US House passes bill targeting Boeing labor case | Business
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Republican-dominated House approved a bill Thursday that would undercut the government's labor dispute with Boeing Co., wading into a case that has angered business groups and become a major political issue in the Republican presidential primary.
The measure, approved on a 238 to 186 vote, would ban the National Labor Relations Board from ordering any employer to shut down plants or relocate work, even if a company violates labor laws.
While the bill is not expected to get a vote in the Democratic-run Senate, Republicans are trying to keep up pressure on the agency over a move they claim interferes with legitimate business decisions.
Republicans and their allies in the business community have gone after the NLRB for more than a year, as the agency has issued a spate of decisions and rules favorable to unions. The Boeing case has become a rallying cry for Republican presidential candidates courting voters in South Carolina, an early primary election state.
Boeing has denied the allegations, saying it opened the $750 million South Carolina plant for valid economic reasons. The case is pending before an administrative law judge in Seattle and could last years.
Union leaders claim the House bill would render toothless the board's ability to enforce labor laws when companies simply eliminate work to get rid of employees who are pro-union. Democrats, who rely on labor unions for support, said the measure would give companies a free pass to punish employees for exercising their rights to organize.
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