Wyatt Employment Law Report


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President Obama Nominates Lafe Solomon to be NLRB General Counsel

By Edwin S. Hopson

On May 23, 2013, the Whitehouse announced that the President had again sent the nomination of Lafe Solomon, Acting General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, to the Senate, seeking confirmation to a four year term as NLRB General Counsel.  Mr. Solomon was first nominated for the job on January 5, 2011, but his nomination never came up for a vote.  It can be expected that Mr. Solomon’s nomination will receive significant opposition from Republican Senators over a number of issues including his decision to prosecute a complaint against Boeing over its decision to open a manufacturing plant in South Carolina rather than expand its plant in Puget Sound, Washington, where it had experienced labor problems and work stoppages in the past.  Mr. Solomon has been Acting General Counsel at the NLRB since June 21, 2010, and began his career at the NLRB in 1972 as a field examiner.


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NLRB Takes on Boeing, Senate Republicans Take on NLRB

By Edwin S. Hopson

On April 20, 2011, in a press release, the NLRB’s Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon announced that the General Counsel had issued an unfair labor practice complaint against the Boeing Company alleging that it violated the National Labor Relations Act “by deciding to transfer a second production line to a non-union facility inSouth Carolinafor discriminatory reasons.”

 In 2007 Boeing announced that it planned to assemble seven 787 Dreamliner airplanes per month at its Puget Sound facility inWashingtonstate.  That facility has employees represented by the International Association of Machinists. Later, Boeing announced that it would create a second production line to assemble an additional three planes per month, and in October 2009, specified that the second line would be placed at its facility inSouth Carolinathat is non-union.  According to Solomon, in repeated statements to employees and the media, company executives cited the unionized employees’ past strike activity and the possibility of strikes occurring sometime in the future as the overriding factors in deciding to locate the second line in the non-union facility.  After completing its investigation,Solomon, in his press release, stated:

  “A worker’s right to strike is a fundamental right guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act,”Mr.Solomonsaid. “We also recognize the rights of employers to make business decisions based on their economic interests, but they must do so within the law. I have worked with the parties to encourage settlement in the hope of avoiding costly litigation, and my door remains open to that possibility.” Continue reading