Opening arguments: Boeing asks judge to dismiss NLRB case

Jun 14, 2011

Boeing has asked a Seattle judge to dismiss a case brought by the National Labor Relations Board that accuses the plane maker of breaking the law when it built a non-union production line in South Carolina.

The board accused Boeing of illegally retaliating against union workers for past strikes by adding a non-union assembly line for its new 787 passenger jet in South Carolina. The NLRB said Boeing should also move that assembly work to unionized plants in Washington state, where other 787s are assembled.

At the opening hearing on the case Tuesday, Boeing attorney William Kilberg said the legal dispute has cast a shadow on the company. He said the process has affected Boeing, its employees, its supplies and its investments.

The hearing is just the beginning of what could be years of litigation between Boeing and the government. Arguments before the administrative law judge could last a month or two. If Boeing loses, it could appeal the case to the five-member NLRB and then to a federal appeals court.