Imagine two scenarios.
Scenario 1: Get Me Out of California
You own a home in lovely Northern California. Because you work 70-80 hours a week to pay your mortgage, you hire a landscaper to maintain your lawn twice a month for $200.
That landscaper is a member of the Northern California Landscapers’ Union (NOCLU).
At first, the landscaper does a decent job. However, over time the quality of his work declines. When you confront him about his lagging performance, he demands a pay increase of an additional $200 and demands that NOCLU’s work rules stipulate he can only work on days where the temperature is below 90 degrees.
Unfortunately, you can not hire anyone else to replace him because the law requires that every landscaper in Northern California must below to NOCLU.
Now, you are paying $400 a month for lawn service that continues to exhibit a lower quality standard than you would like.
The next month, your landscaper demands an additional $200 per month for his sub par services.
At this point, you have had enough. You tell him you will only pay $400.
The following week, he goes on strike and refuses to care for your lawn. When you attempt to do it yourself, the authorities cite you because you do not belong to a union.
As a result, you let your lawn deteriorate, and the property value of your house declines.
At this point, you are fed up with NOCLU, and decide to put your home up for sale at a 20% discount to your original purchase price.
Just when you are about to close on a new house in Nevada, NOCLU sues you for retaliating against the union. It claims you are relocating the landscaping job that you created in California to Nevada to retaliate against NOCLU.
Scenario 2: Vacation Home in Vegas
Imagine the same situation as Scenario 1, only instead of moving away from California, you decide to buy a second home in Nevada.
This time you decide to pay the NOCLU landscaper $600 per month to maintain your lawn in Northern California. However, you also employ a second non-union landscaper to maintain the lawn at your second home in Nevada for the low price of $100 per month.
Again, NOCLU sues you for unjust retaliation against the union.
Most sensible people would consider NOCLU’s behavior in both scenarios absurd. Futhermore, most would agree that NOCLU should have absolutely no say when and where you decide to move.
Yet, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is investigating Boeing for a business decision that is strikingly similar to Scenario 2. It claims that Boeing’s intent in creating 1,000 jobs in South Carolina was to retaliate against unions in Washington State. Yet, Boeing is also creating 2,000 additional jobs there as well.
In effect, unions are trying to make the argument that they should be able to block a corporation’s ability to allocate shareholder capital to whatever location will provide the best return for its shareholders.
Would it be fair if your landscaper could block you from purchasing a house in another state?
Of course not. It would be completely ridiculous.
Why then is so different with a corporation?