Immelt: 'Way in Support' of Boeing in NLRB Battle
General Electric (NYSE:GE) chief executive Jeffrey Immelt offered a bit of impromptu support Wednesday for another corporate giant and some-time competitor Boeing (NYSE:BA).
Immelt said hes way in support of Boeing in its battle with the National Labor Relations Board over a complaint filed against Boeing charging it with violating federal labor laws.
But hold it. Isnt Immelt head of the Presidents Council on Jobs and Competitiveness? Yes, he is.
The NLRB, which oversees labor relations in the U.S. between employers and their workers, accused Boeing in April of violating federal labor laws when the company decided to open a second assembly line for its 787 Dreamliner planes in a non-union plant in South Carolina rather than near its headquarters outside Seattle.
The NLRB claims that Boeing made the move in retaliation for past strikes, which would be a violation of federal labor law. Boeing has challenged the complaint in court.
On a visit to a GE facility in South Carolina, Immelt told GreenvilleOnline.com that he was way in support of the Boeing team on this one.
Youve got a world-class, high-tech, job-creating force thats coming into South Carolina. I just cant think of one reason why wed want to slow that down, not one, Immelt said.
The NLRB has been accused of playing politics with the Boeing complaint, using it to court union support for President Obamas re-election bid.
The NLRB has denied that politics played any role in issuing the complaint.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, is investigating the complaint and has sought documents from the NLRB related to the decision. Obama, whose relationship with CEOs and big business in general has been rocky at times, named Immelt to head up the jobs council in January.
Boeing declined to comment, and the NLRB and the White House didn't immediately responded to a request for comment on Immelt's remarks.