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Mitt Romney Ad Says Labor Board Tried To Block Boeing From Building Factory In South Caroline

Publication Date: 
January 05, 2012
Tampa Bay Times -
Jon Greenberg, Molly Moorhead

Professor William B. Gould spoke with Jon Greenberg and Molly Moorhead of the Tampa Bay Times regarding the Boing union dispute and Mitt Romney's "error of fact" when talking about it.

With the South Carolina presidential primary fast approaching, Mitt Romney’s campaign released an ad blasting President Barack Obama over a union dispute involving an airplane factory in North Charleston, S.C. In the ad, Romney stands in front of workers on a factory floor and says that "the National Labor Relations Board, now stacked with union stooges selected by the president, says to a free enterprise like Boeing, ‘you can’t build a factory in South Carolina because South Carolina is a right-to-work state.’ ... Stanford law professor William Gould, a former chair of the NLRB, thinks the general counsel was wrong to move this complaint forward. By his reading of federal law, employers have the legal right to minimize exposure to strikes, and deciding to locate a plant in a place where unions are weak can be a strategy that passes legal muster. But Gould said Romney did "make an error of fact." "He's wrong in suggesting that the general counsel's reasoning applies É to union or non-union states," Gould said. ... Both lawyers also said that if Romney is suggesting that the NLRB has done anything unusual, he's completely wrong. "The NLRB has held in countless cases that employers can't move to another facility for prohibited reasons," Gould said. A prohibited reason would be to punish the union.