For weeks, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has been relentlessly trying to draw attention to what is arguably the biggest business story of the year – the fight between the federal government and Boeing.
The South Carolina Republican was in Washington yesterday, where Republican senators joined her in calling on the Obama administration to take a position on the National labour Relations Board’s complaint against the airline manufacturer.
The NLRB suit claims that Boeing’s decision to build its 787 Dreamliner plant in South Carolina was retaliation against the unionized workforce in Washington state. labour officials say the move amounts to unfair bargaining and illegal retaliation against worker strikes.
Boeing vehemently denies the allegations. CEO Jim McNerney took to the WSJ opinion page today, calling the suit a “fundamental assault on the capitalist principles that have sustained America’s competitiveness since it became the world’s largest economy nearly 140 years ago.”
As we’ve pointed out before, the Federal Government vs. Boeing case is hugely significant because Washington is blatantly siding with unions over a huge, iconic American company. Moreover, Boeing has already invested $2 billion in the South Carolina plant, which is set to open this summer.
On Tuesday, prominent Republicans – including Sen. Jim DeMint (R-Ky.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) – decried the NLRB suit as an assault on right-to-work states, and accused the Obama administration of pandering to unions.
Potential Republican presidential candidates are starting to jump into the fray as well – South Carolina is an important GOP primary state and Haley’s endorsement is coveted. At the governor’s behest, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich published an open letter in Human Events today that calls on President Obama and Republican presidential candidates to get involved in the debate.