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Acting General Counsel responds to congressional subpoena

Today the House Oversight Committee issued a broad subpoena compelling production of all NLRB documents related to the Boeing case, following three months of correspondence between the Committee and the NLRB Office of General Counsel.

 

In response, Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon said, "To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time since 1940 that the National Labor Relations Board has been the subject of a Congressional subpoena. I am disappointed and surprised by this development. For months, my staff and I have diligently tried to satisfy the Committee's desire for information while also preserving the integrity of our process and the rights of the parties in a case being actively litigated. I continue to believe that a solution is possible, and will work with the committee in the days and weeks ahead to find a reasonable and responsible balance."

 

Since issuing the Boeing complaint on April 20, the Office of General Counsel has received numerous information requests from Members of Congress. A list of the letters and Agency responses can be found here. Three significant points are highlighted in the correspondence:

 

  • The Agency has turned over numerous documents - more than 1000 pages in all - detailing the legal theories of the case, motions made by all parties, court transcripts, and rulings.
  • The Agency stated definitively that there has been no communication with the White House regarding the Boeing case. Similarly, there has been no communication to date between the Office of General Counsel and the Board on the merits of the Boeing case. The Agency response to requests in both categories is that there are no documents to provide. 
  • Many of the remaining documents sought by the Committee will be made available as the trial proceeds and evidence is entered into the court record. These include statements of witnesses who will testify, and statements by Boeing and the Machinists Union whose premature disclosure could interfere with the fairness of the trial and any possible settlement negotiations. In addition, we believe that the premature disclosure of any documents from the investigative file of an open case would establish precedent that could endanger future cases.

 

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