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Bennie Votes For The Machinists Union

September 15, 2011

Earlier today, the House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill know as the “Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act.”

Here is a little background: Earlier this year, NLRB acting general counsel Lafe Solomon filed a complaint against Boeing when they decided to open a new plant in the right-to-work state of South Carolina rather than build it in Washington, where the Machinists union represents workers. Over the past couple decades; several strikes have cost Boeing millions of dollars. Boeing hasn’t moved work or laid off a union worker in Washington, this was simply a new project creating new jobs (something you’d think the government would be fond of).

What happens with this plant is up in the air still and we will see plenty of litigation over the coming years, again, costing Boeing millions. This legislation was designed in response to that, and was introduced by Rep. Tim Scott, who represents the Charleston area which stands to be badly hurt by this decision if in fact the NLRB gets their way. The bill “prohibits the National Labor Relations Board from ordering any employer to close, relocate, or transfer employment under any circumstance.” It passed on a mostly party line vote, 238-186. (Eight Democrats supported it, but not James Clyburn of South Carolina, while seven Republicans opposed it).

The vote in the Mississippi delegation was as expected. Rep. Bennie Thompson sided with the unions. Remember the Machinists union who represents the workers in Washington and would obviously stand to take in thousands of more dollars in dues if Boeing was forced to move their plant there? They happen to be Thompson’s fourth largest contributor, giving him more than $85,000 over the years.

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