House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has subpoenaed the National Labor Relations Board for documents related to the agency’s case against Boeing, a move that further intensifies an already heated battle over whether the aerospace giant unlawfully retaliated against union members for past strikes by transferring a production facility from Washington to the right-to-work state of South Carolina.
The move comes more than two months after Issa sent a letter to the NLRB’s acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, requesting documents related to the agency’s lawsuit against Boeing. Congressional Republicans have rallied against the NLRB since the agency issued its complaint against Boeing in April, arguing that the lawsuit represents an overreach of the NLRB’s authority. Democrats and labor groups contend that the suit is warranted.
“NLRB’s action in the case against Boeing has the potential to create a job-killing precedent just as U.S. manufacturers are working toward economic recovery,” Issa said in a statement Monday announcing the subpoena. “That a Washington, D.C.-based bureaucracy could dictate the work location and parameters for a world-leading company is unprecedented in a global economy and hobbles a leading American job creator at a time of economic vulnerability.”
The NLRB responded Monday by noting that it has already turned over more than 1,000 pages of documents and arguing that many of the documents Issa has requested will be turned over during the course of the trial.
“To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time since 1940 that the National Labor Relations Board has been the subject of a Congressional subpoena,” Solomon said in a statement. “I am disappointed and surprised by this development. For months, my staff and I have diligently tried to satisfy the Committee’s desire for information while also preserving the integrity of our process and the rights of the parties in a case being actively litigated. I continue to believe that a solution is possible, and will work with the committee in the days and weeks ahead to find a reasonable and responsible balance.”
Issa’s subpoena covers documents dating back to Jan. 1, 2009, and calls for the NLRB to furnish the materials by noon on Friday.