get away with this sort of nonsense, but that’s a topic for another date and time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  27. jan says:

    It’s the sheer, unbridled as-holery of today’s amoral, contemptuous, self-pitying, narcissistic rich that puts me in the mood not just to bring balance but to bring pain to people like this.

    Seeing the world like this is a dumpster-diving mentality, at best.

    Leftism is a severe mental disorder…

    …….and the first quote shows signs of having that disorder. Time to consult the DSM.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  28. ponce says:

    Seeing the world like this is a dumpster-diving mentality, at best.

    It’s the mentality that founded this country, Jan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  29. Hey Norm says:

    Lot of people here condoning and supporting illegal actions by Corporations.
    Like Jan for instance:

    “…In the meantime, government arrows continue to point at companies like Boeing, who want to build plants that can compete, by being a non- Union shop, something voluntarily supported by most of it’s own members…”

    First…She completely ignores the facts as presented in the complaint.
    And then she charachterises Boeing…among the largest global aircraft manufacturers by revenue, orders and deliveries, and the third largest aerospace and defense contractor in the world based on defense-related revenue, and the largest exporter by value in the United States…as struggling to compete. Yes…let’s eliminate the right to collectively bargain because poor old Boeing is in danger of financial ruin.
    What was it Dan Akroyd said to his Weekend Update host???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  30. @Hey Norm: Hey, Dodd always likes to stick up for the rich and the powerful as laws are for the little people.

    Time for the police to go hippie beating as those hippies think they have the right to peacably assembly and petition for the redress of their grievences…. Silly hippies, they’re annoying the powerful

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  31. WR says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “So in your world, workers only free to decide to join a union, they aren’t free to decide to quit it and still keep their job”

    In my world a company isn’t allowed to say “you can have your union or you can have your job.” And guess what? My world is the real one, because that’s the way the law is written.

    I understand that libertarians tend to believe that laws shouldn’t apply to corporations and rich people, but I’m the one who’s actually living in the real world here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  32. Okay I think I get your position. One man. One Vote. One Time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  33. Dodd says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    One man. One Vote. One Time

    Unless the one vote is against the union. Then there can be as many votes as necessary to achieve the proper result. And, of course, it shouldn’t be by secret ballot.

    If you think anything different, you want “to eliminate the right to collectively bargain.” No middle ground. Any disagreement with any union position is tantamount to wanting a return to robber barons, no child labour laws, and Somalia-like anarchy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  34. Hey Norm says:

    Dodd…
    You were wrong on the facts…now you have resorted to arguing strawmen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  35. sam says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Or, maybe the law is wrong and needs to be changed. Judging from the way it is being applied here, that’s the conclusion I reach.

    That’s a legitimate point. However, the law has not to date been changed. You don’t want to argue that we are under no obligation to obey a law we think is a “bad” law, do you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  36. Dodd says:

    @Hey Norm: I wonder what thread you’re reading. Because that reply has no relationship to this thread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  37. Sam,

    I don’t practice labor law and I’m not well-versed enough in the NLRA to be able to answer that question, so I’m not going to comment on whether or not the NLRB’s legal arguments are correct, that will be up to a court.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  38. Hey Norm says:

    @ Dodd…
    At 12:03 you imply that union decertification by the SC workers had a bearing on the complaint…it does not.
    Then at 15:53 you claim that there is no middle-ground with Union supporters.
    Have a nice evening.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  39. JKB says:

    But the problem wasn’t that the South Carolina plant wasn’t union, the theoretical complaint is that they purposely expanded their operation away from non-right-to-work Washington. So how does unionizing the South Carolina plant help the poor workers in Washington?

    It should be noted that non union work in Washington was impacted by their quite strategic decision to have a part of their production located away from the same regional hazards. All that is at issue here is, does Boeing have the freedom to locate their new production wherever it makes the best corporate sense or are they, once unionized, restricted to only building plants in the same area as their unionized employees.

    So really, are the unions like the Mafia? Once unions get in, you can never, ever, do anything the unions don’t get their payoff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  40. Hey Norm says:

    @ JKB…
    No. The issue is that Boeing does not have the right to punish workers for doing what they have the legal right to do. It’s as simple as that. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  41. Liberty60 says:

    This post and so much of rightwing theory is premised on the idea that if only workers did not bargain collectively, the Job Creators would bless us with many more jobs.

    Where in the world is the evidence for this?

    Over 3 decades we have relentlessly weakened labor unions.

    Have we seen a corresponding increase in job creation and quality?

    At some point, when we achieve Wingut Singularity, the Dreamliner is going to be asssembled by 12 year old girls in Nepal, out of phlegm reinforced cardboard and radioactive Chinese drywall.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  42. Dodd says:

    @Hey Norm: I guess someone else was using your computer at 14:25 when your username posted:

    let’s eliminate the right to collectively bargain

    Because that was precisely the remark to which I was giving the reductio ad absurdum treatment. And, obviously, you’d have known that if you typed it with your own fingers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  43. JKB says:

    @Hey Norm:

    The accusation is that the additional plant and additional work was established in a right to work state due to a statement made that the strikes had influenced the decision. No one was punished as no union member lost a job by the decision. No work being done by union workers in Washington was moved to the new plant. In fact, additional work was added at the Seattle plants after the decision. All that happened was that the second plant was built across the country and closer to the Boeing HQ in Chicago in a state that I’m sure gave some consideration to Boeing locating there.

    There is also no reason the workers in South Carolina can’t vote in the union just as they voted it out a couple years ago.

    In any case, Pelosi is now on record saying that American workers don’t have a right to work except as they pay off a union to do so. Here position is that workers are not free to associate or not associate with whom they wish.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. Hey Norm says:

    @ JKB…
    Read the complaint.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  45. Hey Norm says:

    @ Dodd…
    Actually what I wrote, mocking the idiocy of Jan’s statement, was:

    “…First…She completely ignores the facts as presented in the complaint.
    And then she charachterises Boeing…among the largest global aircraft manufacturers by revenue, orders and deliveries, and the third largest aerospace and defense contractor in the world based on defense-related revenue, and the largest exporter by value in the United States…as struggling to compete. Yes…let’s eliminate the right to collectively bargain because poor old Boeing is in danger of financial ruin…”

    Context lends meaning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  46. Moderate Mom says:

    @Hey Norm:

    But there has been no punishment. No workers in Washington have lost their jobs. Dreamliners are still being built in the Washington facility. Boeing needed to expand capacity to fill Dreamliner orders so expanded somewhere other than Washington, and chose a right-to-work state for the expansion. Why should that be illegal?

    Oh, and the number of jobs lost if Boeing is forced to shut down the new factory? Over a thousand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0