Social & Domestic Issues

Big Labor, Bill Nelson and the NLRB in Assault on Pro-Job Florida


I doubt many Floridians have even heard of the National Labor Relations Board.  I doubt many of them know that under President Obama, this unelected board of bureaucrats and political appointees is doing the bidding of Big Labor, or that it has the power to kill jobs in America.

And I’d be willing to bet that most Floridians don’t know Sen. Bill Nelson has consistently sided with Big Labor and the NLRB on decisions that affect jobs here in Florida.

This is precisely why every Floridian should know about the NLRB, and it’s recent power grab in South Carolina.

In April, the NLRB issued a complaint against The Boeing Company.  Boeing’s only “crime” is that it wanted to open a new plant in South Carolina to meet soaring demand for its new 787 Dreamliner.  South Carolina, like Florida, is a right-to-work state.  That didn’t sit right with the powerful labor union that represents Boeing’s workers in Washington State.

So Big Labor, which gives millions in campaign contributions each cycle to President Obama and the Democrats, set out to flex its muscle.  They did it knowing full well that the NLRB and President Obama would not only sanction their strategy, but back them to the hilt.

Big Labor applied pressure.  In short order, the NLRB, which is comprised of Obama administration political appointees, mandated that Boeing assign the Dreamliner project back to its Washington plant.  In one swift move, the NLRB essentially killed hundreds of new jobs for South Carolina and billions of dollars of economic investment in the state. 

Don’t think for a second that it can’t happen to Florida.

The same rationale used to block Boeing from expanding in South Carolina could be applied here in Florida.  Worse yet, the NLRB’s overreach in South Carolina will no doubt have a chilling effect on other companies considering expansion to pro-jobs states like ours.  It could even endanger the Boeing employees who live and work right here in Florida.

This shouldn’t become a partisan issue.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, has raised concerns about what the NLRB’s action against Boeing could mean for economic development in his state, which is also a right-to-work state.

Why would any company risk the time, effort and money to expand into a right-to-work state if they fear an expensive legal battle with the NLRB?

Despite the bipartisan concerns, and the consequences for the Sunshine State, Sen. Bill Nelson has been noticeably silent on the NLRB.

Earlier this year, a group of senators drafted legislation to rein in the NLRB, reverse its actions against Boeing, and prevent it from seeking similar actions against other companies in other states.

Despite representing a right-to-work state and nearly 1 million constituents who are jobless, Sen. Nelson stood in lockstep with his union backers to stall the bill.

When asked by a reporter from POLITICO last week about the NLRB case, Sen. Nelson replied, “I have to speak to a senator right now, I’m sorry.”

Politicians don’t set out to kill jobs.  But when they start putting special interests ahead of the interests of their constituents, that’s precisely what happens.  And the NLRB’s intervention in the Boeing case is only the beginning.  Now the NLRB is planning to rewrite the rules governing union elections as well, to strengthen Big Labor at the cost of employee freedom.

We need to end the mission creep of out-of-control federal agencies such as the NLRB.  We need to stop Big Labor’s micromanaging of American job creators and their ability to hire, produce and grow.  And employee freedom needs to be expanded through common-sense measures such as anti-card check measures and national right-to-work legislation.

Growing our economy and expanding prosperity to more Americans is going to require fundamental change in Washington, and new leaders willing to fight the status quo.


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