Former South Carolina Governor and Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley was nominated in late February for a seat on the board of directors for Boeing. They are the most famous producer of commercial airplanes globally, their most notable model being the 747.
Boeing is also a major government contractor, receiving $23 billion in contracts from the U.S. government for the fiscal year 2017. They build rockets, missiles, jets, satellites, and numerous other aerospace-related products for the military, NASA, and other organizations. Former Ambassador Haley is not a surprising pick to sit on their board of directors as she has a long history of fighting both to bring Boeing to South Carolina and for their rights as a private corporation. Top Boeing shareholders will vote to confirm her nomination at their annual meeting in April of 2019.
For decades, the lone Boeing assembly plant was in Everett, Washington. They employ roughly 30,000 employees and have produced over 3,600 airplanes there. When the company sought to expand, they began looking in right to work states. Boeing decided on South Carolina for their billion dollar facility, a state which has seen massive investment and job creation from foreign companies in recent years such as BMW, Volvo, and Michelin.
In addition to being located in a right to work state, they chose Charleston, which has one of the deepest harbors and largest ports in the country. In exchange for their investment and creating 7,000 jobs, they were the beneficiaries of $120 million in tax incentives. This deal was largely orchestrated with the help of then Governor Haley. However, this million square foot plant, which greatly benefitted the people of South Carolina, was almost shut down shortly after construction by a politically inspired lawsuit from the red tape doting Obama Administration.
More specifically, the National Labor Relations Board, a government organization filled with non-elected officials, filed a lawsuit in 2011 arguing that by building the Dreamliner assembly plant in Charleston, they were illegally retaliating against the International Association of Machinists of which many of their employees belonged to. According to Haley’s book, Can’t Is Not an Option, this union went on strike for 8 weeks in 2008 at a cost to Boeing of $100 million per day. This inevitably spurred their decision to seek a second plant in South Carolina.
Haley stated this was obviously a politically motivated lawsuit, evidenced by the fact that they had created more jobs in Washington than they were adding in Charleston, proving that no unionized workers were harmed by the new southern plant. Haley was furious and passionately defended the rights of American companies to locate where they please at a press conference the following day.
She respectfully asked President Obama to “get his bureaucrats off the backs of our businesses” and was joined by conservative lawmakers from around the nation such as Lamar Alexander and Rand Paul. Haley argued that this lawsuit would only send jobs overseas if companies were going to be trapped by their decision to locate themselves in unionized states and if the alternative option, locating in right to work states, was illegal.
Haley, who had already been sued by a union for anti-union rhetoric, wrote a letter to the NLRB signed by 15 other governors and testified before the House Oversight Committee blasting the government overreach of this suit. The lawsuit was eventually dropped and was considered a significant victory for the free market.
Given all the fighting former Ambassador Haley has done for Boeing and its massive presence in her home state, it comes as little surprise they are snatching her up only months into her new private life. If confirmed, she will sit on the board with Caroline Kennedy, daughter of JFK.
It would be a great day for Boeing considering what Haley has to offer with her past experiences, and likely position as a future presidential candidate and possible first female president of the United States.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.