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Senate Proceeding on May 3rd, 2011 :: 0:29:35 to 0:41:05
Total video length: 2 hours 33 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Lindsey Graham

0:29:32 to 0:29:52( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: senator from south carolina. mr. graham: one, i'd like to thank any colleague from south carolina, who has been terrific trying to bring reason to this issue. senator demint has been a very strong voice for free enterprise and this is really what this is all about. to senator alexander from

Lindsey Graham

0:29:35 to 0:41:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Graham

0:29:53 to 0:30:15( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: tennessee, thank you for listening to what is going on in south carolina and understanding this is not just about our state. it is about the nation as a whole. the right to work protection act i think is a very solid piece of legislation that is going to serve the country as a whole. when a state chooses to be a right to work state, what does that mean? that means no one can be forced to join a union.

Lindsey Graham

0:30:16 to 0:30:36( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: the union can ask for your vote. if you say "no," that's your decision to make. if the group says "yes" you don't have to join. in a lot of states that's not true. if 60% of the workforce says we're going to go union and everybody else is drafted whether they want to be or not. the concept of right to work is

Lindsey Graham

0:30:37 to 0:30:57( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: really at stake here. i do appreciate this legislation because it would preserve the ability of a state to go down that road without suffering at the federal level. it would prohibit federal government contracts, federal government action from punishing a state that chose to adopt right-to-work laws. that's why senator alexander's

Lindsey Graham

0:30:58 to 0:31:19( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: legislation is so important. we're not making anyone become a right-to-work state. we're saying if you choose to do that, federal government and other organizations within the federal government cannot use that against you in protecting that status. i think that is the balanced approach to the dilemma we face.

Lindsey Graham

0:31:20 to 0:31:40( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: what is this dilemma? boeing is one of the great companies in the world. they have a history of producing terrific airplanes. they have been located in washington for decades. as a south carolinian who is very happy boeing has come to south carolina, i want to acknowledge the washington workforce as one of the best in the world, and we hope to build

Lindsey Graham

0:31:41 to 0:32:01( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: great airplanes in south carolina. but the first thing i want to do is acknowledge that my complaint or concerns are not with the people of washington, not with the workforce of washington. it is the actions of the nlrb and the complaint filed by the machinist union. i hope to be in concert with

Lindsey Graham

0:32:02 to 0:32:22( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: colleagues from the state of washington, in the senate and house to produce good policies that will not only be good for boeing but for the country as a whole. and south carolina is going to enjoy the status of being a teammate with the people of washington when it comes to trying to help boeing and manufacturing in general. but what happened, madam president, is that in

Lindsey Graham

0:32:23 to 0:32:43( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: october of 2009, boeing decided to create a second assembly plant in south carolina. this is a new assembly plant because the orders for the 787 were so large, it necessitated building a second line. and boeing, under the contract with the machinists union,

Lindsey Graham

0:32:44 to 0:33:05( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: reserved in that contract the right to locate new business wherever they thought it would be best for boeing. they negotiated with the people in seattle about producing this second line in seattle, and they went all over the country looking for other locations to create a second line. they came to south carolina.

Lindsey Graham

0:33:06 to 0:33:26( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: and i can assure you, after a lot of negotiations, the reason they chose south carolina because it was the best business deal for boeing. they negotiated in washington. they negotiated everywhere in the country really that they thought they could do good business, and south carolina won out. there's criticism back home that

Lindsey Graham

0:33:27 to 0:33:48( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: the package we gave boeing is too generous. so i can assure you this was a legitimate business deal. and the idea that moving to south carolina somehow was retaliation that violated the national labor relations act section 883 is legally absurd. under that act, a company cannot

Lindsey Graham

0:33:49 to 0:34:09( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: retaliate against a group of employees or a location that decides to unionize. and you would have to prove in a retaliation complaint that the people suffered. well, in this case not one person in puget sound or in the state of washington lost their job because of the additional

Lindsey Graham

0:34:10 to 0:34:31( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: business being generated in south carolina, 2,000 people have been hired in the state of washington. not one benefit was cut from the workforce in washington. nobody's pay was cut, nobody's benefits were reduced because they moved to south carolina. so this complaint is just frivolous. it is motivated by all the wrong reasons.

Lindsey Graham

0:34:32 to 0:34:52( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: and let's just for a moment assume that it's the new business model. it would mean basically that if you decide to do work in a union plant, you're locked in to that location forever. you can never move. that's crazy. that's not what the law is all about.

Lindsey Graham

0:34:53 to 0:35:14( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: the law prevents retaliation. and that's the specific concept in the law. and none of the factors that would toledo that conclusion -- that would lead to that conclusion exist in this case. there is new work. no one's lost their job. it is a new line of business. we're arguing about the right of a company to be able to make a business decision when it comes

Lindsey Graham

0:35:15 to 0:35:36( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: to new production. that's why this complaint, if it ever gets to federal court, will fail. it's just sad that boeing may have to spend millions of dollars defending themselves against what i think is a very frivolous complaint. but let me tell you a little bit about, to my colleagues if you're wondering about this. here's something i want to put on the table for you to consider.

