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Arthur Carter in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Boeing labor case could have repercussions in Texas, across U.S.

For the first time since President Ronald Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers in 1981, the long, strong arm of the U.S. government is trying to shift the course of organized labor, experts say.


In a case that best exemplifies the new attitude in Washington, the National Labor Relations Board is seeking to stop the Boeing Co. from building its 787 Dreamliner airplane at a new nonunion assembly plant in North Charleston, S.C.


The action has drawn broad attention and could have repercussions across the country, including in right-to-work states like Texas which tend to attract companies looking to set up shop in areas with lower wages…


Labor lawyers see the case primarily through a legal lens. The board, they say, has taken action many times before to force companies to retreat from moving plants and shipping out work when there was clear evidence that the moves were intended to retaliate against workers for union activity.


"For the most part, the legal basis on which the general counsel is proceeding is not out of the norm," said Arthur Carter, a labor lawyer with Haynes and Boone in Dallas, who normally represents business in contract disputes and labor law litigation.

What Carter questions in the Boeing case is "whether the facts fit the legal theory" proffered by Solomon.

Excerpt from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Sept. 2, 2011. To view the full article, click here.