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June 9, 2011
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Suzanne Webb (334) 242-7351
Page 1 of 2


(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange joined in an amicus brief filed
today in opposition to the National Labor Relation Board’s proposal to punish employers
for creating new jobs in right-to-work states. The Alabama Attorney General and 15 others
from both right-to-work and unionized states argue that the NLRB’s unprecedented
enforcement action would stifle job creation and economic opportunity.

Attorney General Strange called the matter “an incredibly important issue for
Alabama as a right-to-work state.” Citing broad experience with recruiting industry to
Alabama before becoming Attorney General, Attorney General Strange noted, “In a global
economy where states are competing for well-paying jobs like automobile manufacturing,
whether to locate in Alabama or elsewhere is a business decision that companies make, and
one driving factor is our right-to-work laws. It is essential that we maintain a favorable
climate for starting and growing businesses in Alabama. The complaint filed by the
National Labor Relations Board against Boeing is a direct threat to the kind of business
climate Alabama needs to recruit industry and thrive. I want to thank Attorney General
Alan Wilson of South Carolina and Attorney General Greg Abbott of Texas for their
leadership on this issue.”

The States’ legal action was filed in response to a proposed enforcement action by
the NLRB that threatens jobs creation at a time when the nation’s unemployment rate is
9.1% percent and the country is still struggling to recover. On April 20, the NLRB’s acting
general counsel proposed an enforcement action against The Boeing Company for building
a new final production line and creating one thousand new jobs in South Carolina, which is
a right-to-work state. The NLRB incorrectly claims that Boeing “retaliated” against its
unionized employees in Washington State – which is not a right-to-work state – because the
aircraft manufacturer exercised its business judgment to create new manufacturing capacity
in South Carolina. Further, the NRLB is considering an enforcement action despite the fact
that Boeing has created 2,000 new jobs in Washington, does not plan to eliminate any union
jobs, and only proposes to create new jobs in South Carolina.
In right-to-work states such as Alabama, workers cannot be forced to join a union or
pay union dues as a condition of employment. Workers in states that have not enacted
right-to-work laws, however, do not have a choice to join or not join a union. All
employees at unionized facilities must join the local union and pay union dues – even if the
employee prefers to not join a union – or risk losing their jobs.
501 Washington Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 242-7300
www.ago.state.al.us Page 2 of 2

The States’ brief says that that the NLRB’s proposal violates federal labor law,
ignores states’ discretion to enact right-to-work laws, and harms all states by discouraging
employers from opening new manufacturing facilities anywhere in the United States, where
the NLRB has enforcement jurisdiction. According to the brief, states that have not enacted
right-to-work laws will be harmed by the NLRB’s proposal because newly established
employers will be discouraged from basing their operations in unionized states – because
they could face a federal enforcement action if they decide to create a new facilities or jobs
in right-to-work states. Similarly, the NLRB poses a threat to right-to-work states because
its enforcement action could discourage existing employers from exercising their discretion
to build new facilities in states that protect workers from compulsory union membership.
A federal administrative law judge is scheduled to hold a hearing on the NLRB’s
proposed enforcement action against Boeing on June 14. Legal documents filed in that case
indicate that surging global demand for the 787 Dreamliner led Boeing to conduct a
geographical and economic cost-benefit analysis before deciding whether to expand
operations in Washington – or to construct a second final assembly facility in Charleston,
South Carolina.
More than a year after Boeing invested hundreds of millions of dollars constructing
its South Carolina facility – and only weeks before the new assembly line was scheduled to
begin operations – the NLRB’s General counsel filed the proposed enforcement action
against Boeing. If the proposal survives the federal administrative process, the Attorneys
General say that NLRB could be empowered to micromanage private sector business
decisions and improperly force Boeing to close its South Carolina facility.
The States’ challenge to the NLRB’s proposal explains that the general counsel has
not only misapplied the National Labor Relations Act, but has threatened economic
development and job growth across the United States. Newly-established businesses will
be discouraged from building their manufacturing facilities in unionized states and pre-
existing employers will be prohibited from expanding operations to right-to-work states.
The Attorneys General also contend that, because employers can avoid NLRB enforcement
actions and micromanagement by simply creating new manufacturing facilities in foreign
countries, the NLRB’s proposal creates a perverse incentive for employers to move their
operations overseas.
Further, the brief explains that the NLRB is pursuing its job-killing enforcement
action just days after the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 13.9 million
Americans are still unemployed. Despite the nation’s 9.1 percent unemployment rate, the
brief argues, the NLRB continues to pursue an enforcement action that will further
undermine job growth and threaten the United States’ economic recovery.
The brief was authored by South Carolina and Texas, and joined by the following
states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska,
Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.