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The Boeing Company’s fleet of supporters grew this week as the global airplane manufacturer prepares to face off with the National Labor Relations Board on June 14. The attorneys general from South Carolina and Texas co-authored an amicus brief on behalf of Boeing’s construction of a non-union plant in Charleston. In April, NLRB general counsel Lafe Solomon filed an unfair labor practices complaint against Boeing, accusing the company of building the plant in a right-to-work state in retaliation against union workers in Washington. ( See previous CorpCounsel.com coverage.) Alan Wilson, attorney general of South Carolina, and Texas AG Greg Abbott were joined by a bipartisan coalition of 14 other attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming. The pro-Boeing bloc includes both right-to-work and unionized states. In a press release [link: http://www.scag.gov/archives/5451], Wilson said, “Unless deterred, the NLRB’s unprecedented proceedings against a company’s private business decisions will cause irreparable harm to the business climate in every state and will undoubtedly create an exodus of jobs from our country.” The attorneys general argued that the NLRB’s proposed enforcement action not only violates federal labor law, but that it ignores states’ discretion to enact their own right-to-work laws. With national unemployment exceeding 9 percent, the AGs urged the presiding administrative law judge to consider the threat to businesses that the enforcement action could pose. The Hill reported that despite the ongoing dispute, the Charleston 787 Dreamliner plant opened for business Friday. Boeing spent hundreds of millions of dollars constructing the plant, which created 1,000 new jobs in South Carolina. If the NLRB action is successful, Boeing could be forced to shut down the facility. Nancy Cleeland, director of public affairs for the NLRB, could not immediately be reached for comment. In a May 9 statement, Solomon’s said, “Contrary to certain public statements made in recent weeks, there is nothing remarkable or unprecedented about the complaint issued against the Boeing Company on April 20. The complaint involves matters of fact and law that are not unique to this case, and it was issued only after a thorough investigation in the field [and] a further careful review by our attorneys in Washington…Only then did I authorize the complaint alleging that certain statements and decisions by Boeing officials were discriminatory under our statute.” Solomon said the June 14 hearing “is the appropriate time and place to argue the merits of the complaint.” He added, “We hope all interested parties respect the legal process, rather than trying to litigate this case in the media and public arena.”

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