The complaint hinged on claims that Boeing made “coercive statements” regarding union-led strikes, and then retaliated by transferring its second line to a non-union facility. As evidence, the NLRB noted that a Boeing executive said in an interview that the overriding factor in going to South Carolina — a right-to-work state where unions cannot force employees to join — was a desire to avoid disruptions. The union in Washington state has led several strikes against Boeing since the 1970s, most recently in 2005 and 2008.

But Schaumber said the complaint is a big stretch and would mark a departure. He said that if the claim is upheld, it could jeopardize any company with unionized workers that wants to expand to a right-to-work state.

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