Labor board drops charge against Boeing

December 9, 2011

Susie An and Associated Press

The National Labor Relations Board has dropped its challenge against Chicago-based Boeing.

Boeing's machinists in Washington state went on strike in 2005 and again in 2008. And when Boeing decided to set up a factory in a right-to-work state, the labor relations board accused the company of breaking a federal labor law by retaliating against its union workers. The NLRB has decided to officially drop that challenge, after the company and the union came to a settlement earlier this week.

The machinists approved a four-year contract extension with Boeing with a plan to build the new version of the 737 in Washington state.

The union also agreed to withdraw its charge that the company violated labor laws.

Lafe Solomon, the agency's acting general counsel, said settlement is the outcome he had always preferred. The agency settles about 90 percent of its cases.

Despite intense criticism of the case, Solomon says he was following the law and would do it again.

In a statement, Boeing maintains its stance that the complaint was without merit and that it was the company's right to make business decisions.