May 12 2011

Graham, DeMint, Alexander Introduce Job Protection Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) today introduced the Job Protection Act (S. 964), a bill to preserve federal law’s existing protections of state right-to-work laws. 

On April 20, the acting general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board moved to stop Boeing from building airplanes at a nonunion plant in South Carolina, suggesting that unionized American company cannot expand its operations into one of the 22 states with right-to-work laws, which protect a worker’s right to join or not join a union. 

Alexander said: “This is not just about South Carolina and it’s not just about making airplanes – this is about jobs in every state in the country, and whether or not manufacturers are going to be able to make in the United States what they sell in the United States. I can’t think of one single action the federal government would take that would make it harder to create new jobs in Tennessee than this Boeing complaint, if it’s allowed to move forward.” 

Graham said: “The NLRB is doing the bidding of the unions at a great cost to South Carolina and our nation’s economy. I do not believe unelected bureaucracies should be allowed to go down the road the NLRB is charting. The foundation of the NLRB complaint against Boeing would destroy the American business community’s ability to negotiate and make rational business decisions. Our legislation prohibits the use of statements made during negotiations – involving legitimate business concerns – to be used as a legal basis for a violation of the National Labor Relations Act. It is time for Congress to speak out in a common-sense way against the outrageous and frivolous complaint by unelected bureaucrats at the NLRB.” 

DeMint said: “Right to work states are winning the future for America's economy, yet this administration seems intent on stamping out this model of success. Right to work states have more business growth, more new jobs, and faster rising incomes than forced-unionism states. What the NLRB has done in the Boeing case is a threat to workers and businesses in every state. The NLRB is encouraging companies to take their jobs and investment overseas. This is a reprehensible act and an obvious kickback to union bosses the President is depending on helping his reelection. Unless we pass this bill, every worker and business in this nation is under the threat that if they don't do what union bosses want, this administration will come after you. Businesses have the right to invest in any state in America and states shouldn’t be penalized for protecting the rights of their citizens not to be forced to pay union dues. Right to work states should be applauded, not attacked, as they are attracting new investment and creating new jobs precisely because their policies encourage innovation and competition.” 

The bill would:

  • clarify that the NLRB would not be able to order an employer to relocate jobs from one location to another. 
  • guarantee an employer the right to decide where to do business within the United States.
  • protect an employer's free speech regarding the costs associated with having a unionized workforce without fear of such communication being used as evidence in an anti-union discrimination claim.