Rep. Darrell Issa, D-Calif., has accused the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) of going “rogue” by refusing to fully comply with a House committee subpoena related to an ongoing labor complaint against the Boeing Co.
Although the agency did turn over 4,300 pages of information to the committee last week related to the Boeing case, Issa — who chairs the Oversight and Government Reform Committee — demanded more details on why the NLRB “would choose to take action” against the Seattle-based airplane manufacturer “that could benefit organized labor.”
“This refusal by NLRB to abide by the law further heightens concerns that this is a rogue agency acting improperly,” Issa said. “The integrity of NLRB and its leadership is clearly in question.”
The dispute stems from Boeing’s decision to open a $750 million assembly plant for its Dreamliner plane in South Carolina. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers claimed the move was retaliation for a strike in Washington state that slowed production of the plane in 2008.
In its defense, the agency wrote in a letter to Issa that the documents provided would enable the committee to determine why the complaint had been filed and “to assess the legal merit” of it.
But NLRB acting general counsel Lafe Solomon also noted full compliance with the subpoena would mean turning over documents in an ongoing case that “would unquestionably jeopardize the constitutional due process rights” of the parties involved.
The committee subpoena drew criticism from at least three Democrats, who called on Issa to back off and accused him of acting in Boeing’s interest.
“You may personally disagree with the laws Congress enacted to protect workers against discrimination … But it is not a legitimate use of the committee’s authority to circumvent those laws on behalf of corporate interests,” Reps. John Conyers of Michigan, George Miller of California, and Elijah Cummings of Maryland wrote to Issa last Friday.
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