NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: Boeing, Boeing, not gone. In fact, this union fight is just beginning.
Welcome, everybody. I’m Neil Cavuto.
Members of Congress in South Carolina today holding a field hearing into the NLRB’s complaint that Boeing is illegally hiring non-union workers at its plant there. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley going to bat for Boeing. The labor board’s chief counsel also testifying voluntarily, but under the threat of subpoena.
And, at one point, it appeared that the White House itself was on trial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DARRELL ISSA, R-CALIF., OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: The NLRB itself has four Obama appointees and one vacancy and one of those appointees is a recess appointment, meaning not confirmed. Is that, correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is correct.
ISSA: So, the term independence, you are currently no more independent than Janet Napolitano or any of the other political appointees of the president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would respectfully disagree with you...
ISSA: Well, I mean, from a standpoint of you serve at the pleasure of the president, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: Man, oh, man, this is a hearing we were riveted on in the business group today for good reason, so much at stake.
To South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, who also testified there today.
Mr. Attorney General, good to have you.
How do you think this is going?
ALAN WILSON, R-S.C.,ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, I thought it was a very good discussion today in front of the committee. I thought that a lot of good comments were made.
And I think the one thing that came out was that, in my opinion, the National Labor Relations Board’s legal theory is lacking, at best.
CAVUTO: You know, I got a sense that the labor representatives there were getting antsy, that they know that this is boomeranging back on them, and they didn’t want to appear to be South Carolina jobs-killers, for want of a better term. Did I get that right from the testimony I was hearing, and is it your sense that they were getting a sympathetic response?
WILSON: Well, they had a hard time in -- from my view, from my vantage point, of showing how Boeing could have retaliated against a state that it created 2,000 jobs in, not to mention another 1,000 jobs in South Carolina.
It kept going to the motive of why Boeing moved jobs, not to the actual actions that they did. So, I mean, it was a very weak statement on the NLRB’s part on why they brought the case to begin with.
CAVUTO: Now, obviously, you’re a lawyer. You wouldn’t be attorney general without that, but the legal argument here is that Boeing had a tit for tat, right? In other words, to strike back at union workers, it went to a non-union right-to-work state like your fine state, and that it punished union workers back home as a result.
You argued that, if that were the case, you’d have to see union workers directly impacted and/or fired. I’m paraphrasing. There’s little evidence of that, right?
WILSON: I’m sorry. I couldn’t hear your last question.
CAVUTO: Right. That’s because we believe in nat -- something they call nat sound here, and we run it ungodly high. I apologize.
WILSON: That’s OK.
CAVUTO: Your argument is that Boeing has not punished its union workers back in Washington State. So, the NLRB’s argument that union workers were directly impacted by this is false; is that right?
WILSON: That is absolutely correct.
When you create 2,000 jobs in a state, it’s kind of hard to say you are retaliating against that state.
CAVUTO: Now, they then turn around, sir, and say longer term, it will be retaliatory against that state, in this case Washington, because all the expansion will be in states like yours, in non-union states. What do you say to that?
WILSON: Well, it’s kind of hard to bring an action against a future crime that you have no proof that that will ever happen. And I also think it’s kind of ridiculous to assume that a company would create 2,000 jobs in one area that would affect its business model solely to potentially retaliate years in the future. It just doesn’t pass the commonsense test to me.
CAVUTO: Well, from what I’m reading from the union guys, it is this, Attorney General. They see the writing on the wall. They -- they can see where these crumbs are spreading and leading. And they know that Boeing is going to want to pursue expansion down the road in states or environments that don’t have unions.
Is that fair?
WILSON: Well, I think it’s fair to assume. I think that is fair, but I’m going take it one step farther.
The actions of the National Labor Relations Board and the union itself are going to hurt themselves in the long run because businesses across the country and even across the globe are looking at this and they’re thinking to themselves there is no way I will ever move to a union state and set up shop and try to expand my business there.
It simply won’t ever go to a union state, knowing that this is what it they’re going to through. I want to see jobs in union states and right-to- work states alike grow. I love it that Washington State got 2,000 jobs. I hope they get another 2,000 jobs. I hope Boeing does so well that they are able to diversify in 30 states.
That is good for the economy. That’s good for jobs. And that is what the bottom line is. It is creating jobs throughout our entire country, and not waging regional warfare.
CAVUTO: Attorney General, a pleasure having you. Thank you very much.