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Congress cracks down on NLRB in Boeing case

Congressman Darrell Issa subpoenas NLRB, says its actions could be “job-killing precedent”

The legal wrangling is escalating in the squabble between Boeing Co. and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) turned up the heat on the NLRB and its Acting General Counsel, Lafe Solomon, today after issuing a subpoena for documents related to Boeing’s alleged union circumvention.

The subpoena compels the NLRB to comply with earlier committee document requests that it submitted in May. The NLRB is compelled to produce the documents no later than August 12.

"NLRB's action in the case against Boeing has the potential to create a job-killing precedent just as U.S. manufacturers are working toward economic recovery,” Issa said in a statement. “That a Washington, D.C.-based bureaucracy could dictate the work location and parameters for a world-leading company is unprecedented in a global economy and hobbles a leading American job creator at a time of economic vulnerability.”

Solomon returned the salvo, saying that the NLRB already has turned over thousands of pages of documents, and that the remaining documents will be made available as the trail proceeds.

"To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time since 1940 that the National Labor Relations Board has been the subject of a Congressional subpoena,” he said in a statement. “I am disappointed and surprised by this development. For months, my staff and I have diligently tried to satisfy the Committee's desire for information while also preserving the integrity of our process and the rights of the parties in a case being actively litigated. I continue to believe that a solution is possible, and will work with the committee in the days and weeks ahead to find a reasonable and responsible balance."

Last month, a federal judge denied Boeing’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. InsideCounsel covered the story, as well as the seemingly pro-union NLRB, in-depth in its August issue.

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