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Entries in Dispute (2)

Friday
Jun172011

Boeing Labor Dispute Attracts Arrows From Republicans

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- A U.S. House committee takes to the road Friday for a politically charged field hearing in North Charleston, S.C., to determine whether the Boeing Co. violated labor laws by moving an assembly operation from Washington State to South Carolina.

"Chairman Issa and the other committee members want to hear from folks on the ground to learn what the economic impacts are and really get their arms around the local impact of the potential decision," said Jeffrey Solsby, a spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

At issue is a National Labor Relations Board lawsuit against the airplane manufacturer alleging that the company illegally moved the assembly of its fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliner from union-friendly Washington to the South, where union influence is less prominent.

Almost every GOP presidential candidate has chastised the lawsuit. Mitt Romney called it a "power grab." Herman Cain called the suit "completely unacceptable...political games." Tim Pawlenty called it "another outrageous overreach by the federal government." And Newt Gingrich accused the labor board of "basically breaking the law."

The labor board, which is appointed by the president, wants to force Boeing to keep assembly of the jetliner in Washington, but would not make the company forgo the new non-unionized plant which would deliberately kill jobs that were created in an already down economy.

Boeing said a NLRB victory would "significantly impact, and perhaps permanently halt, Boeing's efforts to complete the facility," bringing "substantial economic harm to South Carolina."

The labor board says Boeing moved the assembly to retaliate against union workers at the Washington plant, where there have been five strikes since 1977 -- the most recent in 2008 cost Boeing $1.8 billion, according to the company.

The board has cited comments that a Boeing senior official made to a Seattle Times reporter as evidence that the company was trying to avoid unionized labor.

"The overriding factor [in transferring the line] was not the business climate," the official said. " And it was not the wages we're paying today. It was that we cannot afford to have a work stoppage, you know, every three years."

Boeing said it did not "move" the plant but instead created 1,000 new jobs in South Carolina. The company has added 2,000 new union jobs at the Puget Sound plant in Washington since making the decision to build in South Carolina.

While Boeing spokesman Sean McCormack would not comment on the case's political ramifications, he said the lawsuit raises questions about the ability of companies to make decisions about where they do business.

"Here you have a major American manufacturing company, Boeing, making a billion-dollar investment on manufacturing capacity in the U.S.," McCormack said. "We think that should be celebrated. Instead, we have a threat from the government, more specifically from the NLRB, to call for a remedy that would effectively close the plant."

The NLRB case began Tuesday with a hearing in Seattle and is expected to last a couple of weeks, the board spokesman said.

McCormack said Boeing does not expect to win the case in front of the labor board and will appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court.

"We believe that the complaint is a frivolous campaign not grounded in law and runs contrary not only to NLRB precedent," McCormack said, "but also established Supreme Court precedent."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec292010

American Airlines Continues to See Increase in Ticket Sales Despite Dispute with Orbitz and Expedia

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto | JetBlue Airways(FORT WORTH, Texas) -- American Airlines thanked its customers Wednesday for their continued loyalty in the midst of a commercial dispute with two online travel companies, Expedia and Orbitz. 

Notwithstanding the dispute's prevention of American Airlines fares from being promoted on both travel sites, the airline reported seeing a year-over-year increase in its overall ticket sales since Dec. 21, when its schedules and airfares were removed from Orbitz.com.  The increase continued after Dec. 23, when Expedia.com began listing American lower in the search display than other airlines.

American Airlines noted that more customers have now shifted to other channels such as Priceline.com and Kayak.com, and it has also seen increased volume on its own site, AA.com.

"Our results to date show that customer choice is alive and well and that our customers continue to have thousands of options to purchase American's competitive fares and convenient schedules," said Derek DeCross, vice president and general sales manager at American Airlines.

DeCross also highlighted the company's interest in working with a variety of different distribution channels from conventional travel agencies to online and global distribution outlets.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio