Lafe E. Solomon
was named the National Labor Relations Board
The National Labor Relations Board is an independent agency of the United States government charged with conducting elections for labor union representation and with investigating and remedying unfair labor practices. Unfair labor practices may involve union-related situations or instances of...
(NLRB)'s Acting General Counsel on June 21, 2010 by President Barack Obama. His nomination to serve as general counsel was sent to the U.S. Senate on January 5, 2011. His nomination is still pending and has not come before the Senate for a vote.
Solomon began his NLRB career as a field examiner in 1972. After pursuing a law degree, he returned to the Agency as an attorney in the Office of Appeals. He transferred to the Appellate Court Branch in 1979. Two years later, he joined the staff of former Board Member Don Zimmerman. He went on to work for another nine Board Members, including Donald Dotson, Robert Hunter, John Higgins, James Stephens, Mary Cracraft, John Raudabaugh, William Gould, Sarah Fox and Wilma Liebman.
A native of Helena, Arkansas
Helena is the eastern portion of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, a city in Phillips County, Arkansas. As of the 2000 census, this portion of the city population was 6,323. Helena was the county seat of Phillips County until January 1, 2006, when it merged its government and city limits with...
, Solomon received a B.A. degree in Economics from Brown University in 1970 and a J.D. from Tulane University in 1976.
On April 20, 2011, Solomon announced that the NLRB had issued an unfair labor practice complaint against Boeing, alleging the company violated the NLRA (National Labor Relations Act) "by deciding to transfer [from Puget Sound, Washington] a second production line to a non-union facility in South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...
for discriminatory reasons". The company had announced it planned to assemble seven 787 Dreamliner airplanes per month at its unionized facility, which has 12,000 employees. Boeing later announced that it would create a second production line to assemble an additional three planes per month at a non-union facility in South Carolina. The complaint alleges that media interviews given by company executives citing employees' costly past strikes and the possibility of future strikes as the overriding factors in deciding to locate the second line in the non-union facility comprised the "discriminatory reasons" for the NLRB complaint, although the company said no job losses would occur in Washington.
The reasoning employed by the NLRB has been called "unprecedented" by some and "a relatively straightforward case" by others. The remedy being sought by the NLRB is an order that would require Boeing to maintain the second production line in Washington State. The complaint does not seek closure of the South Carolina facility, nor does it prohibit Boeing from assembling planes there, according to the Board's press release, although that would be the effective result should the NLRB prevail. A hearing was set for June 14, 2011 in Seattle. The judge's decision can be appealed to the Board, and ultimately to the federal courts; ultimately it may wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.