Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Secondary Effect of the NLRB's Boeing Action

The Obama NLRB has acted to--in effect--tell Boeing where it may and may not manufacture its products. This is an event which is historic; nothing like it has ever happened before.

(It's also somewhat ironic. Fifty years ago, there were several domestic large-aircraft manufacturers; Douglas, McDonnell, Boeing, Martin, and Lockheed among them. There were union-shops and non-union shops. Some of these companies focused on the commercial market, others on Dept of Defense, some worked with both.

Over time, for various reasons, the field was reduced to two: Boeing and Lockheed. This is called an 'oligopoly.' The IAMAW was encouraged to lobby Congress on Boeing's behalf over various issues. You can bet that some of the IAMAW's lobbying efforts served to put Boeing competitors at a disadvantage--and perhaps out of business. It's a "pilot fish" arrangement, you see.

Oligopolies have consequences; ask the (f/k/a/) "Big Three." The union-in-place ALSO becomes an 'oligopoly,' meaning that it can disable one, or all, of its employers in the process of bargaining. So in a manner of speaking, Boeing brought this on itself.)

Anyhoo, the secondary effect of the NLRB lawsuit will be a concentrated effort to de-certify unions wherever they exist now. Companies which fail to 'de-cert' will, if they have the resources, establish plants offshore. Companies which cannot de-cert or relocate offshore will close--temporarily--and re-open in different States--without a Union in the shop.

This will be deleterious to the US' economic strength, of course, which is all part of the Obama Plan.

No comments: