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NLRB Judge on Length of Boeing Fight: ‘I’ll be retired or dead…’

It appears the National Labor Relations Board does not like being the subject of the intense scrutiny its pro-union extremism has brought on. If it did, it wouldn’t be trying really, really hard to get the Boeing Company to reach some sort of settlement with the Machinists’ union.

In fact, on Tuesday, the first day of the NLRB’s hearing to destroy South Carolina jobs, Administrative Law Judge, Clifford Anderson, urged (unsuccessfully so far) the parties to reach a settlement, even bringing up his own mortality:

Whatever Anderson decides, the losing party will probably appeal to the full Labor Board, which is made up of presidential appointees. Getting a ruling out of the Board “can take one, two, three years,” Anderson said (at which time we might have a Labor Board of a different political complexion).

The loser at the Board could appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. The whole thing could take 10 years. “I’ll be retired, or dead,” he said.

According to one report, ALJ Anderson went so far as to compare the lawsuit to “a custody dispute in a marriage that’s going to continue.”

While the Seattle PI has a good blow-by-blow, one interesting note is that, apparently, Boeing had previously accepted a settlement proffered by the NLRB’s Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon, but the NLRB later retracted it after consulting with the union.

William Kilberg, a lawyer representing Boeing, said on Tuesday that the company actually agreed to a settlement Solomon proposed before filing the complaint, but the NLRB then withdrew the offer after talking with the IAM.

The NLRB made Boeing an offer, which Boeing accepted,” Kilberg said. “We thought we had a deal.

Then, he added: “We were told that the board consulted with the union and decided to withdraw the deal.”
The proposed settlement was that Boeing would agree not to lay off anyone from the 787 line in Everett, Wash., until the end of the current IAM contract, in September 2012, Kilberg said. “Boeing has never given anyone a guarantee (against layoffs) in the past.”

Jim Bearden, administrative assistant to IAM District 751 President Tom Wroblewski, said he knew of no such settlement offer, and such a settlement would make no sense, given the current state of the company.

“They’re hiring like crazy,” he noted. “There’s nobody to lay off.”

In addition to the NLRB’s futile attempts to broker a deal, Boeing also filed a 37-page motion to dismiss the case on Tuesday.

…All this drama and it was just the first day of many more to come.

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“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

Cross-posted.

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