Senator: Thumbs Down on Obama Appointee to National Labor Relations Board

May 10, 2011 - 4:25 PM

(CNSNews.com) – Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has called on President Barack Obama to dismiss Lafe Solomon, the acting general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over the board’s decision to file a complaint against The Boeing Company for moving one of their assembly lines to South Carolina, a right-to-work state.

"Mr. Solomon, the guy who filed the complaint, is so out of line. I understand presidents picking someone sympathetic to their agenda, but they have some obligation under the law to follow the law, so I think he’s an interim appointee who will never see confirmation in the Senate," Graham told CNSNews.com following a press conference at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday where Republican members of Congress criticized the NLRB’s complaint.

"I think he [Obama] should dismiss the General Counsel who filed the complaint – that would be a statement to the whole country that I’m not going to accept what I think – accept a really rouge action. This is so out of bounds."

Boeing decided to move the second production line of the 787 Dreamliner passenger plane from Washington State, where their union workers have led strikes in the past, to the right-to-work state of South Carolina. The NLRB says Boeing’s decision was made out of retaliation to avoid future strikes from its labor unions.

Solomon defended his decision in a statement issued yesterday.

"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," he said.

"It was issued only after a thorough investigation in the field, a further careful review by our attorneys in Washington, and an invitation by me to the parties to present their case and discuss the possibility of a settlement. Only then did I authorize the complaint alleging that certain statements and decisions by Boeing officials were discriminatory under our statute."

lindsey graham sc

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

Graham is criticial of the NLRB complaint, "This complaint basically says that Boeing’s decision to move to South Carolina violates the law and clearly, Boeing came to South Carolina after looking around the entire country, creating a new line of work – nobody lost their job in Washington [state], no benefits were reduced in Washington, so this goes to the heart and soul of capital formation, how a business would make a decision," he told CNSNews.com.

Graham continued, "If this complaint stands, once you decide to go to a union location, you can never move, unless it’s, you can’t even talk about the business environment without being accused of retaliation so this has incredible consequences."

Graham has pointed out that Bill Daley, the President’s chief of staff was on Boeing’s board when they made the decision to move the production line to South Carolina and Jim McNerney, the CEO of Boeing is part of the President’s Export Council.

"If nothing else, the President ought to say ‘I don’t believe my chief of staff violated the law as a member of the board.’ Mr. Jim McNerney, the CEO of Boeingm heads up the President’s Export Council, trying to create jobs here in America, making goods that we sell overseas; he’s in charge of a very important part of the President’s economic agenda. I think he should speak out against this complaint and speak up for these two individuals," said Graham.