AFL-CIO Launches Last-Minute Blitz Against Graham’s Anti-NLRB Bill

The AFL-CIO launched a furious lobbying spree Wednesday just hours before a key Senate Committee is set to vote on an anti-union proposal that would prevent the National Labor Relations Board from filing suits against companies who move operations to right-to-work states.

The biggest union in the nation is trying to prevent Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) from adding the anti-NLRB language to a spending bill funding the agency as well as the Labor and Health and Human Services Departments.“If the Graham amendment were to become law, it would be the first time since the passage of the Taft Hartley Act more than 60 years ago that Congress voted to curb the NLRB’s ability to protect working people, their rights and their jobs — all to protect one corporation,” William Samuel, director of the AFL-CIO’s Government Affairs Department, wrote in a letter to senators sent Wednesday afternoon.

Graham has been leading the charge against the NLRB ever since the agency slapped Boeing with a suit earlier this year accusing the defense giant of illegally retaliating against union workers in Washington state by moving a factory to South Carolina, a right-to-work state.

During a Wednesday Appropriations Committee hearing, the South Carolina senator will attempt to add language to a bill funding the NLRB that would stop the suit against Boeing dead in its tracks.

And if Graham is successful, the move would not only affect Boeing’s current lawsuit but would prevent the NLRB from protecting unionized workers from retaliation from all companies who might consider moving production lines or operations to another state in reaction to labor protests and negotiations, according to the AFL-CIO.

“Retaliating against workers for exercising their legally protected rights, as Boeing is alleged to have one, is against the law, and has been for 75 years,” Samuels wrote. “These attacks, coming from the same crowd that wants to defund and dismantle the NLRB entirely, have nothing to do with creating jobs or helping the economy, and everything to do with political retaliation,” Samuels wrote.