Judicial Watch Seeks Documents Pertaining To Decision To Sue
Boeing, Shut Down Dreamliner Aircraft Production in SC
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit has been filed by
Judicial Watch against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
The suit seeks records concerning the NLRB's decision to file a
lawsuit against Seattle-based Boeing for opening a $750 million
non-union assembly plant in North Charleston, South Carolina to
manufacture its Dreamliner plane (JW v National Labor Relations
Board (No. 01470)).
With its July 14, 2011, FOIA request and related lawsuit
Judicial Watch seeks records of internal communications between
officials, officers, and employees of the NLRB related to Boeing
and the agency's decision to file a lawsuit. Judicial Watch also
seeks records of communication between the NLRB and the Obama White
House, the Internal Association of Machinists and Aerospace
Workers, the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union
(SEIU) and any other third party trade union, among others.
Judicial Watch also seeks any NLRB records related to the impact of
the new Boeing plant on employment in South Carolina. The timeframe
for these requests is January 20, 2009, to July 14, 2011.
By letter of July 28, 2011, the NLRB acknowledged that the
agency received Judicial Watch's complaint on July 14, 2011.
However, the NLRB has failed to respond within the statutory
allotted twenty business days. To date, the NLRB has failed to
produce any documents or indicate when responsive documents will be
The NLRB filed a lawsuit in April 2011, against Boeing, claiming
that the company's decision to open a Dreamliner production line in
South Carolina was in retaliation against The International
Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers for a series of
union strikes that reportedly slowed production of the plane in
2008 in Washington State. According to Boeing's spokesman, the
NLRB's "claim is legally frivolous and represents a radical
departure from both NLRB and Supreme Court precedent. 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."
In addition to refusing to respond to Judicial Watch's FOIA
request, the NLRB has also reportedly failed to respond to a
subpoena issued by the House Oversight and Government Reform
Committee seeking information related to the lawsuit. "This refusal
by NLRB to abide by the law further heightens concerns that this is
a rogue agency acting improperly," Committee chairman Rep. Darrell
Issa said. "The integrity of NLRB and its leadership is clearly in
Last year, President Obama bypassed the U.S. Senate and
recess-appointed Craig Becker to head the NLRB's five-member board.
The Becker appointment was made after the U.S. Senate refused to
move forward on his confirmation. An ally of ACORN, Becker had
previously worked for the SEIU and the AFL-CIO, major financial
backers of Obama and the Democratic Party. Controversially, Becker
has refused to recuse himself from certain NLRB decisions affecting
his former union clients.
"The American people have a right to know the facts surrounding
the extraordinary decision by the NLRB to sue Boeing in order to
effectively shut down an entire factory in South Carolina. There
are serious questions about the NLRB's apparent abuse of power.
There is simply no good reason for the NLRB to keep these records
secret – unless it has something to hide. Yet again we see
that President Obama, through his appointees, is contemptuous of an
open and accountable federal government," stated Judicial Watch
President Tom Fitton.