The National Labor Relations Act in Boeing’s Case

It is not uncommon for giant corporations to be accused by independent federal agencies of illegal acts of retaliation against union workers. The federal government lacks the legal power to stop a corporation from growing or constructing a new unit in another state (Magaldi & Sales, 2020). Unfortunately, that is precisely what the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) aims to do. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is bending the legislation to benefit a specific interest – labor unions (LoMonte, 2020).It was stated to be made at the cost of the country’s economy by alleging that the Corporation is using discriminatory labor practices by creating a new airplane assembly factory in South Carolina (LoMonte, 2020). The accusation raises a legitimate concern about whether Boeing executives’ comments went beyond the threshold from being open and honest about their goals to trying to scare employees to prevent further strikes and keep labor costs low. The purpose of this paper is to argue and explain that the NLRA has just not done anything to merit the barrage of condemnation by issuing a complaint against Boeing.

Understanding that fall 2009 brought a severe issue for Boeing is essential. Despite receiving orders worldwide for its brand-new, lightweight, fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliner, Boeing did not have enough aircraft to keep its delivery commitments (Magaldi & Sales, 2020). Boeing’s choice to engage partner firms worldwide to produce parts and implement a just-in-time inventory system, which mandates that parts be supplied on time, were significant contributors to the issue. Boeing had a backlog of roughly 900 orders since many of the vendors and collaborators that were supposed to manufacture the materials were years behind schedule (Magaldi & Sales, 2020). Boeing was under pressure to expedite assembly when it finally acquired the required components. On several occasions, Boeing officials emphasized that the company’s choice to establish its second line in South Carolina has been motivated by a desire to prevent strikes at its unionized sites (LoMonte, 2020).

Moreover, most Democrats, like President Obama, remained mute as the board came under attack. The President then emphasized that the Labor Board is “an autonomous entity,” drawing a line between his cabinet and it (Cavaliere et al., 2019). When the President did speak on the subject, it was remarkable that he tried to convey a sense of impartiality on his part while still expressing sympathy for Boeing’s business requirements. The President left his way to back Boeing during the argument and to distance himself from the Chief Counsel’s activities. This seems inconsistent since the NLRA protects the fundamental right of a worker to strike. The right of workers to make economic decisions depending on their financial interests must also be acknowledged, yet they must do it legally. In order to minimize expensive litigation, politicians should seek to promote settlement. Finally, it is impossible to isolate the Board dispute from politics in general, particularly during a presidential election year, which partly explains an abrupt flood of criticism around the given issue (Cavaliere et al., 2019).

Most NLRB indictments found to be meritorious are resolved by agreement. Even though no resolution was achieved and the Agency was forced to go to court, the Acting General Counsel stays responsive to a settlement between the parties. The Counsel’s complaint asserts that Boeing infringed two parts of the NLRA by trying to make aggressive declarations and dangers to workers for participating in statutorily protected events. By locating the second line at a non-union facility and creating a components supply program near the area in retribution for past strike activity, Boeing can be considered a new application of the NLRA.


Cavaliere, F. J., Mulvaney, T. P., & Swerdlow, M. R. (2019). “Protected concerted activity” decisions under the Obama-era NLRB: A look at the political and ethical issues facing the NLRB in an era of declining union membership. Southern Law Journal, 29(2), 237-253.

LoMonte, F. D. (2020). When a leak becomes a lifeline: reinvigorating federal labor law to protect media whistleblowing about workplace safety. Seattle Journal for Social Justice, 19, 693.

Magaldi, J., & Sales, J. (2020). Exploring the NLRB’s Jurisprudence Concerning Work Rules: Guidance on the limits of employer policies to regulate employee activity on social media. SSRN. Web.

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1. LawBirdie. "The National Labor Relations Act in Boeing's Case." November 4, 2023.


LawBirdie. "The National Labor Relations Act in Boeing's Case." November 4, 2023.