Romney: Labor Board Case Could Cost Iowa Jobs

Romney: Labor Board Case Could Cost Iowa Jobs

By Thomas Beaumont - June 28, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney accused the Obama administration on Monday of jeopardizing the very manufacturing jobs the Democratic president plans to promote when he visits an aluminum plant in Iowa.

Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, said a lawsuit filed by the National Labor Relations Board against Boeing could stifle jobs at Alcoa in Iowa, which provides materials for the airline manufacturer's 787 Dreamliner.

"This Boeing decision in South Carolina sent shockwaves across the nation and, if allowed to stand, will result in American job losses and I think you can be sure there will be some losses in Iowa as well as other states," Romney said in an Associated Press interview.

Obama plans to visit an Alcoa plant in Bettendorf, Iowa, on Tuesday to tout jobs the manufacturer has added in recent months. Company officials say Alcoa has added 240 full-time positions since December, and has plans to fill roughly 60 more by August.

Alcoa spokesman Mike Belwood said the labor board's battle with Boeing over the South Carolina plant will not have an impact on employment at Alcoa's eastern Iowa plants, which produce aluminum lithium plate used to make structural components of the Dreamliner.

Romney has used the lawsuit by the board, which he described as "stacked with labor stooges," to suggest that Obama's actions as president have hindered the nation's economic recovery.

The National Labor Relations Board is appointed by the president. The Obama administration said the board's decision is an independent enforcement action in which the White House played no role.

"The manufacturing sector has led the economic recovery under the president's leadership," Obama spokeswoman Amy Brundage said. "Alcoa particularly has been a leader in manufacturing innovation and the president will highlight the success of this American company and its workers at the Bettendorf plant."

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Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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