Congress is currently considering draft legislation that would prohibit the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) from ordering any employer to close, relocate, or transfer employment under any circumstance. The legislation would effectively prevent the NLRB from restricting where an employer can create jobs in the United States. The bill passed the House of Representatives on September 15, 2011 by a vote of 138-186. The legislation is currently pending before the Senate.
The National Labor Relations Act currently allows the NLRB to order employers to close or relocate American workplaces, which threatens jobs and business growth throughout the country. For instance, on April 20, 2011, the NLRB filed a complaint against The Boeing Company for opening a plant in South Carolina and ordered the company to transfer the operation to Puget Sound, Washington instead despite the fact that no union employee at Boeing’s Puget Sound facility had lost his or her job as a result of the proposed South Carolina plant. If the NLRB is successful in pursuing its restoration order, not only will thousands of South Carolina jobs be destroyed, but employers and job creators throughout the country will be deterred from expanding operations across the country. Accordingly, Congress has proposed the legislation to prohibit the NLRB from mandating where employers open, close, transfer or relocate operations and employment.
Some worry that the passage of the legislation would effectively remove any checks on corporations’ ability to weaken unions and intimidate employees asserting their rights by removing regulations that prohibit companies from closing factories or shifting work in retaliation to union and employee action. The AFL-CIO, one of the many unions that oppose the legislation, the legislation would make it easier for employers to ship jobs overseas and eliminate jobs for American workers.
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