Lindsey Graham

0:35:37 to 0:35:57( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: one of the members of the boeing board at the time they chose to come to south carolina after a lot of negotiations in different places, including washington and south carolina, one of the board members who approved the second assembly line in south carolina was bill daley, the chief of staff of the president of the united states.

Lindsey Graham

0:35:58 to 0:36:18( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: at the time he wasn't chief of staff. he was a member of the boeing board. and they voted unanimously to move the second -- not move but to create a second assembly plant in the state of south carolina. i would argue that mr. daley, when he cast that vote, understood it was best for

Lindsey Graham

0:36:19 to 0:36:40( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: boeing to make this decision to locate new business, and he did not believe he was violating the law or retaliating against unions. one thing you can say about the daley family, it's not in their d.n.a. to retaliate against unions. so this was in 2009. in march of 2010, the machinist unions files this complaint with

Lindsey Graham

0:36:41 to 0:37:01( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: the nlrb. now, the general counsel -- the person hold that go title -- holding that title a few weeks ago submitted that complaint to the board. but the story is even more interesting. in march of 2010 the complaint is filed by the machinists union. the vote to come to south carolina was in ofbgt 2009.

Lindsey Graham

0:37:02 to 0:37:22( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: in -- in october of 2009. in january of 2011, mr. daley was chosen to be president obama's chief of staff. a decision that i supported and thought was a good decision for the administration and the country as a whole because mr. daley is a democrat but he is a very well-respected member

Lindsey Graham

0:37:23 to 0:37:45( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: of the business community, someone who has a lot of skill and talent, and the president chose wisely. i would assume that in the vetting process they looked at mr. daley's record of involvement in business and other matters. i'm assuming that the vetting team knew that the complaint had

Lindsey Graham

0:37:46 to 0:38:07( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: been filed by the machinists union in march of 2010 and that mr. daley voted along with the rest of the members of the board to come to south carolina, and they must have conclude that had this complaint was frivolous. i assume that because if they didn't know about the complaint, that was one of the worst vetting jobs in the history of the world.

Lindsey Graham

0:38:08 to 0:38:29( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: if they thought he did engage in illegal activity, that made no sense to hire him. to my colleagues, i want to you consider the fact that mr. daley, the current chief of staff, voted to come to south carolina. and after he voted a year and a half later, he was chosen to be the chief of staff of the president of the united states.

Lindsey Graham

0:38:30 to 0:38:51( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: the boeing c.e.o., jim mctpher ni was chosen by president obama to create the export council by looking at export opportunities. i would argue president obama would not have selected mr. mcnerney if he thought he was going to retaliate against washington unions.

Lindsey Graham

0:38:52 to 0:39:12( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: this complaint is frivolous. it is taking time and money from people in the state of washington. to senator alexander, you found the right way for the congress to address this. we're not forcing anybody to be a member of a union. we're just saying if a state like south carolina and tennessee chooses to be a right-to-work state that cannot be held against them. this legislation would say to

Lindsey Graham

0:39:13 to 0:39:34( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: the country and the business community as a whole, when you look at where to locate, you can't consider a right-to-work state without violating the law. that is an important concept. and i can assure that you boeing came to south carolina because it was the best business deal, that they had a lot of choices. they chose south carolina not to retaliate but to create a second line.

Lindsey Graham

0:39:35 to 0:39:55( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: and here's the logic of it. would you put everything you own in one location in today's world? so the idea they expanded the second plant in a different state, in a different location makes perfect sense. the fact that south carolina is a low-cost right-to-work state i'm sure they considered. but under the law, no one in washington lost one benefit they had.

Lindsey Graham

0:39:56 to 0:40:16( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: no one in washington lost a job they already had with boeing. the goal of this decision by boeing is to grow their company. if we do well in south carolina, boeing does well in washington. this complaint is dangerous. this complaint is a dangerous road to go down. this complaint is politics at its worst.

Lindsey Graham

0:40:17 to 0:40:38( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: the law is designed to protect us, and it is being abused, in my view. politics is about 50 plus 1. the law is something that should protect us all. and this complaint filed by the general counsel at the nlrb sets a dangerous precedent and the congress should speak, the administration should speak out and say this is frivolous. they are an independent agency.

Lindsey Graham

0:40:39 to 0:41:00( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: nobody can tell them what to do, but we have an independent duty to speak out in a constructive way. senator alexander's legislation is the appropriate way to address this issue, and i want to thank him on behalf of the people of south carolina and the country as a whole, and i look forward to working with him to have this passed. and to my colleagues on the other side, what's going on in this complaint is dangerous for

Lindsey Graham

0:41:01 to 0:41:11( Edit History Discussion )

Lindsey Graham: us all with that, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the

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