Judicial Watch • Judicial Watch Obtains Documents from National Labor Relations Board Concerning Boeing Lawsuit

Judicial Watch Obtains Documents from National Labor Relations Board Concerning Boeing Lawsuit

Judicial Watch Obtains Documents from National Labor Relations Board Concerning Boeing Lawsuit

OCTOBER 05, 2011

NLRB Attorney Cheers Union Attack on Boeing: “Hooray for the red, white and blue”

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Washington, DC — October 5, 2011
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has received documents from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) 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 (Judicial Watch v. National Labor Relations Board (No. 11-1470)).The documents, obtained pursuant to Judicial Watch’s original July 14, 2011, Freedom of Information Act request and subsequent lawsuit include internal correspondence amongst NLRB attorneys discussing the Boeing lawsuit. Among the highlights:
  • A May 5, 2011, email from Barry Kearney, Associate General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, to colleagues at NLRB concerning a press release issued by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) attacking Boeing: “Hooray for the red, white and blue.” NLRB attorney Miriam Szapiro responded shortly thereafter, “Good. I like this part [at last they can put it to some good use]: “the NLRB’s long-term professional Regional Staff, National Office of Advice and General Counsel reviewed this case for a year.…” [emphasis in original]
  • A July 12, 2011, email from NLRB Regional Director Richard Ahearn to NLRB hearing officer Peter Finch, responding to an article in The Hill newspaper about a request from Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, seeking documents related to the NLRB Boeing lawsuit: “We will politely decline.” (Mr. Ahearn signed the NRLB complaint against Boeing.)
  • A May 5, 2011, email from NLRB attorney Miriam Szapiro warning an unknown recipient (name blacked out) about reading a Wall Street Journal article supporting Boeing and criticizing compulsory unionism: “don’t look at yesterday’s WSJ; you’ll puke.”
  • In response to an April 29, 2011, Wall Street Journal article, calling on President Obama to explain the NLRB lawsuit against Boeing, NLRB attorney Jayme Sophir issues a one word email response on May 2, 2011, to NLRB attorney Debra Willen, Division of Advice: “Ugh.”

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, 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.”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 Democratic-controlled 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 NLRB is supposed to be a neutral arbiter of labor disputes, not a cheerleader for unions,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These documents confirm that the Obama NLRB is abusing its power on behalf of a powerful union to attack a major U.S. corporation. No wonder Judicial Watch had to sue the Obama administration to obtain these records.”Judicial Watch expects additional documents will be released to it by the NRLB.

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