Healy said not a single IAM member was harmed by Boeing's decision. "We've grown by 2,000 people in Everett since we announced we would put a second line in Charleston," he said.

The April 20 ruling has a long way to go if it is to be upheld, starting with a June 14 hearing in Seattle, and could potentially end up before the U.S. Supreme Court. But, given the fierce competition between states for manufacturing jobs, the ruling has been seized upon by a myriad of opponents as an example of a government agency gone wild.

The ruling was issued by NLRB General Counsel, Lafe Solomon, who has spent nearly 40 years on the NLRB staff. Named acting general counsel in 2010, his nomination to the post is currently pending before the U.S. Senate, where it now seems likely to incur significant opposition. Under NLRB procedure Solomon's staff will present his case to an administrative law judge at the Seattle hearing. If the judge's decision is appealed, the case would go to the full board.

The board has four members, including three Democrats and one Republican; normally, the five-member board has three members from the U.S. president's party and two from the opposition.

Boeing shares were up almost 75 cents in afternoon trading Wednesday at $77.25.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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