Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) held a media conference call this morning to discuss the National Labor Relations Board’s move to block Boeing from operating its 787 Dreamliner manufacturing line in South Carolina. Bill Daley, the current White House chief of staff, was on the Boeing board of directors when the company made its South Carolina decision, a move that the National Labor Relations Board has ruled was illegal. Sen. DeMint believes the NRLB’s move is entirely political, and called on the president address the presence of Bill Daley at the White House.
I asked Sen. DeMint whether the right to work states that find themselves under increased actions from the Obama administration — at this point, South Carolina, Arizona and South Dakota directly, and all right to work states indirectly through the Boeing decision — will band together to fight back. The answer is yes; DeMint said six or seven states attorneys general are already working together on filing complaints to take the agencies involved to court. He also called on media to file FOIA requests to get to the bottom of who is making the decisions to go after American corporations, and what sort of discussions have led up to the actions.
In his opening remarks, Sen. DeMint said the federal government under the Obama administration is stepping in to force people to join unions as a way of saving the unions, but not in the interests of protecting workers, the majority of whom choose not to join unions. Describing unions as an “antiquated model of protecting workers,” DeMint noted that union membership has declined over the past 30 years and during that same time frame, the 22 right to work states have gained 25 Congressional seats and outpaced the forced union states in economic vitality and growth. He also said that he is hearing from companies that they fear investing to expand and create jobs because of the Obama administration’s actions, from the aforementioned NLRB to the FCC’s moves to regulate the internet.
DeMint said Congress will take up Republican-sponsored measured to push back against the NRLB, but Sen. DeMint sounded a pessimistic note that the Democrats from the right to work states would help make passing anything possible. He said the Democrats are “scared” of taking on the unions, because unions represent one of their party’s main sources of campaign funding.
The conference call was convened by the Workforce Fairness Institute.